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States asked to be ready for rain shortfall

NEW DELHI: Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh has written to chief ministers of all states and union territories to review their preparedness to mitigate possible drought in the event of a rain deficit in the upcoming monsoon season.  In the letter, the minister advised states to carry out this exercise in advance “so that the possible adverse impact of sub-par rainfall, if at all, on the farmers can be mitigated,” the agriculture ministry said in press statement issued on Monday.  The June-September monsoon rainfall this year is expected to be 96% of the long-term average, with a 5% error margin, as per the weather office’s forecast issued earlier this month....

Last Updated: Friday, 12th May, 2017 11:38 AM Visits 41

India's cotton area seen rising 15 per cent to 3 year high as prices rally

MUMBAI: Cotton planting in India, the world's biggest producer of the fibre, is likely to rise by 15 percent in the 2017/18 marketing season to a three-year high as farmers switch away from other crops, likely boosting cotton production and exports.  Higher output in India could kill a rally that pushed global cotton prices to their highest in three years this month.  "This year farmers received higher prices, so they are going to raise the area under cotton. We are expecting around a 15 percent increase," said Mekala Chockalingam, chairman of the state-run Cotton Corporation of India (CCI), the biggest cotton buyer in the country.  Domestic cotton...

Last Updated: Wednesday, 10th May, 2017 11:38 AM Visits 24

Agriculture Ministry proposes hike in tur dal import duty to 20%

NEW DELHI: Ahead of summer sowing, the Agriculture Ministry has proposed further hike in the import duty of tur dal (pigeon pea) from 10 per cent to 20 per cent in a bid to curb overseas purchase, arrest steep fall in wholesale prices and keep farmers' morale high.  "The current import duty is not having any impact on the domestic rates, which are continuing to rule below the MSP. We have written to the finance ministry to raise the duty to at least 20 per cent to restrict shipments," a senior government official told PTI.  Sending right price signal to farmers is important ahead of...

Last Updated: Sunday, 7th May, 2017 11:37 AM Visits 27

Wheat procurement surpasses five-year record in Punjab, Haryana

CHANDIGARH: Highest wheat procurement in the last five-years in cereal bowl states of Punjab and Haryana this marketing season is set to replenish depleting stocks of Food Corporation of India. The enhanced in the procurement had allayed speculation of drop in output due to delay caused in sowing post demonetization. The high quality of wheat this season promises better shelf life of the grain that would be suitable for human consumption for the next couple of years, says officials of Food Corporation of India.  Punjab is likely to surpass 115 lakh tonnes of wheat compared to the last season's procurement figure of 104.44 lakh tonnes. In Haryana...

Last Updated: Wednesday, 3rd May, 2017 11:36 AM Visits 29

Cotton turns 'white gold' after highest productivity in Punjab

CHANDIGARH: Cotton, often termed by farmers as 'white gold' for bringing higher remuneration, is set to regain lost ground in Punjab where the area under the crop is expected to rise by more than 50 per cent after it fell to ever lowest 2.56 lakh hectares in the last year. The revival of the fibre crop is buttressed by highest productivity of 756 lint kg per hectare in kharif season 2016-17 compared to lowest ever 197 lint kg per hectare in 2015-16.  "This year cotton is likely to make revival in several South Western districts where paddy was grown in the last few seasons," joint director, Punjab agriculture,...

Last Updated: Wednesday, 19th April, 2017 10:26 AM Visits 72

India's potato output to hit near record level at 47mn tonnes

NEW DELHI: The country's potato production is estimated to be around 47 million tonnes this year, just behind the all-time high witnessed in 2014.  The output stood at 43.4 million tonnes in 2015-16 crop year (July-June), while last record was 48 million tonnes achieved in 2014-15.  "Looking at the crop condition and arrival in mandis, I feel the overall output will be close to record levels. Potato output would be around 47 million tonnes this year," National Horticulture Board (NHB) Managing Director A K Singh told PTI.  Initially, NHB had projected 43.88 million tonnes output for this year. But this will be revised after assessing the arrival, he said.  Singh...

Last Updated: Tuesday, 18th April, 2017 10:26 AM Visits 59

Farmers in Maharashtra won’t sow crops or sell their produce until their demands are met: Reports

Farmers from a growing number of villages across Maharashtra are passing resolutions to go on strike from June 1, stop sale of any agrarian produce to begin with and not sow any crop if the government does not accept their demands.  There is widespread resentment among farmers because prices of commodities such as onions, vegetables and pulses have fallen below the cost of production, and the government has failed to implement effective procurement measures.  “Our generations have fought on the roads demanding the right price for our produce, but we haven’t got any justice. Hence, we want to try this smart and new idea of going on strike to...

Last Updated: Saturday, 15th April, 2017 10:38 AM Visits 526

Drop in price of pulses reveals flaws in agriculture policy

A good monsoon that led to record sowing and production of pulses -- especially tur dal (pigeon pea) -- has almost halved their wholesale and retail prices in 2017, a year after dal prices skyrocketed to Rs 200 per kg in some cities at the end of 2015.  In many state-regulated agricultural markets of major tur-producing states such as Maharashtra and Karnataka, prices have fallen to Rs 4,000 per quintal in some markets, 20 per cent below the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 5,050 per quintal (including a bonus of Rs 425) since December 2016.  A ban on exports, restrictions on stocking by private agencies in a bumper-crop year...

Last Updated: Wednesday, 12th April, 2017 10:37 AM Visits 67