Agriculture Current Affair 9 February 2020

NAFED to host pulses meet on Feb 10

To mark the UN World Pulses Day, celebrated on February 10 every year, National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) is organising a one-day conference on Monday. The meet, which would attract experts in farming, agricultural economics, and marketing from India as well as abroad, would be inaugurated by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.

There would be four sessions that would discuss the need for enhanced production and consumption of pulses for nutrition, investment in the supply chain of pulses and the need of value addition as well the outlook of pulses globally with emphasis on India, a statement said here on Saturday.

In 2016, the UN decided to designate February 10 as World Pulses Day to create an awareness about the need for enhancing production and consumption of pulses to buttress their importance as plant protein.

Fighting fungal pest: Chickpea could give mustard a tip or two

In its fight against pathogens, mustard can get some help from chickpea. Indian scientists studying a fungal pest that causes extensive damage to mustard and rapeseed crops found that the rabi pulses crop has an in-built mechanism in its genes to ward off the fungal attack, which they hope could someday come to the help of the important oilseed crop of India.

Researchers from the National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR), New Delhi, and Assam Agricultural University in Jorhat, led by NIPGR plant biologist Muthappa Senthil-Kumar, are looking for a better way to manage blight, a plant disease caused by fungus Alternaria brassicae, which can lead to a crop damage of up to 47 per cent in mustard. The pest also affects a variety of other crops, including cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.

GoI may provide relief to tea gardens from TDS in cash withdrawal

Government of India is in process to reframe the policy of charging TDS on cash withdrawal for Tea gardens. Highly labour intensive tea industry had always remained vocal against the policy since its introduction in 2019.

“Government may not withdraw the policy. But can postpone it for tea sector till infrastructure becomes adequate enough in the far flung tea garden areas,” said Bista.

As per the policy, one needs to pay TDS at a rate of 2% for withdrawal of any amount in excess of Rs 1 crore in a year.

Workers payment contributes 45 to 60% to total operational cost of a tea garden.

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