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Government pegs 2016-17 sugar output at 22.52 MT; down 10.27 per cent

NEW DELHI: Sugar production in India, the world's second largest producer after Brazil, is estimated to decline by 10.27 per cent to 22.52 million tonnes in ongoing season, but stock availability will be sufficient to meet the domestic demand, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said today.   The country's sugar production had declined to 25.1 million tonnes in the 2015-16 season (October-September) due to drought in major growing states. Paswan today reviewed prices and availability of sugar in the country in a meeting with senior officials of his ministry. After the meeting, the Minister said, "The production of sugar has been estimated...

Last Updated: Thursday, 10th November, 2016 10:50 AM Visits 175

West Bengal government comes up with new type of rice, 'Muktoshri'

KOLKATA: West Bengal government’s riceresearch centre has come up with a new variety of rice called Muktoshri that can be grown in arsenic prone areas. There are 81 arsenic affected blocks in the state. The cultivation of the new variety of rice will take 125 to 130 days.   Some other new varieties of rice have also been prepared by the Chinsurah and Bankura rice research centres. It includes Gosaba I and Chinsurah Nona-II varieties for the soil with high level of salinity. Most importantly, Satabdi variety has been replaced with Ajit, which is also used for short-term cultivation and it takes...

Last Updated: Thursday, 10th November, 2016 10:50 AM Visits 248

PAU experts deliberate on seed production

LUDHIANA: The monthly training camp of Seed Producers and Nursery Growers Association (SAPNA) was held at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) under the aegis of the Directorate of Extension Education, PAU on Monday. TS Dhillon, Director (Seeds), PAU, informed the members of SAPNA about the seed distribution system. Rupinder Singh, an expert of plant breeding and genetics, and Satpal Sharma, an expert of vegetable science, shed light on sugarcane and vegetable seed production. TS Riar, Coordinator, SAPNA, said that the seed producers welcomed and hailed the Farmers' Participatory Seed Distributory System (PSDS). PPS Pangli, President, SAPNA, proposed the vote of thanks.   Source: Economic Times...

Last Updated: Monday, 7th November, 2016 10:49 AM Visits 163

India to keep wheat import tax at 10%, private imports seen at 3 million tonnes

NEW DELHI: India will keep its wheat import tax unchanged at 10 per cent and state-run traders will not import the grain for now, as the private trade is expected to buy up to 3 million tonnes this year, the highest in a decade, a senior government source said.   India, the world's second-biggest wheat producer, lowered the import tax on the grain to 10 percent from 25 percent in September, helping private traders such as Cargill, Louis Dreyfus and Glencore to import large quantities to combat a looming shortage.   Private traders have already imported about 1.2 million tonnes of wheat so...

Last Updated: Thursday, 3rd November, 2016 11:26 AM Visits 179

Swadeshi test for GM Mustard

NEW DELHI: A locally developed variety of genetically modified (GM) mustard seed is not swadeshi enough for the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, which is ready to launch an agitation against it, saying the genetic material was developed by Bayer and the government is being misguided about its safety and benefits.   Deepak Pental, the scientist who led the effort to develop the GM mustard seed, is confident that it will be approved, although for the moment, the Supreme Court has asked the Centre to seek public opinionbefore taking any step to launch it.   Ashwani Mahajan, co-convener of the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, is staunchly...

Last Updated: Thursday, 3rd November, 2016 11:26 AM Visits 217

Telangana govt to bring new Seeds Act to rescue of farmers

Hyderabad: Stung by spurious seeds and huge losses to farmers, the Telangana state government is bringing in a new Seeds Act. The draft Act is ready and it will be introduced in Assembly in the forthcoming winter session, mostly likely this month. The Act is basically aimed at ensuring fair compensation to farmers who lose crops due to spurious seeds and severe punishment to manufacturers and sellers of spurious seeds in the state. “The state government will bring in a new Seed Act this Assembly session. It is to ensure compensation to farmers who are put to loss due to sale of...

Last Updated: Wednesday, 2nd November, 2016 11:25 AM Visits 228

Cabinet may hike rabi pulses minimum support price by up to Rs 600/quintal

NEW DELHI: As preparations begin for the rabi sowing season, the Cabinet is expected to take a call on a proposal to hike minimum support price (MSP) by up to Rs 600/per quintal for pulses.   The cabinet, headed by Prime MinisterNarendra Modi, is also likely to approve increase in wheat MSP by Rs 100 to Rs 1,625 per quintal for the 2016-17 rabi crop (winter) against Rs 1,525 per quintal last year.   "The Agriculture Ministry's proposal on rabi crops MSP is expected to come up for discussion before the cabinet anytime soon as sowing of winter crops like wheat will start...

Last Updated: Tuesday, 1st November, 2016 11:12 AM Visits 195

Sugar mills likely to default on debt worth Rs 11,000 crore

Several unfavourable moves from the government in terms of capping sugar prices, removal of excise duty exemptions and non-payment of production subsidies etc are set to result in Indian sugar millsstaring at default Rs 11,000 crore of debt on the repayment schedule for these loans, which were provided by the government two years back in the form of excise duty term loans and soft loans, has started since May this year.   Sugar industry representatives and experts foresee lenders declaring these loans turning into non-performing assets, warranting debt restructuring initiatives. In the financial year 2014-15, sugarcane prices crashed due to surplus production...

Last Updated: Thursday, 20th October, 2016 02:18 PM Visits 209