Agriculture Current Affair 22 May 2020

Farmers want PM’s ‘vocal for local’ call to echo strongly in pepper imports

The pepper farming community is looking at the Prime Minister’s announcement of “vocal for local” in letter and spirit, especially with regard to pepper imports.

Kishore Shamji of Kishor Spices said the message should be implemented without being diluted, unlike the previous Make in India programme, under which pepper was imported and re-exported in various forms, flouting the restrictions imposed by DGFT for 6 per cent minimum oil content.

This needs immediate attention from the authorities to help Indian domestic pepper farmers, he said. According to him, the domestic market is expecting to pick up some demand on account of the start of Sri Lankan harvest season and it is feared that those who managed to obtain duty-free import licence last year under Indo-Sri Lankan FTA could try to import larger quantities by flouting all norms.

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Gujarat may see surge in groundnut sowing

Because of attractive prices, improved water availability and near normal monsoon outlook for the kharif season, groundnut cultivation in the heartland of Gujarat is set to jump this season.

Farmers in the State are increasingly turning towards groundnut cultivation because of better prices as against the immediate alternate kharif crop, i.e. cotton.

Better prices
Groundnut prices hovered in the range of ₹5,250-6,495 per quintal in Rajkot market, much above the minimum support price (MSP) of ₹5,090 per quintal for the season 2019-20.

Cotton (raw kapas) prices, on the other hand, hovered around ₹3,350-4,875 per quintal at Rajkot mandi, about ₹600 lower than the MSP of ₹5,550 per quintal.

KVK’s farm service centre gets good response

With multi-level farming initiatives mushrooming in Ernakulam district during the lockdown period, the farm service centre under the Ernakulam Krishi Vigyan Kendra of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has received a huge response from those seeking support for different farm-related activities.

The farm service centre, which was launched last year, offers all kinds of services to the farmers including the use of machinery such as tractors, power tillers, power weeders, different types of ploughs, rotavators, earth augers, motorised and hand-operated sprayers, paddy transplanters, agro waste shredders, slurry pumps, water pumps, etc., on a payment basis.

Tractor operated bund former, which is used to prepare terraces for the cultivation of tapioca and ginger, is the most sought-after tool by the farmers during this season, said Shinoj Subramaniam, Head of KVK.

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