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Agriculture Newsletter - November 26 to November 30, 2012

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

The Government fixes Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for the crops covered under MSP to ensure a minimum return to farmers. However, farmers are free to sell in the open market if it offers a higher price than MSP.

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Govt releases 70.00 lac tons sugar for open market sale


The Central Government has decided to make available quantity of 70.00 lac tons of non-levy quota for open market sale, for the months of December, 2012 to March, 2013 as per the details given below:- Read more…


India’s supply chain management for storing food & pharmaceutical products is highly inefficient: PHD Chamber


PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry organized a National Conference on Cold Chain Management supported by Ministry of Food Processing Industries, government of India. Attending the Conference were Sandip Somany, President, PHD Chamber; R S Bedi, Chairman, Task Force on Logistics Management, PHD Chamber; Girish Aivalli, GEVP & Country Head, Food & Agribusiness Strategic Advisory & Research, Yes bank limited; Dr. Saumitra Chaudhuri, Member, Planning Commission, Government of India; Sanjeev Chopra, Jt. Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture Govt. of India & MD, National Horticulture Board; and Dinesh Rai, Chairman, WDRA.


Addressing the gathering, Sandip Somany said that India’s supply chain management for storing food products and pharmaceutical products is highly inefficient and about 20% of all food products is wasted every year. He also stated that India is the 2nd largest producer of fruits, vegetables and milk, 5th in eggs and 6th in fish in the world.


A report on Cold Chain Management of India was prepared by Yes Bank and launched by Saumitra Chaudhuri along with other dignitaries present at the conference.  Chaudhuri also congratulated PHD Chambers for organizing this conference saying that, “Cold chain infrastructure of this country is significantly lacking behind. The investment in the food sector has been very weak. This kind of conference organized by PHD Chambers will help in increasing the awareness and confidence in public.” Read more…


Revival of sick fertilizer industries


Fertilizer Corporation of India Limited (FCIL) and Hindustan Fertilizer Corporation Limited (HFCL): The status of revival of the closed units of FCIL and HFCL is as under:-


Based on the recommendation of Empowered Committee of Secretaries ECOS, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in its meeting held on 4.8.2011 approved the proposal for revival of closed units of FCIL and HFCL with the stipulation that Board for Industrial and Financial Restructuring (BIFR) proceedings be expedited and thereafter, the matter including changes, if any, required in bid parameters, be placed before the Committee for a final decision. Accordingly, the Draft Rehabilitation Schemes (DRS) of HFCL and FCIL have been submitted to BIFR for their approval. BIFR has appointed State Bank of India as Operating Agency for examining the DRS of HFCL and FCIL. After the approval of BIFR, the proposal shall be placed before competent authority for obtaining approval. Read more…




Decontrolling Sugar


The Committee headed by Dr. C. Rangarajan, Chairman, Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, has interalia recommended removal of levy obligation on sugar mills. The Committee has further recommended that the states which want to provide sugar under PDS may henceforth procure it from the market directly according to their requirement and may also fix the issue price. The recommendations of the Committee are under consideration of the Government. 


Some cane farmers have supported the proposal. The views of State Governments have been invited. 


This information was given by the Minister of State (IC) for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Prof. K.V.Thomas in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha. 


Govt starts market intervention scheme for farmers


The Government fixes Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for the crops covered under MSP to ensure a minimum return to farmers. However, farmers are free to sell in the open market if it offers a higher price than MSP. 


The Government fixes the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) of various crops on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), the views of concerned State Governments and Central Ministries/Departments to ensure a minimum return to the growers. While formulating its recommendations on price policy, CACP considers a number of important factors which include interalia, cost of production, changes in input prices, trends in market prices, demand and supply situation, effect on general price level, effect on cost of living etc. 


The Government ensures MSP through procurement operations undertaken by the Central, State and cooperative agencies in the States. Read more…


Domestic News


Share of small farmers in farm loans grows to 45%


The Agriculture credit flow during the year 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 was Rs.3845.14bn, Rs.4682.91bn and Rs.5110.29bn respectively. During this period credit flow to small and marginal farmers was Rs.1226.54bn, Rs.1677.39bn and Rs.2278.35bn respectively which is 32%, 36% and 45% of the total loan disbursed to the farmers during these years. 


The Government has taken several measures to improve credit flow to small and marginal farmers. These measures, inter alia, includes fixation of annual targets for improving agricultural credit flow, provision of crop loans upto Rs. 3.00 lakh @ 4% per annum to such farmers who repay their loan as per the repayment schedule fixed by the banks, extention of benefit of interest subvention scheme to small & marginal farmers having Kisan Credit Card for a further period upto six months for storing their produce in warehouses against negotiable warehouse receipts, collateral free loan upto Rs. 1.00 lakh, implementation of revival package for short term cooperative credit structure in the country etc. 


This information was given by Tariq Anwar, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.  


Measures being taken to support small and marginal farmers


The Government provides financial incentives, grants, concessions to the farmers with special emphasis on holdings of small and marginal farmers through various Schemes such as National Food Security Mission, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, Revised Macro Management of Agriculture, Integrated Scheme of Oilseeds, Pulses, Oil Palm and Maize (ISOPOM), Development and Strengthening of Infrastructure Facilities for Production and Distribution of Quality Seeds, etc. 


Besides, Government has taken several measures for improving share of small and marginal farmers in total agricultural credit flow. As a result, share of small and marginal farmers in total agricultural credit flow has increased from 36 per cent in the year 2010-11 to 45 per cent in the year 2011-12. The data on share of marginal operational holdings in agriculture production is not maintained in the Ministry. 


As per provisional results of the latest Agriculture Census 2010-11, marginal operational holdings with operated area less than 0.50 hectare (0.50 hectare = 1.24 acre) accounted for 46.71 per cent of total operational holdings and 9.46 per cent of the total operated area respectively, in the country. 


This information was given by Tariq Anwar, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.  


BioFack India 2012 4th Edition of Expo opens to showcase Organic potential


Honourable Chief Minister Jagdish Shivappa Shettar, Honourable Agriculture Minister  Umesh V Katti, and Honourable Horticulture Minister Shri S A Ravindranath, Karnataka, Inaugurated  BioFach India,  International Organic Trade Fair at Shri Krishna Vihar, Palace Grounds.  Manoj Kumar Menon, Executive Director – International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture and Petra Wolf, Member of Management Board, Numberg Messe, Germany  seen here during the exposition.

The Honourable Chief Minister  in his address said the main objective of the  Organic  expo, an initiative  to provide a platform where private and public sectors, buyers and sellers and exhibitors and investors can forge a linkage on progressive Organic  agriculture by showcasing various  products from India and International companies. The focus should be on sustainable farming methods and linkage to markets.  The Honourable Chief Minister also Released “The Directory of Organic Stake Holders– 4th Edition.”  The Directory is the best complilation of Organic Business and Producers.

The Organiser  hope that the  fourth edition of expo would promote trade and industrial activities and will  strive to become an “Event in the National calendar” so that  ideas takes place  to build better   Organic agriculture  and allied sectors. The successful conduct of the earlier editions of BioFach India Organic Expo has opened opportunities for meaningful interface and knowledge sharing among farmers, traders, and Organic Business companies. Read more…


Market infrastructure for farm produce being supported under four schemes


Assistance for development of market infrastructure in different States is provided under various major schemes of Central Government, i.e. (i) Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), (ii) National Horticulture Mission (NHM), (iii) Horticulture Mission for North East and Himalayan States (HMNEH), and (iv) Development/Strengthening of Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure, Grading and Standardization (AMIGS). 


Under RKVY scheme, States are provided with flexibility and autonomy in the process of selection, approval and execution of schemes/projects, including market infrastructure projects. 


Under NHM scheme, 145 proposals of different State Governments were received during current year and last three years, out of which 124 proposals were approved and 21 proposals were returned to State Governments for seeking clarifications with respect to provisions of operational guidelines. Read more…


Treaty between tea board and European tea committee


The ‘Darjeeling’ tea mark has been registered as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), by the European Commission. To implement the PGI registration for Darjeeling in letter and spirit and towards this end a Joint Communiqué was released which covers the following:


Both European Tea Committee (ETC) and Tea Board, India jointly support the PGI registration in respect of Darjeeling Tea with the European Union (EU);


Both ETC and Tea Board jointly agreed that they would co-operate and work together in disseminating information about the PGI registration and its implication in local language in Germany and other tea consuming countries within the EU;


Tea Board of India and ETC would jointly approach EU for any financial assistance to take necessary steps towards informing EU consumers and citizens about Darjeeling PGI and its implications;


If there is any information with Tea Board of India about infringement or violation of the PGI registration in the EU, the same would be shared with the ETC for any remedial action.


Both ETC and Tea Board, India would evolve a joint working relationship to implement the PGI registration for Darjeeling in letter and spirit.


This information was given by the Minister of State for Commerce & Industry Dr. D. Purandeswari in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.


Export of dairy products: reports


The details of total quantity of dairy products exported and imported during each of the last three years, value-wise, are as under: 


(Rs. in crores)














The Government has taken following steps to increase exports of dairy products:


The Govt. has notified standards for export of milk products under EIC Act. Export Inspection Council (EIC) is registering the milk and milk products manufacturing units for export. EIC’s Inter Departmental Panel helps exporters improve in terms of good hygiene practices, good manufacturing practices, infrastructure development etc.


The Government has allowed incentive on export of Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP) under Vishesh Kriski and Gram Udyog Yojna (VKGUY) with a Duty Credit Scrip equivalent to 5% of FOB value of exports through Public Notice No. 4 (RE-2012)/2009-14 dated 8th June 2012. Read more…


Spices park at Guntur


Government has approved establishment of a Spice park at Guntur, Andhra Pradesh at a cost of Rs 230mn to empower the chilli farmers to have better price realization and wider markets for their produce. The Government of Andhra Pradesh had allocated 124.78 acres of land in Venkayalapadu and Maidavolu village, Edlapadu Mandal in Guntur district in favour of Spice Board, for setting up of this Spices Park. Currently the civil works and electrical works are almost completed. The installation of the plant & machinery for processing of Chilli is in progress and are as per schedule. 38 acres of land has been allotted to exporters for developing their own processing Units in the Park. So far an expenditure of Rs. 146.2mn has been incurred on establishment of the Spice Park. Target for completion of the project is December, 2012. 


This information was given by the Minister of State for Commerce & Industry Dr. D. Purandeswari in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.  


CII AgroTech 2012- India’s only integrated Agri Fair to be held in Chandigarh


The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) today announced that the 10th edition of India’s only integrated Agri Fair, CII Agro Tech 2012 will be held from December 1- 4, 2012. CII AgroTech is a Biennial Agro Technology and Business Fair with a large domestic participation and significant international presence, including 45 foreign exhibitors from 8 countries. Punjab & Haryana are the host states, while Ministry of Agriculture, GoI is supporting the event. The Compound Feed Manufacturers’ Association (CLFMA) of India, Fertiliser Association of India (FAI), Mehram Publications, National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories Limited (NFCSF), National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC) and Sugar Technologists’ Association of India (STAI) are the other Partners of CII Agro Tech 2012. Canada, Italian Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers Federation (UNACOMA) and Korea Agricultural Machinery Industry Cooperative (KAMICO) have set up their pavilions while companies from Germany, The Netherlands, Argentina, Spain and USA are also showcasing their products and services.


Talking about the focus of CII Agro Tech 2012, Mr R M Khanna, Past Chairman, CII Northern Region stated, “The need of the hour is ‘Sustainable Agriculture’ as growth in agriculture is important from many aspects, especially to achieve food security and nutrition security for the country. For us to achieve double digit growth, demand from rural India will play an important role in driving the growth in the manufacturing and services sector. While more than half of our population is engaged in agriculture, it generates less than 14% of the national income. Hence, if we are to achieve inclusive growth, the output in the agriculture sector has to grow. Against this backdrop, the Planning Commission has laid down a growth target of 4% for the agri and related sector in the 12th Five Year Plan, 2012-2017. Clearly the task laid out before us is enormous. CII firmly believes that we need to focus on ‘Sustainable Agriculture’ – which means agriculture should be economically viable for the farmer, the practices should be socially acceptable to him and also environmentally sustainable,” he added. Read more…


Rubber production: reports


The total quantity of rubber produced and consumed during the last two years is as under:-












A Rubber Skill Development Centre has already been set up, jointly promoted by All India Rubber Industries Association and Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association under the scheme of National Skill Development Corporation.


The mandate of Rubber Skill Development Centre is to initiate, carryout, execute, implement, aid and assist activities towards skill development in rubber sector and promote academic intelligence covering the issues raised by All India Rubber Industries Association as well.


This information was given by the Minister of State for Commerce & Industry Dr. D. Purandeswari in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.


International News


India’s ‘CII Agro Tech’ enters into agribusiness MoU with New Zealand’s ‘Fieldays’


India and New Zealand are set to increase mutual collaboration and partnerships in the agribusiness ssector with the visit of the Honourable David Carter, Minister for Primary Industries, New Zealand on the sidelines of CII Agro Tech 2012 and signing of an important MoU.


India’s Premier Biennial Agro Technology and Business Fair ‘Agro Tech 2012’ organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Northern Region entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the largest agriculture show in the Southern Hemisphere - ‘New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays’, The aim of the MoU is to share the best practices and technologies as also build agribusiness connections between the two countries.


Through the MoU, CII Agro Tech and Fieldays will avail reciprocal rights to attend and exhibit at each others’ Agri & Business shows, share Intellectual Property, host VIPs and delegations and promote business collaborations. The signing of MoU recognises CII’s and Fieldays’ status as leading international facilitators of agribusiness expansion and innovation. Read more…





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