Agriculture Current Affair 30 December 2021

FSSAI draft norms on GM food unacceptable: Activists

Social activists working among farmers led by Kavitha Kuruganti have come out against the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) draft regulations on genetically modified (GM) food, terming it “unacceptable”.

FSSAI should explicitly say GM foods will not be allowed into India by way of production or imports, Coalition for GM-Free India, which Kuruganti represents, has demanded. “Any kind of GM food in India is a threat to health of our people, to our environment, and to the diverse food cultures of India,” alleged Kuruganti, known for getting India registration certification on PepsiCo’s Lay’s potato variety revoked by the court. “FSSAI is trying to circumvent all of this,” she said.

FSSAI had recently released draft regulations for GM food, proposing all food products having individual genetically engineered ingredients of 1% or more to be labelled as “Contains GMO/ingredients derived from GMO”. Activists claimed this like a tacit approval to import of GM food instead of prohibiting them.

Record foodgrains production likely in 2022;farm laws repeal, price rise bitter pills for agri sector

India achieved record foodgrains production this year but the withdrawal of three agri-reform laws and spike in cooking oil prices cast a shadow on the country’s resilient agriculture sector that is on course for better harvest in 2022 despite pandemic blues.

While soaring production of foodgrains that also helped the government provide free additional rations for COVID-hit poor families for many months together came as a relief, the passing year will be remembered for the long drawn farmers’ protest at Delhi borders against the three laws and subsequent repeal of the legislations.

The Indian agriculture sector, which was among the few segments that remained robust amid the pandemic gales, is expected to register a growth rate of 3.5 per cent in the current financial year ending March 2022.

PM Modi to release Rs 20K cr to more than 10 cr beneficiaries under PM-KISAN

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release the 10th instalment of financial benefits under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), transferring more than Rs 20,000 crore to nearly 10 crore beneficiary farmer families on January 1, 2022.

Under the PM-KISAN scheme, a financial benefit of Rs 6,000 per year is provided to the eligible beneficiary farmer families, payable in three equal 4-monthly instalments of Rs 2000 each. The fund is transferred directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

Samman Rashi of over Rs 1.6 lakh crore has been transferred to farmer families so far.

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