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Agriculture Recent

Agriculture Recent

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Published by: jpsrkl on Mar 17, 2011
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Global warming to hit India’s wheat bowl: Pawar
Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar yesterday said global warming would have an adverse impact on India’s wheat
bowl -primarily the states of Punjab, Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In reply to a special discussion on thenation’s drought and flood situation, Pawar in the Lok Sabha accused the Prime Minister’s Office of overseeing the adverseeffects of global warming to our wheat bowl. Except the paddy crop, whose area of cultivation had fallen drastically, thefigures for rest of the major crops in the country were high as compared to the corresponding period last year. He saidwheat cultivation of 252 lakh tonnes this year had crossed all-time records ever since the Independence, Pawar said.Similarly, Pawar said, the rice harvest of 319 lakh tonnes was also unprecedented. However, he conceded that a reductionof over 6 million hectares of land under paddy cultivation was a matter of concern, adding that measures would be taken to
tackle the problem. The minister said there was no need to be panicky the Indian Meteorological Department has predicted101 per cent rain in August as against 82 per cent in July. Pawar said further course of action would be decided afterAugust only. The minister said the country was well stocked up with wheat and rice to last 13 months. There was also aback up of 15 lakh tonnes seeds for alternative cropping and all states had funds earmarked for them under the NationalAgricultural Development Scheme. Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lalan of the JD(U), during the discussion, sought an economic
package for drought-hit farmers and setting up of task force on irrigation. He demanded joint action by the AgricultureMinistry and Power and Water Resources Ministries. While praising food-for-work schemes in villages, he stressed upon the
need for co-ordination between the Centre and states.
Rains in North to improve crop situation: IARI
A day after the government said in Parliament that deficient rainfall in northern India would pull down kharif riceproduction, the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) on Wednesday said those farmers who have planted basmatirice would benefit by rains during last few days. As reported earlier, following deficient rainfall in June and major portion of July in the northern India, many farmers have taken up basmati rice cultivation through dry seeding method. HS Gupta,director, IARI said basmati rice can be grown within 110 days instead of 150 days for paddy. "Rain during last few days in
northern India has helped the basmati rice crop," Gupta told FE. He further said, "With India Metrological Departmentpredicting 'more than normal' rainfall during August, the situation would improve to a great extent.” On benefits of growinghigh value basmati rice, Gupta said. "On an average a farmer can earn a net profit of Rs 60,000-Rs 70,000 per hectareagainst an average Rs 30,000 per hectare in case of paddy." Besides, basmati crop can be harvest by mid-Novemberagainst usual December of paddy, he added. Gupta further said the areas which have not received adequate rainfall, couldnow utilised for growing short duration crop like, green grams, black grams, pigeon peas and maize. He also stressed thatas rainfall pattern is changing drastically since last few years, agricultural scientists need to provide a solutions to farmers
for dealing with the situation. Gupta said this following the release of data by the government on Tuesday which stated thatthe deficit in paddy (de-husked rice) sowing this year as compared to last had widened to around 6 million hectare fromalmost 3.1 million hectare for the week ending July 17. The paddy has been planted in around 15.56 million hectare, downfrom around 21.64 million hectare sown during the same period last year, Sharad Pawar, agriculture minister said in LokSabha. In India's largest foodgrain growing state of Uttar Pradesh, which has declared drought in 47 out of the 71 districts,
kharif sowing has been completed in around 4.9 million hectare till July 27, around 3 million hectare less than last year.IARI in the recent years has developed 76 high yielding varieties of crops including wheat, rice, maize, pearl millet, foragesorghum, pigeon pea, chickpea, mustard, cotton and soyabean. Due to IARI's wheat varieties, the country's wheatproduction went up manifold duing 1967 - 2004.
Agriculture faces major risk due to Climate Change
Addressing the Members of Parliament at the Parliament Library yesterday, noted agriculture scientist and MP Rajya Sabha,Prof. MS Swaminathan said that with the increase in temperature, risk rise rapidly for agriculture. He cautioned that anincrease of 2 degree Celsius in temperature may seriously affect 4 billion population on the planet, and turn agricultureunviable. He said that the signs of global climate change if not understood and the corrective steps taken, then Antarctic ice
sheet may melt, causing serious damage to our ecology and environment. Water scarcity and frequency of droughts mayincrease. It may shorten the crops life and reduce yields due to physiological changes in plants. An increase of 2 degreetemp, may decrease rice yields by 0.75 MT per hac. and wheat by 0.45 MT per hac. He added that climate change effectsbetween 2010 - 2039 may reduce the agriculture production by 4.5 - 9.0%. Dr. Swaminathan emphasised that any cropproduction planning should not only keep the increase in population and changes in dietary habits into account, but also the
effects of climate change on our agriculture production. Later, responding to the queries of worried Parliamentarians, Dr.Swaminathan said that the crisis in agriculture is related to the dynamics of environment, economics, equity, employmentand energy. The issues of land, water, bio-diversity, climate, cost-risk returns, free and fair trade, rural employment, fuel & food and land use policies need to be understood and addressed with the collective efforts of Government, research,industry, local communities and farmers.
Govt to ban wheat, non-basmati rice exports
Concerned over the impact of deficient rainfall on agricultural productivity, the government today said it would stop allexports of non-basmati rice and wheat. This was announced by Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar in the RajyaSabha. Elaborating the measures to tide over the situation, Pawar said exports of non-Basmati rice and wheat, which wasallowed through diplomatic channel, would be completely banned. “We are going to stop it,” he said, replying to a Calling
Attention Notice. While the private exports of non-Basmati rice and wheat had remained under ban for long, thegovernment had allowed limited exports through diplomatic channels. A decision to allow export of 2 million tonnes of wheat and another 2 million tonnes of rice was taken by a group of ministers earlier this year. Pawar, however, allayedfears of a grain shortage. “Stock position is quite comfortable. We have sufficient stock position for 13 months in our kitty,” he said. While Pawar was worried over the runaway rise in prices of Arhar dal to Rs 95100 a kg, he said: “This will beatemporary phenomenon”. As on July 1, the Food Corporation of India (FCI), government’s grain procurement anddistribution agency, had stocks of 52.63 million tonnes (32.92 million tonnes wheat and 19.61 million tonnes of rice). Onthe progress of rains, Pawar said: “Monsoon this year has been weak and erratic in its progress and distribution, resultingin late sowing of crops.” He said states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Haryana, Assam and Manipur are likely to beaffected by the deficient rainfall. Stating that the deficiency in rainfall has come down to 19 per cent as on July 23 from 62per cent in June, he said: “This week, the situation will further improve.” On the impact of monsoon on crops, Pawar saidhe was concerned over paddy. “Rice area and productivity may be adversely impacted which could be compensated to
some extent by cultivating oilseeds, pulses and some coarse cereals in additional areas,” he said.
Japan’s new biofuel from rice
Japan has started selling of a new biofuel made from rice, which is expected to help the resource poor country reduce itsdependence on imported gasolie and make better use of deserted farmland. Niigata prefecture has begun the selling of thenew biofuel, produced from domestically-grown brown rice and blended with gasolien at a ratio of up to three percent, theMainichi Daily News newspaper reported Saturday. According to Japan’s National Federation of Agricultural CooperativeAssociations Zennoh (JA Zennoh), the bioethanol “is equivalent to regular gasoline both in quality and mileage, and will beavailable in a similar price range”.
Agriculture to be the most important area of India
U. S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday said agriculture would be the strongest and most important pillar of cooperation between the United States and India. During a visit to the Indian Agricultural Research Institute here (IARI),
Ms. Clinton said: “We collaborated for more than 50 years and today we are called to collaborate once again. We have towork together because it is imperative that we invest in science, that we do more to link farms and markets so that farmerscan sell their products, that we extend export of technology and training to bring more assistance to the farmers as avulnerable community worldwide, and we strengthen our response to climate change which threatens the waterways in theagricultural part of the world.” Ms. Clinton said that with just 3 per cent of world’s crop land, India fed 17 per cent of the
world’s population. “As we look to strengthen agriculture and fight hunger, particularly in South Asia, Africa and elsewhere,India’s leadership is absolutely crucial. I think the bio- energy, bio- security and bio- diversity challenge that we confront is
one that we can meet,” she said. Stating that the problem of hunger and malnutrition affected nearly a billion people in theworld, the U. S. Secretary of State expressed the belief that the world had the resources to face the challenge. She said itwas the signature issue of the Obama administration to do what could be done to fight hunger and extend food security.“And India is well positioned to help us lead this fight. Work has already begun. I just saw that the scientists are developingseeds that produce higher yield, crops that require less water, farm equipment that conserve energy. All of this is part of 
meeting the challenge that we face from global hunger,” she said, adding that research was a critical component of thecomprehensive approach to improving agriculture. She said there was a need to connect the laboratories where newtechnologies were being developed and research was being done  to the fields, where the farmers laboured, to themarkets, where the crops were sold, and finally to the homes that relied on the labour of the farmers. Role of privatesector. However, Ms. Clinton said the job at hand was not for the governments alone and that private sector had an
essential role to play and so did universities, research laboratories, institutions and non- governmental organisations. Ms.Clinton, who was received by Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, visited the IARI to oversee the research and
education programmes of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and the work of many of the Consultative Group onInternational Agricultural Research centres that had been key U. S. partners since the Green Revolution. .
Monsoon blues may hit rice output by 15%
RENOWNED agri-scientist M S Swaminathan said that a delayed monsoon has put India in a serious situation and scantyrains are likely to lower rice production by 15 per cent this season. "Poor monsoon has put us in a serious situation. Sowing
has not improved so far. Rice production may fall by 15 per cent in the Kharif season," he said. According to the third
advance estimate, Kharif rice production in 2008-09 was 86 million tonnes. If there is 15 per cent decline in production thisyear, rice output may be about 73 million tonnes. Latest government data show the sowing of paddy across the country hasfallen by 21 per cent to 114.63 lakh hectares as on July 17, compared with 145.21 lakh hectares in the year-ago period.
Jharkhand, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh are the worst affected states. Swaminathan, a Rajya Sabha member, said thatbasmati farmers are now falling back on irrigation to save their crops as basmati rice fetches good price in the market.Paddy sowing is around 43 per cent less in Jharkhand, while in West Bengal, the country's largest paddy growing state, ithas dipped by 35 per cent till July 17. In Uttar Pradesh, sowing has come down by 33.14 per cent, the data showed. Amongother paddy-growing states, sowing is almost 36 per cent less in Maharashtra, 30 per cent down in Bihar, 27 per cent less
in Andhra Pradesh and almost 35 per cent down in Rajasthan. In Punjab and Haryana, sowing is just around 8 per cent and5 per cent less respectively till July 16 as compared to last year.
IFFCO Foundation organizes symposium on Union Budg
IFFCO and Bharat Krishak Samaj jointly conducted a symposium on the “Implications of the Union Budget in Agriculture,Co-operation and Rural Development” on 7th July, 2009 at NCUI Complex, New Delhi. The event witnessed goodparticipants representing different sectors and companies from both public and private units. Welcoming the gathering ShriJNL Srivastava, Managing Trustee, IFFCO Foundation said that there should be proper justifiable allocation in agricultureand rural sectors for their equitable growth along with other sectors. Addressing the gathering, Mr. Satish Chandra, DirectorGeneral, FAI said that the budget has addressed the need of farmers and soil. He welcomed the decision for nutrient based
subsidy and not product based subsidy and said that it would go a long way in ensuring that farmers get balance fertilizer inadequate quantity. However, he was skeptical about the policy of routing the fertilizer subsidy directly to the farmers. YCNanda, Ex- Chairman, NABARD said that the growth of 11% in credit is much lower than the decadal growth rate of 16-17%. He said that the Government is interested in expansion and rate of interest but costs of credit to farmers from banksare comparable to what he/she pays to private money lenders. He also pointed out that the total credit that goes to the
North East and Eastern India in 7%, which is much lower. Bhagawati Prasad, Chief Executive, NCUI felt that the basicproblem of cooperatives in capital formation which has come down. Credit flow has increased, because private banksprovides loan to large farmers but small and marginal farmers are not benefited. Unless cooperatives are provided capitalformation, there will not be inclusive growth. Dr. RB Singh said that there was no mention of agriculture insurance andrainfed areas in the budget and the National Rainfed Area Authority was simply dumped. He also said that NationalCommission on Farmers under the chairmanship of Prof. Swaminathan already recommended for alleviation of risk inagriculture by covering the fringe zones. The number of poor and food insecure person has increased and these people
have to be covered for inclusive growth. Mr. Pattanayak, Chairman, APEDA felt that the budget is rural oriented as 95% of the budget proposals are for RD. He hailed the decision on impetus on cold chain and warehousing. He said that moneyspent on NREGA and rural infrastructure will ultimately go to the rural hands and will positively impact the rural economy.“I feel the budget is in the right direction. There are no sectoral schemes but the macro picture is rural oriented. It will havea positive impact in a year”, he quipped.Ajay Vir Jakhar, newly elected Chairman of Bharat Krishak Samaj opines that
farmers, who paid the loan amounts alongwith the interest feels cheated by the Govt. with the loan waiver scheme. Headded that defaulters will never pay and waive off may turn monstrous like, PDS and subsidy and, at least the interests
charged by the banks should be returned to those farmers, who paid the loan amount.
DuPont acquires cotton seed biz of two companies
In a significant move, DuPont has entered the cotton business in India, by announcing the acquisition of the seed businessof two companies. The global science company has through Pioneer Hi-Bred purchased the cotton seed business of NandiSeeds, based in Mehboob Nagar, and acquired cotton germplasm from Nagarjuna Seeds, based in Secunderabad. PioneerHi-Bred, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, US and owned by DuPont is a leading source of customised solutions forfarmers, livestock producers and grain and oilseed processors. It provides access to advanced plant genetics in nearly 70
countries, an announcement from DuPont said here today. “These acquisitions will help us enter the cotton seed markethere and meet the needs of Indian farmers who grow more than 9 million hectares of cotton each year – more thananywhere else in the world,” said Mr K.V. Subbarao, country manager - Pioneer India. “Cotton is a natural fit for Pioneer inIndia. It completes our high-value product and service offering to farmers and enables us to further strengthen our growingseed business here,” he told Business Line. At present, Pioneer offers corn, rice, pearl millet, sunflower and mustard in theIndian market and has grown revenue 40 percent annually for the last five years to reach about $70 million in 2008.“Agriculture, food and nutrition is a key growth segment for DuPont in India, and these acquisitions are part of the
company’s strategy to expand its presence here,” said Mr Balvinder S. Kalsi, President - DuPont India. Nandi Seeds has aturnover of around Rs 35-40 crores and has a license of Monsanto’s genetically modified cotton variety. On the other handNagarjuna’s strenght is in germplasm. The acquired companies will operate as independent, wholly owned subsidiaries of Pioneer. Mr Kalsi said for DuPont, it is a first acquisition in over a decade, but acquisition will be a key part of thecompany’s strategy to grow business in India. This is also the latest in a series of investments by DuPont in India. Pioneer
recently announced the opening of a new corn research centre in Bangalore to speed delivery of new, improved products tomarket and meet the growing demand for food and feed.

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