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'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 383

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 276

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 299

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 1413

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 536

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 491

26.5% farmers sought coverage under PM's crop insurance scheme

NEW DELHI: The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) launched during the 2016 kharif season to help farmers insure their crops against natural calamities has provided coverage to 366.64 lakh farmers (26.50%), the agriculture ministry has said. The ministry expects the scheme to exceed the target of 30% coverage for both kharif and rabi seasons in 2016-17. The scheme covers 388.62 lakh hectare with sum insured of Rs 1, 41,339 crore. The scheme was recast as a new scheme by the government since two existing insurance schemes were not meeting the full requirements of farmers for insurance coverage, the ministry said in...

Last Updated: Wednesday, 7th December, 2016 10:56 AM Visits 309

Punjab: Sowing over, 3 lakh tonnes of potato seed

Though potato sowing season is over in all the key potato growing states across the country, over 3 lakh tonnes of potato seed worth around Rs 900 crore are still lying in over 500 cold stores of Punjab, which is the only producer of seed. Potato growers say there are no buyers and that they are yet to receive full payments even for the stocks they have already supplied to other states before and after the demonetisation. Also, they say, the government announcement allowing farmers to purchase seed with old currency notes came quite late when the potato sowing season in...

Last Updated: Friday, 2nd December, 2016 10:57 AM Visits 356