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PM promises to give kisans access to global markets

Aug 20, 2018

PM Modi said on Wednesday the country will soon have an ‘agriculture export policy’ so that Indian farmers can strongly compete in the . Our granaries are full... but times have changed. Our farmers and agricultural markets have to face global challenges and competition. The changing times demand our agricultural methods should also be modern and more scientific. We want to bring value addition right from ‘beej se bazaar tak’ (seeds to market), Modi said in his I-Day speech.
 
His remarks came in the backdrop of concerns that farmers’ economic well-being could not improve much despite record production of foodgrain over the years. Modi also reiterated his government’s efforts to double farmers’ income by 2022 and emphasised that attempts were being made to modernise the sector through technological and policy interventions. He said he dreamed of achieving this goal by the time the country celebrated 75 years of Independence.
 
The commerce ministry had in March come out with a draft policy aimed at doubling agricultural exports (from about $30 billion to over $60 billion by 2022) and integrating Indian farmers and agricultural goods with the global value chain. The policy is expected to be notified soon after incorporating stakeholders’ suggestions.
    
Source: Times of india



Eurasian Economic Union trade ties with India independent of China

Aug 20, 2018

On the margins of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum held in 2017 EAEU together with PM Narendra Modi, discussed the prospects for trade liberalization and concluded that good opportunities exist for both sides. Prior to our meeting with the Prime Minister, the Commission received the Directive from the Heads of states of the Union Member States to negotiate with India. Partnership with India is important for EAEU integration. Over the years, India has been showing high rates of economic growth, continuously enhancing its industrial and technological capacity. The two sides agreed to organize a preliminary meeting of EAEU and India negotiators for determining the future agreement modalities and negotiations procedures. 
 
A meeting was held in January 2018 in Delhi. During the consultations experts exchanged opinions on possible content of the future agreement, approaches to its regulatory provisions formation, schedules of tariff concessions. Such consultations help to reach mutual understanding about the format and depth of possible agreements before the parties commence discussing the text of the agreement itself. 
 
We are negotiating specifically on creating a free trade zone between EAEU and India. Consultations held in January serve as a preparatory stage before commencement of official negotiations. We are discussing the parties' conceptual approaches to various aspects of the free trade zone formation, agreeing upon technical and organizational issues, exchanging necessary information on regulatory systems, their aspects, data sources for the negotiators' work, etc. This stage has to be completed in order to boost the negotiations, by getting fully prepared for discussion of the text of the agreement. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Non-basmati rice exports rise by 36% in 2017-18 fiscal

Aug 20, 2018

 Export of rice, specifically the non-basmati varieties, rose by 36% in the 2017-18 fiscal in comparison to the last financial year.
The basmati and non-basmati rice exports figures in 2016-17 fiscal stood at 39.85 lakh metric tonne and 67.70 lakh metric tonne respectively. In 2017-2018, while the export volume was marginally more for basmati rice (40.56 lakh metric tonne), it saw a significant jump in the case of non-basmati rice (86.48 lakh metric tonne), revealed the data available with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
 
Dhaval Shah, the director of Jairaj Group in Gultekdi wholesale market, Pune, said India has been leading its rivals Thailand and Vietnam in rice exports for the past three years. This record export fetched India foreign currency worth Rs 50,000 crore. The share of basmati rice is Rs 26,000 crore, while Rs 24,000 crore has come from non-basmati exports, he said.
    
Source: Times of india



Weak rupee may boost agri exports: Analysts

Aug 20, 2018

A weak rupee isn’t all that bad for agriculture commodities, with exporters and analysts expecting it to help boost exports and support prices. 
 
 
Farmers are likely to benefit from getting higher prices for their produce, but the economy may suffer from accelerating inflation with imports too getting expensive, they said. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Upgrade for Kakinada Anchorage Port as Dugarajapatnam plan runs aground

Aug 20, 2018

The Centre will fund the upgradation and modernisation of the Kakinada Anchorage Port — currently run by the Andhra Pradesh Government — under the Sagarmala programme. This comes after efforts to build a port at Dugarajapatnam in AP’s Nellore district did not make any headway.
 
Sagarmala Development Company Limited has called for bids from consultancy firms to write a detailed project report to upgrade and modernise the facilities at the Kakinada Anchorage Port, a Shipping Ministry official said.
 
Kakinada already has a deep-water port run by privately held Kakinada Seaports Ltd, while a greenfield commercial port is being built by the GMR Group at Kona village in Thondangi mandal of East Godavari district to cater to its own Kakinada Special Economic Zone as well as for third parties. The Anchorage Port, with a century-old history, was set up as a key facility on the Eastern seaboard to handle 4 million tonnes (mt) of cargo a year. It is the main gateway port for the rich agriculture belt of East and West Godavari and Krishna Districts of Andhra Pradesh
 
In spite of the low mechanisation of facilities, the Anchorage Port has been a major revenue earner among AP’s ports, handling export commodities such as rice, maize and cement while edible oils are imported through the port.
    
Source: The Hindu Businessline



44,000 crore freight corridor on east coast in the works

Aug 20, 2018

The Indian Railways plans to invest 44,000 crore to build a 1,100-km greenfield freight corridor on the east coast connecting Kharagpur in West Bengal with Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh. 
 
The corridor, which is expected to carry about 200 million tonnes of freight per annum, is likely to be announced in the budget proposal for 2019-20. There is very heavy traffic on this route. The work on the proposal is currently going on, said Anurag Sachan, MD at Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation (DFCC). We wll be proposing funding from multilateral agencies along with some equity from Indian Railways for the project. The corridor will connect mineralrich areas of the country to industries in the south. 
 
The construction work on the corridor will begin only after the DFCC delivers the 3,300-km long eastern and western freight corridors. The two corridors, being constructed to connect the mainland with the ports on the western and the eastern coasts of the country, are expected to be fully completed by 2020. 
 
The first phase of the two dedicated freight corridors project, India’s first mega railway project since Independence, being constructed at the cost of 81,000 crore, is likely to be completed by the year end. 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



International conference on food processing tech advances begins at IIFPT

Aug 20, 2018

The International Conference on Recent Advances in Food Processing Technology (iCRAFPT) has commenced at Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT), Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. The three-day meet, whose theme is doubling farmers’ incomes through food processing, concludes on August 19, 2018. 
 
It was inaugurated by Jagadish Prasad Meena, secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), Government of India, and Bijaya Kumar Behera, economic advisor, MoFPI.
 
K Parasuraman, Member of Parliament (MP) from Thanjavur constituency was the guest of honour. C Anandharamakrishnan, director, IIFPT, also presided over the inaugural session.
 
In his inaugural address, Meena highlighted that the bumper production and diversification of agriculture had brought in new challenges for everybody in view of the large-scale food wastage and seasonal and regional demand and supply issues of many commodities.
 
He also stated that the food processing sector in India had a dualistic structure. The unorganised segment dominated in numbers (about 25,00,000 in 2015-16) of small enterprises and workers, but the organised segment (about 40,000) dominated in terms of value of the output and investment.
 
The percentage share of the organised/registered food processors is hardly 1.5 per cent of the total food processors, Meena said.
 
The first-tier technology should target the unorganised sector, which can be encouraged to concentrate on primary processing and provide strong supply link to the high-end secondary and tertiary processing, he added.
 
The second tier should deal with the sophistication of secondary and tertiary processing of high-value products and enable the industry to compete and stand shoulder to shoulder with world food processing industries, Meena said.
 
He added, Seventy-five per cent of our nation’s export basket of food produce consists of fresh fruits and vegetables and unprocessed items, and processed products account for only 25 per cent.
 
Meena also appreciated the continued efforts made by IIFPT in the fields of research and food processing and extended the ministry’s support towards achieving the vision of IIFPT to become an institute of national eminence.
 
He concluded his inaugural address by sharing glimpses of the successful conduct of World Food India 2017, which subsequently promoted investment intent of $14 billion, which has been expressed through Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) by country/worldwide companies.
 
Parasuraman, in his special address, stated that food was an important aspect of leading a healthy life, and IIFPT had been doing excellent work in developing and providing technologies that served the same purpose.
 
He pointed out that India, with a population of 1.3 billion, had its agricultural sector grow at a rate 4.9 per cent per year, whereas the food processing sector grew at eight per cent, which clearly established the importance of the food processing sector.
 
The Thanjavur MP congratulated IIFPT for its work on food processing and organising an international level conference on the same.
    
Source: Fnb News



US-China trade war could give India Iran boost

Aug 20, 2018

The trade war between the US and China is expected to deflect some of the heat from Washington’s Iran sanctions away from India and provide New Delhi the opening to keep some Iranian oil flowing even after the curbs take effect on November 4. China’s main oil importer, Unipec, the trading arm of the world’s largest refiner by capacity Sinopec, earlier this month suspended US shipments. 
 
This triggered a buzz that Beijing intended to slap duty on US crude in retaliation to Washington’s tariffs on Chinese exports, prompting refiners to keep off American oil. This is unlikely to change even after US crude was left out of Beijing’s list of retaliatory tariffs on US goods worth $16 billion last week. Open opinion says this was done to avoid affecting shipments already on way or committed by Chinese refiners. The second is that Beijing wants to keep US oil as a bargaining chip to be  used later.
 
Industry players say either way the situation works well for India. Executives of state-run refining companies involved in oil sourcing operations said due to the cloud of uncertainty, Chinese refiners were unlikely to resume buying US oil anytime soon. “It takes two months for tankers to reach China from the US. Shipments would be fraught with the risk of being hit by tariffs if they are imposed in between, an executive said. China is the largest buyer of US crude in Asia. It is also the largest customer of Iranian oil. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Next wave of India-Korea bilateral investment to be driven by SMEs: Citi

Aug 20, 2018

Acknowledging that the bilateral trade between India and South Korea is below its potential, Citibank Korea CEO Jin-Hei Park said the next wave of investment will be driven by small and medium enterprises. 
 
Bilateral trade between India and South Korea in 2017 totalled USD 20 billion, and investments have shown an upward trend. Both sides have pledged to increase it to USD 50 billion by 2030. 
 
Large corporates have significant resources to invest quickly and penetrate any market. The challenge is to ensure that these large investments attract SMEs from both sides to also participate in the growth cycle. The ripple effect needs to cascade down where SMEs from Korea collaborate with medium size enterprises from India on a great idea, he told PTI. 
 
Highlighting the importance, he said, half of the delegation that accompanied South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month to India were medium size enterprises from Korea looking to evaluate independent opportunities and not only just be a part of the supply-chain distribution for large companies. 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



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