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harif crop planting on target, next 10 days crucial: Agriculture Secretary

NEW DELHI: India’s kharif crop outlook remains good despite weak rainfall in the past week, but monsoon activity in the next 10 days will be crucial, top agriculture ministry officials said.  Rainfall in the past week has been 19% below average but the weather office has forecast above normal showers for the next two weeks, calming concerns of crop stress in the early phase of the rabi season.  Rainfall in Madhya Pradesh has picked up significantly in the past two days cheering farmers, but parts of Karnataka remain rain deficient. “On the whole situation is good,” agriculture secretary Shobhana K Pattanayak said. “Sowing is on track, higher by 9% over...

Last Updated: Friday, 14th July, 2017 12:48 PM Visits 32

Who's benefitting from farm insurance?

Continuing suicides and in termittent protests by farmers across the country prompted the Supreme Court on Thursday to ask why the muchpublicised Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) had not provided relief to hapless farmers. While the government said that it is the first year and they are ironing out the problems, a look at the details of this first year's implementation throws up more systemic issues.  Responding to a question, ag riculture minister of state Purushottam Rupala told the Lok Sabha on 28 March 2017 that insurance companies collected over Rs 9,000 crore as premium for the kharif season in...

Last Updated: Saturday, 8th July, 2017 12:48 PM Visits 20

Basmati brands seek parity in GST

CHANDIGARH: Seeking all rice brands to be brought under the 5 per cent GST, the registered basmati brands are terming the levy as discriminatory in the current version. The companies claim that distributors and retailers will prefer unregistered brands to evade GST.  The opposition to GST is also sparked as top basmati brands like Dawaat and India Gate fall in exempted list while several small players have come under the ambit of the tax. Under GST rice brands that are registered under Mark Act 1999 have come under 5 per cent GST while unregistered brands have been extended exemption.  In a letter to the union...

Last Updated: Friday, 7th July, 2017 12:45 PM Visits 31

Chandrababu Naidu ropes in noted agriculturist to promote organic farming in AP

Noted agriculturist and inventor of Zero Budget Natural Spiritual Farming, Subhash Palekar, has been appointed as advisor by the Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu to promote organic farming in the state.  As part of the mandate, Palekar will be responsible for formulating agriculture related policies and look after knowledge sharing with the farmers.  “We will strive to make Andhra Pradesh 100% organic in the coming years and eliminate use of harmful chemicals and fertilizers in crop production,” said Naidu.  The state government, which has already implemented Palekar’s Zero Budget Natural Spiritual Farming technique in 2,000 villages covering over five lakh hectares and trained five...

Last Updated: Wednesday, 14th June, 2017 12:09 PM Visits 62

Farmers prepare for Kharif crops as monsoon sets in

NEW DELHI: Farmers have started preparing land for growing kharif crops following onset of monsoon rains in some parts of the country.  This time round, farmers are expected to bring 107 million hectares under cultivation for paddy, soyabean, pulses, cotton, bajra, jowar, groundnut and maize, raising hopes of a bigger grain harvest this year.  Companies and analysts said the acreage under cotton could surpass soyabean and pulses as prices are firm. The government, however, could announce higher minimum support price for pulses and oil seeds to boost domestic production and reduce the country’s dependence on imports, they said.  Farmers have already started preparing land and raising paddy nurseries, from where saplings...

Last Updated: Friday, 9th June, 2017 12:08 PM Visits 50

Haryana government gives subsidy to farmers to encourage farming of Kharif onion

CHANDIGARH: With a view to encourage the farming of Kharif onion in the State, Haryana government has decided to provide 50 per cent subsidy on the onion seed.  A spokesman of horticulture department said that the maximum amount limit of subsidy of Rs 500 per kilogramme seed or 50 per cent whichever is less would be provided.  He said that farmers would be provided 12.5 kg seed of kharif onion per hectare per farmer.  This subsidy would be given on first-come-first-serve basis and would be applicable till the availability of subsidy amount, he added.  He said that farmers could obtain the seed of different varieties of kharif onion...

Last Updated: Tuesday, 6th June, 2017 12:07 PM Visits 72

Farmer strike forces Maharashtra government to lift stock limit on pulses

PUNE: As the farmer strike intensified in Maharashtra, the state government lifted the stock limit on pulses, barring chana, a decision it had kept pending despite the central government directing the state governments to remove the stock limit a fortnight ago.  Maharashtra had imposed stock limit on pulses, edible oil and edible oilseeds till September 30, 2017. On Thursday, it exempted pulses from this order.  Traders and farmers had been demanding removal of stock limit to support the falling priced of tur, which have declined below the minimum support price.  Prices of moong and masoor are also depressed. Only chana prices are still above MSP as there...

Last Updated: Thursday, 1st June, 2017 12:05 PM Visits 48

PM Narendra Modi's government has given MSP 43% higher than production cost: Amit Shah

NEW DELHI: The Modi government within first three years of coming to power has all but fulfilled its poll promise of giving farmers a support price that is 50 per cent more than cost of production of a crop, BJP President Amit Shah has said.  The minimum support price (MSP) paid to farmers for their crops is now 43 per cent more than the cost of production if the cost of land is excluded from price calculation, he told PTI in an interview here.  No government, he said, can meet the Swaminathan formula for calculating the cost of production as it includes cost of land, which...

Last Updated: Sunday, 28th May, 2017 11:06 AM Visits 71