09-07-2013 - :  Rs.0-2151   |  ##0_);(# :  Rs.-   |  0 :  Rs.-   |  Ajama :  Rs.0-1889   |  Arhar :  Rs.0-2231   |  Arhar Desi :  Rs.0-0   |  Arhar-Red :  Rs.0-0   |  Arhar-White :  Rs.0-0   |  Aritha :  Rs.0-0   |  Asaliyo :  Rs.0-1321   |  Bajri :  Rs.0-2300   |  Bajro :  Rs.0-0   |  Banti :  Rs.0-525   |  Bean Deshi :  Rs.0-0   |  Bean Papdi :  Rs.0-0   |  Bengal Gram :  Rs.0-635   |  Bengal Gram Desi :  Rs.0-0   |  Bengal GramCalu :  Rs.0-0   |  Bengel Gram :  Rs.0-2215   |  BG. Belan :  Rs.0-0   |  BG. Gulabi :  Rs.0-0   |  BG. Katawala :  Rs.0-0   |  Bijara :  Rs.0-0   |  Black Grams :  Rs.0-2447   |  C.S. Big :  Rs.0-0   |  C.S. Black :  Rs.0-0   |  C.S. Small :  Rs.0-0   |  Castor seed :  Rs.0-3200   |  Chilly :  Rs.0-0   |  Chola :  Rs.0-0   |  Choli :  Rs.-   |  Cilly :  Rs.0-0   |  Coconut :  Rs.0-0   |  Como Name :  Rs.0-0   |  Corriender :  Rs.0-2501   |  Cottan :  Rs.0-0   |  Cotton :  Rs.0-2562   |  Cotton CJ :  Rs.0-0   |  Cotton Khol :  Rs.0-0   |  Cotton Mathiu :  Rs.138-1032   |  Cotton Sankar :  Rs.0-678   |  Cotton Shankar :  Rs.-   |  Cotton Vijay :  Rs.-   |  Cowpea :  Rs.0-601   |  Cummin :  Rs.0-0   |  D. Basmati :  Rs.0-0   |  D. Hayar :  Rs.0-0   |  D. Jedjira :  Rs.0-0   |  D. Jira :  Rs.0-0   |  D. Kolam :  Rs.0-0   |  D. SurajJira :  Rs.0-0   |  Dangar :  Rs.0-296   |  Dangar Gu. 17 :  Rs.0-0   |  Dangar Gu.17 :  Rs.0-0   |  Dangar Small :  Rs.0-0   |  Garlic :  Rs.0-696   |  Gavar :  Rs.0-7600   |  gawar :  Rs.0-0   |  Gnt Seed :  Rs.0-0   |  Gnt Spilt :  Rs.0-0   |  Gnt. G2 :  Rs.0-0   |  Gnt. G20 :  Rs.0-766   |  Gnt. Magadi :  Rs.0-840   |  Gnt. Pilan :  Rs.0-0   |  Gnt. Summer :  Rs.2125-2210   |  Gnt.G20 :  Rs.0-0   |  Gogad :  Rs.0-365   |  Gr. Nut-Seed :  Rs.0-1227   |  Gr.Nut-seed :  Rs.0-1200   |  Graoundnut :  Rs.0-0   |  Green Grams :  Rs.0-5200   |  Groundnut :  Rs.0-1800   |  Groundnut Big :  Rs.690-855   |  Groundnut Bold :  Rs.0-1120   |  Groundnut New :  Rs.0-0   |  Groundnut Small :  Rs.0-826   |  Groundnut Spilt :  Rs.0-0   |  Groundnut Split :  Rs.0-1050   |  Isabgul :  Rs.0-0   |  Jar :  Rs.0-0   |  Jav :  Rs.0-0   |  Jira :  Rs.0-4960   |  Jiru :  Rs.-   |  Jowar :  Rs.0-3050   |  jowar-White :  Rs.0-0   |  jowar-yellow :  Rs.0-0   |  Kal :  Rs.-   |  Kalathi :  Rs.0-0   |  Kalijiri :  Rs.0-0   |  Kalthi :  Rs.0-0   |  Kamalparu :  Rs.0-0   |  Kang :  Rs.0-0   |  Kapasiya :  Rs.0-0   |  Maize :  Rs.0-351   |  Maize-White :  Rs.0-0   |  Maize-Yallow :  Rs.0-0   |  Mang Fada :  Rs.0-0   |  Methi :  Rs.0-1251   |  Miaze :  Rs.0-0   |  Moath :  Rs.0-3600   |  Mustard :  Rs.0-1145   |  Onion :  Rs.0-406   |  Onion Red :  Rs.254-254   |  Onion White :  Rs.0-0   |  Paki Gansdi :  Rs.0-0   |  Piace :  Rs.0-815   |  Poteto :  Rs.0-0   |  R. Basmati :  Rs.0-0   |  R. Dah.Basmati :  Rs.0-0   |  R. JedJira :  Rs.0-0   |  R. Jira :  Rs.0-0   |  R. Kolam :  Rs.0-0   |  R. SurajJira :  Rs.0-0   |  R. Tukdi :  Rs.0-0   |  Rai :  Rs.0-912   |  Rajama :  Rs.0-0   |  Rajgaro :  Rs.0-1275   |  Rajka Bajri :  Rs.0-0   |  Rajko Seed :  Rs.0-2681   |  Rice :  Rs.0-0   |  Rice Lashkari :  Rs.0-0   |  Sanbeen :  Rs.-   |  Sankhjiru :  Rs.0-0   |  Sarsav :  Rs.0-0   |  Sasto :  Rs.-   |  Sava :  Rs.0-676   |  Sesame :  Rs.0-2495   |  Sesame Black :  Rs.0-2490   |  Sesame Red :  Rs.0-0   |  Sesame Yellow :  Rs.0-0   |  Soy :  Rs.0-0   |  Soyabeen :  Rs.0-1323   |  Suva (Dill Seed) :  Rs.0-0   |  Suvadana :  Rs.0-532   |  Tarabida :  Rs.0-0   |  Val :  Rs.0-1230   |  Variyari :  Rs.0-1271   |  Vatana :  Rs.0-0   |  Wheat :  Rs.0-1330   |  Wheat 147 :  Rs.0-0   |  Wheat Candoshi :  Rs.0-0   |  Wheat Lokwan :  Rs.0-396   |  Wheat S.Kalyan :  Rs.0-0   |  Wheat Sonalika :  Rs.0-0   |  Wheat Tukda :  Rs.0-461   |  

Latest News

Cotton farmers in parts of AP, Maharashtra, Karnataka shift to other crops
Date : 04/07/2013
 COIMBATORE: Cotton farmers have shifted to sowing of soyabeans in some parts ofAndhra Pradesh and Maharashtra and to corn in northern Karnataka, according toIndian Cotton Federation

However, in Tamil Nadu, there was a 20 per cent increase in cotton sowing instead of rice in areas surrounding Thanjavur, due to scarcity of water during sowing for the Kuruvai crop, the federation in its cotton market report said. 

Without attributing specific reasons to the shifting of crops, it said the federation would take another month to get a clear picture of the cotton sowing pattern. 

On the price front, it said lint prices are pulsating as sowing was progressing along with distribution of rains all over cotton sowing belts, particularly Northern and Central zones. 

Trade reports indicated a downward trend of cotton lint price on the prospects of new crop, ICF, formerly South India Cotton Association, said. 
Wheat output likely to cross govt estimate despite
Date : 26/03/2013
 Despite heavy unseasonal showers over the past few days in key producing states of Punjab and Haryana, India’s wheat output is expected to cross the government’s latest estimate of a record 88.31 million tonne in the year through June. Agriculture secretary PK Basu said although there have been sporadic damages to the wheat crop in some places, the overall output for the country won’t be affected due to record planting over 29 million hectares in 2011-12. “The weather has been conducive for the most part of the year. In fact, I still believe wheat production may exceed the last estimate,” Basu said. Total grain output may even touch 255 million tonne on higher production of rice, wheat and cereals if weather conditions remain good, compared with the official estimate of 250.42 million tonne, he added. Showers over vast wheat-growing regions in northern India had stoked apprehensions that fresh pest attacks and unwanted moisture before harvesting may cut output. The production of staple winter grain has climbed at a fast pace since 2009-10 when the country harvested 80.80 million tonne. The agriculture ministry is expected to announce its third advance estimate of crop production later this month. Basu also said the government will likely announce the forecast of monsoon rains in the last week of April. Policy makers have been closely monitoring prospects of food crops in 2011-12 as well as forecast of seasonal showers this year, as the country is planning to implement a proposed food security act that will widen the government’s subsidised grain sales to the poor. This apart, recent trends suggest that although headline inflation is easing, food prices are showing sign of an increase. Prices of primary articles rose 9.62% in March, compared with 6.28% in February, as protein-based food items, vegetables and pulses turned dearer. Earlier this year, the agriculture ministry had set a wheat output target of 84 million tonne for 2011-12. India, the world’s second-largest producer, had harvested a record wheat crop of 86.87 million tonne in 2010-11. Wheat planting rose marginally from last year’s record level to reach around 29 million hectares in 2011-12, boosting hopes that the country was well on course to reaping a bumper harvest for a third straight year. Analysts have said a prolonged winter spell has helped the crop grow well and the large-scale government intervention has prevented any escalation of pest attacks, but the terminal heat in March and April will be the key indicator if production can breach the 90-million tonne milestone. Wheat harvesting has begun in some states and will pick up pace by mid-April, while procurement by state-run agencies officially started from April 1. Higher wheat and rice production will extend another year of steady grain supplies, helping the government in its battle against food inflation and ambitious plan to implement the food security law. The country needs over 60 million tonne of rice and wheat stocks a year for the Food Security Act, and an increase in output will help the government in one of its biggest populist drives. Higher wheat output will also encourage the government to maintain favourable export policies. The country had banned wheat exports since 2007 to maintain steady domestic supplies and lifted the restriction last year to ease storage space. Official grain stocks swelled by 18% to 54.52 million tonne as on March 1 from a year earlier.

The country's onion production is estimated to drop by four per cent to 168.17 lakh tonnes in 2012-13, the Parliament was informed.
Date : 21/03/2013
NEW DELHI:
 
The average wholesale price of onion in major markets ranges from Rs 936 to Rs 1,747 per quintal.
 
Tariq Anwar, Minister of State for Agriculture, in a written reply to the Lok Sabha stated, ''according to current estimates, onion production during 2012-13 is estimated at 168.17 lakh tonnes as against 175.11 lakh tonnes last year.''
 
The Minister further stated that the prices of onion are governed by the market forces of demand and supply and rely on a host of factors which influence production and arrivals in the market.
 
As per the data, onion production in the state of Maharashtra, which is the largest producing State, is expected to fall to 45.46 lakh tonnes in 2012-13 from 56.38 lakh tonnes in the last year.
 
However, the output in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh is estimated to be higher this year.
 
The onion output in Karnataka is projected at 25.23 lakh tonnes in 2012-13 against 24.51 lakh tonnes in the last year, while production in Madhya Pradesh is set to rise to 21.53 lakh tonnes against 9.57 lakh tonnes in the period under review.
 
The production of onion in Bihar is also estimated to increase marginally to 12.8 lakh tonnes in 2012-13 from 12.36 lakh tonnes in the previous year.
 
The onion production in Gujarat would remain flat at 15.62 lakh tonnes.
Using genetic markers will be extremely useful in rice breeding programs to cut the cost and number of field trials required.
Date : 13/03/2013

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Syngenta signed a cooperation agreement for the second phase of the Scientific Know-how and Exchange Program (SKEP II) today.

SKEP II will build on the successes of the program’s first phase and will include more marker development for rice breeding, crop health management research, and expanding into rice reproductive biology, plant architecture, and yield genes.

"For IRRI, collaboration with private companies is an important component for enhancing our impact and thus achieving our mission,” said Dr. Achim Dobermann, deputy director general for research at IRRI. “We have seen a lot of success already in collaborating on scientific issues and also in bringing new technologies to rice farmers in Asia.

“The new SKEP will be an integral part of the Global Rice Science Partnership,” he added. “It will also enable us to tackle several new exciting research areas in an effective public-private partnership mode.”

Launched in April 2010, SKEP I focused on characterizing the genetic diversity of rice, marker-assisted breeding applications, and dealing with rice productivity constraints.

In SKEP I, 24 genetic markers were developed for rice grain quality traits, and for tolerance of diseases such as bacterial leaf blight and stresses such as flooding.

These markers can help make breeding new rice varieties not only faster but also less costly because these tools can reduce the number of field trials required in rice breeding programs.

“We are very pleased to further collaborate with IRRI and share our complementary knowledge and expertise for the benefit of rice growers,” said Mr. Andrew Guthrie, Syngenta APAC regional director.

“The first phase of the SKEP generated a great amount of valuable experience and information,” he added. “We look forward to the greater scope of SKEP II and the results and opportunities it will bring.”

Ravi roots for organic farming
Date : 10/10/2012
 Minister in-charge of Dakshina Kannada C.T. Ravi on Monday emphasised the need to change the mindset of farmers to shift from chemical-based agriculture to organic farming.

Addressing a gathering after inaugurating an agriculture awareness campaign and a meet of organic producers, the Minister said that Indian agriculture stood on organic farming.

In ancient times, farmers never used chemicals. Organic farming was part of their lives. But a situation had arisen now where farmers thought that they would not be able grow crops unless they used chemicals. Excessive use of chemical fertilisers had spoilt the fertility of the soil, he said.

He said there was a need to create awareness on agriculture in India, Mr. Ravi said families engaged in farming had lost hopes that they could live on agriculture in the face of spiralling input cost. Methods of taking up agriculture at reduced cost should be explored, he said.

Mr. Ravi urged farmers not to underestimate traditional agricultural practices. Referring to use of cow dung in agriculture, the Minister said wherever cow dung was used certain types of insects made pores on the earth. The pores later helped in absorbing water.

The Minister regretted that families engaged in farming had lost respect in society which they commanded earlier. He said a country could not prosper if there was food scarcity.

Industrialisation alone could not take a country forward, Mr. Ravi said.

Citing an example of the erstwhile USSR (Russia), the Minister said although it was highly advanced in technology, it collapsed after food scarcity engulfed the country.

FAO scales down 2012 global rice output estimates to 483.5 MT
Date : 09/10/2012
 New Delhi: United Nation's body FAO scaled down its global rice production estimate by 7 million tonnes (MT) to 483.5 MT in the current year due to an expected fall in output mainly in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh on account of erratic monsoon rains.

"The outlook for global rice production in 2012 has deteriorated significantly over the past four months, passing from FAO's forecast of 490.5 MT in June to the current 483.5 MT (milled basis)," Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in its latest report.

The UN agency's 'Crop Prospects and Food Situation' report has also attributed reduced output to low production in Brazil, which is expected to have harvested 11.6 MT of rice (paddy) this year as against an estimated 13.6 MT in 2011.

An erratic progress of monsoon resulted in scaling back of output estimates in countries such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan.

The current forecast of 483.5 MT is barely 1 MT (or 0.2 percent) more than the 2011 season's outstanding results, with all of the increase stemming from yield gains.

On India, the global body on the farm sector said rice production has been impacted by delayed and erratic monsoon.

"...India's harvest is forecast to be 6 percent smaller than the 2011 exceptional result, given a much less propitious distribution of the monsoon rains both time and space-wise," it added.

FAO has tentatively forecast the 2012 aggregate rice production in India at 98.5 MT (milled basis), which is 6 percent lower than the level of the previous year.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has also said rice production during this kharif season is expected to be lower than last year's level due to insufficient rains.

The Agriculture Ministry's first advance estimate has pegged rice production in the kharif (summer) season of 2012-13 crop year (July-June) at 85.59 MT.

India, the world's largest rice grower, had produced a record 91.53 MT in the kharif (summer) season of 2011-12 crop year, while the total production stood at an all time high of 104.32 MT during the year. 
Ravi roots for organic farming
Date : 09/10/2012
 Minister in-charge of Dakshina Kannada C.T. Ravi on Monday emphasised the need to change the mindset of farmers to shift from chemical-based agriculture to organic farming.

Addressing a gathering after inaugurating an agriculture awareness campaign and a meet of organic producers, the Minister said that Indian agriculture stood on organic farming.

In ancient times, farmers never used chemicals. Organic farming was part of their lives. But a situation had arisen now where farmers thought that they would not be able grow crops unless they used chemicals. Excessive use of chemical fertilisers had spoilt the fertility of the soil, he said.

He said there was a need to create awareness on agriculture in India, Mr. Ravi said families engaged in farming had lost hopes that they could live on agriculture in the face of spiralling input cost. Methods of taking up agriculture at reduced cost should be explored, he said.

Mr. Ravi urged farmers not to underestimate traditional agricultural practices. Referring to use of cow dung in agriculture, the Minister said wherever cow dung was used certain types of insects made pores on the earth. The pores later helped in absorbing water.

The Minister regretted that families engaged in farming had lost respect in society which they commanded earlier. He said a country could not prosper if there was food scarcity.

Industrialisation alone could not take a country forward, Mr. Ravi said.

Citing an example of the erstwhile USSR (Russia), the Minister said although it was highly advanced in technology, it collapsed after food scarcity engulfed the country.

ADB cuts India growth forecast for this fiscal to 5.6%
Date : 03/10/2012
 NEW DELHI, OCT 3: 

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has lowered India’s growth forecast for the current fiscal to 5.6 per cent, from 7 per cent projected earlier, citing falling global demand and impact of delayed monsoon on agricultural production.

India, however, can reverse the trend of falling growth by promoting economic reforms and taking steps to improve investment climate, said the ADB’s Asian Development Outlook 2012 Update.

For the Asian region as a whole, the ADB Update expects the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate to drop to 6.1 per cent in 2012 from 7.2 per cent in 2011. Growth rate for the region has been projected at 6.7 per cent in 2013.

“The deceleration of the region’s two giants — the People’s Republic of China and India — in tandem with the global slowdown, is tempering earlier optimism,” ADB said.

As for India, it said that growth rate will decelerate to from 6.5 per cent in 2011-12 to 5.6 per cent in the current fiscal. ADB had earlier projected the country’s growth rate at 7 per cent for 2012-13.

Uttar Pradesh: Rs. 6,000 monthly scholarship for agriculture research students
Date : 26/09/2012
 Report by India Education bureau; Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mr. Akhilesh Yadav on  Monday said that the state government has given an in-principle approval to the opening up of Apna Bazaars in Saifai and Jhansi, on lines of Lucknow. In the second phase, he added, more such bazaars would opened up in major towns and important cities of the state.

He also said that e-tendering would be done for above Rs. 10 crore construction works to be undertaken by the Mandi Parishad. Other than this, Mandi Parishad would also be giving a monthly scholarship of Rs. 6,000 to all research students doing research on Agriculture. The Chief Minister was chairing a meeting of the 'Sanchalak Mandal' of Mandi Parishad at the secretariat, annexe office.

He stressed the need of simplying procedures and functioning of the Mandi Parishad in such a manner that small and medium farmers are benefited. He also said that in order to extend the maximum benefits of government policies to farmers, Mandi Parishad has a pivotal role to play. 

Mr Yadav also directed officials to create such Bazaars that enable a farmer to sell his produce directly and the consumers get the produce at cost effective rates. 
The Rice Export Policy was also approved at the meeting under which the mandi fees on the exported rice would be exempted. The Chief Minister also said that the Apna Bazaar was very crucial in facilitating the farmers to directly sell their produce to the consumers. There is no mandi fees on the products sold in retail here. In these  markets artisans of handicraft and handlooms can also be exhibited and sold. Arrangements would also be made for community functions etc. 

The Chief Minister also said that all students, sons and daughters of farmers studying in the agricultural universities,  conducting research on agriculture would be given a Rs 6,000 per month scholarships. By an estimate approximately 125 students of five agricultural universities of the state would be benefited per year by these scholarships and research in the field of agriculture would also gain.

The Chief Minister also directed officials to get construction works above Rs. 10 crore to be undertaken by the Mandi Parishad through  e-tendering/e-procurement and all such tenders to be uploaded on the state government's website. Mr. Yadav also said that administrative difficulties were coming for many years in the way of Mandi fees at state's gud/khandsari units and the traders were facing difficulties in depositing the fees and hence the state government was beginning a one-time Mandi Fees settlement scheme from October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013.
Removal of fertiliser subsidy to make farming unprofitable
Date : 22/09/2012
 Even as the union government has estimated country's subsidy burden touching 2.4 per cent of the GDP this financial year, a recent study by management experts believe that removal of fertilizer subsidy would make farming unprofitable in many states and therefore its removal would not be in the interest of farming community.

A study conducted by Vijay Paul Sharma, professor, centre for management in agriculture - IIM-A showed that there is a need to bring down prices of potassium-based and phosphorous-based fertilisers, while increasing that of urea for economic efficiency of farming.


Chidambaram had mentioned that India's spending on major subsidies including fuel, fertiliser and food will increase from the targeted 1.9 per cent of the GDP for the current fiscal to 2.4 per cent.

 

After the implementation of Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) Policy from April 1, 2010 for phosphatic, potassic and complex fertilizers, the market price of these fertilisers is determined on demand-supply factors while government pays a fixed subsidy on that.

The study revealed that this policy caused a sharp increase in prices of these fertilisers in the past one year. While price of di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) more than doubled between March 2010 and June 2012, from Rs 9350 per tonne to more than Rs 24,000 per tonne, and subsidy declined from Rs . 19763 per tonne in 2011-12 to Rs 14,350 per tonne in 2012-13.

But Muriate of Potash (MOP) prices jumped from Rs 4455 per tonne in March 2010 to about Rs 17,000 per tonne in June 2012, showing an increase of about 280 per cent.

Fertiliser subsidies account nearly 31 per cent of the total subsidies. As per the government data, for the year 2010-11, fertiliser subsidy stood at Rs 62,300 crore, which is expected to increase to Rs 67,200 crore in 201-12. The study noted that fertiliser subsidies have increased by about 560 per cent between three-years ended 2003-04 and three-years ended 2010-11.

"Radical reforms like dismantling of subsidy and deregulation of fertilizer industry in one go are neither economically desirable nor politically feasible. A case can be made for continuation of fertilizer subsidy with better targeting and rationing to achieve socio-economic objectives," the study noted.

USDA lowers 2012-13 world cotton output & ending stocks
Date : 18/09/2012
  World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) publishes cotton supply & Demand estimates for September 2012.According to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) the 2012/13 U.S. cotton supply and demand estimates include slightly lower production and exports, resulting in lower ending stocks compared with last month. 

Beginning stocks are raised marginally, reflecting a revision to estimated U.S. 2011/12 ending stocks.  The 2012/13 production estimate is reduced 3 percent, due mainly to lower estimated production for Texas and Mississippi, partially offset by increases for the Southeast.  Domestic mill use is unchanged from last month, but exports are slightly lower due both to lower U.S. production and a reduction in total world imports. 

Ending stocks are now estimated at 5.3 million bales, equivalent to 35 percent of total use.  The forecast range of 62 to 78 cents per pound for the marketing-year average price received by producers is narrowed 1 cent on each end.

An increase of nearly 2 million bales in world 2012/13 ending stocks is mainly attributable to sharply higher beginning stocks.  Prior year adjustments for China, India, and Australia account for most of the increase in beginning stocks. 

For China, higher-than-expected 2011/12 imports and lower consumption are raising stocks by 1.3 million bales.  For India, changes to the 2010/11 and 2011/12 balance sheets mainly reflect revisions published recently by India’s Cotton Advisory Board and raise stocks by 400,000 bales.  World 2012/13 ending stocks are now projected at 76.5 million bales, including a revision to the India residual.  Projected world stocks include 35.5 million bales for China.

World 2012/13 production is lowered 82,000 bales from last month, as increases for India and the African Franc Zone are more than offset by reductions for Brazil and the United States.  World consumption and imports are reduced 600,000 bales, as lower demand by China is partially offset by increases for Pakistan and others; exports are reduced for Australia, India, and the United States. 

The decrease in China’s consumption is consistent with the 2011/12 reduction.  China’s consumption is expected to fall 2.5 percent from last season due to the government’s price support, reserve, and stock policies.

Is rural India really ‘shining’?
Date : 15/09/2012
 The “rural India shining” story has emerged a ray of hope in India’s otherwise gloomy economic landscape. The “story” revolves around the fact that consumption in rural areas has galloped ahead of that in urban areas between 2009-10 and 2011-12. This is largely based on the preliminary data released by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) from its 68th round (2011-12) consumption survey. Optimists are already saying that rural India is not only shining, but also is the new driver of growth for the Indian economy.
These happy tidings need to be tinged with some caveats, mostly related to the nature and the manner of collection of the underlying data. While the figures released by NSSO are surprising on many counts, that, however, is not a reason to doubt the credibility of their consumption data. Merely because this data is not based on the actual consumption survey data is no reason to doubt it. At the same time, one has to wait for detailed and final results before jumping to any conclusion. This is not methodological nit-picking, but is an important issue as some of the details needed for a fuller analysis are not available.
It is worth mentioning that NSSO has been trying some experimentation in the way it collects consumption data. The fact that it had included expenditure on mid-day-meal scheme as part of private expenditure—thereby inflating consumption expenditure in 2009-10—has already been pointed out. All these issues matter as NSSO has been concerned with the growing difference between estimates of private final consumption expenditure (PFCE) from the national account systems (NAS) and the estimates from NSSO consumption surveys. These differences are the source of endless commentary and academic quibbling on an array of subjects ranging from trends in inequality to the incidence of poverty.
For a change, NSSO has scored a point: Its 68th round consumption survey shows for the first time that the gap between NAS and NSSO data is narrowing instead of going up. In simpler terms as against the general trend of NSSO consumption surveys showing lower growth in consumption, the 68th round data suggests a faster growth in consumption expenditure than what is reported in NAS.
NSSO figures show that growth rate in consumption—in real terms—during 2009-10 to 2011-12 has been 9.1% in rural areas and 8.3% in urban areas, which is not only higher than in the period 2004-05 to 2009-10, when it was 1.4% and 2.7% in rural and urban areas, respectively, but also higher than the PFCE growth at 6.8% from the national accounts for the same period. This is in spite of the fact that the gross domestic product growth in the last two years was lower than in 2004-2010.
While a part of this may be due to the fact that 2009-10 was a drought year with incomes in rural areas depressed as a result of drought. The reality is that the drought did not lead to a decline in agricultural output. Nonetheless, since 62% of rural population still earns its livelihood in agriculture, agricultural performance is surely an instrumental factor in such high rates of growth in rural areas.
Unfortunately, another report from the cost of cultivation surveys does not point to such an optimistic picture. The report of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) clearly points to deceleration in agricultural profits during the same period. The CACP report points out that during the same period farmers came under severe stress due to increasing input costs. Labour cost rose by 74%, fertilizer cost by 30%, diesel cost by 44% and fodder cost by 60% between 2008 and 2011. Input cost for the paddy—the biggest crop by sown area—increased by 53% overall. As against this, crop prices increased by only 20%. The net result has been that at 2011-12 prices, the profitability of paddy will be negative against the total costs. This was already the case in many rice growing states where net profitability was negative. The stress in agriculture was visible with the spectre of farmer suicides raising its head again not only in the traditional areas of Vidarbha and dry land regions of central India, but also in areas such as West Bengal. The situation was no better for other crops.
Clearly, despite the negligible base effect in agriculture, declining profitability in agriculture could not have contributed to the increase in consumption. Nor are there any signs emanating from the decelerating manufacturing and construction sector. The story emerging from sale of durables is also not encouraging. The so-called safety net of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has already seen its performance going down with the average number of days of employment provided declining between 2009-10 and 2011-12. With the slowing in infrastructure spending, the limited non-farm avenues are simply not available to boost rural growth. But far from the past, it is a challenge that has the potential to make the “rural India shining” story unsustainable. And if this is not enough, persistent inflation, increases in the prices of costs such as diesel and fertilizers are around the corner.
Clearly, there are many loose ends that need to be tied up before we can answer the puzzle of what led to the boom in rural consumption? Until detailed data is available, there is ample reason to believe that it is too early to celebrate the story of a shining rural India.
Worry looms for banks as RBI says agri loans in drought hit areas not NPAs
Date : 14/09/2012
The RBI'S standing guidelines to banks states-that accounts that are restructured for the second time or more on account of natural calamities would retain the same asset classification category on restructuring. Accordingly, for once restructured standard asset, the restructuring necessitated on account of natural calamity would not be treated as second restructuring, i.e., the standard asset classification will be allowed to be maintained.
 
Drought-hit states
-Maharashtra
-Gujarat
-Karnataka
-Rajasthan
 
 
Presence in drought-hit states
Bank   %
BoB  47%
BoI  35% 
SBI  29%
PNB  14%
 
Loans to agri sector
Bank   %
PNB  15%
SBI  13%
BoB  10%
BoI  9%
Govt working on stable export-import policy on select agri-commodities
Date : 11/09/2012
 NEW DELHI, SEPT 11: 

To overcome the inconsistencies in farm export-import policy, the Government is considering allowing a minimum level of quantity for the export of select agri-commodities to help India become a stable player in the global market.

“We are working on a mechanism to have a stable export-import policy on select agricultural commodities such as sugar, wheat and rice,” Food Minister K.V. Thomas said at the Kingsman 4th Indian Sugar Conference here today.

“It is not good that some years we start exporting and suddenly we stop. We are in discussion with the Commerce Ministry to allow wheat, rice and sugar exports at certain level,” he said.

The stable policy on export will help both farmers and industry, he added.

Thomas also noted that the present export policy on wheat, rice and sugar will continue.

The country has exported 3.15 million tonnes of sugar so far this year. Besides, about 2.5 mt of wheat and more than 4 mt of non-basmati rice have been shipped since September 2011, when the export ban on these two items was lifted.

Sugar decontrol

On decontrol of the sugar sector, Thomas said: “We have been conscious about the need to revisit the regulatory norms on the sugar sector. The Rangarajan Committee on sugar decontrol has finalised the report and will very soon submit to the Prime Minister.”

Once the report is approved, it will be ready for implementation, he added.

Sugar sector is the only industry which is fully controlled by the government. It is regulated right from production through distribution in domestic and global markets.

Sugar production

On next year’s production, Thomas said, “We are likely to produce enough sugar to meet the consumption demand and will perhaps have a small exportable surplus.”

However, the Government will formulate the first estimate on sugar output by the end of this month in consultation with the state sugar commissioners, he added.

The country’s sugar economy is approximately $16 million and impacts 50 million farmer families.

India is estimated to have produced 26 mt in the ongoing 2011-12 marketing year (October-September) against the annual demand of 22-23 mt.

Tea Board plans to link payments under help schemes with SPTF
Date : 09/09/2012
 Unhappy with the progress of the scheme for rejuvenating tea gardens, industry regulator, the Tea Board of India, has decided to link all payments under its various assistance schemes with the Special Purpose Tea Fund (SPTF).

Tea Board Chairman M.G.V.K. Bhanu told The Hindu that the decision was taken on Wednesday following a review meeting on SPTF. The scheme was rolled out in 2007. The objective of the scheme is to ncrease the productivity of Indian teas through a scheme of replanting and rejuvenating the tea-bushes many of whom had exceeded their average 50-year lifespan.

The progress of the SPTF over the last five years has been tardy. To address the problem of crop loss, the Tea Board has sent a proposal to the government to increase the unit cost for calculation of capital subsidy. “This should help compensate for the crop loss,” Mr. Bhanu said.

He said that gardens where over 50 per cent of the bushes had exceeded their lifespan would now have to replant at least 2 per cent of its area to qualify for getting the various other assistance of the Tea Board.

As part of its plans to pep up the sector, the Union Commerce Ministry had decided to introduce SPTF, a programme for a massive replantation and rejuvenation targeted at the organised sector. Under the programme, 2.13 lakh hectares were proposed to be uprooted and replanted within 15 years. Of this, majority would be in Assam, followed by West Bengal and South India. The estimated cost of SPTF was Rs. 4,761 crore with a loan and a subsidy component. The programme was expected to increase yields from 1,662 kg per hectare to 2,120 kg in North India and to 2,420 kg in south India.

Without Bt crops, India missing on development: expert
Date : 06/09/2012
 India is missing on development by not permitting Bt technology in crops other than cotton despite certification from leading international bodies regarding the safety of genetically modified (GM) plant technology, experts said.

Over 30 countries who have adopted Bt technology have increased productivity of key crops like wheat, corn and cotton manifold, Rashmi S Nair, director, Emerging markets Regulatory Policy & Scientific Affairs, Monsanto said.
She was speaking to a group of visiting Indian journalists on the sidelines of Farm Progress Show held recently.

“India by not allowing Bt in crops other than cotton is missing the development bus,” she said.

While states like Gujarat and Punjab have not objected to GM crops, others like Bihar, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Karnataka have refused permission for Bt crop field trials.

India had imposed a moratorium of an unspecified period, in 2009 on commercial release of Bt brinjal on health grounds.

Nair dismissed arguments given against the GM that it carries health hazard saying there is no document to prove this.

GM plant technology has been approved by European Union (EU) as well UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), she said.

Michael K Doane, vice president, Sustainable Agriculture Policy, Monsanto said US, Brazil, China, Germany and many other countries have increased productivity of key agriproduce in the same acreage by adopting Bt crops.

Robert T Fraley, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Monsanto, gave long illustration to highlight efficiency of GM crops.

Jay Mahaffey, Learning Centre Manager at Memphis, said Bt crops are made available for commercial sale only after rigorous regulatory tests are done.

They said India has already witnessed remarkable success of Bt cotton and hence there is no genuine scientific reasons to prohibit farmers to go for GM technology in other crops.

The 28-30 August Farm Progress Show at Boone, IOWA, organised by Monsanto displayed newer technology and tools to address the on-farm challenges facing cultivators.

It showcased tools and products available for farmers to help address weed management, insect management, disease management and yield optimisation.

 

Vegetarian diet may be solution to impending water crisis, say scientists
Date : 30/08/2012
 LONDON: Leading water scientists have issued one of the sternest warnings yet about global food supplies, saying the world's population may have to switch almost completely to a vegetarian diet over the next 40 years to avoid catastrophic shortages.

Humans derive about 20 per cent of their protein from animal products now, but this may need to drop to just 5 per cent to feed the extra 2 billion people expected to be alive by 2050, according to research by some of the world's leading water scientists.

''There will not be enough water available on current croplands to produce food for the expected 9 billion population in 2050 if we follow current trends and changes towards diets common in Western nations,'' the report by Malin Falkenmark and colleagues at the Stockholm International Water Institute said.

''There will be just enough water if the proportion of animal-based foods is limited to 5 per cent of total calories and considerable regional water deficits can be met by a … reliable system of food trade.''

Dire warnings of water scarcity limiting food production come as Oxfam and the United Nations prepare for a possible second global food crisis in five years. Prices for staples such as corn and wheat have risen nearly 50 per cent on international markets since June, triggered by severe droughts in the United States and Russia, and weak monsoon rains in Asia.

Oxfam has forecast the price spike will have a devastating impact in developing countries that rely heavily on food imports.

Adopting a vegetarian diet is one option to increase the amount of water available to grow more food, the scientists said. Animal protein-rich food consumes five to 10 times more water than a vegetarian diet. One-third of the world's arable land is used to grow crops to feed animals. Other options include eliminating waste and increasing trade between countries in food surplus and those in deficit.

''Nine hundred million people already go hungry and 2 billion people are malnourished in spite of the fact that per capita food production continues to increase,'' they said. ''With 70 per cent of all available water being in agriculture, growing more food to feed an additional 2 billion people by 2050 will place greater pressure on available water and land.''

Crop conditions improve in latest week
Date : 29/08/2012
 The widespread rainfall that fell across Iowa over the last week helped improve soil moisture and gave soybean farmers some hope that their plants will produce more pods.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly crops and weather report showed 27 percent of the corn crop is now mature, two weeks ahead of normal. Corn condition is reported at 23 percent very poor, 30 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 14 percent good and 1 percent excellent.

Pods are being set on 98 percent of the soybean crop. Nineteen percent of the soybean crop is turning color, ahead of last year’s 3 percent and the five-year average of 6 percent.

Reports of soybean leaves dropping came in from across the state.

Soybean condition is reported at 14 percent very poor, 22 percent poor, 39 percent fair, 23 percent good, and 2 percent excellent.

"The widespread rain this weekend was very welcome," says Ag Secretary Bill Northey. (Nikole Hanna/The Gazette)

Topsoil moisture levels improved to 49 percent very short, 30 percent short, 19 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture also improved to 64 percent very short, 30 percent short, 6 percent adequate, and zero percent surplus.

Nineteen percent of Iowa’s pasture and range land is rated in fair or better condition, a 3 percent increase from last week. Pasture and range condition are rated 55 percent very poor, 26 percent poor, 15 percent fair, 4 percent good and zero percent excellent.

The statewide average rainfall for the week was 1.29 inches, up from a normal 0.91 inches. This was the wettest week in 10 weeks and only the second week of the past 15 weeks to average greater than normal rainfall.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said the rainfall was good news for Iowa soybean farmers.

Widespread rains lash Punjab, Haryana; farmers delighted
Date : 26/08/2012

Widespread rains continued to lash vast swathes of Haryana and Punjab for the third consecutive day on Wednesday, even as rainfall deficiency, which hovered around 70 percent in the two states at the end of last month has narrowed down, the Met office said on Wednesday.
     
Chandigarh, the joint capital of the two states, was lashed by heavy rains on Wednesday.
    
In Haryana, Ambala (45.7 mm), Hisar (64.7 mm), Karnal (trace), Narnaul (73 mm), Rohtak (4.3 mm), Bhiwani (39.2 mm), Panchkula (40 mm) and Kalka (35 mm) were among other places to experience rains.
     
Meanwhile, the two states had received very less rains between June-July period but the rains in August have come as a boon for the farming community and are likely to ease the power situation.
     
In June, Punjab's rainfall deficiency stood at 77 percent as the state had received just 9.5 mm of rains, a MeT official said. By the end of July, this deficiency was 67 percent as the state had 71.7 mm of rain (June-July) but until August 22, Punjab had 135.1 mm of rain and the deficiency had come down to 63 percent, he said.
     
Haryana had just 4.3 mm rains in June and till July-end (June-July) the state had 57.8 mm of rain, with deficiency of 90 percent (as of June 30) and 72 percent (June-July). However until Wednesday, the state got 139.1 mm of rain, with bulk rainfall in August, bringing down the deficiency to 59 percent as of Wednesday, he said.
     
Chandigarh, which received 4.1 mm of rain in June, with deficiency of 97 percent, had received 272.5 mm rain till July end, with deficiency of 31 percent. During this month so far, Chandigarh got 461.1 mm of rain during the current monsoon, with deficiency of 28 percent, he said. 

FAO scales down 2012 global rice output estimates to 483.5 MT
Date : 10/08/2012
 New Delhi: United Nation's body FAO scaled down its global rice production estimate by 7 million tonnes (MT) to 483.5 MT in the current year due to an expected fall in output mainly in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh on account of erratic monsoon rains.

"The outlook for global rice production in 2012 has deteriorated significantly over the past four months, passing from FAO's forecast of 490.5 MT in June to the current 483.5 MT (milled basis)," Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in its latest report.

The UN agency's 'Crop Prospects and Food Situation' report has also attributed reduced output to low production in Brazil, which is expected to have harvested 11.6 MT of rice (paddy) this year as against an estimated 13.6 MT in 2011.

An erratic progress of monsoon resulted in scaling back of output estimates in countries such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan.

The current forecast of 483.5 MT is barely 1 MT (or 0.2 percent) more than the 2011 season's outstanding results, with all of the increase stemming from yield gains.

On India, the global body on the farm sector said rice production has been impacted by delayed and erratic monsoon.

"...India's harvest is forecast to be 6 percent smaller than the 2011 exceptional result, given a much less propitious distribution of the monsoon rains both time and space-wise," it added.

FAO has tentatively forecast the 2012 aggregate rice production in India at 98.5 MT (milled basis), which is 6 percent lower than the level of the previous year.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has also said rice production during this kharif season is expected to be lower than last year's level due to insufficient rains.

The Agriculture Ministry's first advance estimate has pegged rice production in the kharif (summer) season of 2012-13 crop year (July-June) at 85.59 MT.

India, the world's largest rice grower, had produced a record 91.53 MT in the kharif (summer) season of 2011-12 crop year, while the total production stood at an all time high of 104.32 MT during the year. 
Sowing completed in 16 lakh hectares in Gujarat
Date : 16/07/2012

Even as delayed monsoon rains began to drench many parts of Gujarat on Monday, sowing of rabi crops has been completed in about 16 lakh hectares  (ha) across the State, a government official said here on Tuesday.

Most of this sowing was reported from the Saurashtra region, home to cotton and groundnut, sown in nearly 7 lakh and 6 lakh ha so far, respectively, the official added.

Despite delayed rains, farmers in most areas had started sowing as scheduled thanks to the Narmada waters, drip irrigation and more than two lakh check-dams built over the last 15 years.

With the pace of monsoon rains expected to pick, the State would close the sowing season with about 90 lakh ha. By October 2011, despite delayed rains, sowing had been completed in nearly 88 lakh ha, the official pointed out.

Over the last week, rains have been reported in most areas of Gujarat. However, for any eventuality, the State Government has reserved drinking water in the dams until July 15 to 20, prohibiting its use for irrigation.

There is also no dearth of water for industrial use so far, the official said. Most major dams in the State have still retained 25% water.

Mills rush to buy cotton on delay in monsoon
Date : 05/07/2012
 RAJKOT, JULY 2: 

 
Cotton prices continued to move up on Monday with demand from mills and spinners increasing. According to market sources, the Rs 300-400 gain for a candy of 356 kg was expected.

A Rajkot-based cotton broker said, “Like last week, cotton prices increased on higher domestic demand. Delay in the arrival of rain in key production regions is forcing domestic mills to scale up procurement.”

Exporters didn’t participate, though. In fact, some exporters were selling their stocks in Gujarat and North India due to the lack of fresh orders and the appreciating rupee. Some traders said that despite the increasing price, farmers and ginners are still holding back their stock as they want higher profits. Arrivals, however, ruled steady on 10,000 bales in Gujarat and 25,000 bales in India.

Gujarat Sankar-6 cotton traded at Rs 34,200- 34,800 a candy and B-grade cotton at Rs 33,700-34,000. Prices of New V 797 offered at Rs 28,000-28,300. In Maharashtra A grade cotton low micronaire quoted at Rs 33,500-34,000 a candy and A grade high micronaire cotton 29+ MM quoted at 34,200-34,700.

J-34 RG quoted in the range of Rs 3,575-3,625 a quintal in Punjab, Rs 3,500-3,520 in Haryana and Rs 3,500-3,510 in Rajasthan.

Uttar Pradesh: Rs. 6,000 monthly scholarship for agriculture research students
Date : 31/12/1969
 Report by India Education bureau; Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mr. Akhilesh Yadav on  Monday said that the state government has given an in-principle approval to the opening up of Apna Bazaars in Saifai and Jhansi, on lines of Lucknow. In the second phase, he added, more such bazaars would opened up in major towns and important cities of the state.

He also said that e-tendering would be done for above Rs. 10 crore construction works to be undertaken by the Mandi Parishad. Other than this, Mandi Parishad would also be giving a monthly scholarship of Rs. 6,000 to all research students doing research on Agriculture. The Chief Minister was chairing a meeting of the 'Sanchalak Mandal' of Mandi Parishad at the secretariat, annexe office.

He stressed the need of simplying procedures and functioning of the Mandi Parishad in such a manner that small and medium farmers are benefited. He also said that in order to extend the maximum benefits of government policies to farmers, Mandi Parishad has a pivotal role to play. 

Mr Yadav also directed officials to create such Bazaars that enable a farmer to sell his produce directly and the consumers get the produce at cost effective rates. 
The Rice Export Policy was also approved at the meeting under which the mandi fees on the exported rice would be exempted. The Chief Minister also said that the Apna Bazaar was very crucial in facilitating the farmers to directly sell their produce to the consumers. There is no mandi fees on the products sold in retail here. In these  markets artisans of handicraft and handlooms can also be exhibited and sold. Arrangements would also be made for community functions etc. 

The Chief Minister also said that all students, sons and daughters of farmers studying in the agricultural universities,  conducting research on agriculture would be given a Rs 6,000 per month scholarships. By an estimate approximately 125 students of five agricultural universities of the state would be benefited per year by these scholarships and research in the field of agriculture would also gain.

The Chief Minister also directed officials to get construction works above Rs. 10 crore to be undertaken by the Mandi Parishad through  e-tendering/e-procurement and all such tenders to be uploaded on the state government's website. Mr. Yadav also said that administrative difficulties were coming for many years in the way of Mandi fees at state's gud/khandsari units and the traders were facing difficulties in depositing the fees and hence the state government was beginning a one-time Mandi Fees settlement scheme from October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013.