Agriculture Current Affair 24 February 2020

Bengal jute industry hit by fund crunch as banks set stringent credit norms

The jute industry in West Bengal is facing difficulties due to the dearth of working capital, as banks have allegedly tightened the lending standards for the sector, officials said. The lenders have been seeking “clear land papers” from mills’ owners for extending loans, they said.

At present, three major jute mills remained closed due to working capital crunch, industry sources said.

“Sikkim will not deviate from organic farming policy”

Organic food production is not economically sustainable at present in the state, and even middle-class consumers are not able to afford it. However, the new government will not “deviate” from its policy of promoting fully organic, said the state’s lone Lok Sabha member Indra Hang Subba.

The state will converge its policy with research in organic farming that can help boost production to make the village economy sustainable here, he added.

Sikkim was in January 2016 declared as a fully organic state. However, it heavily depends on markets in neighbouring states like West Bengal for the supply of cereals, vegetables, pulses, poultry products and fruits to meet domestic consumption.

Pesticide to tackle locust attacks to be banned from December 31

The pesticide – Dichlorvos, that is used to tackle the menace caused by locusts effectively, will be banned from December 31.

This is despite the reports of the locusts destroying crops, that were growing on nearly 1.68 lakh hectares of agricultural land, over the last one year in the country.

Dichlorvos, which is also known as DDVP is a potent insecticide. It can kill locusts with a single spray.

But, the pesticide is a part of the organophosphate group of chemicals. It was, thus, opposed by food safety activists.

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