Agriculture Current Affair 15 February 2022

India’s basmati rice exports hit 4-year low as Iran trims buying

India’s basmati rice exports plunged a fifth from a year ago to the lowest level in four years in 2021 as top buyer Iran slashed purchases after its rupee reserves dwindled, government and industry officials said.

The country’s basmati rice exports in 2021 fell 20% from a year ago to 4 million tonnes, the lowest since 2017, according to government data.

Shipments to Iran, the biggest buyer of India’s basmati rice, plunged 26% from a year ago to 834,458 tonnes, the data showed.

J&K admin signs MoU with New Zealand company to transform sheep farming sector

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday signed an MoU with the New Zealand G2G, a public sector company for transforming the sheep farming sector in the Union Territory and also launched a rural home stay project in the UT in collaboration with the Oyo Rooms.

The J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha signed the MoU with New Zealand G2G, with an overarching objective to improve farmer’s remuneration, transfer of technology in research, development as well as marketing and value addition of sheep products of J&K.

“New Zealand is an important partner of India’s expanding relationship globally and we attach special values to our ties not only because of deep bonding and cultural affinities but also from a mature understanding of our strategic convergences, global interests and economic potential,” Sinha said.

Pulses importers land in trouble after govt’s move on moong beans

Pulses importers have landed in trouble following the government’s notification issued last Friday to restrict the import of moong beans with immediate effect. Earlier, the import of moong beans was allowed under the “free” category subject to the bill lading issued by March 31, 2022 and customs clearance by June 30, 2022.

Commenting on the government’s fresh move, Bimal Kothari, vice chairman, India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA) said, “Based on the “free” import policy, Indian market participants had entered into binding contractual obligations for the import of moong from other countries into India. It was barely two months ago, that the government of India allowed the “free”import of moong, and has now changed that policy overnight. On behalf of all market players, we request the government to

reconsider the notification restricting imports and reinstate the “free” import policy.”

“Frequent policy changes create immense financial hardship for Indian market participants, and uncertainty for international counterparts. Such changes are counterproductive for international trade and inconsistent with India’s “Ease of Doing Business” objective. Consequently, we request the government to provide reasonable advance notice to the market before introducing new policies that can hamper existing trade commitments,” Kothari added.

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