Monsoon situation worrying but not serious: Sharad Pawar
Farm Minsiter Sharad Pawar has said that the monsoon situation in the country is “worrying but not serious,” reports said.
According to data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), rains up to Jul 2 were 31% below average.
Pawar said that early sowing of crops had been affected in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. “Early sowing was also hit in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh,” he added.
Allaying concerns about the paddy crop, Pawar said that Rice sowing was not worrisome and would increase in eastern India.
About 9% of total kharif sowing had been completed so far.
In India, where agriculture and farming account for 15% of the $2tn economy, timely and sufficient rainfall is extremely crucial as 55% of the arable land depends on rains for water needs.
However, the minister did not seem to press the panic button as he reassured that India had ample stockpiles to meet domestic demand.
The government may enter the open market at an appropriate time to stabilize food grain prices. Stockpiles of wheat and rice were 82.3mn tonnes as of June 1, compared with emergency inventory requirements of 33mn tonnes as of July 1, reports said citing Pawar.
He added that there was no report on any draught situation in any state yet.
Addressing fears about sowing, Pawar said that Indian farmers had until August first week for crop sowing and that the country’s monsoon crop sowing was ahead of the normal level.
“Monsoon may be better from next week onwards,” Pawar said.
IIFL recommends 'Buy' on Rallis
IIFL Institutional Equities, a part of the IIFL Group, one of the leading players in the Indian financial services space, recommends “Buy” Rallis.
IIFL said, " We attended Rallis India’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday. Management refrained from providing specific guidance for FY13 given an unusually uncertain environment, but signalled continued optimism with regard to long-term prospects for the company’s various businesses."
In the near-term, while sentiment seems to have improved somewhat from the depressed levels of last year’s Rabi season, the monsoon will have the final say on FY13 performance. We retain estimates and our positive stance for the long term, reports added.
The report was published by IIFL’s Institutional Equities Research desk.
Rainfall below normal across regions during 21-27 June: IMD
Kerala to get additional foodgrains, sugar for Onam
The center will make additional allocations of foodgrains and sugar to Kerala for coming Onam festival. This was conveyed to Chief Minister of Kerala, Shri Oommen Chandy by Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Prof K.V.Thomas here today during a meeting held to review PDS requirements in Kerala.
Prof Thomas said that the Center has decided to make additional allocation of 59,000 MT of rice and 29,500 MT of wheat for Onam festival to Kerala at MSP prices. It has also made adhoc additional allocation of 84978 MT of rice and 34190 MT of wheat already at BPL price for BPL families in the State.
The Minister said that regarding the two poorest districts of Palakad and Wayanad in Kerala State, allocation of 5000 tons of rice and wheat at BPL/AAY prices can be considered, provided the State complete the offtake and distribution of last year’s allocation. He said it has also been decided to consider the request of Government of Kerala for additional allocation of sugar for Onam festival.
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Reducing lost water could bring water to millions in Asia: Study
Millions of people in Asia and the Pacific could have access to clean water if leaks were plugged and water utility reforms adopted, says a new study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
“While Asia and the Pacific is increasingly facing a major water crisis, we see unacceptable levels of water being lost through leaks and inefficiencies,” said Bindu Lohani, ADB’s Vice President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development. “By cutting the amount of lost water in half, 150 million people could be supplied with treated water.”
ADB estimates that 29 billion cubic meters of water is lost each year in the region – enough to fill more than 11 million Olympic-sized swimming pools – causing Asia’s water utilities to lose more than $9 billion in revenue each year.
By examining eight of the best-performing water utilities in Asia, Good Practices in Urban Water Management concludes that a low rate of unaccounted for water (UFW) is critical for efficient service delivery. While current UFW levels in the region are as high as 60%, an UFW level of less than 20% is a realizable goal. In fact, it notes that Phnom Penh managed to bring its lost water rate down to just 6% in 2008.
The study identifies seven universal themes to serve as a model for replication by water utilities: corporatization for better accountability; economic sustainability; unaccounted-for-water reduction; holistic approach to manage water resources including water supply and wastewater management; staff productivity; collaborative engagement amongst government, utilities and society; and inclusive approach to addressing the needs of the urban poor.
Asian water utilities need to show innovation to provide service to low-income households, the study says, noting that each of the eight water agencies studied provided some kind of subsidy for obtaining a water connection and, in deserving cases, for the use of water as well.
Launched today at the Singapore International Water Week, the study cites Singapore as one of the models for water management which other Asian cities can learn from. The country has a low level of lost water due to leakage, a strong government commitment for water sustainability, and is pricing water to take in the full costs of delivery and management. Its water utility, PUB, is seen as a test bed for innovative technologies.
The study, which is a collaborative effort between ADB and the Institute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, provides new insights into urban water management in the cities of Bangkok, Thailand; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Jamshedpur, India; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China; and Singapore.