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India must strive to become the global capital of millets: Shri Piyush Goyal.

Dec 06, 2022

Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal said that India must strive to become the global capital of millets. He was addressing the gathering at the ‘Millets-Smart Nutritive Food’ Conclave in New Delhi today.
 
The Minister said that the Millets-Smart Nutritive Food Conclave and the first international buyer-seller meet on millets being held on the side-lines of the Conclave would help prepare the country for the ‘International Year of Millets 2023’. He added that UN has accepted 2023 to be the international year of millets at India’s request which was endorsed by over 70 countries.
 
The Minister referred to India’s presidency of the G20 and the presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and said that this mantle of leadership clearly reflected India’s growing stature in the world stage.
 
Shri Goyal pointed out that India had celebrated its Year of Millets in 2018 and said that the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi had consistently promoted millets as a food that will help take nutrition to the remotest parts of India and the world. The world has accepted several such initiatives championed by India from Yoga to Millets, a clear reflection of the Prime Minister’s global leadership and the success of his bid to promote the India-story across the world, he opined.
 
The Minister observed that the call for ‘LIFE-Lifestyle for Environment’ given by the Prime Minister had also found resonance all over the world, making it realize that it must adopt a much more sustainable lifestyle. He underscored that the world has been looking up to the leadership of PM Modi to resolve significant global problems, be it climate change, post-pandemic economic recovery or the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. 'PM Modi is working towards collective global good and resolving global problems and millets is one such initiative that will solve the global problem of malnutrition and take affordable food to parts of the world where we face problems of malnutrition or food security', he said.
 
The Minister lauded APEDA for the remarkable work it had done so far and expressed confidence that its efforts would promote Indian millets all over the world and link India with international markets.
 
Shri Goyal termed millets and ‘nature’s gift to mankind’ because of its tremendous nutritive value. Quoting PM Modi, the Minister said that 'millets or coarse grains have been a part of India’s agriculture, culture and civilization since ancient times' and added that millets are both climate friendly and capable of combating lifestyle diseases. He spoke of the value of millets as a fodder and said that millets had truly multidimensional benefits.
 
The Minister called for many more such international buyer-seller meets, food festivals, culinary competitions around millets and opined that millets could also be made a part of the mid-day meal program.
 
The Minister pointed out there were around 250 startups being supported by the centre working on millets and that Indian Institute of Millets Research has been incubating startups on millets and suggested that the Indian Institute of Packaging could be roped in to innovate and improve packaging of millets and millet products.
 
The Minister asked that ‘NOURISH’ be used as our call to action for promoting millets;
 
‘N’ for ‘newer markets and destinations’,
· ‘O’ for the need to promote ‘organic methods’ of millet cultivation to make it more valuable and acceptable globally
 
· ‘U’ for protection and GI tagging of ‘unique varieties’ of millets
 
· ‘R’ for ‘research on millets’ to develop faster growing, tastier varieties of millet and to expand market potential
 
· ‘I’ for more ‘industry involvement’ in product, market and value chain development
 
· ‘S’ for ‘standards and ‘sustainability’ to ensure the high-quality millets and millet products
 
‘H’ for ‘home markets’ and ‘high productivity’
 
 
The Minister said that we must work together to mainstream the millet story and make millets globally acceptable to solve problems of malnutrition and starvation that many parts of the world continue to face.
 
In his address, Secretary, Department of Commerce, Shri Sunil Barthwal said that many of the millet-related startups came into this business after PM Modi declared that 2023 would year of Millets. He added that several more buyer-seller meets would be organized in India and abroad in the time to come to promote millets and millet products.
 
Pointing out that this was a new beginning where processors were directly procuring from farmers, Shri Barthwal said that this would benefit both farmers and startups. I am sure the culture of growing and consume millets will increase over the next few years, he observed.
 
Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Shri Manoj Ahuja, Additional Secretay, Department of Commerce, Shri S Srinivas, Chairman, APEDA, Shri Angamuthu, senior government officials and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
    
Source: pib.gov.in



National Single Window System (NSWS) to help realize Prime Minister's vision of transforming red tape to red carpet: Shri Piyush Goyal.

Dec 06, 2022

Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal today said that the National Single Window System (NSWS) would help realize Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's vision of transforming red tape to red carpet. 
 
He was addressing a press conference after a review meeting on National Single Window System in New Delhi today. The meeting witnessed participation from 32 Central Ministries/ Departments, 36 States/ UTs and Industry Associations (CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM and PHDCCI). At the meeting, several new ideas emerged from various stakeholders, especially on integration of data collection through a single time entry of critical information, the Minister said. 
 
Shri Goyal said that PAN number is likely to be used as a unique identifier for API integration of data between ministries and states for ensuring single business user ID. NSWS also helps in reducing data duplication and filling same data in various forms using auto-population Module, he added.
 
Shri Goyal lauded the remarkable progress achieved by NSWS till date and said that a large number of stake holders had availed benefits of NSWS right at the beta testing phase which is ongoing. 
 
He pointed out that NSWS had received nearly 76000 applications/requests and about 48000 approvals had been granted through NSWS. The minister noted that technical glitches in NSWS were as low as 514, meaning that the portal showed over 99 percent efficiency. 
 
Shri Goyal added that 27 Central Departments and 19 states have been onboarded on NSWS. Schemes fully onboarded on NSWS include Vehicle Scrapping Policy, Ethanol Policy, Leather Development Program, hallmarking of jwellery, Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) certification. 
 
The Minister said that National Land Bank has also been integrated into NSWS. He added that 1 lakh hectares of land in different industrial parks and estates are available on NSWS. The portal will become a one stop shop for buying industrial land, he said. 
 
Encouraging more and more states to make use of NSWS, Shri Goyal said that states which use NSWS would be given better ranking on Ease of Doing Business Index. 
 
The Minister said that renewal of licences would also be brought under NSWS starting with 5 Ministries like Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles. 
 
The key objectives of the review meeting today were to ensure onboarding of investor-related clearances by Ministries/ Departments of Govt of India and by the State Govts and UTs, in order to meet time lines, to complete ownership by all the Stakeholders for smooth functioning of the NSWS, to increase usage of the NSWS by the industry and use industry feedback to improve systems related to EoDB/ ease of investor clearances; and to discuss the way ahead on a convergence approach to the NSWS.
 
NSWS is an ambitious initiative which promises to be the gamechanger for increasing investments and reducing compliance burden in the country. The system would lead to convergence of all Ministries/ Department and States/ UTs through the “whole of Government approach”.
 
Various ministries, states and Union Territories have worked in close coordination with DPIIT and NSWS Team to bring this portal up and running. Industry Associations have given valuable feedback from time to time that helped improve and optimize the system.
 
    
Source: pib.gov.in



Union Agriculture Minister Shri Tomar inaugurates the setting up of 'Agriculture Investment Portal'.

Dec 06, 2022

The Co-Chairperson of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ms. Melinda French Gates held a meeting with the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, in New Delhi today. During the meeting, Shri Tomar inaugurated the creation of an integrated 'Agriculture Investment Portal' by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. In the meeting, Shri Tomar said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the government has full focus on promoting women farmers in the country.
 
In the meeting, Shri Tomar said that there are many challenges in the agriculture sector, to solve which the Government of India is continuously working efficiently under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Modi. He said that the number of small farmers is more in the country, the government believes that if their strength increases, then the agriculture sector will improve and production will also increase, the government is working in this direction. Shri Tomar said that traditional farming methods used to run in the agriculture sector in India, now in the current perspective there is a need for investment in the agriculture sector, in view of which the government has initiated many reforms, incorporated technology in agriculture and to ensure the eligible farmers are provided aid with transparency, the Digital Agriculture Mission has also been started in the country. Shri Tomar told that with the aim of further increasing investment in agriculture, the Government of India has allocated a special package of over Rs 1.5 lakh crore for agriculture and allied sectors under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. Work on these provisions has started, including the Rs. 1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund. Once these are implemented, the Indian agriculture sector will be rejuvenated.
 
Shri Tomar said that a large number of women are also working in the agriculture sector in India. To increase their number and for their continuous progress, the Union Ministry of Rural Development is also running a scheme for the empowerment of women farmers, in which the Ministry of Agriculture is partnering. At the same time, the Ministry of Agriculture spends a certain part of its budget for the upliftment of women farmers. Shri Tomar said that the 'Krishi Nivesh Portal' (Agriculture Investment Portal) will prove to be a milestone in terms of investment in the agriculture sector, which will be a centralized one stop portal for agri-investors to avail benefits of various government schemes implemented by various departments related to agriculture and allied sectors. He said that this portal would prove to be handy for the investors, they would get a lot of help from it. Appreciating the work being done by the Gates Foundation in various fields in India, Shri Tomar hoped that working in the agriculture sector in India by the Foundation would prove to be a good experience.
 
Ms Melinda Gates said she would be happy to work with the Ministry of Agriculture. She wants that there should be maximum involvement of women farmers. She said that the Foundation is working in many countries and has a good experience in India. Ms. Melinda Gates expressed happiness over India getting the presidency of G-20 and expressed her desire to always work together. Union Agriculture Secretary Shri Manoj Ahuja and Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Dr. Himanshu Pathak also gave their views in the meeting. Joint Secretary Shri Praveen Samuel gave a presentation. Other officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and representatives of the India office of Gates Foundation were present on the occasion.
    
Source: pib.gov.in



Sharp spike in Basmati rice & processed foods shipments.

Dec 06, 2022

Exports of agricultural and processed food products rose 19% to $ 15.2 billion during April-October (2022-23) compared to the same period last year, driven by spike in shipment of rice, fruits and vegetables, livestock and dairy products.
 
According to provisional data released by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, the value of Basmati rice exports rose by more than 37% in the first seven months of current fiscal to $ 2.5 billion in the first seven months of the current fiscal year. The shipment of non-Basmati rice registered a growth of 8% to $ 3.2 billion during the period.
 
Export realisation from shipment of aromatic long grain Basmati rice grew by 23% to $1056/tonne in the April – October, 2022-23 period from $ 857/tonne realized in same period previous year. Non-basmati Rice exports are likely to decline in the second half of the current fiscal, as India has imposed a ban on broken rice exports and imposed a 20% export tax on white rice.  
 
Wheat export registered an increase of 70% to $ 1.5 billion in April-October 2022-23 from $ 886 million reported during the same period previous fiscal.
 
India had banned shipment of wheat in May while allowing only those consignments aimed at meeting food security needs of developing countries. In the current fiscal, India has exported 4.6 million tonne (MT) of wheat so far while 7 MT of grain was shipped in FY22.
 
For the current fiscal, an export target of $ 23.5 billion has been set by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Exports Authority (APEDA). Other key agricultural products exported from the country include marine products, spices, tea, coffee and tobacco
 
Exports of products under APEDA basket was $ 25.6 billion in 2021-22, which was around 51% of  the country’s total agricultural goods exports of more than $ 50 billion. The agri-exports in previous fiscal was close to 20% more than FY21.
 
The export of meat, dairy and poultry products rose by 5%  to $ 2.3 billion during April-October period of current fiscal compared to previous year. The dairy products alone registered a growth of 43% to $ 380 million during the same period.
 
 'We have been working in collaboration with the key stakeholders such as farmers, exporters, and processors to ensure that quality agricultural and processed food products are exported from the country.' M Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA, said.
 
The rise in the export of agricultural and processed food products is the outcome of the centre’s initiatives for export promotion of agricultural and processed food products such as organising B2B exhibitions in different countries, exploring new potential markets through product-specific and general marketing campaigns by the active involvement of Indian Embassies.
 
Meanwhile, the government has formulated a strategy to boost exports of nutri-cereals – millets and valued added products focusing on the key markets including USA, United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, Japan, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
 
As part of the promotion of Indian millets exports, APEDA has planned to showcase millets and its value-added product at various global platforms such as Gulfood 2023, Foodex, Seoul Food & Hotel Show, Saudi Agro Food, Fine Food Show in Sydney (Australia), Belgium’s Food & Beverages Show, Germany’s BioFach and Anuga Food Fair, San Francisco’s Winter Fancy Food Show, etc
    
Source: financialexpress.com



Indian missions to be roped in for branding, promotion of domestic millets.

Dec 06, 2022

Indian missions abroad would be roped in for branding, promotion and identification of global potential buyers such as departmental stores for domestic millets, the commerce ministry said on Sunday. This exercise is part of the government's robust strategy to promote Indian millets.
 
The ministry is also organising a 'Millets Smart Nutritive Conclave' on Monday wherein stakeholders of the supply chain such as Farmer Producer Organisations, startups, exporters, producers of millet-based value-added products are participating, it said in a statement.
 
'Indian missions abroad would be roped in for branding and publicity of Indian millets, identification of international chefs as well as potential buyers such as departmental stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets for organizing B2B (business to business) meetings and direct tie-ups,' it added.
 
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal will inaugurate the conclave here on Monday with a view to promoting exports of the grain.
 
The conclave will to be a pre-launch event of the 'International Year of Millets - 2023.
 
At the meet, an e-catalogue on 30 potential importing countries and 21 millet producing states will be released.
 
Ambassadors of foreign missions in India of the targeted countries and potential importers have also been invited to showcase various millet-based products, including ready-to- eat millet products and facilitate B2B meetings.
 
The Centre has also planned to organize millet promotional activities in South Africa, Dubai, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Sydney, Belgium, Germany, the UK, US by facilitating participation of different stakeholders from India in some of the significant food shows, buyer-seller meets and road shows.
 
As part of the promotion of Indian millets, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has planned to showcase millets and its value-added product at various global platforms such as Gulfood 2023, Foodex, Seoul Food & Hotel Show, Saudi Agro Food and Fine Food Show in Sydney.
 
India is one of the leading producers of millets in the world with an estimated share of around 41 per cent in the global production.
 
As per FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), world production of millets in 2020 was 30.464 million metric tonnes (MMT) and India's share was 12.49 MMT, which is 41 per cent of the total millet production.
 
India recorded 27 per cent growth in millet production in 2021-22 as compared to millet production of 15.92 MMT in previous year.
 
India's top five millet producing states are Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Share of export of millets is nearly 1 per cent in the total millet production.
 
Exports of millets from India include mainly whole grain and the export of value-added products of millets from India is negligible.
 
'However, it is estimated that the millets market is set to grow from its current market value of more than USD 9 billion to over USD 12 billion by 2025,' it added.
 
The Centre has created the Nutri Cereals Export Promotion Forum to give impetus to the export of potential products, including millets, and to remove the bottlenecks in the supply chain of nutri cereals.
 
Millets have superior nutritional values in comparison to highly consumed cereals such as rice and wheat. Millets are rich in calcium, iron, and fiber that help in fortifying essential nutrients for healthy growth in children.
 
As per the ministry's data, India registered a growth of 8.02 per cent in export of millets in 2021-22 as the export was 159,332.16 MMT as against 147,501.08 MMT in the previous year.
 
India's major millet exporting countries are the UAE, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Oman, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, the UK and the US.
 
Varieties of millets exported by India include bajra, ragi, canary, jawar, and buckwheat. The major millet importing countries in the world are Indonesia, Belgium, Japan, Germany, Mexico, Italy, the US, UK, Brazil and the Netherlands.
 
There are 16 major varieties of millet, which are produced and exported, including sorghum (jowar), pearl millet (bajra), finger millet (ragi) minor millets (kangani), proso millet (cheena), and kodo millet.
    
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com



Focus on developing countries and global south: G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant.

Dec 06, 2022

India Monday proposed dovetailing climate action with sustainable development, making a clear bid to bring issues facing the emerging economies and the global south in sharp focus at the G20.
 
Kickstarting the discussions at the first meeting of G20 Sherpas under India's presidency in Udaipur, India's Sherpa Amitabh Kant pitched for working together through hope, harmony and healing to deal with the global challenges, with a focus on developing countries and the global south whose voice is often unheard.
 
He highlighted India's initiatives such as Aadhaar, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and direct benefit transfer that have helped lift a vast population above the poverty line.
 
Kant said India's G20 Presidency will seek to advocate the priorities of the developing countries and the global south in addition to that of the partners of the grouping. 'Our perspective is that we should have a win-win collaboration between all of us, developing countries, the global south, and advanced economies.'
 
'We need to build new approaches; this is a unique form of both the developed world and emerging economies. We need to build approaches to benefit the world on key global issues,' he said.
 
Kant said the issue notes on 13 working groups have already been circulated among the participants. The notes address concerns such as accelerated, inclusive and resilient growth, accelerating progress on sustainable development goals, particularly health and education, climate finance, technological transformation and digital public infrastructure.
 
'The Sherpas expressed strong support for India's presidency and for the priorities that have been outlined. They felt that these priorities were not just ours but that of everybody. They felt that there was a pressing need to act on some of these important priorities,' India's G20 Coordinator Harsh Vardhan Shringla told reporters after the discussions.
 
Shringla said India's objective was to present its narrative on the global agenda and highlight developmental achievements, tourism potential and cultural heritage.
 
'Our priorities should become the global priorities. That is a substantive part of it,' he said.
 
On issues such as climate finance, food supply security, and energy prices, Shringla said these were the goals of every country and G20 can come together and do something about it.
 
An overview of the finance track and India's priorities were presented to all delegates by Ajay Seth, secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, ministry of finance.
    
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com



Soil health in focus. Centre approves Rs.1,584-crore National Mission on Natural Farming.

Dec 06, 2022

Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday said the government has approved the National Mission on Natural Farming as a separate scheme with an expenditure of Rs.1,584 crore. However, the details of the scheme are yet to be released.
 
Addressing the National Conference on Soil Health Management for Sustainable Farming in Delhi, Tomar said due to chemical farming and other reasons, the soil fertility was getting eroded. He said climate change would be a big concern for the country and the world in the coming days. Stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was committed to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Tomar said, 'Lack of organic carbon in the soil is a serious concern for us.'
 
Changed situation
Pointing out that the soil’s fertility had eroded due to chemical farming, Tomar said the country and the world should avoid this and fulfil their environmental responsibility. He also said there was a time when the policies were production-oriented and agricultural yield increased due to chemical farming. But now, the situation has changed, and with climate change, keeping soil health intact was a big challenge, he said. 'If an attempt is made to exploit the earth contrary to the principles of nature, the consequences can be dangerous,' he warned.
 
Tomar said: 'To meet the serious challenge (of lack of organic carbon) and for better soil health, we have to promote natural farming, which is beneficial for the environment.' He said the government has re-adopted the Indian Natural Farming System for Agriculture, which is an ancient technique used by farmers. 'At that time, people also knew how to live in harmony with nature,' he said.
 
The minister informed the gathering that Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have made many innovations to promote natural farming. An additional 4.78 lakh hectares have been brought under natural farming in 17 States during the last one year, he said.
 
Namami Gange project
Under the Namami Gange programme, the project of natural farming is going on along the banks of the Ganges, while the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and all Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Central and State Agricultural Universities and Colleges are making all-round efforts to promote natural farming, the agriculture ministry said in a statement.
 
In two phases, more than 22 crore Soil Health Cards have been distributed to farmers across the country, the ministry said. So far, 499 permanent Soil Testing Laboratories, 113 Mobile Soil Testing Laboratories, 8,811 Mini Soil Testing Laboratories and 2,395 Village-level Soil Testing Laboratories have been established.
 
The national conclave, organised by NITI Aayog in collaboration with GIZ, affiliated to the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany, on the occasion of World Soil Day, was attended by Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog Suman Berry, Member Ramesh Chand, CEO Parameswaran Iyer, as well as Vice-Chancellor of Jhansi-based Central Agricultural University A K Singh.
    
Source: thehindubusinessline.com



Veggie trade in the eastern hills seesaws with the seasons.

Dec 06, 2022

The vegetable trade in Nepal's eastern hill districts seesaws with the seasons, with shipments flowing one way and then the other way as the temperature rises and falls.
 
In the monsoon, local farmers gather bumper harvests and export fresh produce worth millions to India's insatiable markets. In the winter, it is the other way around, as Indian vegetables worth millions are brought in to make up for the drop in output.
 
During the monsoon season that lasts from June-September, farms in Sankhuwasabha, Tehrathum and Dhankuta districts are covered in a sea of cabbages. The hills also turn into an agro-tourism destination as visitors flock in to see the vegetable fields.
 
The three districts export cabbages valued at more than Rs500 million to India annually. Local traders have been shipping cabbages in the thousands of tonnes to India amid a steep rise in demand for organic vegetables.
 
But as the winter season begins, the situation is reversed. These districts have to import vegetables worth millions from India as plants don't grow in the harsh cold.
 
'Vegetable crops do not flourish in the winter due to the low temperature. Most of the time, heavy snow destroys the crops,' said Tek Bahadur Gurung, chairman of Mahalakshmi Municipality-1, Dhankuta.
 
'Farmers are not aware of the technology of growing vegetables in greenhouses. As a result, most of the eastern hill districts have been facing a shortage of seasonal vegetables,' said Gurung.
 
India is the largest export destination for Nepali vegetables. A bilateral trade treaty between Nepal and India allows duty-free market access to primary and agricultural products on a reciprocal basis.
 
According to farmers, vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage and peas are exported to India.
 
According to a study report of South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE), the eastern hill districts, especially the Dharan-Basantapur highway corridor, have the potential to export seasonal fresh vegetables to Kolkata, India and Dhaka, Bangladesh.
 
The highway corridor produces 10 types of vegetables. Each farmer here makes Rs200,000 to Rs700,000 per year, according to villagers.
 
Most of the vegetables are exported to Siliguri and Bagdogra in India. The contractor supplying foodstuffs to Bagdogra Military Camp is one of the bulk buyers of Nepali vegetables, the report said.
 
But the districts that feed millions of people are dependent on imported vegetables during the winter. Farmers say they buy vegetables produced in India, Bangladesh and China from mid-November as winter sets in.
 
Yogendra Gadtaula, president of the District Farmers’ Network, says the inability to adopt modern farm techniques forces farmers to become dependent on imports.
 
Fresh green vegetables are imported through Jogbani and Kakarbhitta border points. Onions, potatoes and garlic come from China.
 
According to the Department of Customs, in the last fiscal year ended mid-July 2022, Nepal imported vegetables worth Rs36.54 billion.
 
In the first four months of the current fiscal year, vegetable imports plunged by 29.44 percent to Rs11.35 billion.
 
Rajeev Dhungana, president of the Tehrathum Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says large quantities of potatoes are coming from Bhutan.
 
Kailash Shah, a trader in Basantapur, says vegetables like potato, tomato, cabbage, cauliflower, mushroom, squash, broccoli, carrot, capsicum, green chilli, green beans, gourd and cucumber are being imported from India.
 
The district shipped vegetables worth Rs1 billion during the summer. These fresh vegetables are mostly produced in Jorpati, Dhankuta and Lasune, Tehrathum. Mudhe Sanishchare in Sankhuwasabha is also popular for vegetables.
 
With the winter season having started, the fields lie abandoned. Vegetables are still grown in the warmer lower parts of the district, but output is small and does not fulfil the requirements of the district.
 
Local traders say that imported vegetables contain pesticides, but they are not being inspected properly. Indal Shah, a vegetable seller at the Basantapur market, said he was not aware of pesticides.
 
Province 1 relies on imports to fulfil its daily vegetable requirement due to lack of adequate farm labour.
 
Gadtaula said imports from India had swelled. Traders estimate that more than 15 tonnes of vegetables are being imported into Tehrathum daily.
 
Megendra Gurung, chief of the Sindhuwa Agriculture Store which collects vegetables from Dhankuta and Tehrathum districts for export, says plastic tunnel technology is an appropriate option to produce vegetables during the winter.
 
'But farmers lack knowledge,' he said.
    
Source: kathmandupost.com



After ‘Rasagola’, Odisha’s famous sweet ‘Magaji Ladu’ to get GI tag.

Dec 06, 2022

There is good news for Odisha people, particularly for those who have a sweet tooth. Dhenkanal district’s famous sweet ‘Magaji Ladu’ is going to get the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. 
 
If Nimapara is famous for ‘Chhena Jhili’, Kendrapara is for ‘Rasabali’ and Nayagarh for ‘Chhena Poda’, Dhenkanal is famous for its ‘Magaji Ladu’.
 
In this district, wherever you go you will find this round-shaped sweet in roadside eateries as well as in restaurants. It enjoys a base of its loyal customers. Even if you taste it for the first time, you will become a fan of it just at the first bite. 
 
This sweet has a history of around 150 years. A confectioner named Chakradhar Sahu of Sadangi village under Gandia block in Dhenkanal district was the person who first tried his hands at preparing this sweet. The journey it has traversed so far is a glorious one. If someone is paying a visit to their relatives, it is unlikely of they going without a packet of Magaji Ladu.  
 
Its process of preparation is very simple. The key ingredient for this sweet is the cheese made from buffalo milk. Two third cheese and one third sugar are mixed in a cauldron placed on the oven. When the texture of the mix becomes perfect, crushed small cardamom is sprinkled and then it’s given a final stir. Thereafter, bulbs of this mixture are prepared while rolling them in palms. 
 
'If the sweet gets GI tag, people will visit Sadangi to taste Magaji Ladu. It will be a great thing for us,' said a local resident Khirod Chandra Das. 
 
'I am 64 years old. I have been preparing these sweets for the last 20 years. Its demand is increasing,' observed Hrishikesh Sahu, a confectioner. 
 
The Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) had applied for the GI tag in 2020. Later, an expert team carried out the necessary initial tests. If it gets the GI tag, it will be the first food item in the district to get the tag. 
 
'It is very tasty. Sometimes, people can be seen waiting for hours to take this sweet. It is a matter of great pleasure that the sweet of our locality is going to get the GI tag,' said Sadangi panchayat’s sarpanch Sambit Kishore Ojha. 
 
'Magaji Ladu is prepared from cheese made from pure buffalo milk. It is so tasty that people from nearby districts come to taste it. In the coming days, its demand will cross the district’s boundary,' said Kanhucharan Maharana, a local resident. 
 
Legend has it that one Shreedhar Swami offered this sweet to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu when the latter was at Kapilas Ashram. Later the sweet became popular as ‘Magaji Ladu’. Vyasakabi Fakir Mohan Senapati too mentioned about this sweet during his stay in Dhenkanal. 
 
The local people are excited and hopeful that the sweet will soon get the tag and once received, it will help improve the financial condition of cattle rearers and confectioners.
    
Source: odishatv.in



FSSAI issues direction for re-operationalisation of licensing norms.

Dec 06, 2022

The food authority has issued a direction for re-operationalisation of Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Business) Amendment Regulations, 2021.
 
These regulations contain amendments in respect of the Licensing and Registration of E-Commerce food business operator, documents to be enclosed for new application for licence to State/Central Licensing Authority for restaurant, conditions of licence for restaurant, Part-II of Schedule 4 relating to general requirements on hygienic and sanitary practices to be followed by all food business operators applying for licence, Part IV of Schedule 4 relating to establishing a small slaughterhouse, and Part V of Schedule 4 relating to good hygienic and manufacturing practices to be followed by licensed food business operators engaged in catering or food service operations.
 
According to FSSAI, these regulations were operationalised first with effect from Feb 15, 2018, and subsequently re-operationalised with effect from Aug 16, 2018, Feb 28, 2019, Aug 28, 2019, Feb 16, 2020, Aug 16, 2020, March 19, 2021, Nov 12, 2021, and June 24, 2022.
 
FSSAI in a statement has said that the said draft amendment regulations were notified on Nov 17, 2020, inviting comments from the stakeholders and are now under the process of finalisation.
 
'Since, notification of the final amendment regulations is likely to take some time, it has been decided to re-operationalise the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Business) Amendment Regulations, 2021 with effect from Nov 11, 2022, to ensure food safety and fair practices in food business operations', reads the statement by FSSAI.
 
The FSSAI statement added that the food business operators shall follow these regulations and the enforcement of these regulations shall commence only after the final regulations are notified in the Gazette of India, except for the amendment in sub-regulations 2.1.9 (related to Modifications, Expansion or Changes in premise(s) after grant of licence or registration) which has already come into effect from March 27, 2020.
 
Also, the statement added that as far as schedule 4 requirements were concerned, if required, improvement Notice under Section 32 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, may be issued to Food Business Operators and accordingly action may be taken for compliance of these requirements.
    
Source: fnbnews.com



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