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Agriculture Newsletter - November 12 to November 16, 2012

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

India’s first fully integrated micro irrigation project near Shiggaon in Haveri District, Karnataka was inaugurated today by the Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shivappa Shettar in the presence of a large number of dignitaries including the State Irrigation Minister, Basavaraj Bommai at Village Halsur, Taluka Savanur in the Haveri District of Karnataka.

Top Stories 
Govt gives major initiatives for farmers

The Government gives very high priority to agriculture and specially to the prosperity of farmers. It is implementing a number of large schemes and providing funds to State governments for taking new initiatives for increasing farmers’ incomes. Some of the major actions taken in the recent past are given below:

Government has raised MSP in recent years by huge margin. MSP for wheat and rice has been more than doubled in last 8 years. MSP for some pulse crops has gone up three times.

Government has doubled the sugarcane support price in four years. It stands at Rs. 170 per quintal now.

Record foodgrain production of 257 million tonnes last year, supported by massive increase in MSP to farmers. It is more than thrice of foodgrain production 45 years back.

Government subsidises farm loans considerably. Crop loans upto Rs. 3 lakh are available at 4% interest. Other farm loans too are available at a subsidised rate of 7%.

Farm credit has gone up substantially. Over 60mn farmers avail of loans from banks and cooperatives. Total farm credit exceeds Rs. 5 lakh crore.

Government has made law for warehouse receipts to be negotiable. It allows farmers to take loan from banks on such receipts.

Banks have issued nearly 12mn Kisan Credit Cards, helping farmers take loans hassle-free. KCC can now also be used as ATM card.

A special scheme, BGREI (Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India),has been launched to support farmers in eastern India. Farmers in eastern UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, WB benefit from this scheme.

Government focus on raising pulses production. Initiatives such as special scheme to organise pulses villages and significant rise in MSP will reduce import of pulses.

Kisan call centre provides expert advice to farmers. Toll free calls at 18001801551 get advice in 22 languages.


Jain Irrigation Q2 net profit at Rs.360mn

For the quarter ended 30th September, 2012, Jain Irrigation posted Net Sales of Rs.6.03bn crores (Rs.7.5bn).  However, on account of foreign exchange gain, the Company’s Q2 PAT stood at Rs.360mn, an increase of 200% from Rs.1.02bn  in the corresponding quarter in the previous year.
During the quarter, Tissue Culture business grew by 20% and Green Energy business by 110%; while in micro irrigation and agro products businesses, Sales were lower by 37.3% and 21.8% respectively.  Overall exports also declined by 38% and stood at Rs.136.50%.
For the half year ended 30th September, 2012, Net Sales stood at Rs. 14.47bn (Rs.16.82bn), EBIDTA at Rs.3.01bn (Rs.4.08bn) and Net Profit at Rs.190mn (Rs.940mn).
The company looks forward to a better second half, which traditionally accounts for 65% of its annual business. It has an order book of Rs.7.75bn across all divisions.

Domestic News

FAO Director-General calls for action to break cycle of hunger in dryland countries

Conflict, recurrent drought and volatile food prices have countries in Africa and the Near East in a hunger trap, although there is a way out, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva told the International Conference on Food Security in Drylands  in Doha, Qatar.

The two-day conference brings together government, academia, development agencies and banks, civil society and the private sector from 60 countries to discuss food security, water and investment in dryland countries.

It will come up with recommendations for action in the three areas to feed into future policies, strategies and investments to boost agricultural production to enhance food security and increase resilience to future prices shocks.

"We are losing the battle against hunger in Africa and the Near East," Graziano da Silva told the conference, pointing out that the number of hungry people in the regions has increased by 83 million to 275 million since the early 1990s.

"Natural resources degradation in dryland countries threatens more than two billion people," Graziano da Silva warned.

He called upon the international community to work closely with dryland countries to break the cycle of hunger, highlighting the need to:

Improve information on drylands to support sustainable management of land and water resources.

Scale up the sustainable intensification of agriculture and adapt production to climate change.
Build resilience in rural communities and increase responsible investments in agriculture and rural development.

Strengthen global food security governance, building on the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), the intergovernmental food policy body. Read more…

Involving local farmers is key to success of foreign investment : FAO

International investments that give local farmers an active role and leave them in control of their land have the most positive effects on local economies and social development, according to a new FAO report published today.

The report, Trends and Impacts of Foreign Investment in Developing Country Agriculture, emphasizes that investment projects that combine the strengths of the investor (capital, management and marketing expertise, and technology) with those of local farmers (labour, land, local knowledge) are most successful.

Business models that leave farmers in control of their land give them an incentive to invest in land improvements and also favor sustainable development. The publication offers a number of  case studies on the impact of foreign investment in Africa and Asia, including large-scale land deals often referred to as land grabbing.

"While a number of studies document the negative impacts of large-scale land acquisition in developing countries, there is much less evidence of its benefits to the host country, especially in the short-term and at local level," says the report. "For investments involving large-scale land acquisition in countries where land rights are unclear and insecure, the disadvantages often outweigh the few benefits to the local community," it notes.

The report advises that "acquisition of already-utilized land to establish new large farms should be avoided and other forms of investment should be considered." Read more…

CCEA approves additional allocation of wheat and rice under OMSS (D)

CCEA has approved allocation of 65 lakh tonnes of wheat for tender sale by FCI to bulk consumers/traders and allocation of 5 lakh tonnes wheat and 5 lakh tonnes rice for sale to retail consumers through State/UT governments and national cooperatives like NAFED NCCF and Kendriya Bhandar under Open Market Sale Scheme – Domestic (OMSS(D)). The sale of wheat/rice under OMSS (D) will increase the availability of these commodities in the market and will have moderating influence on prices of wheat and rice in the open market.

Jain Irrigation’s Micro Irrigation Project Inaugurated by Karnataka CM

India’s first fully integrated micro irrigation project near Shiggaon in Haveri District, Karnataka was inaugurated today by the Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shivappa Shettar in the presence of a large number of dignitaries including the State Irrigation Minister, Basavaraj Bommai at Village Halsur, Taluka Savanur in the Haveri District of Karnataka.  Addressing the large gathering, the Chief Minister said, “This project is the perfect solution for the State like Karnataka where more than 50% of the villages are drought prone.”

This path-breaking project has been implemented by Karnataka Niravari Nigam Ltd., a Government of Karnataka Undertaking.  The project will cover three Talukas viz. Shiggaon, Savanur and Hanagal and will benefit around 8200 farmers from nearly 30 villages.

The Shiggaon Lift Irrigation project is based on the concept of Integrated Micro Irrigation model pioneered by Jain Irrigation, India’s biggest private sector irrigation company.  The Jain Integrated Micro Irrigation Model ensures increase in the overall irrigation efficiency from the present 30% to upto 85%.  Other benefits are energy saving, use of fertigation technology for enhancing crop productivity, reduction in agri input costs, improvement in soil health, etc.  This model is poised to bring a revolutionary change in the way irrigation is done in India and abroad.

The Shiggaon Lift Irrigation project will irrigate an area of 9900 hectares and will use monsoon floods of Varada River in Karnataka.  The water will be lifted from Varada River with the help of heavy duty pump sets and delivered to six delivery chambers and then fed through gravity to the sumps.  From the sumps, the water would be lifted by pump sets of required discharge and head to operate the Micro Irrigation Systems. The irrigation interval would be five days to apply 14 mm of water to each farm and the crops would include sunflower, maize, groundnut, chillies, pluses and jowar.
A total of 17057 hydrants have been provided in the command area to ensure effective Sprinkler Irrigation. This system will save water upto 50%, increase crop productivity and increase water usage efficiency by 75%.

A pioneer and leader in Micro Irrigation, Jain Irrigation Systems has successfully executed several micro irrigation projects in the country.  It has the technical expertise and design capabilities to implement Micro Irrigation projects of all sizes.



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