Lack of value addition in the agriculture sector is responsible for poor economic health of Indian farmers, according to President Pranab Mukherjee.
Addressing the `International Conference on Sustainable Agriculture for Food & Livelihood Security' at the Ludhiana-based Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on Tuesday, Mr. Mukherjee said that governments launched several schemes to uplift farmers' economic condition but the objective could not be achieved due to a lack of value addition in the sector.
The Department of Agriculture has detected the ash disease, Chalara at five sites across Northern Ireland.
Experts identified the disease in imported young saplings at five sites in Co Down and Co Antrim. The authorities have issued notices to owners requiring owners of the plantations to destroy around 5,000 affected ash saplings and associated plant debris.
Tamil Nadu government has put a ban on poultry feed from Karnataka in a bid to prevent the spread of bird flu that recently hit the adjacent state.
Karnataka government recently admitted that the state suffered an outbreak of bird flu on turkeys, prompting the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu to put the ban.
Krishnagiri district collector Pooja Kulkarni said the department of animal husbandry had declared the ban on Saturday and they implemented it immediately.
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to impose an interim ban on field trials of genetically-modified (GM) crops despite the court-appointed technical expert committee (TEC) strongly recommended the ban.
The apex court’s ruling was welcomed by a section of scientists and farmers. Sudhir Panwar, chairperson of Kisan Jagrit Manch, welcomed the ruling saying it would allow a through probe on issues related to the safety of the technology as well as its usefulness in production without the use of pesticides and insecticides.
It is believed that the egg prices in the country would continue to fall after recording a fall of about 10 per cent from the level of Rs 3 per egg a month earlier.
Estimates show that the poultry farmers are incurring losses at current prices that are lower than the same period of the previous year. Eggs are being sold at the rate of about Rs 2.80-2.90 in most areas. The wholesale prices of eggs was about Rs 3 an egg while these ranged Rs 2.40 to Rs 2.50 an egg in the same period of the previous year.
The Supreme Court of India has allowed the government to go on with its controversial open field trials of the genetically modified (GM) crops in the coming Rabi season.
The apex court of the country refused to put ban on open field trials of GM crops in spite of a court-appointed expert committee's recommendation that such trials should be halted for at least 10 years.
Kiwifruit farm owners in Kerikeri are urging for public support in fighting the vine disease Psa-V with a protective spray programme.
The plans include night spraying and this has caused some concern among the members of the community, according to Kerikeri Fruitgrowers' Association chairman Rick Curtis. He assured that the sprays are non-toxic and are relatively safe.
With an aim to slash the soaring fertiliser subsidy bill, the Government on Thursday approved a plan to link the roll out of fertiliser subsidy to manufacturers with the acknowledgement of receipts from vendors.
Experts welcomed the move saying it would help stop the prohibited sale of subsidised fertilisers at market-linked prices.
Government of Punjab on Monday, October 1, started procurement of paddy in a total of 1,770 notified mandis spread across the state.
Monsoon rains fell just short of the drought level, but farmers in Punjab will achieve a record paddy harvest of more than 135 lakh metric tones - the highest figure so far in the state's history.
Minimum support price for paddy has been increased from Rs 1,080 per quintal lin 2011 to Rs 1,250 per quintal this year. Minimum support price for grade 'A' paddy has been announced at Rs 1,280 per quintal, up from Rs 1,110 per quintal last year.
India’s union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar has said that the country’s total food grain production for this kharif season or summer crops is expected to fall 10 per cent mainly due to low monsoons and drought like situations in some of the states in the country.
The panel of ministers deliberating on the controversial pharma pricing policy has reportedly reached a broad consensus.
Quoting unnamed people familiar with the developments, CNBC reported that Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar-led Group of Ministers (GoM) agreed to limit price control just to the National List of Essential Medicines.
India may suffer a fall in overall agriculture production this year as there are still some areas that are severely affected by erratic rains, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has said.
Addressing the dignitaries at the National Conclave on Micro-irrigation in New Delhi on Wednesday, Mr. Pawar said that nearly 33 per cent of the country got deficient rains, which left many states like Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat in a crisis.
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Science (ABARES) has said that it expects the wheat production in Australia to fall 24 per cent this year.
The government's commodity forecasting authority believes that the total production of wheat will fall to 22.5 million tonnes in 2012/13, compared to a highest ever record in the previous year. The agency pointed out that the wheat available for export will remain high this year due to record production in the previous two seasons.
Karnataka State Cabinet took a number of important decisions regarding power, housing, farming etc. in its meeting on Thursday.
After the meeting, Primary & Secondary Education Minister Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri told reporters that the Cabinet approved Udupi Power Corporation Ltd’s proposal to purchase 1.5 million tonnes of imported coal. The company was also allowed to commission its second 600MW unit at Udupi.
Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd (TAFE), which is the third largest manufacturer of tractors in the world, has recorded a growth of 9.3 per cent growth in the first quarter of the financial year till June 2012. The sales of the company were 36,669 units compared to to 33,551 units a year earlier.
The Indian government has announced a new scheme to offer 50 per cent subsidy on diesel to farmers, who are affected by less than normal rainfall this monsoon.
Farm Secretary Ashish Bahuguna has said on Friday that the monsoon rains remained be 21-22 percent below average from June 1 till the whole planting month of July.
Experts say that the rains are not likely to increase drastically to prevent a drought like situation. It is a possibility that the ministers meeting next week over the situation might declare a drought and it will propel the government to offer additional supported to the those affected, mostly in the agriculture sector.
According to Agriculture Minister, Sharad Pawar, the country is not facing a drought situation yet but expressed concern over the ability to maintain a record production level due to a low monsoon this year.
"We have not reached the drought situation yet. This year monsoon is playing hide and seek. It is a challenge for our farmers to maintain the same performance as compared to last two years," he said.
India's union Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar has said that there is no shortage of food grains in the country as the governemtn has maintained "ample" stock of over 82 million tonnes of rice and wheat.
"There is ample stock of foodgrains with the government. Availability of food-grains is comfortable. There is no dearth of foodgrains in the country," Pawar said.
The largest lender in the country, the State Bank of India (SBI) has announced a reduction in its lending rates by between 0.5 percentage point and 3.5 percentage points for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the agriculture sector.
.Krishna Kumar, Managing Director and Group Executive for National Banking, SBI said that the bank has reduced the overall interest rates by 50 to 350 basis points. He also said that the bank's rate could remain at 10 per cent.