Agriculture Sector

IMD predicts “near normal” monsoon, with annual monsoon 96% of LPA

India Meteorological DepartmentAccording to the monsoon-related forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), India can look forward to a "near normal" monsoon this year; with the annual monsoon likely to be 96 percent of the LPA - Long Period Average.

With a 5 per cent model error kept by the weather scientists, the 96 percent outcome still is the weakest in the last six-year period - ever since a rather dry 2004 spell, the following years have had the monsoon surpass 98 percent of the average.

Sharad Pawar says info-tech to play a major role in agriculture expansion

Sharad Pawar says info-tech to play a major role in agriculture expansionNew Delhi, Feb 27: Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today said that information technology has to play a major role in the expansion of agriculture in the country.

Addressing the national seminar on Agriculture Extension here, Pawar said information technology is a critical component for revitalizing national agricultural system.

Pawar''s speech, which was read in absentia, said that the technology would facilitate farmers in improving the efficiency and productivity of agriculture and allied activities.

IRRI gets 11 million dollars for developing high-yield rice

IRRI gets 11 million dollars for developing high-yield riceManila - The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) said Wednesday it has received an 11-million-dollar grant to fund an ambitious project to develop a higher-yielding rice variety that could boost production by up to 50 per cent.

The Philippines-based IRRI said the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will provide the grant over a three-year period to fund the C4 Rice Consortium.

India, Canada sign MoU on cooperation in agriculture

New Delhi, Jan 13: India and Canada today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further cooperation between the two countries in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.

The MoU was signed by Minister for Agriculture, Sharad Pawar and Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Gerry Ritz.

Ritz is leading a high level delegation to India.

The comprehensive MoU provides institutional mechanism for encouraging cooperation towards knowledge sharing on emerging technologies, agricultural marketing and animal development.

IRRI leads new initiative to boost food security in Asia

IRRI leads new initiative to boost food security in AsiaManila - A new multilateral initiative was launched Tuesday to boost food security in South Asia by substantially increasing crop yields and income of millions of farmers in the region, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) said.

According to the Philippines-based IRRI, the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) aims to produce an additional 5 million tons of grain annually and increase the income of about 6 million farmers by at least 350 dollars.

Latvia justifies "no" vote on EU agriculture policy

Riga  - The Latvian government rushed to justify its decision to join the UK and Sweden in blocking French proposals to reform the EU's Common Agricultural Policy
(CAP) on Friday.

The Baltic state's agriculture ministry dashed out a special release soon after the vote in an effort to explain why it had broken ranks with its neighbours, Estonia and Lithuania, in the important Brussels vote.

France, the largest single recipient of CAP funds, had proposed mild reforms to the policy which critics say would largely keep subsidies to its farmers intact.

CAP is the largest single item of EU expenditure, accounting for nearly 70 billion dollars annually and is due for renewal when current arrangements expire in 2013.