Agriculture Current Affair 18 June 2020

Fertiliser subsidy dues likely to cross a record ₹60,000 crore in FY21

While things looks rosy for the farm sector with a good monsoon and optimism among farmers pushing demand for fertilisers and seeds higher, the Centre has not been able to foot the ballooning subsidy demand on fertilisers.

The manufacturers of these chemicals, especially urea, are in deep trouble. The year 2020-21 began with subsidy dues of ₹48,000 crore. In February, contrary to the expectations of an increase in allocation in the Budget for fertiliser subsidy to meet the pending dues, the Centre reduced the amount; it set aside ₹71,309 crore vs. ₹79,996 crore in the previous year. This allocation will not be enough to pay the outstanding dues of of last year and this year. The industry anticipates the pending subsidy to hit a record ₹60,000 crore by end of FY21.

Proposed ban on 27 pesticides: Anxious agrochem industry drawing up legal strategy

The agrochemical industry, worried by the proposed ban on 27 pesticides by the Centre, is drawing up a legal strategy to counter it. However, internal documents prepared by industry experts show that continued manufacture of four pesticides on the list would be almost impossible to defend in a court of law due to their high toxicity.

The continued production of another 11 pesticides would also be very difficult or extremely difficult to justify by the companies.

Groundnut sowing gains momentum in Gujarat

This kharif season, Gujarat has witnessed a sharp surge in groundnut sowing. The sowing figures shared by the State’s agriculture department indicated that groundnut has been sown on over 6.5 lakh hectares so far as against 22,8000 hectares reported in the same period last year.

“The sharp surge in groundnut sowing is primarily due to improved availability of water and last year’s attractive prices of the oilseed over other kharif crops,” informed an agriculture department official.

The data showed kharif groundnut sowing has been completed on 6,56,698 hectares till June 15, whereas it was 22,875 hectares on the same day last year. The three-year average acreage for groundnut in the State is 15,40,078 hectares.

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