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India to ratify protocol to promote innovation in agriculture, healthcare

NEW DELHI: India will ratify a new supplementary protocol which promotes innovation in agricultural and healthcare research and development that is safe for the environment and human beings. The Union Cabinet at its meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for ratification by India of the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur supplementary protocol on liability and redress to the Cartagena protocol on bio-safety. The new supplementary protocol provides international rules and procedure on liability and redress for damage to biodiversity resulting from living modified organisms (LMO). An official release said the proposed approach provides for an international regulatory framework in the field of...

Last Updated: Monday, 29th December, 2014 04:39 PM Visits 528

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development's cold storage plan faces concentration in few states

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development's lending to build cold storages face concentration in a few states as it prefers food grain deficit states for allocation of funds over others. Nabard plans to disburse nearly three-fourth of the dedicated Rs 5,000 crore corpus in seven large states including Gujarat, Maharashtra and West Bengal while states like Odisha or Jharkhand received a smaller allocation. Other states in the top beneficiary list are Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. The government has created the corpus and placed it with Nabard for giving loans to agencies to build scientific warehousing infrastructure to prevent...

Last Updated: Thursday, 9th October, 2014 06:29 PM Visits 563

Raise farm productivity, says Abdul Kalam

 ‘Primary sector mission’ launched; due priority to drought-hit Anantapur in water grid project, says Naidu Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has underscored the need for significantly enhancing agricultural productivity to ensure food security for the ever-growing population of the country. Dr. Kalam wanted top priority accorded to organic fertilizers to ensure that the increase in productivity was sustained in the longer term. He, accompanied by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, formally launched the ‘primary sector mission’ aimed at ensuring the future of farmers and people dependent on agriculture and allied sectors, at Garudapuram village on the outskirts of Kalyandurgam mandal headquarters in...

Last Updated: Wednesday, 8th October, 2014 06:30 PM Visits 670

New urea plants have to provide Rs. 300-cr bank guarantee

The Government has tightened the policy for new urea projects undertaken by the private sector to keep out non-serious players. For timely execution of the projects, it has now proposed that companies will have to furnish a Rs. 300-crore bank guarantee for each undertaking. Mode of release The Department of Fertilisers has notified an amendment to the New Investment Policy. The amendment stipulates that “all project proponents” will now have to provide Rs.300-crore bank guarantee for each project which will be linked to different stages of execution. “Out of the Rs.300 crore, Rs.100 crore will be released after finalisation of LSTK/EPCA contractors and release of...

Last Updated: Wednesday, 8th October, 2014 06:30 PM Visits 610

Cocoa prices increase as demand rises; Chocolates may become expensive

The demand and the price of domestically-produced cocoa are on the rise in India. As a result, the prices of chocolates could increase during the upcoming festive season. For a few years, Indian farmers have been struggling to produce high-quality cocoa, which has the potential to become an export product. P J Chackochan, cocoa farmer and exporter based in Wayanad, Kerala, said, “It has increased by Rs 40 vis-a-vis last year. But even after the creation of new demand, farmers may not benefit, because of the monopoly of the companies which buy cocoa from them.” “The production of cocoa on Indian farms...

Last Updated: Tuesday, 7th October, 2014 06:31 PM Visits 581

India expected to emerge biggest rice exporter in 2015

India may become the largest exporter of rice next year amid higher demand anticipated from African and Middle East countries and competitive prices. "In calendar year 2015, India should emerge as the largest exporter of rice — both basmati and non-basmati. From 4 million tonnes of annual export of non-basmati rice, we should be able to export 7 million tonnes," said BV Krishna Rao, managing director of Pattabhi Agro Foods, the country's biggest exporter of non-basmati rice. Rao said basmati and non-basmati rice exports should be 10-11 million tonnes, a level last seen in 2012. Surplus rice stockpiles in the country...

Last Updated: Tuesday, 7th October, 2014 03:28 PM Visits 867

Odisha approves plan for hybrid rice, maize seed production

The Odisha government plans to scale up hybrid rice and maize seed production in state under Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojna (RKVY) to boost productivity in the state. Cultivation of hybrid seeds is being done in Odisha for last few years under various state plans in small areas. This year the plan would be implemented under Union government’s RKVY scheme for the first time. The scheme would provide a chance for seed companies to produce hybrid seed in Odisha and the state government would provide subsidies to farmers taking part in the scheme. “Incentives provided to the seed growers is Rs 20,000 per hectare (ha) for paddy and Rs 15,000 per ha for maize,” the...

Last Updated: Tuesday, 7th October, 2014 03:27 PM Visits 1331

Govt plans to ease curbs on organic food export

The Union government would like to move towards lifting a ban on export of organic agricultural products and their derivatives. On the sidelines of the 4th National Conference on Organic Farming organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India on Tuesday, A K Tripathy, joint secretary, department of commerce and industries, said, “(We) are trying that there is never a ban on organic processed food export, even if the primary produce of that commodity is subjected to some restrictions.” While export of primary organic agricultural produce is allowed, there are restrictions on a host of other commodities, such a pulses and edible oils. The ban has been imposed primarily because of...

Last Updated: Tuesday, 7th October, 2014 03:26 PM Visits 525