Agriculture


Crops and Cropping Patterns

Illegal sale of “HT Bt cotton” seeds doubles in a year

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What is the News?

The illegal cultivation of (Herbicide Tolerant) HT Bt cotton has seen a significant increase in recent years. Similarly, the sale of HT Bt Cotton seeds has more than doubled from 30 lakh in 2020 to 75 lakh in 2021.

  • Due to this, the seed industries have asked the Ministry of Agriculture to stop such illegal sale of (Herbicide Tolerant) HT Bt Cotton as it may have severe environmental and economic consequences.
About Bt Cotton:
  • Bt cotton is the only transgenic crop that has been approved by the Government of India for commercial cultivation.
  • Bt cotton has been genetically modified to produce an insecticide to combat the cotton bollworm, a common pest.
How is Bt Cotton produced?
  • Bt cotton was created by genetically altering the cotton genome to express a microbial protein from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis.
  • In short, the transgene inserted into the plant’s genome produces toxin crystals that the plant would not normally produce which, when ingested by a certain population of organisms, dissolves the gut lining leading to the organism’s death.
About HT Bt Cotton Variant:
  • This is another variant of Bt cotton. This variant adds another layer of modification, making the plant resistant to the herbicide glyphosate. However, this variant has not been approved by regulators.

Concerns regarding illegal cultivation of HT Bt Cotton: There have been various concerns raised against the illegal cultivation of Herbicide Tolerant Bt Cotton. These concerns include:

  • Firstly, the HT Bt cotton variant has serious environmental and economic consequences. This is because there are fears that glyphosate has a carcinogenic effect. Further, the unchecked spread of herbicide resistance is creating a variety of superweeds.
  • Secondly, the illegal sale will eliminate small cotton seed companies and also threaten the entire legal cotton seed market in India.
  • Thirdly, there is no accountability of the quality of cottonseed as it is being sold illegally.
  • Lastly, the industry is losing legitimate seed sales and the government is also losing revenue in terms of tax collection.
Government of India’s Response on illegal cultivation of HT Bt Cotton:
  • According to a report by the Department of Biotechnology, around 15% of the cotton area was sown with unapproved HTBt cotton. Especially in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Gujarat.
  • However, the Government of India has said that it has made the policy to ban this variant. But it is the State governments to enforce the ban and take action.

Source: The Hindu

Read Also :-What is DMH-11 or GM Mustard?

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged ,

India starts exporting GI-certified “Jalgaon banana” to Dubai

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What is the News?

In a major boost to India’s exports of Geographical Indications(GI) certified agricultural produce, a consignment of fibre and mineral-rich ‘Jalgaon Banana’ has been shipped to Dubai.

About Jalgaon Banana:
  • Jalgaon is known as the ‘banana hub’ of Maharashtra. It accounts for about 50% of the State’s banana plantation.
  • In 2016, the Jalgaon Banana got the Geographical Indication(GI) Tag certification.
  • The quality of Banana from the Jalgaon is different because of the proximity to the Tapi river.
  • The minerals and fibres in the Jalgaon Banana lend it a unique quality, which makes the Jalgaon soil unique for banana cultivation.
Banana Cultivation in India:
  • India is the world’s leading producer of bananas, with a share of around 25% in total output.
  • States: Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh contribute more than 70% of the country’s banana production.
  • Export of Banana: Despite being a leading producer of banana, India’s share is just 0.1% in the export market.
    • India’s banana exports grew both in terms of volume as well as value from 1.34 lakh metric tonne in 2018-19 to 1.95 lakh metric tonne in 2019-20
    • Moreover, India’s banana export has been rising sharply recently because of the adoption of farm practices in line with global standards.

 Read Also :-Growth scope for Indian Textile Industry

Source: PIB

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged

GI certified “Jardalu mangoes” from Bihar exported to the UK

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What is the News?

The first commercial consignment of Geographical Indications(GI) certified Jardalu mangoes from Bhagalpur, Bihar was exported to the United Kingdom.

About Jardalu Mangoes:
  • Jardalu Mangoes is grown in the Bhagalpur district of Bihar. It received the Geographical Indications(GI) certification in 2018.
  • The mango is famous for its exclusive aroma, sweetness and other nutritional properties.
  • It is rich in fibre and enzymes that are highly beneficial to the abdominal muscles and digestive system.
  • Moreover, Jardalu mango is also considered a safe fruit for even those who have been diagnosed with diabetes or have a poor digestive system.
Read more: First consignment of GI certified “Shahi Litchi” exported to the U.K
About Mangoes in India:
  • Mangoes in India are referred to as ‘king of fruits. They are mentioned in ancient scriptures as Kalpavriksha (wish-granting tree).
  • States: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka have a major share in the total production of the mango.
  • GI certified mangoes in News:
    • Khirsapati & Lakshmanbhog (West Bengal),
    • Jardalu (Bihar),
    • Banganapalli and Suvarnarekha mango varieties (Andhra Pradesh).

Read Also:- Farmer develops mango variety that bears fruits round the year

Source: PIB

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged

First consignment of GI certified “Shahi Litchi” exported to the U.K

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What is the News?

In a major boost to the export of Geographical Indication(GI) certified products, the first consignment of Shahi Litchi from Bihar was exported to the United Kingdom.

About Shahi Litchi:

  • Firstly, Shahi Litchi is a variety of litchi that is grown in Muzaffarpur, Bihar. It has high pulp and is juicier compared to the litchi grown in other parts of the country.
  • Secondly, Favourable Conditions: Humid condition and alluvial soil having a fairly good amount of calcium content are favourable for this type of Litchi variety. This is present in Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga and nearby areas.
  • Thirdly, the translucent, flavoured aril or edible flesh of the litchi is popular as a table fruit in India. While in China and Japan it is preferred in dried or canned form.
  • Fourthly, GI Tag: Shahi litchi was the fourth agricultural product to get the Geographical Indication(GI) certification from Bihar in 2018. This is after Jardalu mango, Katarni rice and Maghai paan.
  • Fifthly, Second-Largest Producer: India is the second-largest producer of litchi in the world after China
  • Sixthly, States: Bihar is the leading state for litchi production in the country.
  • Lastly, Concern: Shahi Litchi is most commonly blamed for the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome(AES) outbreak in Bihar.

Source: The Economic Times

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged


Agri Storage and Distribution

Record Foodgrain Exports Amid hunger in India – Right to Food Campaign

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What is the News?

The Right to Food Campaign has criticized the record export of foodgrains from India in 2020-21. It is the time when the country’s people are struggling with hunger amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The Right to Food Campaign highlighted the following issues:

 Record Foodgrain Exports:

  • The Government of India has exported over 13 million tonnes of non-basmati rice and more than two million tonnes of wheat in 2020-21.
  • The Government could have used the exported grain to provide to 25 crore people with rations for a year.

Coverage of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana Scheme:

  • Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana provides additional free grain for only two months. It also covers only those who are already included under the National Food Security Act.
  • The food security crisis faced by the informal sector workers, especially those who do not have ration cards, has been completely ignored.
  • Hence, the Government should immediately universalise the Public Distribution System(PDS). It should also extend the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana scheme for a period of at least six months.
About Right to Food Campaign:
  • Right to Food campaign is an informal network of individuals and organizations. It has its commitments to the realisation of the right to food in India.
  • The launching of the campaign happened in 2001 with a writ petition filed in Supreme Court in 2001 by People’s Union for Civil Liberties.
    • The petition demanded that the country’s surplus food stocks should be used without delay to protect people from hunger and starvation.

Source: The Hindu

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: Schemes and Programs, PUBLIC, SCHEMESTagged ,

Boosting Farmer’s Income

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Context- Policies designed for an India on the edge of starvation don’t fit the India of today.

What is the history of supply and demand of wheat crop in India?

The genesis of the current state of affairs stems from policies initiated over half a century ago-

  1. Starvation period– It dates from the 1960s, when India that did not grow enough to feed itself and had to rely upon imports under PL-480 as aid from the US.
  2. New PDS and government policy-Then, Indian policymakers shifted to setting a minimum support price.
  • Wheat-paddy crop rotation was encouraged in Punjab and Haryana to make India self-sufficient in food grain production.
  • The system guarantees farmers a set price for their output, while their inputs – water, power, fertilizer, seeds – are free or subsidized.
  • Wheat is then stored in the warehouses of the state-controlled Food Corporation of India and distributed at a subsidized price to the population.
  1. Policy result was a resounding success for the production and procurement of rice and wheat,  which was the focus of the PDS and government policy
  • However, India produces too much grain, which is now rotting in government granaries.
  1. In today’s time, the subsidies for rice and wheat caused too few farmers to plant vegetables, which are subject to major price fluctuations.

How crop rotations can be beneficial for farmers and the challenges associated with that?

Rice wheat cycle- In Punjab and Haryana region

  • Rice-wheat rotation by far the most value creating crop cycle.
  • Better varieties of rice – superior basmati rice in the kharif season that have
    lower yield, lower water and nutrient requirement but are exportable and highly priced, could possibly be better crop options in the region.
  • In the Rabi season wherein the only superior alternatives to wheat in the rice-wheat rotation are vegetables and higher qualities of wheat.
  • However, the chances of success in wheat are lower.
What are the issues in current procurement policy?
  1. High incurred cost by the FCI– Cost of procurement and distribution of food grain has increased manifold.
  2. The quality of grains has been ignored.
  3. There was no initiative for identifying high-quality wheat strains for increasing their production for local and foreign markets.
What is the way forward?
  1. Shift production from normal rice to basmati and other exportable varieties and to give a boost to wheat for substituting rice via sooji, rava and noodles.
  2. A boost for infrastructure to increase the production of vegetables in the wheat belt and its transport for the healthy growth of agriculture.
  3. The government needs to reduce the institutional costs and move towards a more remunerative cropping pattern.
  4. And must make transparent efforts to push exports consistently.
Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, PUBLICTagged ,

Protesting farmer concerns

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Context- Three Acts in Parliament and handed hurriedly, ignoring critical objections inside each Houses and the opposition outdoors.

Why are these bills being opposed?

  1. End of MSP– The bills also lack any assurance about Minimum Support Price(MSP)
  • Dismantling of the monopoly of the APMCs as a sign of ending the assured procurement of food grains at minimum support prices (MSP).
  • After the abolition of mandis, farmers in Bihar on average received lower prices compared to the MSP for most crops.
  1. Promote corporate control– The farmers contend the federal government is making ready to withdraw from the procurement of food grain and hand it over to the company gamers.
  2. Weak grievances redress system– The dispute decision mechanism from the purview of courts and fingers it over to the SDM and the DC, who’re perceived as being below stress from their political masters.
  3. Hamper the rural growth– The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce act prohibits State governments from collecting market fee, cess or levy for trade outside the APMC markets that are used for rural growth and market infrastructure.
  4. No mechanism for price fixation – The Price Assurance Act offers protection to farmers against price exploitation.
  5. Food security– Easing of regulation of food commodities in the essential commodities list would lead to hoarding of farm produce during the harvest season when prices are generally lower.
  • This could undermine food security since the States would have no information about the availability of stocks within the State.
  1. Against the Spirit of Cooperative federalism– Since agriculture and markets are State subjects, the ordinances are being seen as a direct encroachment upon the functions of the States

However, the authorities argues that-

  • Farmers will get higher prices– The acts aim to increase the availability of buyers for farmers’ produce, by allowing them to trade freely without any license or stock limit, so that an increase in competition among them results in better prices for farmers.
  • Contract farming– This can present predetermined costs to farmers contracted upfront which will guarantee costs greater than the MSP.
  • This enables farmers to promote their produce anyplace within the nation and interact with personal corporations to promote their crops.

What is the way forward?

  • The farmers’ unions want a complete withdrawal of the recently enacted Farm Acts, and an assurance that MSP and procurement by FCI will proceed.
  • The Farm Acts were legislative measures that were passed without elaborate discussion with stakeholders. Thus, government has to take steps to address the genuine fears of farmers.

 

 

Link for our 7PM Editorial of similar article (Why Farmers are protesting and what is MSP system?)

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, daily news, Daily News UpdatesTagged , ,

Farm Bills Concerns and evaluation

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Context: Agriculture in India needs state support to thrive.

Background

  • Recently, President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to three contentious farm bills passed by Parliament.
  1. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act,2020 (FAPAFS).
  2. The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 (FPTC).
  • The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 (EC).
  • Indian farmers worry that these farm bills may clear the way for giant Indian companies.

Why the Farm bills are touted as a watershed moment for Indian agriculture?

  • Elimination of middlemen: The reforms would remove the shackles from the agriculture sector and free farmers from the stranglehold of middlemen by creating one market.
  • Abolition of monopoly of APMC mandis: The bills will permit private buyers to hoard essential commodities for future sales, which only government-authorized agents could do earlier, along with changing the rules for contract farming.
Why the farmers are concerned about farm bills?
  • Issue of withdrawing MSP: Since the Minimum Support Price (MSP) is not mentioned in the bills, they fear that they will lose the assured option of selling to the APMC mandis and that this will lead to corporate exploitation.
  • Corporatisation of agriculture: In the absence of regulation, as agribusiness firms might well be able to dictate both the market conditions (including prices) and the terms of contract farming as small farmers do not have the same bargaining power.
  • Loss of livelihood and employment: Farmers are suspicious that the entry of giant Indian companies in future such as Reliance and Adani who have already made investments in the agri-business infrastructure will wipe out their livelihood in farming. For instance, the management of the crop insurance scheme against natural disasters, introduced in 2017, was handed over to one of Anil Ambani’s companies, among others.
How in most countries governments subsidise Agriculture sector?
  • In the US, the agriculture subsidies accounts for about 40 percent of the total farm income. sector ($46 billion in federal subsidies this year). – New York times.
  • Similarly, the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy spending has averaged €54 billion annually since 2006.
Why Agriculture sector needs state support in India?
  • Majority of the farmers are small in India: Smallholder and marginal farmers, those with less than two hectares of land account for 86.2 per cent of all cultivators – 10th Agriculture Census.
    • For them, it is unaffordable to carry their produce to other states or far-off places to sell. Without some support from the state, the smallest of Indian peasants would be even more vulnerable.
  • Lack of proper jobs: Also, the prospects of generating employment from other secondary and tertiary sector is not bright. For example, the share of the secondary sector in total employment has been stagnant at around 26 per cent (as against 41 per cent for agriculture) and its share in the GDP is declining.
  • Urban rural divide: There is a wide gap between urban and rural India in terms of per capita resources is widening.
What is the way forward?
  • Need to increase public investment in agriculture in terms of Agri- infrastructure.
  • Promote Livelihood and Income Augmentation schemes like the Rythu Bandhu in Telangana or the Krushak in Odisha.
  • Need to ensure that no transaction can be done below the MSP, would help alleviate some rural distress.
  • For making farming sustainable, the government should draw inspiration from Andhra Pradesh’s community managed farming model which promotes agro-ecological principles with the use of locally produced, ecologically sustainable inputs, focusing on soil health, instead of depending on chemical fertilisers. This model is more resilient as well as more biodiverse in nature and provides a safety net to farmers.
Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, CURRENT AFFAIRS, daily news, Daily News UpdatesTagged , ,


Agriculture Pricing

FSSAI bans blending of mustard oil with other cooking oil

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Synopsis – Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has banned the blending of Mustard oil with other edibles oils. This step offers a ray of hope to farmers as well as to the public.

Introduction-
  • With effect from June 8, Food regulator FSSAI ended practice to add other edible oil (like from palms, rice bran, etc.) to mustard oil.
  • This would end the practice to add other edible oil to mustard oil. It may also eliminate the adulteration in mustard oil, especially for domestic consumption.
  • The decision will benefit mustard growers as well as consumers.
What is dropsy epidemic and how it impacted the sale of Mustard oil?
  • The government allowed blending in edible vegetable oil by a notification in 1990.
  • In 1998, Delhi and other north Indian states witnessed the dropsy epidemic. It killed at least 60 people and 3,000 were hospitalized.
    • Dropsy epidemic – It is an acute non-infectious disease that causes swelling in the body due to the build-up of fluid in tissues. As per experts, disease resulted from the use of mustard oil.
  • It resulted in massive campaigns against the consumption of the oil.
  • The epidemic eventually impacted the sales of mustard oil.
Read Also :-Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020
Impact of allowing blending of edible oil with mustard oil
  • The sales of mustard oil dropped drastically.
  • Increases India’s dependency on oil import over the last two decades- The processing sector profited from the practice of blending since low-cost palm oil was blended up to 80% in mustard oil. As a result, mustard producers’ income dried up, discouraging them from growing the crop.
  • The agricultural land for mustard farming hasn’t increased in the last 25 years. It has consistently been at 5.5-6 million hectares.
  • Lack of support from the government– The new policies have not been effective, and farmers producing it are not supported either.
  • The blending of mustard oil is also dangerous to health.
Way forward-
  • The decision would encourage mustard growers to increase the sowing area under the mustard crop.
  • The higher domestic production of mustard oil will lead to a fall in edible oil imports.

Source- Down To Earth

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, PUBLICTagged

The increasing prices of edible oil needs government intervention

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Synopsis:

In the past year, the prices of edible oil increased significantly. There are many internal and external reasons behind the price rise. So, the government has to pay attention to the edible oil prices.

Introduction:

In India, Edible oil prices have risen sharply in recent months. According to the data from the Department of Consumer Affairs, the prices of six edible oils — groundnut oil, mustard oil, vanaspati, soya oil, sunflower oil and palm oil — have risen between 20% and 56% at all-India levels in the last one year.

India’s Demand of Edible Oil:
  • India’s production of oilseeds is too little to fulfil the domestic demand. Therefore, India is dependent on imports.
  • India is one of the largest importers of oilseed and edible oils in the world. About 56% of the domestic edible oil demand is met from imports.
  • The major sources of these imports are
    • Argentina and Brazil for soybean oil;
    • Indonesia and Malaysia palm oil; and
    • Ukraine and Argentina for sunflower oil.
  • Therefore, any increase in global prices of oilseeds and edible oil is bound to be transmitted into domestic prices.
Why are International Prices of Edible Oil rising?
  • Firstly, Demand on making biofuel from Soybean oil: There has been a demand on making renewable fuel from soybean oil in the US, Brazil and other countries. This increased the demand for edible oil in these countries and increased prices globally.
  • Secondly, Aggressive Buying by China: China uses soybean for extracting oil as also to prepare the animal feed. Hence, aggressive Chinese buying of soybean depleted inventories in the market. This in turn put upward pressure on prices.
  • Thirdly, Labour issues in Malaysia: Malaysia’s palm oil sector is dependent on migrant foreign workers. However, pandemic induced border closure meant the palm oil sector faced a severe labour shortage causing the output to fall.
  • Fourthly, Impact of La Niña on palm and soya producing areas
  • Fifthly, Imposition of Export duties on crude palm oil in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Suggestions to reduce prices of edible oil 
  •  Firstly, Short Term Measures:
    • Lower Import Duties: India can lower the import duties on the edible oil prices. This can lower the prices immediately.
    • Subsidise Edible Oil: Government can subsidise edible oils and make them available to the poor under the Public Distribution System.
  • Secondly, Long Term Measure: India needs to reduce its dependence on imports of edible oils. This can be feasible by incentivising farmers to diversify wheat and paddy crops to oilseeds.

Source: The Indian Express

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, PUBLICTagged

Importance of FPOs | Farmer Producer’s Organisations

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Synopsis: FPOs Farmer Producer’s Organisations could be a solution to the agrarian distress if they are helped to access credit and markets

What are the main reasons for farmer’s distress?

  • First, the declining average size of farm holdings is one of the reasons for agrarian distress.
      • The average farm size declined from 2.3 hectares (ha) in 1970-71 to 1.08 ha in 2015-16.
      • This resulted in a further increase in small and marginal farmers from 70 percent in 1980-81 to 86 percent in 2015-16.
  • Second, getting access to inputs and marketing facilities is another main challenge faced by Small Farmers.
How FPOs can help small and marginal farmers?

Institutionalizing FPOs Farmer Producer’s Organisations can help marginal and small farmers to overcome their challenges. FPOs will allow members to gain greater bargaining power in the purchase of inputs, obtaining credit, and selling the produce. For example,

  1. One, FPOs in Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan have shown positive outcomes. Farmers through FPOs  Farmer Producer’s Organisations were able to realize higher returns for their produce.
      • For example, tribal women in the Pali district of Rajasthan formed a producer company, and they are getting higher prices for custard apples.
  2. Two, The International Food Policy Research Institutes comparative study of FPOs in Maharashtra and Bihar has revealed the following benefits of FPO’s.
      • FPO’s are doing better than non-FPO farmers. Also, within FPOs, organically evolved FPOs (OFPOs) are more beneficial than pushed or promoted Farmer Producer’s Organisations (PFPOs). For example,
        • According to the survey, OFPOs resulted in an increase in gross income. While only 2 percent indicate a decline in the same.
        • For PFPOs, 64 percent report an increase in gross income while 27 percent report no change in income.
        • Whereas, only 32 percent of the non-members indicate an increase in gross income.
Steps taken by the government in this regard?
  • Since 2011, the center has intensively promoted FPOs under the Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC), NABARD, state governments, and NGOs.
  • The FPO is supported through,
    • Capital infusion: up to Rs 10 lakh to registered FPOs
    • Credit guarantee cover to lending institutions: maximum guarantee covers 85 per cent of loans not exceeding Rs 100 lakh.
    • Budgetary support: Budget 2018-19 gave a five-year tax exemption for FPO’s. Budget 2019-20 targetted to set up 10,000 more FPOs in the next five years.
    • State support: In Tamil Nadu, under collective farming, six lakh small and marginal farmers have been integrated into 6,000 farmer producer groups.
What are the Challenges for building sustainable FPO’s?

Studies of NABARD shown the following challenges for building sustainable FPOs:

  1. Lack of technical skills,
  2. Inadequate professional management,
  3. Weak financials, inadequate access to credit,
  4. Lack of risk mitigation mechanism and
  5. inadequate access to market and infrastructure
How to address the challenges faced by FPO’s?
  1. First, for a large country like India, more than one lakh FPOs are required. (currently 10,000 FPO’s).
  2. Second, to address issues such as working capital, marketing, infrastructure. For that
    • Banks must be facilitated to come with structured products for lending to FPO’s.
    • Also, banks need to focus on capacity building to improve their professional management.
  3. Third, FPO’s have to be linked with input companies, technical service providers, marketing/processing companies, retailers etc. This will enable them to access data on markets and prices and other information and competency in information technology.
  4. Fourth, FPOs need to look for land consolidation of their members where contiguous tracts of land are available. To some extent, Aggregation can overcome the constraint of small farm size. Women farmers also can be encouraged to group cultivate for getting better returns.

Source: Indian Express

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, PUBLICTagged

Lessons from Operation Flood for Operation Green

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Synopsis: A closer inspection of the Operation Green scheme shows that the scheme is nowhere near achieving its objectives.

Introduction 

The Finance Minister during budget presentations announced the expansion of Operation Green (OG). It will be expanded beyond tomatoes, onions, and potatoes to 22 perishable commodities. 

  • Operation Green was launched in 2018 with three basic objectives:
    1. Firstly, it should control the wide price instability in the three largest vegetables of India (Tomatoes, Onions, and Potatoes).
    2. Secondly, it should build efficient value chains so that a larger share of the consumers’ money is received by the farmers. 
    3. Thirdly, it should reduce the post-harvest losses by building modern warehouses and cold storage.

How is the operation green performing currently?

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) has invited some program management agencies to see the implementation of OG.

  • Rs 500 crore budget was outlined initially. However, only Rs. 8.45 crore has been actually released. 
  • A closer examination of the scheme reveals that OG is progressing in slow motion and is nowhere near achieving its objectives. 
    • Research at ICRIER tells that price instability remains high. Farmers’ share in consumers’ money is very low with 26.6 percent for potatoes, 29.1 percent for onions, and 32.4 percent for tomatoes. 
    • In cooperatives like AMUL, farmers get almost 75-80 percent of consumers’ money. 

What can operation green learn from the operation flood?

Operation Flood (OF) changed India’s milk sector and made India the world’s largest milk producer. There are some important lessons OG can learn from OF: 

  1. Firstly, OG will not get any immediate results and one has to be patient. There should be a separate board to strategize and implement the OG scheme, like the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) for milk. 
  2. Secondly, a respectable leader with commitment and competence is required to head this new board of OG. The person should be given at least a five-year term, sufficient resources, and should be made accountable for delivering results. 
    • The MoFPI can have its evaluation every six months. 
  3. Thirdly, at present, the criterion for the selection of TOP commodity clusters is not transparent. This process should be transparent to keep the politics away.  
  4. Fourthly, the subsidy scheme will have to be made innovative with new generation entrepreneurs, startups, and FPOs. 
    • For instance, the announcement to create an additional 10,000 FPOs along with the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund and the new farm laws are all promising but need to be implemented fast.

Green tax on vehicles older than 15 years

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, PUBLIC, SCHEMESTagged ,


Agri Inputs and Subsidies relates issues

What is Maharashtra’s “Beed model” of crop insurance?

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What is the news?

Maharashtra Chief Minister has asked the Prime Minister for state-wide implementation of the ‘Beed model’ of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).

About Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)

  • The scheme was launched in 2016 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
  • Aim: To provide comprehensive insurance cover against failure of the crop thus helping in stabilising the income of the farmers.
  • Coverage of crops: It covers
    • food crops
    • oilseed crops
    • annual commercial/horticultural crops
  • Premium: The prescribed premium is
    • 2% for Kharif crops
    • 1.5% for Rabi crops
    • 5% for commercial and horticultural crops.
  • Completely voluntary: The enrollment under the scheme is 100% voluntary for all farmers.
    • Earlier, the scheme was compulsory for loanee farmers.

Problems with the Scheme

  • Delay in claim settlement
  • Failure to recognize localized weather events
  • Stringent conditions for claims
  • Alleged profiteering by insurance companies
Why was the Beed Model of Crop Insurance launched?
  • Beed is a drought-prone district in Maharashtra. Farmers here have repeatedly lost crops either to failure of rains or too heavy rains.
  • Due to this, insurance companies have sustained losses given high payouts. Moreover, the state government also had a difficult time getting bids for tenders to implement the scheme in Beed.
  • Hence, the Maharashtra Government decided to modify the crop insurance guidelines for the district.
Also read: Flash Droughts in India
What is the Beed Model of Crop Insurance?
  • Under this model, the insurance company provides a cover of 110% of the premium collected.
  • In case the compensation amount exceeds the 110% mark, the state government would pay the bridge amount.
  • But if the compensation was less than the premium collected, the insurance company would keep 20% of the amount as handling charges and reimburse the rest to the state government.
Benefits of Beed Model for Government
  • In a normal season where farmers report minimal losses, the state government is expected to get back money that can form a corpus to fund the scheme for the following year.
  • However, the state government would have to bear the financial liability in case of losses due to extreme weather events.
  • Hence, in the model, the profit of the company is expected to reduce, and the state government would have access to another source of funds.

Source: Indian Express

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged ,

“State of Environment Report” says “Farmer protests” increased fivefold since 2017

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What is the news?

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has released the State of Environment Report, 2021 in February recently. This article focuses upon the data related to farmer protests as mentioned in the report.

Report on Farmers Protests:
  • Farmers Protests in India have registered an almost five-fold increase since 2017.
    • In 2017, there were 34 major protests across 15 States. The number has now increased to 165 protests in 2020.
    • Among these, 12 are pan-India protests, including 11 against the three farm reform laws.
  • Reasons for Farm Protests:
    • Contentious Central farm laws
    • Procurement and agricultural market price-related failures
    • Protests against inadequate Budget allocations for the agricultural sector.
    • Battles against the acquisition of farmland for development projects
    • Loan Waivers or poor insurance coverage among others.
  • States: Numerous farmer protests have taken place in the States of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Read Also :-Prevalence of Bonded Labour in India

Other key Findings of State of Environment Report:

Farm Labourers:

India has more farm labourers than landowning farmers and cultivators.

  • This has been found in 52% of the country’s districts.
  • Among States, Bihar, Kerala and Puducherry have more farm labourers than farmers in all their districts.

Read Also :-Child Labour in India

Farmer’s Suicides:

  • Every day, over 28 farm labourers and cultivators commit suicide in our country.
  • In 2019, there were 5,957 farmer suicides along with an additional 4,324 farm labourers who died by suicide.
Suggestions from State of Environment Report:
  • The report has called for better maintenance of agricultural data. It said that 14 States had witnessed a deterioration in the quality of their land records.

Source: The Hindu

Supreme Court’s Directions for Welfare of Migrant Workers

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

Govt Launches “Seed Minikit Programme”

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What is the News?

The Ministry of Agriculture has launched the Seed Minikit Programme.

About Seed Minikit Programme:
  • Seed Minikit Programme aims to distribute high yielding varieties of seeds of pulses and oilseeds to farmers.
  • Nodal Agencies: The seed mini-kits are being provided by the following central agencies –
    • National Seeds Corporation(NCS)
    • NAFED
    • Gujarat State Seeds Corporation
  • Funding: The programme is wholly funded by the Center through the National Food Security Mission.
  • Significance: This programme is a major tool for introducing new varieties of seeds in fields and instrumental in increasing the seed replacement rate.
    • Seed Replacement Rate (SRR): Out of the total area of a crop planted in a season, SRR is the percentage of total area sown using certified/quality seeds other than the farm-saved seed (the practice of saving seeds to plant in the next season).
Pulses and Oilseeds Production in India:
  • The Government of India in collaboration with states has been implementing programmes to enhance the production of pulses and oilseeds under the National Food Security Mission.
  • Since 2014-15, there has been a renewed focus on increasing the production of pulses and oilseeds. The efforts have yielded good results.
    • Oilseeds production has increased from 27.51 million tonnes in 2014-15 to 36.57million tonnes in 2020-21.
    • On the other hand, pulses production has increased from 17.15 million tonnes in 2014-15 to 25.56 million tonnes in 2020-21.
    • However, India still imports a lot of pulses and edible oils to meet domestic demand.
About National Food Security Mission(NFSM):
  • The National Food Security Mission(NFSM) was launched in 2007-08 by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
  • Aim: To increase the production of rice, wheat and pulses through
    • area expansion and productivity enhancement
    • restoring soil fertility and productivity
    • Creating employment opportunities and
    • enhancing farm level economy.
  • Coarse cereals were also included in the Mission from 2014-15 under NFSM.

Source: PIB

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: Schemes and Programs, PUBLIC, SCHEMESTagged ,

Issue of fertilizer subsidy in India – Explained, Pointwise

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Introduction

The subsidy allows an individual to buy a product or use a service at a lower price than its market cost. The government in India has been providing a host of price subsidies on kerosene, cooking gas, water, electricity, fertilizer, etc. in order to support the vulnerable sections.

The farmers have been getting the benefits of fertilizer subsidies since the era of the Green revolution. It has become a core component of providing input support to the agricultural sector.

Recently, the government has announced an increase of 140% in the subsidy amount of DAP (Diammonium phosphate) fertilizer. It is expected to provide a sigh of relief to the farming community who is already facing severe pandemic stress. They have lost their loved ones and are battling the double jeopardy of rising healthcare bills and reduced urban remittances. This move would bring temporary relief to the sector but a permanent solution warrants long term reforms to make the agriculture sector more lucrative.

Current Scenario
Fertilizer shortage
Source: Business Standard
  • Recently, a committee headed by PM took a decision to increase the subsidy on DAP (Diammonium phosphate) fertilizer. The subsidy was increased by 140% from Rs 500 per bag to Rs 1200 per bag.
  • Till last year, the actual price of DAP was 1700. The farmers were getting one bag for 1200 and a 500 rupee subsidy was given to companies. 
    • However, now the actual price of DAP is 2400 as international prices of phosphoric acid, ammonia etc. used in DAP have increased. Therefore in order to prevent companies from selling DAP at 1900 rupees, the government enhanced the subsidy.
  • The Department of Fertilizers has further notified a higher per-kg NBS (Nutrient Based Subsidy) rate for P. It increased to Rs 45.323/kg while the earlier rate was Rs 14.888/kg.
About DAP
  • It is the second most commonly used fertilizer in India. It has sales of 119.13 lakh tonnes (lt) in 2020-21 next only to the urea. Furthermore, it is applied just before or at the time of sowing by the farmers. 
  • The fertilizer is high in phosphorus (P) that stimulates root establishment and development. It contains 46% P and 18% nitrogen (N). Without DAP, the plants cannot grow to their normal size or will take too long to mature.
  • It is similar to urea and muriate of potash (MOP), which again have very high N and potassium (K) content of 46% and 60%, respectively.
Fertilizer Subsidy in India
  • Under the subsidy regime, farmers buy fertilizers at Maximum Retail Prices (MRP). However, this MRP is below the normal supply-and-demand-based market rates or what it costs to produce/import them.
  • While, the MRP for urea is controlled/fixed by the government, it is decontrolled for other fertilizers including DAP, MOP, etc.
    • The maximum retail price (MRP) of urea is currently fixed at Rs 5,378 per tonne or Rs 242 for a 45-kg bag. Since companies have to sell at this controlled rate (fixed MRP), the subsidy is variable. It means subsidy depends upon the market price or costing of Urea. Government has to pay the difference between controlled price and market price.
    • In other fertilizers, the government only gives a fixed per-tonne subsidy. This means the subsidy is fixed, while the MRPs are variable. Thus, MRP of Decontrolled fertilizers is way above urea MRP and attract lower subsidy. For some of the non-urea fertilizers, government launched nutrient-based subsidy or NBS scheme. 
Nutrient Based Subsidy(NBS) regime for Non-Urea fertilizers
  • Under this, a fixed amount of subsidy is calculated for each fertilizer based on its nutrient composition. The government decides the rates for nutrients like Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), Potassium (K), Sulphur (S), etc. which then are used for calculating a flat per ton rate.
  • It means subsidy will be different for the fertilisers having different proportions of NPK. It means one tonne of DAP which contains 460 kg of P and 180 kg of N will get more subsidy compared to 10:26:26’ NPK fertiliser due to the difference in nutrient compositions.
  • It allows the manufacturers, marketers, and importers to fix the MRP of the Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers at reasonable levels.
  • The domestic and international cost of P&K fertilizers is considered along with the country’s inventory levels and the currency exchange rate in order to decide the MRP. 
Need for increasing the fertilizer subsidy on DAP
  • Cushioning the farmers from Price rise: The rise in subsidy would protect the farmers from the price rise. The fertilizer companies have enhanced the MRP of DAP from 1200 to 1900 as international prices of phosphoric acid, ammonia, etc. raw materials have increased.
    • They would still pay 1200 rupees per bag despite the fact that the international prices of phosphoric acid, ammonia, etc. used in DAP have gone up by 60% to 70%.
  • Boost Production: DAP is a crucial fertilizer for growing cotton and soybean in the western and northern regions of India. With sufficient subsidy, the farmers would be able to grow more produce in the Kharif season.
  • Tackle the Covid impact: The farmers are undergoing severe stress due to the challenges posed to them by the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes loss of urban remittances, the rising cost of healthcare, and death of bread earners in the family. The increased subsidy would provide some relief to them.
  • Political Considerations: Some experts are also viewing the rise in subsidies as a move to prevent the resurgence of the farmer’s protest amid the second wave of Covid 19. 
Steps to taken by Government to prevent fertilizer overuse
  • Compulsory neem-coating of all urea from December 2015.
  • Making fertilizer subsidy payment to companies conditional upon actual sales to farmers being registered on point-of-sale machines from 2018. Under this, a valid sale requires a biometric authentication aadhar card or kisan credit card number.
  • There is an upcoming plan to cap the total number of subsidised fertilizer bags that any person can purchase during an entire cropping season.
Issues associated with fertilizer subsidy
  • No Denial Policy: Currently anybody can purchase any quantity of fertilizers through the PoS machines. There is a limit of 100 bags per transaction, but no limit is placed on the number of transactions. This enhances the diversion of fertilizers towards unintended beneficiaries.
    • For instance, urea’s super subsidized and multiple usage nature makes it highly prone to diversion.
    • It can be used as a binder by plywood/particle board makers, cheap protein source by animal feed manufacturers or adulterant by milk vendors. Further, it is also smuggled to Nepal and Bangladesh.
  • Environment Degradation: The subsidies have enabled the over utilisation of fertilizers on agricultural lands. This is especially true for the super cheap urea which has witnessed a minor price rise since the last decade.
    • The bulk of urea applied to the soil is lost as NH3 (Ammonia) and Nitrogen Oxide due to poor Nitrogen use efficiency of Indian Soils. This leads to contamination of groundwater, soil, land, etc. 
  • Economic Costs: The Central Government spends about Rs 80,000 crore on subsidies for chemical fertilizers every year. With the increase in subsidy in DAP, the government will spend an additional Rs 14,775 crore as subsidy in Kharif season.
  • Health impacts: Over use of fertilizers also pollutes groundwater. Infants who drink water with high levels of nitrate (or eat foods made with nitrate-contaminated water) may develop the blue baby syndrome.
    • It refers to a number of conditions that affect oxygen transportation in the blood, resulting in the blueness of the skin in babies.
Suggestions
  • First, the government should consider alternative ways for helping the farmers like the use of Direct Benefit transfer instead of subsidies. This would curb its diversion for non-agricultural use and reduce the number of fraudulent beneficiaries.
    • Until then, there should be a cap on the total number of subsidised fertilizer bags that any person can buy during an entire kharif or rabi cropping season. 
  • Second, urea should be included under the NBS scheme in order to reduce the fiscal burden of fertilizer subsidy on the government. This was recommended by the Sharad Pawar Committee in 2012.
  • Third, the focus should now be placed on discouraging the use of chemical fertilizers and encouraging the adoption of organic fertilizers like vermicompost, seaweed extracts, etc. This would be in line with sustainable development and prevent land degradation.
  • Fourth, in the long run, the government needs to augment the agricultural income of farmers so that they voluntarily give up their subsidies in the future. This would happen with better implementation of schemes like E-NAM, SAMPADA, PM Fasal Bima Yojana, etc.
Conclusion

The subsidies are like a dole to the farmer, it is saving his body but destroying its spirit. The ultimate solution is to make agriculture more lucrative and remunerative which would gradually lead to the withdrawal of subsidies and relieve the government of their fiscal burden. 

Posted in 7 PM, PUBLICTagged


Agri Allied Activities

Challenges Facing Dairy Sector in India – Explained, Pointwise

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Introduction

World Milk Day was celebrated on 1st June while National Milk day is celebrated on 26th November. Both days recognize the importance of milk for the health and well-being of an individual. Apart from nutritional benefits for health, the dairy sector in India is a crucial source of employment generation and a steady income for the majority of small and marginal farmers.

The sector has been performing well since the onset of operation flood in the 1970s. It is testified by India’s occupation of top spot in terms of milk production. However, acquisition of a top position doesn’t mean the sector is devoid of challenges. Indian dairy farmers are dealing with fragmented supply chains, poor returns, and high price sensitivity, all of which make the sector less lucrative. 

Furthermore, the pandemic has created additional stress on the sector that demands immediate reform to enhance the income potential and resilience in the sector.

About the Dairy Sector in India
  • Dairy is one of the biggest agri- businesses in India and a significant contributor to the Indian economy. 
  • It is the largest single agricultural commodity with a 4 % share in the economy. 
  • India is the largest producer of milk globally with 188 million MT production in 2019-20. It produces over one-fifth of the global milk production
    • Organizations like Amul, Mother Dairy, Kwality Limited, etc. have played a pivotal role in expanding the production. Amul today has over 3.6 million milk producers nationwide.
    • Further, there has been a proliferation of private dairy enterprises that now account for more than 60 % of dairy processing capacity in the country.
  • In the Gross Value Added (GVA) from agriculture, the livestock sector contributed 28 percent in 2019-20. Further, India witnesses a 6% growth rate in milk production every year.
  • The dairy sector serves a wide range of consumer needs too – from protein supplements and health foods to indulgence foods such as yogurt and ice creams.
Significance of the Dairy Sector in India
  • Tackling agricultural uncertainties: Farmers keep 2-5 milk animals for livelihood. They provide great support to them, especially during drought and flood. Further, dairying is not a seasonal occupation in nature, like agriculture.
  • Nutritional Support: The milk and associated products have immensely helped India in reducing the malnutrition and undernourishment levels in the country. Thus, the dairy sector is indispensable for meeting the nutritional requirement of the country’s rising population. 
  • Employment Generation: It is a significant contributor to farmers’ income as approximately 70 million farmers are directly involved in dairying.
  • Reduces Import Bill: Operation Flood (also called as White Revolution) converted India from a milk importer to the world’s largest producer.
    • The program launched in 1970 and adopted a multi-pronged approach. This included tax incentives, food quality standards, subsidies on inputs, infrastructure provisions such as cold chain and electrification. 
    • All this helped in reducing import bills and made India an exporter. The country exported dairy products worth $187 Million in 2019-20.  
  • Women Empowerment: Female population comprises around 69% of the sector’s workforce. They are dependent on the sector for their livelihood. Therefore, the dairy sector’s development automatically augments women’s empowerment. 
  • Boosting other sectors: The dairy sector provides cow dung which is used as an organic manure for the agricultural sector. Further, the sector provides raw materials to manufacture processed foods. 
    • For instance, the whey protein powder is an extract from the watery portion of milk that separates from the curds during the cheese-making process.
How did the pandemic impact the dairy sector in India?
  • In the first wave, agriculture and allied sectors put up a spectacular performance. It showed an annual growth of 3.4 % while the economy contracted by (-)7.2 % in 2020-21. 
  • However, the dairy sector could not replicate this good performance in the second wave.
Challenges Faced by Sector
  • Fragmented Supply Chain: The fundamental challenge in dairy is maintaining quality and quantity within a diversified supply base. Due to its perishable nature, dairy requires more complex supply chain operations and logistics to ensure freshness and safety. 
    • The sector also witnesses adulteration practices and overuse of antibiotics to boost production.
  • Price Sensitivity: Milk producers are highly susceptible to even minor shocks.  For instance, small changes in the employment and income of consumers can leave a significant impact on milk demand.
  • Unorganised Nature: The majority of cattle raisers are unorganised unlike sugarcane, wheat, and rice-producing farmers. This nature further inhibits the creation of political clout to advocate for their rights.
  • Data Deficiency: There is no official and periodical estimate of the cost of milk production. Even though, the value of milk produced outweighs the combined value of the output of wheat and rice in India.
  • Poor returns: There is no MSP (Minimum Support Price) for milk unlike 24 major agricultural commodities in the country including wheat and rice. Further, dairy cooperatives are not a preferred choice for landless or small farmers.
    • The cooperatives adopt a fat-based pricing policy which is 20 to 30 % less than the price in the open market. 
    • Further, dairy cooperatives buy more than 75% of milk at its lower price band.
  • Competition from alternatives: The traditional cow and buffalo milk is shunned by some consumers for more eco-friendly alternatives like ‘Soy Milk’ or ‘Almond milk’. They believe that the carbon footprint of plant-based milk products is much lesser than the traditional dairy products.
Impact of Pandemic
  1. First, the threat of disease has restrained the door-to-door sale of liquid milk to households. This has forced the farmers to sell the entire produce to dairy cooperatives at a much lower price.
  2. Second, the lockdown had led to the closure of shops. This has reduced the demand for milk and milk products.  
  3. Third, the severe shortage of fodder and cattle feed has pushed up the input cost.
  4. Fourth, private veterinary services have almost stopped due to Covid-19. This has led to the death of milch animals.
Government Initiatives for the dairy sector in India

The government introduced various initiatives to boost the dairy sector in India. Such as,

  • Rashtriya Gokul Mission: It was launched in 2014 under the National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development.
  • Objectives:
    • Development and conservation of indigenous breeds
    • Breed improvement programme for indigenous cattle breeds to improve their genetic makeup and increase the stock
    • Enhancement of milk production and productivity
    • Upgradation of nondescript cattle using elite indigenous breeds like Gir, Sahiwal, Rathi, Deoni, Tharparkar, Red Sindhi and
    • Distribution of disease-free high genetic merit bulls for natural service.
  • The government has launched a Nationwide AI (artificial insemination) program. It targets to augment annual milk productivity from 1,860 kg/per animal to 3,000 kg/per animal upon its completion.
  • The government launched the National Livestock Mission in 2014-15. It broadly covers all the activities required to ensure quantitative and qualitative improvement in livestock production systems and capacity building of all stakeholders. The major objectives of the mission: 
    • Reduce the gap in demand and availability of feed and fodder, 
    • Conservation and improvement of indigenous breeds, 
    • Ensure higher productivity and production in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner
    • Enhance livelihood opportunities and increase awareness
  • The government established a Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) in 2017. It aims to modernize the milk processing plants and create additional infrastructure for processing more milk. 
  • The dairy farmers have been included in the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) programme. It provides adequate and timely credit support from the banking system to the farmers for their cultivation and other needs.
  • Similarly, dairying was brought under MGNREGA to compensate farmers for the income loss due to Covid-19.
Suggestions
  • The government should support start-ups that come up with a solution-oriented approach. 
    • For instance, Country Delight is a Haryana-based dairy-tech company that is providing quality milk at consumers’ doorstep. 
    • The milk undergoes 26 quality tests and farmers deliver it directly. This ensures good quality and optimum pricing. 
  • The producers should be given the requisite support to enter into value-added segments such as ice cream, yogurt, cheese, and whey. These segments show profit margins of 20%, which is much higher than the 3-5% margin in the case of simple milk produce.
  • The dairy farmers must be given a stable market and remunerative price for the milk. For the price, a greater weightage should be accorded to the quantity of milk than its fat content.
  • The government should focus on a hub and spoke model. Under this, the main farm (hub) should have all integrated facilities for milking, feed production, and milk processing. 
    • The connected farms (spokes) should have a basic infrastructure for milking and cattle management. The hub should also provide technical, veterinary, and training support to their spokes for inclusive development.
Conclusion

The current situation demands a sustainable development of the dairy sector. This development should be in line with the environmental, nutritional, and socio-economic demands of the country. Government should take robust steps in order to make dairy farming more lucrative for the small and marginalized farmers.

Source:

The Indian Express

Posted in 7 PM, PUBLICTagged

Dairy Sector in India Needs Urgent Attention

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Synopsis:

The second wave of pandemic has brutally impacted the dairy sector. There is a reduction in milk demand along with a shortage of livestock feed. The situation is very grim and requires the adoption of robust measures to support the dairy sector.

Background:
  • In the first wave, agriculture and allied sectors put up a spectacular performance. It showed an annual growth of 3.4 % while the economy contracted by (-)7.2 % in 2020-21. 
  • However, this good performance was not replicated by the dairy sector in the second wave.
About the dairy and livestock sector:
  • In India, around 70 million farm-dependent people are engaged in the dairy and livestock sector. 
    • Further, 7.7 million people are exclusively engaged in the sector. Amongst them, 69% are female which means the sector is a crucial source of women empowerment.
    • The labour force of the sector mainly comprises unpaid female members.
  • In the Gross Value Added (GVA) from agriculture, the livestock sector contributed 28 percent in 2019-20. Further, India witnesses a 6% growth rate in milk production every year.
  • Farmers keep 2-5 milk animals for livelihood which provides great support to them, especially during drought and flood.
Challenges faced by the dairy Sector:
  • Price Sensitivity: Milk producers are highly susceptible to even minor shocks.  For instance, small changes in the employment and income of consumers can leave a significant impact on milk demand.
  • Unorganised Nature: The majority of cattle raisers are unorganised unlike sugarcane, wheat, and rice-producing farmers. This nature further inhibits the creation of political clout to advocate for their rights.
  • Data Deficiency: There is no official and periodical estimate of the cost of milk production. Even though the value of milk produced outweighs the combined value of the output of wheat and rice in India.
  • Poor returns: There is no MSP (Minimum Support Price) for milk unlike 24 major agricultural commodities in the country including wheat and rice. Further dairy cooperatives are not a preferred choice for landless or small farmers.
    • The cooperatives adopt a fat-based pricing policy. It is 20 to 30 % less than the price in the open market. 
    • Further, more than 75 % of the milk bought by dairy cooperatives is at its lower price band.
Adverse impact of Pandemic on the Dairy Sector:
  1. First, the threat of disease has restrained the door-to-door sale of liquid milk to households. This has forced the farmers to sell the entire produce to dairy cooperatives at a much lower price.
  2. Second, the lockdown had led to the closure of shops. This has reduced the demand for milk and milk products.  
  3. Third, the severe shortage of fodder and cattle feed has pushed up the input cost.
  4. Fourth, private veterinary services have almost stopped due to Covid-19. This has led to the death of milch animals.
Steps taken by Government for the Dairy Sector:
  • The government has launched a Nationwide AI (artificial insemination) program. It targets to augment annual milk productivity from 1,860 kg/per animal to 3,000 kg/per animal upon its completion.
  • The dairy farmers have been included in the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) program. It provides adequate and timely credit support from the banking system to the farmers for their cultivation and other needs.
  • Similarly, dairying was brought under MGNREGA to compensate farmers for the income loss due to Covid-19.
Concerns associated with the above steps:
  1. First, there is a shortage of AI technicians in India. In August 2020, the department of animal husbandry reported a requirement of 2.02 lakh technicians. This is when only 1.16 lakh were available.
  2. Second, the dairy cooperatives have not applied for a sufficient number of loans under KCC. As of October 2020, not even one-fourth of the dairy farmers’ loan applications had been forwarded to banks.
  3. Third, the MGNREGA scheme may not be able to provide relief as its budgetary allocation has been curtailed. The budgetary allocation for 2021-22 was curtailed by 34.5 percent in relation to the revised estimates for 2020-21.
Way Forward:
  • The dairy farmers must be given a stable market and remunerative price for the milk. For the price, a greater weightage should be accorded to the quantity of milk than its fat content
  • They must be ensured of an uninterrupted supply of fodder and cattle feed at a reasonable price.
  • The government should also provide a regular supply of veterinary services and medicines to them.

Source: India Express 

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, PUBLICTagged

“Classical swine fever” vaccine and “Sheep Pox Vaccine” – Technology transfer done

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What is the News?

ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute has transferred the Technology for the Classical swine fever(CSF) & Sheep Pox Vaccines to M/s Hester Biosciences through Agrinnovate India Limited.

About the technology transfer:

ICAR-IVRI has developed both the CSF vaccine and Sheep pox vaccine. But to provide commercialisation and build sustainable public-private partnerships ICAR-IVRI decided to perform technology transfer. Further, the technology transfer will also help in the following,

  • It will provide the Vaccine at a cheaper price and ensure longer immunity of livestock.
  • It is a great game-changer for the farmers or people involved in animal husbandry practices
 About Classical swine fever(CSF):
  • Classical swine fever(CSF) also known as hog cholera. It is a contagious viral disease of domestic and wild swine(pigs).
  • Caused by: It is caused by a virus of the genus Pestivirus of the family Flaviviridae.
  • Transmission: The most common method of transmission is through direct contact between healthy swine and those infected with the CSF virus.
  • Humans are not affected by this virus. Swine are the only species known to be susceptible.
  • Treatment: The disease has a 100% mortality. However, Vaccination can prevent the spread of the disease.
Vaccine for CSF:
  • In India, the disease is controlled by a lapinized CSF vaccine. This vaccine is produced by killing large numbers of rabbits.
  • To avoid this, the ICAR-IVRI developed a Cell Culture CSF Vaccine (live attenuated). This is developed using the Lapinized Vaccine Virus from a foreign strain.
    • Live attenuated vaccines use a weakened (or attenuated) form of the germ that causes a disease.
  • The new vaccine has been extensively tested for safety and potency. It has been found to induce protective immunity from the 14th day of the Vaccination till 18 Months.
About Sheep Pox Disease:
  • Sheep Pox is a highly contagious viral disease of sheep caused by a poxvirus.
  • The disease is the most severe of all the animal pox diseases. It can result in some of the most significant economic consequences due to poor wool and leather quality.
  • Transmission: The sheep pox virus is an aerosol. So it can be transmitted via contact with an infected animal.
  • Treatment: There is no treatment for the sheep pox virus, thus efforts are directed towards prevention.
Vaccine for Sheep Pox:
  • A live attenuated Sheep Pox Vaccine using indigenous strain was developed by the Institute for preventive vaccination in the sheep population.
  • The Vaccine is safe, potent and immunogenic [efficacious] for sheep aged more than six months of age. Also, it protects the Vaccinated animals for a period of 40 months.
Agrinnovate India Limited:

It is a registered Company under the Companies Act, 1956. The Government of India in the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE) owns it.

Functions:
  • Firstly, it aims to work on the strengths of DARE’s Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)
  • Secondly, Agrinnovate India also promotes the development and spread of R&D and its outcomes through IPR protection, commercialization and forging partnerships for the public benefit.

Source: PIB

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: Science and Technology, PUBLICTagged ,

Union Minister inaugurates “e-SANTA Marketplace”

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What is the News?

The Union Commerce and Industry Minister virtually inaugurated e-SANTA.

About e-SANTA:
  • e-SANTA stands for Electronic Solution for Augmenting NaCSA farmer’s trade-in Aquaculture.
  • Purpose: e-SANTA is an electronic marketplace providing a platform to connect aqua farmers and buyers. Further, The platform will also act as an alternative marketing tool between farmers & buyers by eliminating middlemen.
Benefits of e-SANTA Platform:
  • Firstly, Enhances the life of Farmers: The platform will RAISE the lives & income of farmers by:
    1. Reducing Risk
    2. Awareness of Products & Markets
    3. Increase in Income
    4. Shielding Against Wrong Practice
    5. Ease of Processes.
  • Secondly, Promotes Transparency: The platform promotes transparency as the process is completely paperless and an end-to-end electronic trade between Farmers and exporters.
  • Thirdly, Greater Control: The farmers have the freedom to list their products and quote their price. While the exporters have the freedom to list their requirements and also to choose the products based on their requirements.
  • Fourthly, The platform is available in many languages which will help the local population.
About National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture(NaCSA):
  • National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture is an extension arm of Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), Ministry of Commerce & Industry Govt. of India.
  • Objective: The objectives of NaCSA are to encourage and uplift the small and marginal farmers through the organization of clusters and maintaining Best Management Practices in shrimp culture.

Source: PIB

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Schemes and Programs, PUBLICTagged


Agri Technology

IFFCO launches world’s first “Nano Liquid Urea”

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What is the News?

Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited(IFFCO) has launched the world’s first Nano Urea Liquid

What is Nano Liquid Urea?
  • Nano Urea Liquid is a nutrient to provide nitrogen to plants as an alternative to conventional urea.
  • Developed by: Nano Urea Liquid has been developed indigenously through proprietary technology at IFFCO”s Nano Biotechnology Research Centre(NBRC) in Gujarat.
  • Efficacy Trials: IFFCO had conducted around 11,000 farmer field trials (FFT’s) on more than 94 crops across India to test the efficacy of nano urea. The trials had shown an average 8% increase in yield.
What are the benefits of Nano Liquid Urea?
  • Firstly, Nano Liquid Urea can curtail the requirement of urea by at least 50%. This will in turn reduce India’s dependence on urea imports.
    • During 2019-20, the production of urea was 244.55 LMT. On the other hand, the consumption volume of urea was 336 lakh metric tonnes. This leaves a gap of over 91 LMT. India imported 91.99 LMT urea fertiliser in 2019-20 to fill this gap.
  • Secondly, nano urea liquid is significant as its use by farmers will boost balanced nutrition programs by reducing the excess use of Urea application in the soil. This will help make the crops stronger, healthier and protect them from the lodging effect.
  • Thirdly, the conventional urea is 30-40% effective in delivering nitrogen to plants while the effectiveness of the Nano Urea Liquid is over 80%.
  • Fourthly, the Nano Urea Liquid will be cost-effective as it will be cheaper. This will help in increasing farmers’ income.
  • Lastly, Nano Urea Liquid will have a positive impact on the
    • Quality of underground water
    • Reduction in global warming with an impact on climate change and
    • Sustainable development.

Source: Indian Express

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: Science and Technology, PUBLICTagged ,

Biodegradable “Moorhen Yoga Mat” developed from “Water Hyacinth”

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What is the News?

Six young girls from Assam have developed a biodegradable and compostable yoga mat called ‘Moorhen Yoga Mat’.

Note: The Mat was developed with the support of the North East Centre for Technology Application and Reach(NECTAR). NECTAR is an autonomous body under the Department of Science & Technology(DST).

About Moorhen Yoga Mat:

  • Firstly, the ‘Moorhen Yoga mat’ is named after Kam Sorai or Purple moorhen (a resident bird of Deepor Beel Wildlife sanctuary).
  • Secondly, the mat has been developed from Water Hyacinth. The mat is 100% biodegradable and 100% compostable mat.
  • Thirdly, the mat comes in a cotton canvas cloth bag. So that no zip or metal closures are used.
  • Benefits of the Mat: The Moorhen Yoga mat has the following benefits:
    • The Mat can improve the aquatic ecosystem of the wetland through the removal of water hyacinth
    • It can provide sustainable production of utility products with community engagement
    • The mat can generate livelihood for indigenous communities to become completely ‘Atma Nirbhar’.

About Water Hyacinth:

  • Water hyacinth is a free-floating and flowering invasive aquatic plant that originated from Amazon Basin, South America.

Why is Water Hyacinth considered invasive?

  • It grows rapidly and can form thick layers over the water. So Water hyacinth is considered invasive throughout the world.
  • These mats shade out the other aquatic plants. Eventually, these shaded plants die and decay.
  • The decaying process depletes the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water. As oxygen levels decline, many fish are unable to survive.
  • Hence, often the waters below water hyacinth masses witness the absence of life.

Other Effects of Water Hyacinth:

  • Water Hyacinth interferes with boat navigation and prevents fishing, swimming and other recreational activities.
  • The water hyacinth may also clog intake pipes used for drinking water, hydropower or irrigation.
  • Moreover, it creates a prime habitat for mosquitoes that carry a variety of infectious diseases. So, water hyacinth is also considered a serious threat to biodiversity and human health.

Water Hyacinth in India:

  • States like Assam and Kerala are highly affected by the Water Hyacinth.
  • Water Hyacinth is also referred to as the Bengal terror. This is because of its effect on the local ecology and lives of the people.

Source: PIB


 

Yoga as a hobby

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Science and Technology, PUBLICTagged ,

Union Minister to launch “Khadi Prakritik Paint” developed by KVIC

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News: Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways will be launching an innovative new called “Khadi Prakritik Paint”.

Facts:

  • Khadi Prakritik Paint: It has been conceptualized by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) and later developed by Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute, Jaipur (a KVIC unit).
  • Key Characteristics:
    • It is a first-of-its-kind eco-friendly, non-toxic paint with anti-fungal, antibacterial properties.
    • Based on cow dung as its main ingredient, the paint is cost-effective and odorless and has been certified by Bureau of Indian Standards.
    • The paint is free from heavy metals like lead, mercury, chromium, arsenic, cadmium and others.
  • Forms: The paint is available in two forms – distemper paint and plastic emulsion paint.
  • Significance:
    • Production of Khadi Prakritik Paint is aligned with the Prime Minister’s vision of increasing farmer’s income. The paint is estimated to generate additional income of Rs 30,000 (approx) per annum per animal to farmers/ gaushalas.
    • It will be a boost to the local manufacturing and will create sustainable local employment through technology transfer.
    • This technology will increase consumption of cow dung as a raw material for eco-friendly products and will generate additional revenue to farmers and gaushalas. Utilization of cow dung will also clean the environment and prevent clogging of drains.

Article Source

Read Also :upsc current affairs

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly - Indian Economy, Factly: Science and Technology, PUBLICTagged , ,

Union Minister inaugurates Virtual Agri-hackathon 2020

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News: Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare has inaugurated the Virtual Agri-hackathon 2020.

Facts:

  • Agri India Hackathon 2020: It is organized by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation and Farmers Welfare in association with Pusa Krishi, ICAR – Indian Agricultural Research Institute(IARI).
  • Objective: It is the largest virtual gathering to create dialogues, and accelerate innovations in agriculture. The hackathon will accept innovations & ideas on farm mechanization, precision agriculture, supply chain & food technology, waste to wealth, green energy among others.
  • Rewards for the winners: 24 best innovations from different focus areas will be awarded a cash prize of INR 1 lakh each. The winning innovations will also get an exclusive preference for incubation support, pre-seed & seed-stage funding of 5 Lakhs & 25 Lakhs respectively along with the opportunity of field trial and access to technology validation.

Article source

Posted in daily news, Daily News Updates, PUBLICTagged


Food Processing Industries and reforms

“UN Food Systems Summit 2021” -India Holds National Dialogue

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What is the News?

The Ministry of Agricultural and Farmers Welfare conducted a National Dialogue on UN Food Systems Summit 2021.

About UN Food Systems Summit,2021:
  • The first-ever UN Food Systems Summit 2021 is expected to hold in September 2021. For that, the United Nations Secretary-General has called for members to participate.
  • Purpose: The summit will strategize the actions for positive change in Agri-food systems in the world. It will help to realize the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • Focus: The Summit will focus on levers and pathways to shape food systems nationally and globally.
  • Significance: The summit will be held as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Action Tracks: The Summit’s Action Tracks offer stakeholders to learn and share new actions, partnerships and to amplify existing initiatives. The five Action Tracks are:

  1. Track 1: Ensure access to safe and nutritious food for all.
  2. Track 2: Shift to sustainable consumption patterns.
  3. Track 3: Boost nature-positive production.
  4. Track 4: Advance equitable livelihoods.
  5. Track 5: Build resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks, and stress.
Why food systems?
  • Firstly, the term “food system” refers to the constellation of activities involved in producing, processing, transporting, and consuming food.
  • Secondly, food systems touch every aspect of human existence. The health of our food systems profoundly affects the health of our bodies as well as the health of our environment, our economies, and our cultures.
  • Hence, when they function well, food systems have the power to bring us together as families, communities, and nations.

Source: PIB

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

Union Cabinet approves PLI Scheme for Food Processing Industry

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Why in the news?

The Union Cabinet approves the PLI(Production Linked Incentive) Scheme for Food Processing Industry (PLISFPI).

About PLI scheme for Food Processing Industry
  • The scheme will be implemented over a six-year period from 2021-22 to 2026-27.
  • Aim: The scheme aims to support the creation of global food manufacturing champions according to the natural resources of India.
Objectives of the Scheme
  1. Firstly, PLI scheme will support food manufacturing org with stipulated minimum Sales.
  2. Furthermore, it will support Indian brands of food products in the international markets with an outlay of Rs. 10900 crore.
  3. Moreover, it will increase employment opportunities for nearly 2.5 lakh persons by the year 2026-27.
  4. Finally, the scheme will ensure good prices for farm produce and higher income to farmers.
Salient features of the PLI scheme for Food Processing Industry
  1. First component of the scheme
    • It will incentivize the manufacturing of four major food product segments:
      1. Marine Products,
      2. Mozzarella Cheese
      3. Processed Fruits & Vegetables
      4. Ready to Cook/ Ready to Eat (RTC/ RTE) foods
    • Selected applicants will require investing in Plant & Machinery in the first two years i.e. in 2021-22 & 2022-23.
    • The amount of Investment during 2020-21 will be counted for meeting investment requirements.
    • The entities selected for making innovative/ organic products will be exempt from the Minimum Sales and mandated investment requirements.
  2. 2nd component of the scheme
    • Under this component, support will be provided for branding and marketing abroad.
    • The entity will receive grants for in-store Branding, shelf space renting, and marketing.
Implementation of the scheme
  • Implemented by: Project Management Agency (PMA)
  • Also, PMA will be responsible for verification of eligibility for support, scrutiny of claims eligible for disbursement of incentive.
  • Furthermore, the scheme is “fund-limited”, i.e. the amount restricts to the approved limit. This amount will not exceed even in case of outstanding performance.

Source: PIB

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Schemes and Programs, PUBLIC, SCHEMESTagged

National Institutes of Food Technology Bill, 2019

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Introduced: Rajya Sabha (13th Feb 2019)

Passed: Rajya Sabha (15th Mar 2021)

About National Institutes of Food Technology Bill, 2019

Ministry: Food Processing Industries

What does the bill provide?

The bill declares two institutes of food technology, entrepreneurship, and management as institutions of national importance. These are:

  • National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management, Haryana
  • Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology, Tamil Nadu.
What are Institutions of National Importance?
  • An institution that serves as an important player in developing highly skilled personnel within the specified region of the country/state.
  • The status is conferred on a premier public higher education institution in India by an act of the Parliament of India.
Benefits of National Importance Tag:
  • Firstly, these institutes are provided functional autonomy to:
    • design and develop courses
    • Award Degrees such as Bachelor of Technology, Master of Technology, and Ph.D.
    • Undertake research activities
  • Secondly, the institutes would also implement the reservation policy of the government. It would also undertake special outreach activities for the benefit of concerned stakeholders.
  • Lastly, the recognition would also enable the institutes to provide world-class teaching and research experience by adopting innovative practices.

Source: The Hindu

Posted in acts, bills and regulations, Daily Factly articles, Factly: Bills and Acts, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged

QCI Launches Recognition Scheme for Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies

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Source: Click here

News: Quality Council of India(QCI) at the behest of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI) has launched a “Scheme for approval of Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies”.

Facts:

  • Objective: To scale up Hygiene Rating by increasing the number of recognised Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies in the country.

Additional Facts:

  • Food Hygiene Rating Scheme: It is a certification system by FSSAI for food businesses supplying food directly to consumers, either on or off premise.The food establishments are rated based on food hygiene and safety conditions observed at the time of audit.
  • Quality Council of India (QCI): It was set up in 1997 jointly by the Government of India and the Indian Industry to establish and operate national accreditation structure and promote quality through National Quality Campaign.
    • Nodal Ministry: Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce & Industry is the nodal department for QCI.
    • Chairman: The Chairman of QCI is appointed by the Prime Minister on the recommendation of the industry to the government.
  • FSSAI: It is a statutory, autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.It is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.

Read Also :-indian economy quiz

Posted in SCHEMESTagged


AGRI REFORMS

Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM)

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What is the News? The Government of India released funds for various activities to empower Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization(SMAM).

Various activities include the establishment of Custom Hiring Centres, Farm Machinery Bank and distribution of various agricultural machinery to different states.

Note: Agriculture mechanization is the process of replacing human and animal labour with machines in the agriculture sector. The use of tractors, threshers, harvesters, pump sets is a part of farm mechanization.

About Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization(SMAM):
  • The Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization(SMAM) was launched in 2014-15 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

Read Also:-Important Government schemes & Programs

Objectives of the Scheme:
  • To increase the reach of farm mechanization to small and marginal farmers. Also, to increase the reach in regions where availability of farm power is low;
  • To promote ‘Custom Hiring Centres’ to offset the adverse economies of scale arising due to small landholding and high cost of individual ownership;
  • Also, to create hubs for hi-tech & high-value farm equipment;
  • To create awareness among stakeholders through demonstration and capacity building activities;
  • To ensure performance testing and certification at designated testing centres located all over the country.

Mission Strategy: To achieve the above objectives, the Mission will adopt the following strategies:

  • Conduct performance testing for various farm machinery and equipment at the four Farm Machinery Training and Testing Institutes (FMTTIs), designated State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) and ICAR institutions;
  • Promote farm mechanization among stakeholders by way of on-field and off-field training and demonstrations.
  • Provide financial assistance to farmers for procurement of farm machinery and implements
  • Establish custom hiring centers of the location and crop-specific farm machinery and implements
  • Provide financial assistance to small and marginal farmers for hiring machinery and implements in low mechanized regions.

Source: PIB

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: Schemes and Programs, PUBLIC, SCHEMESTagged

Govt Launches “Seed Minikit Programme”

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What is the News?

The Ministry of Agriculture has launched the Seed Minikit Programme.

About Seed Minikit Programme:
  • Seed Minikit Programme aims to distribute high yielding varieties of seeds of pulses and oilseeds to farmers.
  • Nodal Agencies: The seed mini-kits are being provided by the following central agencies –
    • National Seeds Corporation(NCS)
    • NAFED
    • Gujarat State Seeds Corporation
  • Funding: The programme is wholly funded by the Center through the National Food Security Mission.
  • Significance: This programme is a major tool for introducing new varieties of seeds in fields and instrumental in increasing the seed replacement rate.
    • Seed Replacement Rate (SRR): Out of the total area of a crop planted in a season, SRR is the percentage of total area sown using certified/quality seeds other than the farm-saved seed (the practice of saving seeds to plant in the next season).
Pulses and Oilseeds Production in India:
  • The Government of India in collaboration with states has been implementing programmes to enhance the production of pulses and oilseeds under the National Food Security Mission.
  • Since 2014-15, there has been a renewed focus on increasing the production of pulses and oilseeds. The efforts have yielded good results.
    • Oilseeds production has increased from 27.51 million tonnes in 2014-15 to 36.57million tonnes in 2020-21.
    • On the other hand, pulses production has increased from 17.15 million tonnes in 2014-15 to 25.56 million tonnes in 2020-21.
    • However, India still imports a lot of pulses and edible oils to meet domestic demand.
About National Food Security Mission(NFSM):
  • The National Food Security Mission(NFSM) was launched in 2007-08 by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
  • Aim: To increase the production of rice, wheat and pulses through
    • area expansion and productivity enhancement
    • restoring soil fertility and productivity
    • Creating employment opportunities and
    • enhancing farm level economy.
  • Coarse cereals were also included in the Mission from 2014-15 under NFSM.

Source: PIB

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: Schemes and Programs, PUBLIC, SCHEMESTagged ,

Union Minister launches “Horticulture Cluster Development Programme”

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What is the News?

The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has launched the Horticulture Cluster Development Programme(CDP).

About Horticulture Cluster Development Programme(CDP):
  • Horticulture Cluster Development Programme(CDP) aims at growing and developing identified horticulture clusters to make them globally competitive.
    • A cluster is a group of enterprises. They are located within an identifiable and, as far as practicable, contiguous area and producing similar products or services.
  • Nodal Agency: The nodal agency for the programme will be the National Horticulture Board(NHB). It will implement the programme as a Central Sector Component of NHB.
Coverage:
  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare(MoA&FW) has identified 53 horticulture clusters. Of which 12 have been selected for the pilot launch of the programme.
    • Based on the learnings from the pilot project, the programme will be scaled up to cover all the identified clusters.
  • These clusters will be implemented through Cluster Development Agencies(CDAs). CDAs are appointed on the recommendations of the respective State/UT Government.
Key Features of the Programme:
  • Firstly, the programme will address all major issues related to the Indian horticulture sector. This includes pre-production, production, post-harvest management, logistics, marketing and branding.
  • Secondly, the programme is designed to leverage geographical specialisation and promote integrated and market-led development of horticulture clusters.
  • Thirdly, the programme is expected to converge with other initiatives of the Government such as the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund.
Significance of the Programme:
  • The programme will benefit about 10 lakh farmers and related stakeholders of the value chain in the Horticulture Sector.
  • The programme is expected to improve the exports of the targeted horticultural crops by approximately 20%.
  • Moreover, the programme is expected to attract an estimated investment of INR 10,000 crore. It is when implemented in all the 53 clusters.

Source: PIB

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: Schemes and Programs, PUBLICTagged

“Agriculture Infrastructure Fund” crosses Rs. 8,000 crore mark

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What is the News?

After receiving around 8,665 applications worth Rs. 8,216 core Agriculture Infrastructure Fund(AIF) has crossed the Rs.8000 crore mark.

Sectors: The largest share of the fund has gone to Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) (58%). This is followed by agri-entrepreneurs (24%) and individual farmers (13%).

States: Andhra Pradesh has received the highest amount of funds. This is followed by Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and  Rajasthan.

About Agriculture Infrastructure Fund(AIF):
  • Nodal Ministry: It is a Central Sector Scheme launched by the Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare(DAC&FW).
  • Aim: To provide medium – long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects. This includes post-harvest management Infrastructure and community farming assets through incentives and financial support.
  • Funding: Under the scheme, banks and financial institutions will provide Rs. 1 Lakh Crore as loans to eligible beneficiaries.
  • Eligible Beneficiaries: Farmers, FPOs, PACS, Marketing Cooperative Societies, SHGs, Joint Liability Groups(JLG). The beneficiaries also include Agri-entrepreneurs, startups and Central/State agency or Local Body sponsored Public-Private Partnership Projects.
  • Lending Institutions: Multiple lending institutions including Commercial Banks, Cooperative Banks, NCDC, NBFCs etc.
  • Duration of the Scheme: FY2020 to FY2029 (10 years)
Other Key Features of Agriculture Infrastructure Fund:
  • Firstly, Interest Subvention: Loans will have an interest subvention of 3% per annum up to a limit of Rs. 2 crores. This subvention will be available for a maximum period of seven years.
  • Secondly, Credit Guarantee: A credit guarantee coverage will be available for eligible borrowers from the scheme. This coverage is provided under Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises(CGTMSE) scheme for a loan up to Rs. 2 crores. The government will pay fee for this credit coverage.
  • Thirdly, Project Management Unit to provide handholding support for projects including project preparation.
  • Fourthly, The moratorium for repayment of a loan under this financing facility may vary subject to a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 2 years.
  • Fifthly, Need-based refinance support will be made available by NABARD to all eligible lending entities.

Source: PIB

 

Posted in CURRENT AFFAIRS, Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: Schemes and Programs, PUBLICTagged

How to Read Agriculture for UPSC IAS

Agriculture for UPSC IAS is a diverse topic. It is part of the UPSC Mains General Studies Paper-III. Some questions related to Agriculture Technology, Schemes on Agriculture and Farmers are also asked in UPSC Prelims General Studies- Paper-I. Agriculture subject is linked with other subjects like Economy, Environment and Technology. So, students must prepare this subject by understanding each and every aspect of Agriculture and also try to corelate it with other subjects.

In this article, we will see the trend analysis of Agriculture for UPSC, overview of the Syllabus and preparation strategies for the same.

Trend analysis of the Agriculture for UPSC:

Subject20202019201820172016
Agriculture- UPSC Mains General Studies Paper-III4 questions4 questions4 questions4 questions3 questions

Overview of the Syllabus of Agriculture: UPSC Mains General Studies Paper-III

SubjectSyllabus
Agriculture· Major Crops – Cropping Patterns in various parts of the country, – Different Types of Irrigation and Irrigation Systems; Storage, Transport and Marketing of Agricultural Produce and Issues and Related Constraints; E-technology in the aid of farmers.

· Issues related to Direct and Indirect Farm Subsidies and Minimum Support Prices; Public Distribution System – Objectives, Functioning, Limitations, Revamping; Issues of Buffer Stocks and Food Security; Technology Missions; Economics of Animal-Rearing.

· Food Processing and Related Industries in India- Scope’ and Significance, Location, Upstream and Downstream Requirements, Supply Chain Management.

· Land Reforms in India.

Preparation Strategies for Agriculture for UPSC:

  • Read the syllabus and highlight each point:You must read the syllabus of Agriculture twice or thrice. You can highlight each point and start your preparation accordingly.
  • Read NCERT of Geography:You can start with NCERT books of Geography from Class VI to X. The topics like, cropping and its pattern in India, Land Reforms can be read from here. This will give you basic idea about it. For irrigation, you can read Environment notes of Shankar IAS.
  • Make your own notes topic and subtopic wise: the best way to prepare Agriculture for UPSC is to prepare your own notes topics wise. You can take help of standard books, newspaper, current affairs magazines, internet etc. Preparing comprehensive notes will be great.
  • Read newspaper:You must one newspaper on a daily basis. Newspaper’s articles cover Agriculture for UPSC topic in detail. Topics like Minimum Support Price, Food Processing, Food Security, e-Technology to aid farmers are given in newspaper with proper solutions and conclusion. This will give you a good lead to write good answers. You can take them down in your notes and keep revising it.
  • Read Current affairs magazine: Topics which you miss by chance in newspaper or just to cover each issue in details, you should read current affairs magazine. It is easy to revise them again and again. By referring this, you can update your notes.
  • Refer Yojana and Kurukshetra: These magazines sometimes cover farmers issues in details. Welfare schemes for farmers, e-technology, food security, changing cropping patters in India etc. Get covered in these magazines. Kurukshetra mostly cover issues related to Agriculture. You can read them once and take down important points in your notes.
  • Update notes:By reading multiple current affairs sources and taking down important points from the, can make your notes more comprehensive. If you will keep updating you notes, at the end you just need to go through your notes and revise them multiple times rather than referring multiple sources.
  • Refer past year question papers and write answer on them:You can write answers on past years’ questions. Initial one-two answers you can write by referring multiple sources, and later on, you must try to write them by your own.
  • Write answers on practice questions:You should also practice daily answer writing for Mains. Writing answers on practice questions will help you.
  • Revise:Revision is the key to success for every exam. And when it comes to UPSC, you don’t have other options except to revise. Revision will help you to prepare a blueprint in your mind of each topic you have prepared.