Agriculture Current Affair 6 September 2020

Centre must push for field trials of Bt. Brinjal in States

In a welcome sign that the decade-long benign indifference to technology infusion in the farm sector is set to change to one of positive support, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) has decided to permit bio-safety research trials of indigenously-developed genetically modified (GM) brinjal, also known as eggplant.

For seed companies which are heavily invested in technology, this is a flicker of light and hope at the end of a long, dark tunnel. Many had nearly concluded that their investment was dead. Experiments in gene-modified crops are not new to this country, and brinjal in particular has had a chequered history. One may recall, field trials of this crop were stopped by the government in 2010 by placing a moratorium on the commercial cultivation in India.

System flush with funds, Food Corporation of India borrows at under 4.6%

Abundant cash in the system and repeated rate cuts have proved to be a bonanza for Food Corporation of India (FCI), which is in the market to raise Rs 75,000 crore. The government agency has received a bid to borrow a part of the 90-day loan for as low as 4.59%, compared to the three-month Marginal Cost of Lending Rate (MCLR) of 6.65-7.1% for public sector and private banks, sources told TOI. Most individuals will have to pay higher than MCLR to avail of a loan.

Will consistently export farm products without any disruption, India assures UN FAO

India has assured the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) it will consistently export farm products without any disruption to ensure steady global supply during Covid-19 pandemic.

India’s agricultural export rose by 23.24% to Rs 25,553 crore during in March-June this year, while many countries suffered a disruption in output and supply.

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