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GDP growth not justifiable unless benefits reach farmers: Arun Jaitley

NEW DELHI: Ahead of the Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the agriculture sector is the top priority for the government because the country's economic growth is not "justifiable and equitable" unless the benefits are "clear and evident" in the farm sector.  Therefore, the government's priority is to ensure the gains reach the farmers and the growth is visible even in the farm sector, he said at an event here.  As per latest Central Statistics Office (CSO) data, the country's economic growth is expected to slow to a four-year low of 6.5 per cent in the 2017-18 fiscal, the lowest under the Modi-led government, mainly due...

Last Updated: Sunday, 14th January, 2018 01:34 PM Visits 60

Farm sector to expand over 4% in FY18: Farm Minister Radha Mohan Singh

India's agriculture sector will expand more than 4% in 2017-18, farm minister Radha Mohan Singh said, trying to allay concerns raised by the statistical office's projection of sluggish growth in one of the most important segments of the economy.  Increased horticulture and fisheries production, a robust kharif harvest and near-normal planting in the ongoing rabi seasonwill hold the growth at a healthy rate, he said.  Last week, the Central Statistics Officeforecast 2017-18 growth in the farm and allied sector at 2.1%. Last year, the sector had achieved a 4.9% expansion.  "This year 'krishi vikas' (agriculture expansion) will be good. It will easily grow to over 4% when the final...

Last Updated: Friday, 12th January, 2018 01:32 PM Visits 67

Crop insurance scheme likely to get Rs 13,000 crore in FY19 budget

NEW DELHI: The government is likely to increase the budget allocation for the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) to Rs 13,000 crore for 2018-19 from Rs 10,701 crore for the current financial year, sources said.  The Union Budget for 2018-19 will be presented on February 1.  Under the upgraded crop insurance scheme PMFBY, launched early 2016, farmers pay very nominal premium and get full claim for the crop damage.  According to sources, the budget allocation for the PMFBY could go up to Rs 13,000 crore for the next fiscal taking into account about 10 per cent likely increase in the sum insured.  While the Agriculture...

Last Updated: Wednesday, 10th January, 2018 01:29 PM Visits 72

Farmers not getting MSP, says Radhamohan Singh

Farmers in the country are not getting the mimimum support price (MSP) for their crops and efforts were being made so that they get the right remuneration, Agriculture minister Radhamohan Singh said today.  During the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, Singh said that from his experience he felt that the farmers often did not get the price settled as the MSP.  "My experience is largely of (the area) between Delhi to Kolkata. And in the 100 km from these areas, the MSP of paddy is not reaching the farmers," Singh said, adding that the process of procurement in states was being monitored.  "There is a scheme. ... apart...

Last Updated: Thursday, 4th January, 2018 01:25 PM Visits 62

Govt to combine old, modern tech for crop forecast

The Centre is weighing combining traditional and modern technologies like yield estimate and satellite imagery to ensure accurate farm output forecast, Chief Statistician T C A Anantsaid today.  "The Centre is working on a combination of traditional and modern technology like satellite imagery for crop acreage and yield estimation to build up a much more sophisticated analysis and ensure accurate agriculture forecasts," Anant said here while addressing an event of Geospatial Technologies in India.  "If we can combine traditional technology of acreage, yield estimation with satellite imagery, which is possible through a small hand-held device... it will be possible for you to not only get the...

Last Updated: Wednesday, 20th December, 2017 04:10 PM Visits 78

Foodgrain output to hit last year's record level; farmers in price trap

NEW DELHI: The agriculture sector is all set to repeat the last year' record foodgrain production at over 275 million tonnes in 2017-18 on good rains but farmers' woes may continue if prices crash below the support price.  Some states, including Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, have announced around Rs 90,000-crore farm loan waivers to save their farmers who have been reeling under the stress of low prices, although the Centre took some steps to address the "short-term stress".  Experts warned that a "crisis is brewing" in agriculture as farmers income has been hit badly in last two years despite bumper crops and urged the Centre to take...

Last Updated: Sunday, 17th December, 2017 04:12 PM Visits 84

India's 2017/18 cotton output could rise 9 per cent from last year

MUMBAI: India's cotton output is expected to rise 9.3 percent in the year that began in October, a government official said on Tuesday, but production is likely to fall almost 6 percent than industry estimates for 40 million bales, each of 170 kg.  Cotton production could touch 37.7 million bales in the year that began in October, up from 34.5 million bales produced in 2016/17, Kavita Gupta, India's textile commissioner, told a news conference.  Cotton shipments from India, the world's biggest exporter after the United States, are expected at 6.7 million bales in the 2017/18 marketing year, up 15.1 percent from a year earlier,...

Last Updated: Tuesday, 12th December, 2017 03:36 PM Visits 89

Wheat sowing down 6.23%, to pick pace in coming weeks: Government

Wheat sowing, which was lagging behind by 6.23 per cent till last week of this rabi season, will pick up pace in the coming weeks, Agriculture Secretary S K Pattanayak said ruling out any reduction in total acreage.  Sowing of wheat, the main rabi crop, starts in October and harvesting begins in April.  As per the official data, farmers had sown wheat in area covering 190.87 lakh hectares till last week of the season, down by 6.23 per cent from 203.56 lakh hectares in the year- ago period. Normally wheat is sown in 300-odd lakh hectares of land.  The sowing is lagging behind in key growing states Uttar...

Last Updated: Sunday, 10th December, 2017 03:35 PM Visits 70