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Less rain fall causes decline Onion production this year

August 27, 2011 Leave a comment

The onion production is expected to fall by almost 20-30% this year due to the lack if rainfall in the main producing regions of of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Reports suggest that India had manufactured more than 14-million tonnes of onions in the 2010-11 crop year (July-June). The Kharif sowing of onions has got delayed in these different Indian states due to lack of rain. It will be having an adverse fallout on the fresh onion crops arrival in the market.

In 1977, the National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF) had been established by cooperative Nafed for guiding the farmers, exporters and the other stakeholders, who are concerned on how to bring improvement in the productivity and also the quality of horticultural crops like onions, garlic and potatoes.The rain absent in major onion producing regions in Maharashtra like Nashik, Dhulia and Ahmednagar, Saurashtra in Gujarat and Dharwad and Hubli in Karnataka.

FCI enjoys Big Food Subsidy also in 2010-11

August 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Centre’s subsidy to the Food Corporation of India (FCI) for obtaining foodgrain surged by 35.11% to Rs 57,925 crore in the fiscal year 2010-11 as compared to Rs 42,873 crore in the financial year 2009-10, Prof KV Thomas, the minister of state for consumer affairs, food and public distribution said in a written reply in the the Lok Sabha.

As per the government data furnished by Thomas, the cost of wheat procurement cost surged by 50.51% to Rs 30,731 crore in 2010-11 as against Rs 20,417 crore in 2009-10. The cost of rice procurement rose by 13.06% to Rs 36,679 crore as compared to Rs 32,440 crore in 2009-10.

Prof Thomas has stated that the cost escalation has been due to numerous factors such as surge in the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat and rice, along with the surge in the quantity of foodgrains to be allocated under numerous schemes.

Bumper Production of Oil seeds in 2010-11 in India.

August 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Seeing the broad area of cultivation in the current kharif season, the edible oil industry organization Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) is expecting a buffer production of oilseeds in the 2011-12 crop year (July-June).

In the 2010-11 crop year, the country has registered a bumper production of oilseeds that reached to 31.1 million tones, of which kharif season contributed about 20.84 million tones. As per the report of SEA, the cultivation area of oilseeds has increased to 168.8 lakh hectares in the current kharif season in the country, as compared to 164.5 lakh hectares of 2010-11 crop year.

According to Sushil Goenka, President of Solvent Extractors’ Association of India, the country is witnessing a remarkable increment in the cultivation areas for castor, soyabean and sesame. But at the same time, area for the cultivation of sunflowers and groundnut has come down substantially.

HI-8663: A durum wheat variety for nutritious Beta-carotene rich Chapati

August 27, 2011 Leave a comment

HI 8663 , a newly durum wheat variety is excellent with high ß -carotene content of 6.5 ppm* showing remarkable stability over growing seasons and collations. It is recommended for release in southern parts of the country i.e. Karnataka and Maharashtra . It can serve as ‘naturally bio-fortified food’ and can be used for dual purpose. Because of its high and stable ß -carotene, high sedimentation value, high protein content of 11.6 per cent and high levels of micro nutrients; it can be used for nutritive chapati and also good for quality pasta preparations for improving nutritional security especially in Southern part of the country, having pre-dominance of rice in their diet. Also, it has higher levels of other important micronutrients like iron 47.0 ppm and manganese 28.0 ppm.

HI 8663 is a novel genotype characterized by excellent grain quality, high stable yield and high resistance to stem and leaf rusts. It is developed by Indian Agricultural Research Institute’s Regional Station located at Indore in Madhya Pradesh.

Developed by Ludhiana based Punjab Agricultural University, new wheat variety PBW 550 combines high grain yield with high degree of resistance to leaf rust and stripe rust. The yield of PBW 550 under irrigated and timely sown condition is 48 quintal per hectare. PBW 550 will replace HD 2687, PBW 343, PBW 502 and WH 542 and an alternative for DBW 17. It is recommended for cultivation in north-western plains zone . Major problem in north-western plains zone is susceptibility of predominant varieties to leaf rust and stripe rust.

The farmers of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan will get an improved wheat variety HI 1544 . Despite being earliest in heading and maturity compare to other variety, HI 1544 yields 6.3 per cent higher than GW 190, 8 per cent over LoK-1 and equally good yield, as compared to GW 322 and GW 366. It will save irrigation water, a precious input in Central parts of the country. HI 1544 will help in harvesting better yield even under deficient irrigation availability. Having high yield of 51.4 q/ha and wider adaptability, it combines high levels of field resistance to stem and leaf rusts and seedling resistance to all the pathotypes. Its early maturity and medium bold lustrous grains will provide better alternative to identified variety GW 366 in improving the productivity and profitability of farmers of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

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PBW-621(for wheat) and FDK-124 (desi cotton)-New Varieties from PAU Ludhiana

August 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Punjab Agricultural University of Ludhiana on Wednesday announced the release of new wheat and cotton varieties.

The varieties, named PBW-621(for wheat) and FDK-124 (desi cotton), were approved for release at a meeting of state variety approval committee (SVAC) for field crops held at farmers service centre under the chairmanship of director, agriculture, Punjab, Dr BS Sidhu.

The new wheat variety will be resistant to yellow rust disease which has extensively damaged winter crop of PB 343 variety this year.
Moreover, it is also resistant to black rust disease though it has not attacked crop in India,” Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Director Research S S Gosal said today.Revealing another feature of wheat variety, Gosal said the height of this semi dwarf variety is 15 centimeter more than that of other wheat varieties, hence it will lead to generation of more straw for farmers for extra income.
Wheat straw fetches Rs 500 to 600 per quintal in the market.He said PAU has sufficient seed of new wheat variety which will be given to farmers ahead of sowing in rabi season. Though over 90 per cent area is under Bt cotton, PAU developed new variety FDK-124 of ‘desi’ cotton that would be resistant to Cotton Lead Curl Virus (CLCV).CLCV has affected Bt cotton but the new variety will be highly resistant to it,” he said. In Punjab, 5 to 8 per cent area is still under ‘desi’ Cotton.He said it is an early maturing and high yielding variety of desi cotton. Taking about 160 days to mature, the variety gives an average seed cotton yield of 9.28 quintals per acre, he added.Sufficient seed of FDK-124 is available for multiplication.

Kharif MSP 2011-12

August 19, 2011 Leave a comment
  1. Paddy (Common)   Rs 1080 per quintal    increase of Rs 80 per quintal   
  2. (Grade A)              Rs 1110 per quintal    increase of Rs 80 per quintal 
  3. Jowar (Hybrid)       Rs 980 per quintal     increase of Rs 100 per quintal  
  4. Bajra                      Rs 980 per quintal     increase of Rs 100 per quintal 
  5. Maize                     Rs 980 per quintal     increase of Rs 100 per quintal 
  6. Jowar (Maldandi)   Rs 1000 per quintal   increase of Rs 100 per quintal 
  7. Ragi                       Rs 1050 per quintal   increase of Rs 85 per quintal 
  8. Arhar (Tur)            Rs 3200 per quintal   increase of Rs 200 per quintal 
  9. Moong                  Rs 3500 per quintal   increase of Rs 330 per quintal 
  10. Urad                     Rs 3300 per quintal   increase of Rs 400 per quintal
  11. Groundnut-in-shell Rs 2700 per quintal   increase of Rs 400 per quintal
  12. Sunflowerseed       Rs 2800 per quintal   increase of Rs 450 per quintal
  13. Sesamum               Rs 3400 per quintal   increase of Rs 500 per quintal
  14. Nigerseed              Rs 2900 per quintal   increase of Rs 450 per quintal
  15. Soyabean (Black)  Rs 1650 per quintal   increase of Rs 250 per quintal
  16. Soyabean (Yellow)Rs 1690 per quintal   increase of Rs 250 per quintal
  17. Cotton                   Rs 2800 per quintal   increase of Rs 300 per quintal

Dr. Prakash Bakshi has assumed charge as Chairman of the NABARD.

August 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Dr. Prakash Bakshi has assumed charge as Chairman of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

A Doctorate in Economics, Dr. Bakshi started his career as a lecturer at Ravishankar University, Raipur, before joining the Reserve Bank of India in 1979. Before being appointed as NABARD Chairman, he was responsible for designing the Organisational and Business Restructuring of NABARD and spearheading initiatives in cooperative portfolios, core banking solutions for co-operative banks, rural infrastructure and direct financing.

Dr Bakshi was member of the team that designed the ‘Self Help Groups (SHGs) – Bank Linkage Programme’ which is today the largest and fastest growing micro finance programme of the World. He was also associated with the Committee on Cooperative Credit Structuring set up by the Government of India under Prof. Vaidyanathan and has negotiated with the Government of India, ADB, World Bank and KfW for funding the legal and institutional reforms for rural cooperatives.

Agriculture as per Economic Survey 2011

August 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Observing that Indian agriculture is at a “crossroads”, the Economic Survey on Friday called for a Second Green Revolution with newer technological breakthroughs and higher investment in the sector, even while projecting 5.4 per cent farm growth this year.

“… The agriculture sector in India is at a crossroads, with rising demand for food items and relatively slower supply response in many commodities resulting in frequent spikes in food inflation,” the pre-budget survey said.

The survey said the agriculture and allied sectors would register 5.4 per cent growth this fiscal due to a good monsoon, compared to a mere 0.4 per cent expansion last year.

But the sector needs to grow at 8.5 per cent next fiscal to achieve the targeted 4 per cent growth in the Eleventh Plan (2007-12).

Pointing out that the technological breakthroughs achieved in the 1960s are gradually waning and no big crop-tech has come up since then, the survey noted, “The need for a Second Green Revolution is being experienced more than ever before.”

The survey outlined the special attention that needs to be given to increasing production of nutrition-rich crops like pulses, fruits and vegetables, which remained untouched in the first Green Revolution.

Consequently, it suggested that Indian agriculture should diversify from just crop farming to livestock, fisheries, poultry and horticulture, besides focusing on raising farm productivity with adequate focus on rain-fed areas.

The survey also felt that augmenting farm production still remains a challenge, with stagnation in crop acreage and yields, and prescribed “concerted and focused efforts” to overcome this challenge.

“A holistic approach, simultaneously working on agriculture research, development, dissemination of technology and provision of agricultural inputs and irrigation, would help achieve the critical levels of productivity needed,” it said.

It noted that higher farm output is important not only for the country’s food security, but also to sustain high growth.

Calling for higher public and private investment in the farm sector, the survey said, “The choice before the nation is clear — to invest more in agriculture and allied sectors with the right strategies, policies and interventions. This is also a necessary condition for ‘inclusive growth’”

Higher level of investments are required for increasing farm productivity and also create infrastructure for transport, storage and distribution of agricultural produce, it added.

“The relatively weak supply responses to price hikes in agriculture commodities, especially food articles, in the recent past brings back in to focus the central question of efficient supply chain management and need for sustained levels of growth in agriculture and allied sectors,” it observed.

Wheat 2011 MSP hiked to Rs 1120 per Quintel.

August 9, 2011 Leave a comment

The government today approved the minimum support prices of Rabi crops for the forthcoming season. Reflecting the high current stocks, the main Rabi crop wheat got less than 2% hike in MSP, the lowest in five years.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the MSP of Fair Average Quality (FAQ) of wheat at Rs 1,120 per 100 kg compared with Rs 1,100 in the previous season, marking an increase of just 1.82%, said the Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, who is also spokesperson for the Cabinet.

The MSP is the price that the government pays to farmers while procuring their output. The Centre procures large quantities of wheat and rice for the public distribution system (PDS). These prices are proposed by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) based on cost of farming and a reasonable return and the centre government generally approves them without much change.

While MSP for wheat was increased marginally, the government has raised the MSP of pulses substantially to boost production and cut dependence on imports. India has been facing increasing and systematic shortage of pulses which resulted from decades of stagnant productivity and lopsided pricing.

The government is hoping to increase the pulses production to 16.5 million tonne in 2010-11 from about 14.5 million tonne in the previous year. The demand for pulses in the country hovers around 18-19 million tonne. On the other hand, lower increase in wheat MSP while reflect ample stocks of the key staple, it also signals the pressure government is facing on high food inflation, one reason of which could be traced in continuous hiking of MSP for grains.