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Planting of crops expected to pick up substantially as monsoon strengthens

New Delhi: A week of surplus rainfall has filled up reservoirs to a level above the 10-year average and helped the monsoon deficit contract further to 24%, further easing the situation which was taking alarming proportions after six weeks of drought-like conditions that have delayed crop planting. Rainfall was 24% above normal in the past seven days, bouncing back from a deficit of 15% in the previous week and much drier phases before that. This filled the country's major reservoirs to 35% of the total capacity of 155.05 billion cubic metres, down from 51% last year, but better than the 10-year...

Last Updated: Friday, 25th July, 2014 06:03 PM Visits 480

Retail & wholesale veg price gap has risen beyond 49%, states ASSOCHAM

The difference between the wholesale (WSP) and retail prices of vegetables for 2013-14 has gone up beyond 49 per cent.  This was stated in a paper titled ‘Vegetables Wholesale and Retail Price Discrepancy’, by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).  It underscored the widening gap between the prices at which procurement is done from farmers and the price level for consumers. The paper added that the majority of Indian retailers were selling vegetables at prices which were significantly higher than the wholesale price index (WPI).  Normally, the difference between the WSP and retail price, on an average, stays around 30...

Last Updated: Thursday, 24th July, 2014 06:45 PM Visits 472

Punjab shortlists Monsanto, two others to provide maize seeds

The Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday approved a proposal of the State agriculture department, which shortlisted Monsanto and two other companies to provide high yielding varieties (HYV) of maize seeds to farmers at subsidised rates during the current Kharif season. According to a release quoting a spokesperson from the Chief Minister’s office, the HYV seeds of three companies including Monsanto, Pioneer and Shri Ram had been chosen under the crop diversificationprogramme. It also said that after thorough research and a detailed exercise in collaboration with the Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) the State government agreed to subsidise the seeds of...

Last Updated: Thursday, 24th July, 2014 06:44 PM Visits 437

India loses up to 2 million tons foodgrain production due to waterlogging

New Delhi: Government today said up to two million tonnes of foodgrains production get lost every year in the country due to the problem of waterlogging. "A recent study conducted by the World Bank showed that India loses 1.2 to 2 million tonnes of foodgrains production every year due to waterlogging," Union Minister for Water Resources Uma Bharti told Lok Sabha. Quoting a study conducted by the Central Water Commission, Bharti said out of the total command area of 88895.62 thousand hectares was waterlogged. Perennial waterlogging covers 173.15 thousand hectares whereas seasonal waterlogging covers 1546.13 thousand hectares, she said during Question Hour. The Minister...

Last Updated: Thursday, 24th July, 2014 05:44 PM Visits 391

Punjab Agro Industries Corporation inks agreement with UCO Bank for financing green houses projects

Chandigarh: State-owned Punjab Agro Industries Corporation (PAIC) today inked an agreement with UCO BankBSE -2.55 % to finance green houses projects in the state. This initiative will facilitate financing for green houses projects and will provide fillip to crop diversification in the state, an official spokesman said. Farmers who are engaged in hi-tech farming for growing vegetables have been facing difficulties in getting the high value projects financed from the banks. Green House projects costs Rs 35-40 lakh per acre and banks are generally hesitant in financing such high value farming operations. UCO Bank will work closely and provide requisite finance to farmers...

Last Updated: Thursday, 24th July, 2014 06:03 PM Visits 497

Farmers to have ‘Kisan Mandi’ in Delhi by September

New Delhi: Farmers will be able to directly sell fruits and vegetables to consumers and wholesalers in Delhi as the city will have a 'kisan mandi' by September after the government changes the law that gives traders and middlemen a monopoly. Farmers and farmer producer organisations (FPOs) will be able meet part of Delhi's demand of 15,000 tonnes of vegetables a day after the Delhi Agriculture Produce Market (APMC) Act is amended, said Pravesh Sharma, MD of the Small Farmers' Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC), a society under the department of agriculture. SFAC is already preparing to launch the mandi in the capital....

Last Updated: Wednesday, 23rd July, 2014 06:44 PM Visits 482

CCEA okays sale of 10 million tonnes of wheat in open market

New Delhi: The government today approved sale of 10 million tonnes of wheat from FCI stock in the open market in order to boost domestic supply and check prices.   A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of theCabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "The CCEA has cleared sale of about 10 million tonnes of wheat via the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) to bulk buyers," sources said. The reserve price under OMSS has been fixed at Rs 1,500 per quintal plus freight charges for old crop and five per cent premium for new crop,...

Last Updated: Wednesday, 23rd July, 2014 02:53 PM Visits 29

Surinder Sud: Why every insect is not a pest

Less than five per cent of all insects are hazardous. Many of them serve as biological pest control agents and also have nutrition value. It is a myth that most insects are harmful and thus, need to be dreaded and destroyed. In reality, only a fraction of all insects, less than five per cent, are hazardous for crops, animals or human beings. Most others are either harmless or useful for agriculture, commerce, or ecology. In agriculture, insects play a vital role as pollinators, to boost crop yields or as natural foes of destructive pests, to serve as biological pest control agents....

Last Updated: Monday, 26th May, 2014 06:50 PM Visits 340