Agriculture Current Affair 26 April 2020

Exotic fruits become scarce and costlier, as bottlenecks in transportation emerge

Exotic fruits such as dragon fruit, kiwi and blueberries have become scarce and costlier owing to bottlenecks in ports and roads transportation. Importers said the weakening rupee has further increased cost and hit their profit margins.

Exotic fruits importer IG International is staring at a huge loss due to the lockdown. “We had to dump a number of imported fruits like kiwi, dragon fruit and blueberries after the lockdown was announced. Fruits are perishable products and cannot be be kept for more than 15 days. Some fruits have a seven-day longevity,” said Tarun Arora, director of the firm.

India currently imports 350,000 metric tonnes of fruits per annum, worth about Rs 3,000 crore, which is expected to increase to Rs 4,000 crore in two-three years. Of this, the exotic fruits category is valued at Rs 500-600 crore, according to industry estimates.

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Covid-19 lockdown has severely hit the poultry industry with Q4 being the worst quarter:ICRA

The recent Covid-19 lockdown has impacted the domestic poultry industry severely with Q4 FY2020 being the worst quarter in recent time, said ICRA on Friday.

The industry incurred large net losses due to sharp decline in demand, realization and profitability. Rumours circulated in social media, linking poultry birds as possible vectors of the virus, further lead to the demand drop and hence realizations. While realization has recovered from lows of March 2020, overall volume is likely to remain modest in Q1FY21 thereby putting pressure on overall profitability.

As per ICRA Research, as of date, the liquidity condition of industry participants continues to remain stretched, especially of smaller integrators and contract farmers, with few entities witnessing / likely to witness closure of business.

Government completes disposal of 35,857 tons of imported onions

The government has completed the disposal of 35,857 tonne of onion, imported by state-owned MMTCNSE 7.37 % in 2019 to check spiralling domestic prices, according to the Consumer Affairs Ministry.

To contain onion prices, the government had in November 2019 decided to import 1.2 lakh tonnes of onion through MMTC. Since then, it purchased 35,857 tonne of onion from the overseas market under the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF).

In its latest report, the ministry said it has completed the disposal of imported onions by the end of March. Total of 35,857 tonne of imported onion has been sold to different states.

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