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India will be self-sufficient in pulses in next few years: Radha Mohan Singh

NEW DELHI: Rural India will gain from strong growth in horticulture, poultry, dairies and fisheries, in addition to bumper farm production that is estimated to hit a new record this crop year, agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh said.  The government’s focus on making India self-sufficient in food grains will ensure that the country does not import pulses in the years ahead, Singh told ET on Thursday, a day after his ministry forecast major crop output to reach nearly 272 million tonnes in the year through June 2017. The estimated production is 2.6% more than the current record, achieved in 2013-14.  “Due to the concerted efforts of scientists to get early-maturing varieties of...

Last Updated: Friday, 17th February, 2017 03:38 PM Visits 59

Government sees record foodgrain output at 271.98 mt for 2016-17

NEW DELHI: The government has forecast a robust 8% growth in farm output this year after bountiful monsoon rains, raising prospects of stronger rural demand for consumer goods, automobiles and gold, and strong economic growth. The strong growth comes after a drought ravaged the fields for two years and heightened rural distress, but the expected output betters the record production of 2013-14 by 2.6%.  “Higher food grain production is good news for economy especially rural. This should help stabilise prices," said Ashok Gulati, agricultural economist and former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices.  However, he said it was important...

Last Updated: Thursday, 16th February, 2017 03:39 PM Visits 54

'Note ban has caused Rs 20,000-50,000 per acre loss to farmers'

NEW DELHI: India's cash-driven agri sector continues to reel under the effects of demonetisation, with farmers growing fruits and vegetables suffering "huge losses", say farm leaders who want the Union budget to "compensate" them for these losses.  Amid reports of farmers dumping or refusing to harvest crops like tomatoes and peas due to a crash in prices as traders did not have the cash to purchase the produce, farmer leader Ajay Vir Jakhar said, "Farmers growing perishables like fruits and vegetables have suffered losses of Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000 per acre on an average.  "The loss is huge," Jakhar, Chairman of Bharat Krishak Samaj (Farmers' Forum,...

Last Updated: Sunday, 22nd January, 2017 02:22 PM Visits 188

Tamil Nadu seeks Rs 39,565 crore from Centre to tackle drought

CHENNAI: Drought-hit Tamil Nadu today urged the Centre to sanction Rs 39,565 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund towards mitigation measures, with Chief Minister O Panneerselvam seeking Rs 1,000 crore urgently as the state government does not have sufficient funds to meet the challenge.  Panneerselvam also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to depute a Central team "to study the extensive damage caused to agriculture crops and to take stock of the drinking water scarcity in the state".  A detailed memorandum on the drought situation in the state, besides a letter from Panneerselvam to the Prime Minister, was handed over at the PMO in New Delhi by Relief...

Last Updated: Monday, 16th January, 2017 02:25 PM Visits 95

India imports 2.7 million tonnes wheat so far this fiscal

NEW DELHI: Indian importers have purchased 2.7 million tonnes of wheat from Australia, France and Ukraine so far this fiscal and additional 1.2 million tonnes of grain is expected to arrive by the end of next month.  However, traders have not signed any import deals for wheat delivery beyond March as they are sceptical that the government may reimpose customs duty on the grain when the harvesting of the new crop starts from April 2017.  Last month, the government had brought down wheat import duty to zero from 10 per cent to boost domestic availability and check price rise.  "About 2.7 million tonnes of wheat has been imported so far in 2016-17...

Last Updated: Monday, 16th January, 2017 02:23 PM Visits 107

India’s oilmeal exports jump 130 per cent in December

HYDERABAD: India’s export of oil meals more than doubled in December 2016 mainly driven by high demand of non-genetically modified (GMO) soybean meal from France, said Solvent Extractors’ Association of India.  The country exported 1,94,309 tons in December 2016, an increase of 130% from 84,218 tons reported same period last year. France imported 1,06,708 tons of oilmeals as compared to 1,956 tons last year, consisting of 1,03,650 tons of soybean meal and 3,058 tons of castor meal.  Japan too recorded a significant jump in imports at 54,833 tons as compared to 6,500 tons last year, consisting of 50,632 tons of soybean meal, 3,773 tons...

Last Updated: Monday, 9th January, 2017 02:28 PM Visits 1178

Agriculture Ministry for use of modern farm tech to tackle climate change

NEW DELHI: Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh today pitched for increased use of cutting-edge technologies including transgenics to address challenges of unknown biotic stress in crops/animals due to climate change.  He called for development of biotic stress resilient crops and breeding of animals using indigenous as well as wild resources, while emphasising the need to strengthen domestic and global quarantines to prevent movement of infected products to pest-free areas and countries.  "While new pests and diseases have regularly emerged throughout history, climate change has now resulted in emergence of large number of unknown biotic stress challenges in the environment," Singh said.  There is clear evidence...

Last Updated: Thursday, 15th December, 2016 10:59 AM Visits 275

Rabi sowing: Wheat, pulses acreage up despite notes ban

NEW DELHI: Sowing area under wheat has risen by 11.5 per cent to 225.63 lakh hectares while that of pulses is up 10 per cent to 121.74 lakh hectares so far in the current Rabi (winter-sown) season on the back of good monsoon and higher support price.  However, the acreage of paddy and coarse cereals is lower than last year.  "As per preliminary reports received from the states, total area sown under Rabi crops as on December 9, 2016 stands at 472.43 lakh hectares as compared to 438.90 lakh hectares this time in 2015," an official statement said.  Wheat has been sown/transplanted in 225.63 lakh hectares so...

Last Updated: Friday, 9th December, 2016 10:57 AM Visits 187