Agriculture Current Affair 21 April 2020

Covid-19 inflicts a daily loss of ₹224 crore to India’s fishery sector

The Covid-19 lockdown has put the country’s marine fishery sector in deep sea, inflicting a daily loss of ₹224 crore, a report prepared by the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) said.

The monthly loss for the sector is estimated to be about ₹6,838 crore; the Kochi-based institute has put ₹6,008 crore loss to mechanised sector and ₹830 crore for non-mechanised sector. However, the loss incurred in fish processing, exports and other nodes of the value chain are not considered.

With no buyers, farmers stall cultivation of exotic vegetables

With no takers for exotic vegetables, farmers in Kotagiri belt claim that there has been no market for the farm produce after March 25.

“The lockdown has brought farm operations to a halt. We had encountered difficult times in the past – extreme drought/ flooding of fields, animal menace and in not being able to get a fair price for the produce, but none of those had impacted us as badly as the present,” said Chandran, a native of Kookulthurai village in Kotagiri.

Stating that life has come to a standstill for such of those farmers engaged in the cultivation of exotic vegetables such as lettuce, iceberg, broccoli, celery, parsley, zucchini and rosemary, he said: “Companies guarantee a buy-back of the produce and fix the rate. Some even supply seedlings and handhold during the growth phase. We were happy with the arrangement as we could focus on the crop. But with the three-star and five-star hotels shutting their doors to visitors, these companies could not only find takers for such vegetables but were unable to lift them as well.”

Cane crushing season in Maharashtra comes to halt as migrant workers move to hometowns

Sugar production drops by 46.6 lakh tonnes
The sugarcane crushing season in Maharashtra is almost halted with cane cutters returning to their hometowns. As on April 15, the mills in the State have produced 60.12 lakh tonnes (lt) of sugar compared to 106.71 lt produced last year in the same period. This is almost 46.6 lt less than last year, according to the Indian Sugar Mill Association (ISMA).

Over 1,31,000 cane cutters from Beed and Ahmednagar districts, who are in the sugar belt of the State, are on the way back to their hometowns after the State government decided to let them go.

Now, 136 mills have closed their crushing operations in the State and only 10 sugar mills are operating. On the corresponding date in last season, six mills were in operation in the State which went on to add 0.49 lt of sugar production last year, according to ISMA.

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