Agriculture Current Affair 5 February 2020

Rajasthan govt presses panic button over locust attacks in 12 districts

The Rajasthan Government has pressed the panic button over the locust attacks in 12 districts and in the neighbouring states of Gujarat and Punjab. Taking a cue from Pakistan it has asked the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the insect attacks as a national calamity.

Last week Pakistani Government had announced a state of national emergency due to the attacks. Rajasthan shares its international border with Pakistan and the Gehlot Government fears that the locust calamity in the neighbouring country could further impact the agriculture economy of the desert state.

‘8.36-cr farmer-families have benefited from PM-Kisan’

The number of unique beneficiaries under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) till date is nearly 8.36 crore farmer families, but another 1.2 crore farmer families, which applied for the scheme, have not received the payout because of discrepancies in land records or Aadhaar cards or failure to validate bank accounts, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

This takes the total number of identified PM-Kisan beneficiaries to approximately 9.56 crore, whereas the estimated landholdings in the country are 14 crore.

In a written reply to a starred question, Tomar said the government has disbursed 50,029.74 crore under the PM-Kisan scheme till date and the time to disburse the latest installment will be till March this year.

Technically speaking, this also includes the PM-Kisan payout of 8,654 crore made in the last trimester of 2018-19.

FAO forecasts locust threat amid fresh breeding; Gujarat says ‘well-prepared’

The worst nightmare of farmers ― locust attack ― is knocking at the doors yet again. If the projections by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations is anything to go by, the heavy rains in the Southern coast of Iran will provide favourable conditions for two generations of breeding of locust swarms, posing a threat to the entire Southwest Asia including southern Pakistan and Western India.

In its latest desert locust bulletin released on February 3, the international body has flagged the “threat” of hatching and band formation in Southern Iran, while breeding is expected to start in Southwest Pakistan.

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