Agriculture Current Affair1 March to 3 March 2023

Government looks to integrate 100 more interstate mandis with e-NAM

The government is looking at integrating 100 more interstate mandis with the Electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM), to promote trade between the wholesale markets.

“We are focusing more on integrating interstate mandis now,” said a senior official.

The trade between interstate mandis on e-NAM increased to 3,929 quintals during April 2022 to January 2023 from just one quintal a year earlier. In the first 10 months of fiscal 2023, the value of interstate trade was Rs 1.87 crore, against the overall trade of Rs 61,257 crore on e-NAM.

El Nino threat raises fears of stress on lenders’ agri books

Farm loan exposure of banks has started to come back to analyst focus, amid forecasts of a possible occurrence of El Nino that could hurt crop production and potential calls for farm loan waivers in the run-up to next year’s elections.

While the climate effect could leave farmers with less money to repay their loans, any promise of loan waivers by political parties could be a sentiment dampener, as there would be uncertainties while governments evolve mechanisms to pay lenders back.

Onion prices will stay depressed till mid-March: Experts

Onion prices will stay depressed till the arrival of the long shelf life rabi or winter crop in the markets in mid-March, experts said on Tuesday. There is a supply glut in the market which has led to events like farmers getting a pittance of their input costs for the produce and also angry farmers halting trading at Asia’s biggest market place Lasalgaon in Maharashtra, on Monday, they said.

Independent farm sector analyst Deepak Chavan told PTI that there are a variety of reasons for the current spate of troubles which has led to panic selling by farmers as the shelf life of the late kharif harvest is too small, and called for government intervention.

Agritech firm Fasal enters procurement business to sell directly to retailers, exporters

Sustainable horticulture farm network company Fasal on Wednesday announced expansion into the farming output business with the launch of ‘Fasal Fresh’ to sell produce of its farmer partners through offline and online retailers, wholesalers and exporters.

Through its patented IoT system called Kranti, Fasal has been making horticulture farming guesswork-free with advanced irrigation alerts, farm-level forecasts, and pest/disease forewarnings. Today, Fasal works with Indian farmers over 60,000 acres across 20 plus crops.

Fasal Fresh, which has been in the works since last year, removes intermediaries in procurement to ensure fairer prices for farmers while bringing end-consumers export-quality produce, the company. It is already operational in Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The company plans to launch Fasal Fresh in Mumbai this month.

Government sets a target of 35 MT for wheat procurement

The government has set a target of procuring 35 MT of wheat during the marketing year 2023-2024. This has been decided at a meeting of officials from the food ministry, state food departments and the Food Corporation of India (FCI).

“The target has been set at 350 LMT for wheat procurement,” said a senior official present at the meeting during which the decision was taken.

Last year, wheat procurement for the central pool had declined to 18.79 MT from 43.3 MT in the 2021-22 marketing year due to early onset of heat which led to a drop in production and increased private purchase of the commodity.

A total of 2.347 MT wheat sold under OMSS: Food Ministry

The Food Corporation of India sold 0.54 MT of wheat out of the allocated 1.15 MT in the fourth auction of the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) .

“The cumulative quantity of wheat sold under OMSS (D) has gone up to 2.347 MT against the overall allocation of 4.5 MT,” the food ministry said in a statement.

Last year, wheat procurement for the central pool had declined to 18.79 MT from 43.3 MT in the 2021-22 marketing year due to early onset of heat which led to a drop in production and increased private purchase of the commodity.

Mustard farmers seek help as prices fall below MSP

Mustard farmers are staring at a financial loss as the price of mustard seeds has fallen below the minimum support price (MSP) of ₹5,450 per quintal in market yards.

This has prompted the edible oil industry to seek immediate steps to arrest the fall. The industry has suggested that government agencies like the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed) be asked to procure mustard seeds and defend the MSP. The industry also wants refined palm oil to be immediately put under the restricted category, or the differential between the crude and refined palm oil be raised to a minimum of 20%, to discourage import of refined palm oil, which hurts local mustard farmers.

Several steps taken to address emerging challenges, create global brand for Indian tea: Comm Min

India has taken several steps to boost tea output, create a niche brand for the Indian tea and ensure the welfare of families associated with this industry, the commerce ministry said on Thursday. India is the second largest tea producer and the largest black tea producer and is self-sufficient in meeting domestic requirements and export obligations.

It said the Indian tea is exported to various destinations and is the fourth largest tea exporter besides catering to a large number of domestic consumers.

The industry is employing 1.16 million workers directly and an equal number are associated with it indirectly.

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