Indian rice exports eased global prices: Pawar
From an importing nation India has now become a nation that exports wheat and rice, the Agriculture Minister said. “I am glad to inform that our efforts are showing excellent outcomes. From having to import about 6.5 million tonne of wheat in 2006 and 2007 we are now not only meeting the domestic demand but have also begun contributing to global supply through exports. Similarly, in case of rice, we faced problems in 2009 as our buffer stocks kept for supplies under public distribution system had dipped due to inadequate production. In the past twelve months, however, due to record production over the years, we have already exported about 8 million tonne of rice. The exports from India has not only stabilized the global supplies but have helped in easing the ruling high prices to affordable levels.”
Stating that increasing agricultural production and diversifying the production base has become the need of the hour, he said, “India has been following since 2007 the strategy of agricultural development by widening the production base and focusing attention to high potential low producing areas through intensive promotion of technologies in order to bridge the yield gaps.”
Laying stress on the global food economy in domestic context he went on to state “In order to better understand the global food economy in domestic context we in India have initiated a study project on developing Agricultural Outlook where situation analysis and forecasts are prepared periodically for the short and the medium terms. We are grateful to FAO for supporting this initiative with technical assistance on international exposure and capacity building. We believe that informed decisions based on sound analysis help develop better understanding of food situation internationally and locally.”
Informing the various international organizations and policy experts gathered at the consultation meeting he informed: “India is actively involved in the evolution of these mechanisms, for shaping the information system for a sound real time analysis of the developing situation on supply, stocks, trade, demand and prices of food grains in different parts of the world. We believe that credible information generated by the system would be a valuable input for any policy initiative at the country level should any of the supply, price or trade shocks cause disruption in food availability. Better information is the key to being better prepared.”
He further said, “South Asian Countries have started a SAARC Food Bank to service the needs of the member countries in case of any supply shock as a result of calamities or otherwise. There is need to strengthen such regional cooperation instruments to respond to the developing global food crisis. It is our collective responsibility to reach out to those vulnerable populations whose access to food is compromised due to high food prices.”
India’s 2012 rains 8% below average
The four-month long monsoon season in India has drawn to a close, leaving the country with a rain deficit of 8%, data from the India Meteorological Department showed.
Monsoon rains were 8% less than 50-yr average in 2012, the IMD said on its website.
India received 819.5mm rainfall against the 886.9mm average during the season. This year, rainfall was the weakest since the drought affected year of 2009 when the overall rainfall across the country was around 23% below normal.
A drought is declared when monsoon rains are below 90% of long-term averages in the entire season.
The IMD said 67% of the country received normal rain in Jun-Sep.
India’s south peninsula region received 10% deficient rain this season. The central region got 4% deficient rain. The northwest region was 7% deficient in rains during Jun-Sep while India’s east and northeast region received 11% deficient rains.
WVCl launches propagate vegetarianism
The Governor of Tamil Nadu His Excellency Dr K Rosaiah today launched World Veg Council (WVC) in Chennai, rechristening the Indian Vegetarian Congress (IVC), the movement of vegetarianism in India established by Rukmini Devi Arundale in the year 1959.
With more people across the globe beginning to recognise the goodness of vegetarianism for health as well as environmental reasons propagating the message to become vegetarian more emphatically becomes imperative. This necessitated the transformation of Indian Vegetarian Congress to become World Veg Council thus paving the way to reach varied sections of people across globe.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) provides some staggering statistics for the environmental impact of meat production provides ample food for thought. For instance, there are almost 1.4 billion cattle and 1.1 billion sheep on the planet producing 37 percent of the total methane generated by human activity, a gas that is 20 times more effective at trapping greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide. 70 per cent of all agricultural land, just under a third of the earth’s entire land surface, is used for rearing farm animals. The amount of water needed to produce one kilogramme of beef varies depending on which figures you look at, but estimates are between 13,000 litres and 100,000 litres. Read more…
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