Agriculture Current Affair 7 February 2020

Indian tea production hit a record in 2019

It is official. The latest data released by Tea Board confirms the speculation in the last few months that Indian tea production was headed for record levels in calendar 2019.

“Tea Board has released the data for December 2019 which shows that India produced 67.04 million kg (mkg) against 55.52 mkg in December 2018, marking a gain of 11.52 mkg or 20.75 per cent,” Rajesh Gupta, compiler of Global Tea Digest, told BusinessLine.

The production would have been higher had it not been for a fall of 8.11 per cent in South India where the output dipped to 18.13 mkg from 19.73 mkg in December 2018 due to chilly winter weather.

“North India produced 13.12 mkg or 36.66 per cent more to reach 48.91 mkg,” Rajesh Gupta said. “Our compilation shows that India’s production in 2019 rose to 1389.70 mkg from 1338.63 mkg in 2018. This increase of 51.07 mkg marked a gain of 3.82 per cent.”

TN wants restriction on import of peas via Thoothukudi eased

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami has urged Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal to relax import restriction on peas through the Thoothukudi port for the welfare of dhal and flour-milling trade in Tamil Nadu and the neighbouring States.

The request comes following a public notification issued by the Director General of Foreign Trade on December 18, 2019, restricting the import of peas to 1.5 lakh tonnes for the entire country. The restriction has led to drastic increase in the price peas to over ₹65 per kg in Tamil Nadu. It has also affected dhal and flour mills operating as MSME units in Tamil Nadu, hurting labourers and others who are dependent on the trade, says a letter written by Palaniswami to Goyal. Peas, mainly used for the preparation of traditional and region-specific snacks, are cultivated in an area of 5.40 lakh hectares across India with an annual estimated production of 54.22 lakh tonnes. Peas cultivation is taken up in cooler regions, and hence, Tamil Nadu’s share is only marginal; green peas, in particular, is cultivated on 120 hectares with production of about 1,960 tonnes.

Centre allows exports of Krishnapuram onions, but with conditions

The Centre has allowed the exports of Krishnapuram onions, a variety grown in Andhra Pradesh primarily for exports. However, there is an export cap, with conditions including port restrictions and the need for certification from the AP Horticulture Department.

“The export shipment of Krishnapuram (KP) onion shall be allowed only through Chennai port, and the export is to be completed by March 31, 2020,” said a notification issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), which also set a limit of 10,000 tonnes for exports during the period.

An exporter shall have to get a certificate from the AP Horticulture Department confirming the quantity, it said, adding: “The certificate shall be registered by the exporter at the zonal office of DGFT, Chennai.”

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