Agriculture Current Affair 28 July 2020

Hiring charges of agri implements jump on rising fuel prices, lack of migrant labour

The rise in fuel prices — petrol and diesel — have come at a very difficult time for farmers in Maharashtra. Migrant labour is in short supply due to the pandemic and hiring charges of agriculture implements, especially for small and medium farmers, has increased by at least 30 to 40 per cent.

Tomato farmer Suresh Navale from Akole taluka in Ahmednagar district told BusinessLine that before the price rise, tractors were available at ₹500 per hour, which today has increased by ₹650 to ₹700 per hour. Due to higher demand for mechanical implements, drivers and owners of these implements are overcharging.

The HT Bt mess needs to be cleaned up swiftly

An article titled “HTBT issue: We should embrace seed technology but not through illegal means” appeared in The Hindu Business Line on July 24. It is necessary to set some of the facts straight and address the critical issue of illegal cultivation of HT Bt cotton.

Bt1 Cotton was approved in 2002, while Bt2 was approved in 2006. An Indian company, Mahyco, brought it to India, in collaboration with Monsanto. Over the past 18 years, Bt Cotton technology has covered over 95 per cent of the country’s cotton. About 70 lakh cotton farmers derived phenomenal benefits, as did the country.

Record raisin production in Maharashtra

The massive production of raisin in Maharashtra has put grape farmers in a tight spot. Many farmers, unable to take their grapes to the market due to lockdown, took to raisin making.

As a result, the estimated raisin production in the State has gone up to about 3 lakh tonne (lt) from an average annual production of 1.80 lt. Now, the majority of farmers have put their produce in cold storage due to lack of demand and plummeting price.

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