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FAO chief stresses role of agri in food security at G7 ministers’ meet

Oct 17, 2017

At the G7 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting, which took place in Bergamo recently, José Graziano da Silva, director general, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), stressed the role of agriculture and rural development in addressing prevention and responses related to conflicts, migration and food security.
 
He informed the ministers about the United Nations (UN) agency’s intention, as co-chair - with the International Organisation for Migration - in 2018, of the United Nations Global Migration Group (GMG), to emphasise the linkages between agricultural and rural development and migration.
 
Graziano da Silva cited FAO and the International Food Policy Research Institute’s (IFPRI) joint brief, which included five pathways towards durable and sustainable solutions to help to prevent conflicts and address some of the underlying causes of forced migration.
 
These included the need to support risk and shock responses through resilience by investing in strengthening livelihoods and to foster inclusive and participatory processes on access to and use of natural resources.
 
“The G7 has helped to sharpen focus on the need to make food systems more sustainable, including through territorial approaches, and we welcome the recognition that the role of women and young people is essential for achieving food security,” Graziano da Silva said.
 
Several of the G7 ministers joined a World Food Day ceremony at FAO’s headquarters in Rome, where Pope Francis delivered the keynote speech. The theme of World Food Day 2017 was Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development.
    
Source: FNB News



Aahar’s first Mumbai essay underway at Vashi’s CIDCO Exhibition Centre

Oct 17, 2017

The first edition of Aahar Mumbai, the international food and hospitality fair, is underway at CIDCO Exhibition Centre, Vashi, Navi Mumbai. The four-day event, which concludes on October 14, 2017, is the first specialised business-to-business show of its kind in western India. 
 
It was organised by India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) and inaugurated by Vijay Waghmare, managing director, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC). Present on the occasion were J Gunasekeran, general manager, ITPO, and other government officials.
 
Aahar Mumbai was organised with the support of the ministry of food processing industries (MoFPI) and apex bodies such as the Agricultural and Processed Food Product Export Development Authority (APEDA), the Association of Resource Companies for Hospitality Industry of India (ARCHII), the Hotel and Restaurant Equipment Manufacturers’ Association of India (HOTREMAI), the All India Food Processors’ Association (AIFPA) and the Food and Hospitality Support Association of India (FHSAI) for their continuous support in holding the AAHAR series of events.
 
One of the highlights of the event, whose objective was to create a sync with the Make in India campaign, was the exclusive Investment Pavilion, which was set up to unveil the vast investment opportunities in the hospitality sector.
 
It featured a wide range of food products, machinery and equipment from about 100 participants. Prominent among them were the Coconut Development Board (CDB), Tourism Corporation of Gujarat, Nestle India, Godrej Winterhalter India, Cothas Coffee, Blue Star, Rockwell Industries, Frootel India, Adani Wilmar and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). 
 
Aahar Mumbai also featured symposiums, workshops and seminars focusing solely on the small-to-mid-market hotel and resort category (one- to three-star), which comprises 90 per cent of the industry.
 
These included Invest West, a two-day symposium for potential hotel owners/operators, which took place on October 11 and 12, 2017, and a seminar on Ladies in Hospitality (which took place on October 13, 2017).
 
ITPO aims to replicate a regional version of AAHAR, the mega trade fair in New Delhi, to encourage trade and development in these sectors, which are essential to the government’s plans to generate industry and employment in the interior regions.
 
It assumes a special significance at a time when the Indian economy is on a transition mode and poised to enter into a new era of a unified Goods and Services Tax (GST).
 
The fair has evolved as one of the most important platforms in South Asia to understand and source the new innovations technologies, products and development in the fast-growing food processing as well as hospitality sectors.
 
Apart from opening new avenues of joint ventures, the fair offered buyers from India and overseas an excellent platform to interact with exhibitors and promote trade.
 
Aahar intends to empower the small-scale sector, which is a strong component of the Indian economy, due to its inherent ability to promote exports and generate employment opportunities.
 
Waghmare complimented ITPO for the effort it took to host the maiden essay of Mumbai Aahar edition, stating, It was a privilege to be part of Aahar Mumbai edition of CIDCO. The diversity of exhibitors is great and the event has been organised meticulously. I wish the ITPO officers all the best for all their future endeavours. 
    
Source: FNB News



Gujarat to harvest record groundnut crop, says SEA

Oct 17, 2017

Groundnut is one of the major crops in kharif season and Gujarat is the prominent state growing groundnut. For last 10 years, SEA Groundnut Promotion Council has conducted the groundnut crop survey to assess the size and quality of the Groundnut crop for the benefit of the members and the industry at large. 

This year under the leadership of G.G. Patel, convener, SEA Oilseed Crop Estimate Committee, a 15 member team visited the leading groundnut producing districts in Gujarat from 13th to 15th October 2017 and prior to main survey, a small team conducted survey for Kutch and North Gujarat on 4th and 5th Oct 2017. 
 
The team visited number of farms in various districts in North Gujarat, Kutch and Saurashtra and random samples were drawn from fields and counting of the pods were studied. Maturity and the quality of the pods were also studied. By applying scientific matrix, the per hectare yields were arrived at from each field and arrived estimate, said the SEA release 
 
This year the first round of sowing took place in last week of June and second round of sowing took place around July 15, 2017. Timely and satisfactory rainfall and hardly any crop disease resulted in record bumper crop at 31.45 lakh tonnes, the highest ever. The acreage under kharif groundnut in Gujarat marginally decreased to 16 lakh hectare from 16.42 lakh hectare last year and yield has increased by 170 kg/ha to 1960 kg per hectare against 1790 kg/ha last year. 
 
Gujarat Government has reported that 16 lakh hectares under Groundnut crop sown during kharif season compared to 16.42 lakh ha in 2016-17. Average yield per hectare has increased to 1960 Kg. per hectare against 1790 Kg. per hectare last year. Gujarat is expected to harvest 31.45 lakh tonnes during kharif season, which is a record production in the history of Groundnut in Gujarat, said SEA.
 
Gujarat Government has decided to buy limited quality of Groundnut at MSP of Rs 900 per 20 kg against current market price of around Rs750/800 per 20 Kg and allotted a sum of Rs 500 crore for the same. This may lead to time being reserved for selling by the farmers in open market and he would prefer to offer government at procurement price. 
 
Apart from bumper crop, there is carry in stock with NAFED 1.10 lakh tonnes and farmers & traders about 50/60,000 tonnes in Gujarat.
 
The export of HPS Groundnut expected to be lesser then last year and same time export of groundnut oil may not find international market due to disparity. The local production of groundnut oil will be higher during the year due to better availability of groundnut seed for crushing. 
 

 

    
Source: The Economic Times



North-East India emerging as new startup destination: Minister

Oct 17, 2017

Union Minister of State for Development of the North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh claimed that the area was fast emerging as the new start-up destination for youngsters from all over India, an official statement on Monday.
 
Due to improvement in connectivity and transport facility in the last two years, coupled with concentrated administrative focus, more and more youngsters are now heading towards the northeastern states to venture into entrepreneurship and take advantage of its unexplored potential, he said, according to a DoNER Ministry statement.
 
Citing an example, he said in certain areas of Northeast, including states like Arunachal Pradesh, "while almost 40 percent of the fruit goes waste on account of lack of adequate storage and transport facilities, the same can be used to produce and manufacture fresh and pure fruit juice at a much more cost-effective price".
 
During an interaction with youngsters here on Sunday, Jitendra Singh also pointed out that many new airports coming up at Pakyong (Sikkim), Itanagar and Shillong, which along with a time-bound plan to lay broad-gauge rail track, would bring in further ease of doing business.
 
Another sector of entrepreneurship which is fast emerging in Northeast is the medical and healthcare sector.
 
For years, there has been a trend for patients to shift outside the region, mostly to Kolkata or Vellore, but the encouragement given to the private corporate sector has now resulted in the opening of new hospitals within the region itself and young entrepreneurs are taking the lead, he said.
    
Source: SME Time



Centre looking at 16,000-cr export package

Oct 17, 2017

The Centre is considering an incentive package of over ?16,000 crore to boost exports in view of sluggish domestic demand and competition in export markets’.
 
Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, in a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, has made a case for early decisions on key issues affecting exports — such as inadequate incentives and lack of credit — to formulate a meaningful mid-term review of the foreign trade policy (FTP). A number of critical export promotion measures, which would involve an additional outgo of over ?16,000 crore, have been placed by Prabhu before Jaitley for consideration and early decision-making, a government official told BusinessLine.
 
Proposed measures
 
The proposed measures include allowing the scrips earned under the popular Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) to be used to pay Goods and Services Tax (GST), increasing the incentive rates and interest subsidy rates for labour-intensive sectors, reducing the GST rate on MEIS/SEIS scrips, and infusing more capital in the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC).
 
We have already delayed announcement of the mid-term review of the FTP as exporters were grappling with GST issues till recently.
 
The Finance Minister has to now take a view on the incentives that could be extended to give exports a much-needed boost. A meaningful FTP review has to be announced without further delay, the official said.
    
Source: The Hindu Business Line



Foreign investment deals worth $10 b already done in food processing sector

Oct 17, 2017

Foreign investment deals worth $10 billion have already been closed, and the figure may go up further after the conclusion of World Food India in November, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said here on Monday.
 
Speaking at a curtain raiser for the global mega food event World Food India (WFI), to be held from November 3-5 in New Delhi, Badal said she was confident that partnering with global industry would transform the food economy and double farmers’ income, as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as well as reduce post-harvest losses.
 
Without disclosing further details of the $10-billion deals, Badal said: “This is just the start. We have beaten the target for the next 2-3 years. All I can disclose at this point is that the deals are in areas such as cold chains, food processing, dairy, marine etc.”
 
When asked about FDI in non-food items, such as personal care products, the Minister said she was “very hopeful and positive”, even though the Department of Industry and Policy Promotion was the decision-making body.
 
WFI will provide a platform to over 200 companies from 30 countries, 18 ministerial and business delegations and about 50 global CEOs, from Nestle, Cargill, Kellogs, Mondelez, Tesco, Amway and Walmart, among others.
 
From India, 27 States are likely to participate, along with CEOs from companies such as ITC, Patanjali, Godrej, Haldiram, Bikano, etc.
 
The event will also showcase the best of Indian and international cuisine at the Food Street, to be curated by WFI’s brand ambassador, chef Sanjeev Kapoor.
 
Japanese interest
At the curtain raiser, Japan’s Ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu said over 60 companies and 15 CEOs from his country would participate, adding that their key interest areas were cold chains and food processing.
 
High-quality Japanese liquor will also be showcased, he said, adding that there had been a big increase in investments by Japanese companies into India from about Rs2 billion in 2015 to Rs7 billion in 2016.
 
Denmark’s Ambassador Peter Takse Jensen said his country was partnering WFI as it gave an opportunity to connect and collaborate with India, adding that organic food was an area that was seeing good activity by Danish companies.
 
Alphonsus Stoelinga, Ambassador of the Netherlands, said his country was known for higher yields in smaller areas, and called for focus on “water managed crops rather than water-intensive crops.
 
Stoleinga, who recently visited Kashmir, said: Dutch apple trees have yields five times higher (than India) and can be planted in higher altitudes, adding that Kashmiri farmers had told him that they wanted to switch from rice to apples.
 
    
Source: The Hindu Business Line



Focused government policies can make India self-reliant in edible oils

Oct 17, 2017

With the right kind of policy initiatives by the government, the country can not only become self-reliant in terms of production but even export some of its indigenous edible oils like mustard oil. 

The total production of edible oil in the country is about nine million metric tonnes (MT) while the domestic requirement is around 25 million MT. 
 
The gap between demand and supply is being met through imports, which amounted to approximately Rs 68,000 crore in 2015-16. Palm oil currently contributes 70 per cent of vegetable oil imports and is one of the cheapest due to high productivity per hectare. 
 
India needs to learn from countries like Malaysia and Italy, who have managed to sell their edible oil worldwide, which in return has contributed to their economy. What palm oil is for Malaysia, olive oil for Italy and soya oil for the US, mustard oil can indeed be for India, Vivek Puri, Managing Director of Puri Oil Mills told IANS. 
 
Mustard oil has some unique properties that no other edible oil has, Puri added. 
 
The Malaysian government launched a full-scale development plan wherein the farmer became the focus, and the entire farming community was organised as cooperatives. 
 

 

    
Source: The Economic Times



Rabi pulses to compensate losses in Kharif season: Agriculture Minister

Oct 17, 2017

The estimated decline in pulses production by about 7 lakh tonnes during Kharif season could get compensated in the coming Rabi (winter sown) season, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh today said. 

India's pulses production is estimated to fall to 8.71 million tonnes during Kharif 2017 compared to last year's record output of 9.42 million tonnes, according to the first advance estimate released by the ministry last month. 
 
Last year there was a record production of pulses. In Kharif season this year, there is some decline. But we expect it to compensate in the Rabi season, Singh told reporters.
 
The minister today reviewed pioneer project 'CHAMAN', which was launched three years ago to boost horticulture sector through use of remote sensing techniques. In the current phase, 185 districts are being covered.
 
Singh said the horticulture sector is one of the major drivers of growth in agriculture sector.
 
India is the second largest producer of vegetables and fruits in the world and is first in the production of banana, mango, lime and lemon, papaya and okra.
 
It gives methodology for preparing reliable estimates of horticulture crops, Singh said, adding that this methodology will help the farmers to generate better income.
 
The post harvest damage of farmers would be significantly reduced by creation of cold storages.
 
In addition, the geo-spatial studies like crop intensification, orchard rejuvenation and aqua-horticulture would further help the farmers to grow their horticultural crops in a profitable manner which will help doubling their income, an official statement said. 
 

 

    
Source: The Economic Times



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