Farm exports dips 10.6% in first quarter

Source: The Economic Times, Aug 12, 2019

The farm exports dipped 10.61% in value terms to Rs 28,910 crore in the first quarter of the current financial year. The country had exported agricultural commodities worth Rs 32,341 crore in the same period last year.

According to data from APEDA, the nodal agency for promotion of agri exports, the shipments of basmati rice from Indian shores have shown a slight dip from 1.17 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2018-19 to 1.15 million tonnes during the same period in this fiscal.

“The major drop in exports, however, is in non-basmati rice and pulses which have gone down by around 50%. As against 2.1 million tonnes exports of non-basmati rice in 2018-19, Indian exported 1.2 million tonnes this year. Similarly, the exports of pulses have dipped drastically from 1.01 lakh tonnes in 2018-19 to 45,344 tonnes this year,” said an agriculture department official. Read the rest of this entry »

Govt approves Rs 206.8 cr for Implementation of Agriculture Export Policy scheme

Source: The Economic Times, Jul 18, 2019

The government has approved an outlay of Rs 206.8 crore for 2019-19 for a central sector scheme titled ‘Implementation of Agriculture Export Policy’ aimed at doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

“The Central Government has approved a Central Sector Scheme titled ‘Implementation of Agriculture Export Policy’,” the government said in a notification.

Of this, Rs 134.50 crore are allocated to setup dedicated clusters for mangoes, pomegranate, bananas, grapes, tea, coffee, turmeric, and marine products, among others along with pre and post-harvest management of the production, upgrading the supply chain to attain much higher levels of export from those clusters. Read the rest of this entry »

Centre allocates Rs 75,000 cr for PM-KISAN to cover 145 million farmers

Source: Business Standard, Jul 10, 2019

Nirmala Sitharaman has allocated Rs 12,000 crore less in the Budget for financial year 2019-20 towards the government’s flagship income support scheme, PM-Kisan, which has been extended to cover all farmers now.

The Budget has provided Rs 75,000 crore for the scheme, where as the Cabinet had approved the expansion of the scheme with an estimated expenditure of Rs 87,000 crore for 2019-20 on May 1, 2019. Rs 75,000 crore was the estimated expenditure if only small and marginal farmers (who owned less than two hectares of land) were to be covered, as was proposed in the interim Budget presented by Piyush Goyal. After that the Cabinet had extended the scheme to all farmers in line with what was promised by the BJP in its election manifesto.

In fact, a footnote in the full Budget for 2019-20 also says that the sum is meant to provide income support to ‘all’ farmer families across the country. Read the rest of this entry »

Private investment in agriculture is falling

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Jul 04, 2019

New Delhi: Falling profitability is keeping investors away from agriculture and the gross capital formation (GCF) in agriculture and allied sectors as a ratio of gross value added (GVA) has fallen to 15.2 per cent in 2017-18 from a high of 17.7 per cent in 2013-14.

The fall in GCF can be attributed to the decline in private investment which incidentally coincides with the government successfully checking food inflation. The Survey clearly showed that the share of private investment in agriculture has come down to 82.7 per cent in 2016-17. In 2013-14, 88.1 per cent of total investment in agriculture came from private investors. Read the rest of this entry »

FDI in plantation, seeds more than doubled

Source: The Economic Times, Jul 02, 2019

NEW DELHI: The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has been more than doubled in last five years in hybrid seeds and tree plantation sector.

Agriculture minister Narenda Singh Tomar, in a written reply in Lok Sabha, stated that the FDI inflows have gone up from $17.46 million in 2014-15 to $40.55 million in 2018-19 with a cumulative investment of $191.64 million in hybrid seeds and plantation sector.

“100% foreign investment under automatic route has been permitted for palm oil tree plantation since 24.11.2015. The Government is constantly taking various initiatives to boost investments,” he stated in a written reply.

Govt to make labeling process of organic agricultural products simpler

Source: Business Standard, Jun 29, 2019

Mumbai: The government is planning to make the certification and labeling process of organic agricultural products simpler and cost effective to narrow the price difference between conventional and hybrid products.

“The government is considering reducing the overall cost of agriculture products, including organic ones, to help farmers double their income by 2022,” Union Agriculture Minister Parshottam Rupala said on the sidelines of the New India Startup Conclave in Mumbai.

“Organic agricultural products have huge potential to increase their domestic consumption and exports. Hence, the government is looking to reduce the overall cost in certification and labeling of organic products also.”

The conclave was organised by Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini and Atal Incubation Centre. Read the rest of this entry »

PM sets up panel on big agri sector reforms, says $5-trn economy achievable

Source: Business Standard, Jun 17, 2019

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked chief ministers to increase the economic size of their respective states by 2-2.5 times to ensure $5-trillion national economy by 2024 from the current level of $2.7 trillion. This, he said, would help generate additional jobs and increase the purchasing power of the common man.

Chairing the first governing council meeting of the NITI Aayog in his second term as prime minister, Modi announced setting up of a high-powered committee on structural reforms in the distressed agriculture sector. The panel, which will also include some of the chief ministers, will examine legislative changes required for reforms. Later at a press conference, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said, “The composition of the panel will be announced in the next few days.”

Gross value added in the farm sector declined by 0.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of FY19, against growth of 2.8 per cent in the previous quarter and 6.5 per cent a year ago. Read the rest of this entry »