Agriculture Current Affair 14 August 2020

Rain surplus inches up back to 2%

Rainfall recorded over the country until Wednesday (June 10-August 13) has reclaimed a token surplus with parts of Central India and North-West coming under the heavy rainfall belt from late last week. But it has still not been good enough to make up the deficits in the Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh.

A fresh low-pressure area formed on Thursday over the North-West Bay of Bengal off the North Odisha and West Bengal coasts.

Eyeing the North, FACT to add five lakh tonnes more to its production

The public sector FACT is adding an additional five lakh tonnes fertiliser production to its capacity as part of tapping new markets in West Bengal, Odisha, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

The existing production capacity is nine lakh tonnes and the company is planning to set up a new plant shortly with a focus on expanding its marketing networks to other parts of the country, Kishor Rungta, the Chairman and Managing Director said at a webinar organised by Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the topic FACT – Strategies planned during Covid and post-Covid times for survival.

Agriculture Infrastructure Fund: A novel scheme, but it needs clarity

On July 8, the Union Cabinet approved a new Central Sector Scheme — Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF). Even though the headlines suggest that it is a ₹1-lakh crore scheme, the Centre’s outgo from the Budget is pegged at ₹10,736 crore over the next three years.

The Centre will bear this expenditure by providing interest subvention of 3 per cent on term loans for post-harvest management. The Centre will also provide a guarantee to banks for loans up to ₹2 crore for possible defaults by borrowers. This will be done through Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises for loans up to ₹2 crore. The Government will pay the fee for this guarantee.

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