Govt targets a record 273 million tonnes foodgrain output for 2017-18

Source: LiveMint.com, Apr 26, 2017

New Delhi: Buoyed by forecasts of a normal monsoon, the Centre has targeted a record foodgrain production during the 2017-18 crop year beginning July.

The agriculture ministry has set a production target of 273 million tonnes (mt) of grains and pulses during the year, marginally higher than the 272 million tonnes estimated for 2016-17, also a record harvest following a normal monsoon last year.

In 2015-16, India’s foodgrain production stood at 252 mt.

“In just one year, farmers managed to grow 5 million tonnes of additional pulses (in 2016-17) and within two to three years India will be self-sufficient in pulses,” agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh said on Tuesday, addressing state officials at a national conference on the upcoming kharif crop season at which targets were announced.

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Government relaxes curb on export of organic farm produce

Source: The Economic Times, Apr 19, 2017

NEW DELHI: The government today relaxed restrictions on exports of certain organic agricultural and processed products like wheat, non-basmati rice to boost their overseas shipments.

“Export of organic agricultural and organic processed products like wheat, non-basmati rice, edible oils, sugar have been exempted from existing quantitative ceilings,” Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.

It has also increased the annual quantitative ceiling on export of organic pulses and lentils from existing 10,000 tonnes to 50,000 tonnes per annum.

Coffee growers hold on to the bean

Source: ETRetail.com, Jan 24, 2017

Kochi: Coffee exporters are finding it difficult to source coffee as growers are holding on to stock anticipating higher prices. Coffee prices have been rising globally with reports of lower output in Brazil and Vietnam, the top coffee growing nations.India exports close to 70% of its total coffee production.

“Exporters are not taking big orders as arrivals are 30% to 40 % down from a year ago. We are adopting a wait and watch policy and expect arrivals to increase at least by February,“ said Ramesh Rajah, president of the Coffee Exporters Association of India.

Harvest is in full swing with plucking of arabica beans nearing completion while that of robusta has started. “Some exports are taking place with carryover stock of robusta mostly ,“ Rajah said.

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Centre charts roadmap to complete 99 irrigation projects

Source: The Economic Times, Dec 29, 2016

NEW DELHI: The Union government on Thursday charted out a roadmap for the early completion of 99 irrigation projects under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), an official release here said.

Of the 99 projects, the maximum 26 are in Maharashtra, eight in Andhra Pradesh and one in Gujarat. Of the identified projects, the Centre aims to complete 23 by 2016-17 and 31 other projects (Priority-II) by 2017-18.

The remaining 45 projects (Priority-III) are to be completed by December 2019, the release said. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has released Rs 3,274 crore for the projects, including Rs 1,981 crore to Andhra Pradesh, Rs 830 crore to Maharashtra and Rs 463 crore to Gujarat.

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Top 10 farm exports: Cotton no longer key in farm story

images.jpgSource: Financial Express, Dec 12, 2016

New Delhi: For the first time since 2005-06 when India became a major exporter of cotton following a large-scale adoption of Bt-seeds, the fibre has failed to be on the list of the country’s top ten farm export items.

According to the latest official data, exports of raw cotton — including waste —stood at just $308 million in the first half of this fiscal, less than a half of the level seen a year before. Cotton — which was the top farm export item in FY11 and FY12—has steadily lost ground and is now languishing at number 12 in the list of major commodities covering the farm and allied sector.

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‘Expertise hunting’ on in Rajasthan for farm sector

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Nov 09, 2016

Jaipur: Rajasthan is reaching out to countries across the globe such as Israel, Australia, New Zealand and Serbia, to gain from expertise in all facets of agriculture — from seed technology to post-production.

“A farm product which perishes in two days in India stays fresh for up to ten days in Israel. We need to adopt such technologies to increase the shelf life of our food items so that they can be sent to far-off markets,” Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said speaking at the inauguration of the three-day Global Rajasthan Agriculture Meet (GRAM) meet in Jaipur on Wednesday.

At the global meet, an expert from Serbia will share expertise on seed technology, while another from the Netherlands will talk about climate change issues and solutions in agriculture.An olive expert from Israel will speak on technologies related to olive cultivation and an Australian expert will give a presentation on dairy and animal husbandry. The event is jointly organised by the Rajasthan government together with industry body FICCI.

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Green shoots sighted in farm sector growth

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Aug 21, 201Bengaluru: After two rain-deficit years, bountiful showers this year have brightened the prospects of strong farm sector growth. This is likely to add a percentage point to the growth in GDP.

“Agriculture growth will be at 6 per cent this year,” NITI Aayog Member Ramesh Chand toldBusinessLine here, commenting on the progress of the monsoon and kharif sowings.

“The robust growth in agriculture can add up to 1 percentage point to the overall economic growth,” Chand added.Widespread monsoon rains have boosted the planting of key kharif crops such as rice, pulses and oilseeds, raising the prospects of a good harvest. This is expected to ease food inflation, lift farm income and boost consumption, aiding overall economic growth.

The Finance Ministry is expecting the economy to grow at 7.5 to 8 per cent this financial year. Weak monsoons in the past two years had dragged down farm sector growth to 1.2 per cent in 2015-16 and -0.2 per cent in 2014-15.

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