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Modi says agri export policy on the anvil; on track to double farm income by 2022

Aug 16, 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said a new agriculture export policy will be unveiled soon to boost farm income as the government is on track to achieve the target of doubling farmers' income by 2022. Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the occasion of 72nd Independence Day, Modi spelt out pro-farm measures taken during four years of his government, the cornerstone being the bold move to fix the minimum support price (MSP) of crops at least 1.5 times of the cost of production. 
 
The demand for higher MSP was pending for years. From farmers to political parties to agriculture experts, everybody was asking about it but nothing happened. We decided that farmers should get 1.5 times more price than their cost of production and implemented the decision, he said. 
 
The Prime Minister said doubts were cast when he set the target of doubling farm income by 2022 but decisions like increase in price for crops have ensured that the government is on track of meeting the target. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Export Promotion Councils should work for promotion of GI Products: Prabhu

Aug 16, 2018

Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu said on Tuesday urged the Export Promotion Councils to align with the Ministry of Commerce for promotion GI products.
 
In a meeting with representatives of various Exports Promotion Councils (EPCs), including Plantation Boards, Fragrance and Flavour Centre and Airport Authority of India in New Delhi, the minister also elaborated on the action plan for branding and marketing of the GI products.
 
The Minister also asked the EPCs to set up GI stalls at major international airports and organize international fairs to popularize GI products globally.
 
In this connection, he called for creating awareness among consumers about the GI products.
 
He emphasised on the need for branding of domestic tea and coffee at international and domestic airports within the country as they serve a large consumer base.
 
Prabhu said that the promotion of GI products will connect the local artisans with the global markets, which in turn will give them opportunity at the international level and help entire value chain grow.
 
It will also improve their livelihood. A separate policy will be put in place for the governance of greenfield airports, branding and promotion of GI products and redressal of related grievances, the Minister said.
 
Though the date for setting up first GI  stall is yet to be finalized, Prabhu suggested that October 2, the birth day of Mahatrma Gandhi, could be chosen for it.
    
Source: Sme Times



Agriculture minister proposes to FAO to declare the year 2019 as International Year of Millets

Aug 16, 2018

Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh has proposed to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization to declare the year 2019 as international year of millets, said officials in the Agriculture ministry. This will promote cultivation by amending cropping patterns of areas which are especially susceptible to climate change, they said. 
 
 
The minister has requested the inclusion of this proposal in the agenda of the 26th session of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG) meeting, scheduled during October 1-5, 2018 in Rome, they said. 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Exports rise 14 pc in July; trade deficit widens

Aug 16, 2018

Exports from the country in June rose by 14.32 per cent to $25.77 billion, from $22.54 billion during the corresponding month of last year, according to official figures shown on Tuesday.
 
Exports during July 2018 were valued at US $ 25.77 Billion as compared to US $ 22.54    Billion during July 2017 exhibiting a positive growth of 14.32 per cent, said an official release.
 
Despite the rise in exports, imports rose however, at more than double the pace, with the trade deficit for the month widening to over $18 billion, the data shows.
 
Engineering goods, petroleum products, gems and jewellery, organic and inorganic chemicals and drugs and pharmaceuticals showed a high export growth during the month under review.
 
Cumulative value of exports for the period April-July 2018-19 was $108.24 billion as against $94.76 billion registering a positive growth of 14.23 per cent in dollar terms, the ministry said in its review statement.
 
Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports during July 2018 were valued at $18.68 billion as compared to $16.98 billion during July 2017 exhibiting a positive growth of 9.98 per cent.
 
As per the data, the country's imports during the month under review rose by 28.81 per cent to $43.79 billion in July 2018 from $33.99 billion in the like period of 2017.
 
Segment-wise, oil imports during July 2018 jumped by 57.41 per cent to $12.35 billion from $7.84 billion imported during July 2017. 
    
Source: Sme Times



Our procurement has reached commodities outside MSP ambit’

Aug 16, 2018

Raising farm income could well be the agenda for 2019 general elections and well aware of this is the Narendra Modi government, which is leaving no stone unturned to lure this vote bank. Navigating this agenda for the government is Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare. Aware of the challenges of the price sensitive market, Singh said, agriculture markets cannot be perfect and there always will be price fluctuations. In conversation with BusinessLine, Singh explains the rationale behind minimum support price (MSP) and why it is wrong to say that the input costs of farmers are increasing, and that nothing is being done to get them good returns. Excerpts:
 
Merely announcing MSP is not enough to ensure farmers get good price for their produce, procurement is one key component. But, our procurement is largely restricted to rice and wheat…
 
There will always be price fluctuations in the agriculture market. When there is glut in production, the prices will go down automatically. We understand that government intervention is important in such situations.
 
Before we came in, the government procurement was largely confined to rice and wheat. Over the last four years, the procurement of pulses and oilseeds has increased immensely. In 2017-18, 4.5 million tonnes (mt) of pulses — about 18.5 per cent of total pulses production — and 2.04 mt of oilseeds were procured. If need be, we are willing to increase the procurement of these commodities further.
 
We may even procure coarse cereals. Our procurement in fact has gone beyond commodities for which MSP are declared. In the last four years, through market intervention schemes, we have procured oil palm, chillies, and turmeric in Andhra, ginger in Arunachal, areca nut, onions and turmeric in Karnataka, chillies and grapes in Mizoram, onions and chillies in Telangana, and potatoes in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
    
Source: The Hindu Businessline



Jack’ of all fruit rules Western vegan market in raw form

Aug 16, 2018

The rising preference for vegan diets in the West is fuelling demand for the humble Indian raw jackfruit. Shipments of the tender or raw jackfruit in frozen, dried and ready-to-eat forms are on the rise to countries such as the United States and Europe, besides West Asia.
 
Also, the seeds of the jackfruit, whose flour is used in bakery products, is finding great demand from countries such as the United Kingdom and Germany, among others.
 
Due to its fibrous texture, raw jackfruit is considered as a vegetarian substitute for meat and chicken. In fact, tender jack is also being called as dummy meat, experts said.
    
Source: The Hindu Businessline



NITI Aayog launches competition for start-ups

Aug 16, 2018

Government think-tank NITI Aayog on Tuesday launched Pitch to MOVE - a mobility pitch competition that aims to provide budding entrepreneurs of India a unique opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a distinguished jury.
 
Pitch to MOVE is organised by NITI Aayog in collaboration with Invest India and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) as a part of a series of engaging featured events in the run up to the main event.
 
The Summit is scheduled to be held on September 7-8, at Vigyan Bhawan, in New Delhi.
 
Startups working in the various fields of mobility can pitch their ideas to industry leaders and Venture Capitalists for raising investments.
 
Winners of the event will be felicitated by the PM during the Global Mobility Summit.
 
Pitch to MOVE' aims to identify and incentivise the startups, which will help the Government realize its vision of Shared, Connected, Intermodal and Environment Friendly Mobility for India. The objective is to harness the latest disruption for generating employment and growth in our country. We look forward to working together with these startups, said Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog.
    
Source: Sme Times



Pulses, oilseeds lift kharif acreage

Aug 16, 2018

Better-than-usual acreage under pulses and oilseeds has lifted kharif sowing this week even though it continues to be marginally lower than in the corresponding period last year.
 
Till Friday, the total area planted stood at 924.76 lakh hectares (lh), which is about 1.48 per cent lower than 938.66 lh sown during the same period last year, according to the latest sowing data released by the Agriculture Ministry.
 
The planting of rice was down by 2.85 per cent on lack of rains as compared to last year. While there was a significant increase in transplantation reported from many States, including Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Haryana and Punjab, the rice acreage was down in West Bengal, Manipur and Assam. The area covered under rice was at 307.78 lh.
 
Coverage of pulses was done on 124.15 lh – a tad lower than last year’s acreage – but more than a million hectares higher than the normal area sown during the kharif season. While moong and arhar planting looks promising, urad was down by nearly 12 per cent to less than 35 lh.
    
Source: The Hindu Businessline



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