CCEA okays Rs 2,000 Crore Nabard agriculture market infrastructure fund

Source: The Economic Times, Feb 07, 2019

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved a corpus of `2,000 crore for Agri Market Infrastructure Fund (AMIF) to be created with Nabard for development and upgrade of agricultural marketing infrastructure in rural and regulated wholesale markets.

The fund will provide subsidised loans to states and Union Territories for 585 agricultural produce market committee (APMC) mandis and 10,000 gramin agricultural markets (GrAMs).

“The state governments may also access AMIF for innovative integrated market infrastructure projects, including hub and spoke mode and in privatepublic-partnership mode. In these GrAMs, physical and basic infrastructure will be strengthened using MGNREGA and other government schemes,” said a senior agriculture official.

The agriculture ministry will provide interest subsidy to Nabard in alignment with budget releases during 2018-19 and 2019-20, up to 2024-25. “The scheme being demand-driven, progress will depend on demand from states,” the official said.

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Goa sets up 500 clusters to promote organic farming

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Jan 10, 2019

Announcing setting up of 500 organic farming clusters, Goa agriculture minister Vijai Sardesai on Thursday said the objective is to create a ‘brand Goa’ in the farm sector on the lines of ‘Whole Foods’ in the US, and provide an impetus to farming with a thrust on organic farm produce.

The minister also announced plans to sign an agreement with an Israeli company for organic farming, to bring down cost as currently this mode of farming is expensive.

“We are going to enter into an agreement with an Israeli company wherein we will be creating a centre of excellence for organic farming,” he said without offering details while addressing a seminar on farming. Read the rest of this entry »

Govt plans financial package for farmers; step could cost over Rs 600 bn

Source: Business Standard, Dec 28, 2018

New Delhi: With the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in mind, the government is looking at a sort of income support scheme for farmers, along with tweaking some existing programmes, to make them more beneficial and improve their acceptability among growers.

On account of this, the exchequer could take a hit of Rs 600-700 billion a year and the finance ministry is looking at options to share the burden with states, officials said. Free crop insurance and tweaking the credit schemes are also being considered as part of the measures.

The Central government is under pressure to do something for farmers, following the ruling BJP’s defeat in three big states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. An option to incorporate income support schemes into the ongoing umbrella programme PM-ASHAA could be considered. Read the rest of this entry »

Cabinet clears agri export policy to take shipments to USD 60 bn by 2022

Source: IBEF.org, Dec 07, 2018

New Delhi: Seeking to double agricultural export to USD 60 billion by 2022, the Union Cabinet Thursday approved a maiden export policy for the farm sector that imposes no restrictions on export of all organic and processed products.

However, export policy for primary agricultural products, like onion, would reviewed periodically on a case-to-case basis depending on price-supply situation, said Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu after the Cabinet meet.

“The policy aims at doubling agricultural shipments to over USD 60 billion by 2022,” he said, adding that achieving the target was “doable”.

He said the farm exports have grown by 20 per cent in a year.

Agricultural exports are currently estimated at USD 30 billion.  Read the rest of this entry »

New agri export policy to focus on setting up agro specific zones, says Suresh Prabhu

Source: Financial Express, Oct 25, 2018

The government will soon come out with a new agri export policy which would have provisions for setting up agro specific zones to boost outbound shipments, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said Thursday. The minister said India produces nearly 600 metric tonne (MT) of agri products including horticultural produce and its strategy is to increase farmers’ income and reduce wastage of food products.

He added that India is bestowed with the potential to produce all varieties of organic commodities due to the country’s varied agro-climatic regions. “It is a great advantage for organic producers to tap the market which is growing steadily in both domestic and export markets,” the commerce ministry said in a statement quoting Prabhu. Read the rest of this entry »

Farm exports rise 5% in April-August

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Sept 30, 2018

Bengaluru: Farm product exports continued to grow during the first five months of this fiscal on strong overseas demand for products such as basmati rice and buffalo meat, among others.

They were also aided by a weakening rupee. Read the rest of this entry »

Uttar Pradesh set to provide Rs 5, 535 crore package for cane farmers’ payments

Source: Financial Express, Sept 11, 2018

New Delhi: With an aim to clear cane arrears of farmers for the current (2017-18) season, the Yogi Adityanath government is likely to grant a Rs 5,535-crore package. This multi-thousand crore package will be provided to mills to clear outstanding payments to farmers. Out of this 5,535-crore, Rs 1,010 crore will be disbursed to 24 cooperative factories.

Apart from this, Rs 25 crore will be given to the sole state corporation-owned mill, according to Indian Express report. Out of the remaining Rs 4,500 crore , Rs 500 crore will be given as grant to private sugar mills and Rs 4000 crore will be provided in form bad loans, the report says.

Read the rest of this entry »