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M/o Food Processing Industries is implementing various Schemes like, PMKSY, PLISFP and PMFME to increase level of food- processing industry and encourage rural entrepreneurship across the country, including rural areas.

Feb 06, 2023

In order to increase the level of food- processing industry and encouraging rural entrepreneurship across the country including rural areas, Ministry Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) is implementing Central Sector Umbrella Scheme Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana (PMKSY), Production Linked Incentive Scheme for Food Processing Industry (PLISFPI) and Centrally sponsored PM Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme.
 
Union Minister of State for M/o Food Processing Industries, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel informs Rajya Sabha, in a written reply to a question, that the PMFME Scheme provides financial, technical and business support for setting up/upgradation of 2 Lakh micro food processing enterprises through credit linked subsidy during five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25 with an outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore.  Under component schemes of PMKSY, MoFPI mostly provides financial assistance in the form of grants-in-aid to entrepreneurs for creation of modern infrastructure and setting up of food processing / preservation industries including Cold Chains with associated infrastructure like primary processing facilities, collection centres, pre-conditioning, pre-cooling, ripening, packing etc.
    
Source: pib.gov.in



Agriculture and Allied activities Sector significantly contributed to the country's overall growth and development by ensuring food security: Latest Economic Survey.

Feb 06, 2023

As per Economic Survey 2022-23, with its solid forward linkages, the Agriculture and Allied activities Sector significantly contributed to the country's overall growth and development by ensuring food security. In 2021-22, there was a record production of foodgrains 315.72 MT and horticulture crops 342.33 MT. In recent years, India has also rapidly emerged as the net exporter of agricultural products. In 2020-21, exports of agriculture and allied products from India grew by 18 per cent over the previous year. During 2021-22, agricultural exports reached an all-time high of US$ 50.2 billion. This period of buoyant performance could be ascribed to the measures taken by the Government to promote farmer-producer organisations, encourage crop diversification, and improve productivity in agriculture through support provided for mechanisation and the creation of the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund.
 
This information was given by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri  Narendra Singh Tomar in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.
    
Source: pib.gov.in



US emerges as India's top destination for goods exports during April-Dec 2022.

Feb 06, 2023

The US has emerged as India's top destination for merchandise exports during April-December this fiscal at USD 59.7 billion, Parliament was informed on Friday. In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said the government has taken a series of measures to promote the country's exports.
 
The steps include an extension of existing foreign trade policy till March 31; an extension of interest equalisation (subsidy) scheme on pre and post-shipment rupee export credit till March 31 next year; and a roll-out of Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme.
 
According to the data provided by the minister in his reply, the US was followed by UAE (USD 23.31 billion); Netherlands (USD 14.1 billion); China (USD 11 billion); Singapore and Bangladesh (about USD 9 billion each).
 
In reply to a question on startups, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Parkash said that Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) is implemented from April 2021.
 
'Under the Scheme, Rs 477.25 crore has been approved to 133 incubators of which Rs 211.63 crore has been disbursed as on 31st December 2022,' Parkash said.
 
SISFS aims to provide financial assistance to the department for the promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT)-recognised startups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry and commercialisation to enable these startups to graduate to a level where they will be able to raise investments from angel investors or venture capitalists or seek loans from commercial banks or financial institutions.
 
Under the scheme, funds are disbursed to eligible startups through eligible incubators across India.
 
Similarly, as on December 31, 2022, under the Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) Scheme, Rs 7,980 crore has been committed to 99 AIFs (alternate investment funds) and Rs 3,400 crore has been disbursed to 72 AIFs.
 
The FFS scheme does not directly invest in startups, instead provides capital to SEBI-registered AIFs, known as daughter funds, who in turn invest money in growing Indian startups through equity and equity-linked instruments.
 
Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has been given the mandate of operating this fund through a selection of suitable daughter funds and overseeing the disbursal of committed capital.
    
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com



Exports of agri and allied products posted over 20 pc jump in FY21, FY22.

Feb 06, 2023

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar informed the Parliament that the export of agricultural and allied products witnessed a significant increase during the last few years.
 
During 2019-20, the export of agricultural and allied products was valued at Rs 2,52,400 crore which increased to Rs 3,10,130 crore in 2020-21 and showed an increase of 22.87 per cent.
 
Exports of agricultural and allied products touched an all-time peak of Rs 3,74,611 crore during the last one year i.e. 2021-22, an increase of 20.79 per cent, according to a statement released by the ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare on Friday evening.
 
In the western region, Gujarat and Maharashtra led in the export of agriculture and allied products, followed by Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal in the eastern region, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana in the central or northern region while Karnataka and Kerala led in the southern region, according to the Minister.
 
Among the commodities exported, the value of marine products increased by Rs 13,734.61 crore in the fiscal year of 2021-22 while the value of sugar went up by Rs 13,676.12 crore.
 
During 2021-22, the value of exported wheat increased by Rs 11,672.37 crore while rice, with the exception of Basmati, surged as much as Rs 10,168.39 crore in the fiscal, the Minister wrote in a written response.
 
While the export of raw cotton, which included waste, grew Rs 7,038.66 crore in value, the other cereals' value went up by Rs 2911.04 during 2021-22.
 
Exports of dairy product went up Rs 2,352.93 crore in value during 2021-22 while coffee rose Rs 2,273.97 crore in value.
 
Export of castor oil increased by Rs 1,952.36 crore in value during 2021-22 while the miscellaneous processed items' value grew by Rs 2,311.86 crore.
    
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com



APEDA helping FPOs to turn direct exporters of farm produce.

Feb 06, 2023

With the Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) emerging as aggregators of farm produce, the Agricultural and Processed Foods Export Development Authority (APEDA) has started focussing on capacity building of these entities to help them carry out direct exports.
 
'There is positive momentum and progress in agri and food export because of the positive contribution and support from FPOs and FPCs. They are working as direct sourcing points and aggregators too. Also, exporters are finding it easy to source directly from FPOS and FPCs. APEDA is doing capacity building and hand holding for them to do direct exports,' said M Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA.
 
Thousands of FPOs/FPCs have been formed in recent years across various states and the Government plans to create 10,000 FPOs by 2024.
 
'We are targeting over 1000 FPOs to train them to become direct exporters by March 31 this year. The RCMC (Registration cum Membership Certificate) will be issued along with IEC (Importer-Exporter Code) documents so they can directly export and avail all support from APEDA for doing the same,' Angamuthu said.
 
So far, about 701 FPOs/FPCs have been trained by APEDA across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana, among others. The contribution of FPOs and FPCs is visible in the increase in demand for agri and food product export from India. The trained FPOs will be exporting millets, horticultural products, and Geographical Indication (GI) products, among others, Angamuthu said.
 
APEDA has formulated a robust strategy to promote the export of millets and its value-added products to achieve $100 million target by 2025. As a part of Millets Export Promotion strategy, APEDA has also released a comprehensive global marketing campaign assessing India’s potential and accordingly E-catalogued 30 importing countries and 21 millet-producing States. APEDA is associating with Indian Missions in importing courtiers to promote millets and value added products.
 
India exports agri-products to over 200 countries and is currently the eighth-largest exporter of agri-products. The exports of agri-products monitored by APEDA grew by 16 per cent to $17.435 billion during April-November in FY23 over the same period as last year’s $15.072 billion. APEDA exports stood at $24.74 billion during 2021-22.
    
Source: thehindubusinessline.com



‘ECTA should enhance trade, business between Australia and TN’.

Feb 06, 2023

In general, Australia is an exporter of resources and commodities. The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) assists in a cycle. You can imagine Australian cotton coming to Tamil Nadu, being knitted in Coimbatore and surrounding regions and those manufactured garments going back to Australia. The other place it is happening is in the mining industry. There are a number of Tamil Nadu manufacturers supplying parts to the Australian mining industry such as enormous wheels that go on the big mining trucks and pumps. Our mining industry uses them to extract coal and other resources and they come back to Tamil Nadu to provide affordable electricity and inputs. So, it is a very nice circular economic relationship between Australia and Tamil Nadu. There are a lot of examples, where Australia-based companies looking to manufacture for the Indian market will do it in Tamil Nadu using Australian engineering and design.
 
How does the ECTA mutually benefit Australia and Tamil Nadu?
It should enhance the already close ties between Australia and Tamil Nadu. For instance, the government of Western Australia last year opened an office in Tamil Nadu given the potential they see. Victoria, which is the southeastern state of Australia, has a very strong education sector and there could be many more education exchanges. South Australia, a big agriculture producer including of high-end wine, is also excited about the opportunities in Tamil Nadu. Each of these states will have their own angle that they are pursuing. So, ECTA is a strategic signal that should see everything become closer, deeper, building on a strong base.
 
Is there a scope for Australia to raise its exports to India of finished goods under the new trade agreement?
I think there should be some increase in the export of high-end manufactured goods. Australia does not have a large manufacturing sector. We are a resources and service economy. So, I would expect to see some increase. But where we think the big benefits will come for Australia is in high-end food and beverages products such as Australian lamb meat and lobsters. We do hope the market for Australian wine will continue to grow as well.
 
Tamil Nadu is the Detroit of India. Will the state play a major role in the electric vehicle sector in Australia?
We are very interested in the concept. We know that Ola is looking at investment opportunities in Australia. We do not manufacture cars in Australia. So, we have to buy vehicles from other countries.
 
ECTA makes an arrangement for work and holiday visas for young professionals. How will this help?
Improved mobility for people between Australia and India. We deeply value the contributions of the Indian diaspora in Australia. We want to see more skilled people from India travelling to Australia for working and investing. These mobility components of the ECTA should facilitate that. There are large Diwali festivals in most Australian towns now and Pongal is celebrated there. So, the more Australians come to know India, the more keen they are to know even more.
 
How much will exports increase between Australia and Tamil Nadu by 2030 under the ECTA?
The overall two-way trade should double.
 
Any updates on the ongoing discussion on ECTA?
ECTA we consider as the first innings. We are continuing to work with India for the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), which would take up some concepts that Australia has in some of our other FTAs like government procurement, investments and digital economy. These are some of the newer disciplines in FTAs and we are exploring with India. CECA would be sort of a second innings.
    
Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com



India to host Pulses Conclave in Mumbai from February 16-18.

Feb 06, 2023

The India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), the apex trade body for the sector, will organise a three-day 'The Pulses Conclave’ 2023 (TPC 2023) in Mumbai from February 16-18.
 
Hundreds of key stakeholders from over 20 countries including promotional agencies, research scientists, food technologists, processing companies, value chain participants and service providers and other stakeholders are expected to congregate on a single platform to discuss in-depth current status, future trends, trade policies, sustainability and technological advances in the sector, IPGA said in a statement.
 
This is the sixth edition of the biennial event and the theme is ‘Sustainability of Pulses Sector’. The major focus of the conclave is to tackle the adverse effects of climate change on pulses and grains production. The emerging plant-based food segment and the application of new-age technologies in the agriculture sector will be subjects of discussion at the conclave. Billed as the world’s largest event on the pulses sector, TPC 2023 will set the roadmap for making India self-sufficient and help advance nutrition security. 
 
Increasing demand
Bimal Kothari, Chairman, IPGA, said, 'The Pulses Conclave 2023 will attract stakeholders across the entire value chain including large processors, branded players, trading houses, trading intermediaries, exporters, importers as well as service providers like indenters, warehousing companies, custom house agents, shipping companies. We believe value-added products from pulses will have an exponential growth potential that can be harnessed in India and it will go a long way to deliver twin benefits of augmenting farmers’ income and advancing nutrition security.'
 
India is the largest producer and consumer of pulses. The Indian pulses market is likely to reach $25 billion by 2026 and the demand is set to race towards 33-35 million tonnes by 2030, IPGA said.
 
The present consumption of pulses in India is estimated to be between 27-27.5 million tonnes, while domestic production hovers around 25.5 million tonnes.
    
Source: thehindubusinessline.com



Global rice prices peak to over 11-year high as output set to dip 2.7%.

Feb 06, 2023

Rice prices have soared to their highest since November 2011 with the production of the cereal projected to drop by 2.7 per cent during the current season (August 2022-July 2023), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said.  
 
'Rice production is downgraded somewhat, largely on account of an area-based reduction for China, which overshadowed revisions for other countries, most notably an upgrade for Bangladesh,' the FAO’s Agricultural Market Information System said in its latest report. 
 
Aromatic ones strengthen
Separately, the UN organisation’s Rice Price Update said international prices of rice opened on a firm note in January. FAO’s all rice price index averaged 126.4 points in January, up 6.2 per cent over December. 
 
Prices of aromatic rice also strengthened by 9.8 per cent, sustained by demand for the (Chinese) Lunar New Year celebrations, preparative purchases for Ramadaan and post-harvest surge in Pakistan basmati quotations, the update said. 
 
According to AMIS, rice production this season is projected at 511.6 million tonnes (mt) against 525.5 mt last season. Utilisation or demand is anticipated to remain close to the 2021-22 peak at 519.5 mt (521.4 mt last season), while supply has been projected at 708.6 mt (719.3 mt).
 
The demand is expected to remain near peaks as food intake expansion will compensate for a cut in other uses of rice. Trade is seen lower at 52.8 mt (55.5 mt) as countries in Asia and Africa are likely to prune imports. 
 
Thai gains pronounced
Ending stocks are likely to be 2.3 per cent lower than last season at 192.5 mt, though they will be the third-highest on record. 
 
The Rice Update said Asian quotations firmed up across all major origins in January. The most pronounced gains were in Thailand, where the Baht rose to a 10-month high. Sentiments were further boosted by Indonesian purchases.
 
Short-supplies due to a flood-reduced crop and 'persistently inflationary pressure' compounded local demand for rice in Pakistan. Problems in wheat supply also drove up rice prices in the neighbouring country.
 
Prices increased in India, Vietnam and Brazil as the dollar strengthened. In Vietnam, availability was tight ahead of the winter-spring harvest, while in India record procurement by the government and a smaller kharif crop pushed up prices. 
 
Prices down a tad now
Meanwhile, as per data from Thai Rice Exporters Association, prices have softened a tad, though India’s parboiled rice prices have gained $5 a tonne over the past 10 days.
 
Thailand’s 5 per cent broken rice declined to $511 a tonne from $523, while its 25 per cent broken white rice slid to $500 from $511. Its parboiled 100 per cent sortexed quoted at $517, down from $523.
 
India’s 5 per cent broken was quoted at $440-44 ($443-47), 25 per cent broken at $427-31 ($428-32) and parboiled at $395-99 ($388-92). Pakistan’s 5 per cent broken dipped to $483-487 ($488-92), 25 per cent broken was unchanged at $458-462 and parboiled declined to $496-500 ($533-37).
 
Vietnam’s 5 per cent broken was quoted at $458-62 and  25 per cent broken at $438-42, slightly lower than two weeks ago. 
 
Rice prices have surged over the last couple of months as the paddy crop has been affected across Asia due to vagaries of the weather. In India, the crop was affected by deficient rainfall in eastern States, while the worst floods since 1961 affected Pakistan’s production. Chinese production was hit by a long dry period, while the crop in Thailand and Vietnam were also affected, though in a small way. 
    
Source: thehindubusinessline.com



Wheat processors pick 42% of wheat offered in FCI’s first tender.

Feb 06, 2023

Flour mills that make atta and maida have picked up 42% of the wheat the government sold in the open market through its first tender last week, according to the chairman ofFood Corporation of India (FCI), the government agency that purchases grains from farmers at the minimum support price.
 
Domestic wheat prices, which had crashed by more than 6% last week after the FCI's announcement that it would be selling the grain in the open market, are expected to decline further after the movement of wheat from the FCI warehouses starts, said wheat processors.
 
The FCI had announced on January 25 that it will sell 30 million tonnes of wheat under the open market sales scheme (OMSS) to cool down wheat prices in the open market. ET had reported on January 25 that the record wheat prices in the open market could make farmers turn away from selling wheat to FCI, thus affecting its procurement operations.
 
'Out of the 22 lakh tonnes of wheat we had offered in our first tender issued last week, 9.26 lakh tonnes of wheat have been successfully bid for by the buyers,' FCI chairman Ashok KK Meena told ET.
 
India is facing a shortage of wheat after a heat wave in the country contracted output in the 2022 rabi season. Exports and private buying have not left enough wheat for government procurement, say traders.
 
'We expect the lifting of the wheat to begin from next week. With every tender that we will issue in the coming weeks, we expect the market to cool down further,' said Meena.
 
Wheat prices, which had fallen sharply in the previous week on the news of OMSS, have remained firm at those levels. With FCI's wheat yet to reach markets, the pipeline is dry at most places.
 
'Wheat prices have remained stable at around Rs 28/kg in West Bengal since last week. We expect the prices to move downwards in the coming weeks,' said Rohit Khaitan, a wheat processor from West Bengal. 'Along with FCI wheat, there will be a gradual build-up of the pressure of the wheat from the upcoming harvest'
 
Wheat prices in eastern India are normally higher than in the northern parts due to the additional cost incurred in transporting wheat from the growing centres.
 
Millers said that at most places, bids for wheat have been Rs 50-70/quintal over the reserve price. Some traders claimed that the quality of wheat offered by FCI is not up to the mark. At most places, FCI has offered wheat from the 2021-22 procurement. 'It is always the 'first-in first out' policy,' said Meena.
    
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com



Higher planting of wheat, mustard push up rabi acreages to a record.

Feb 06, 2023

Indian farmers have planted record areages under rabi (winter) crops such as wheat and mustard this year on improved water storage, higher residual moisture levels and a bullish trend in prices, while raising prospects of yet another bumper harvest.
 
Total area under rabi crops increased by 3.25 per cent to a record 720.68 lakh hectares (lh), an increase of 22.71 lh over the previous year’s 697.98 lh. When compared with the normal area of 633.80 lh for the season, the increase is to the tune of 13.71 per cent.
 
'Timely supply of quality seeds of high yielding varieties (HYVs), inputs, latest production technologies, credit, crop insurance, micro-irrigation and post-harvest facilities are few of such interventions taken to increase agricultural production and productivity. All these interventions have led to large increase in area under rabi crops this year,' Agriculture Ministry said in a statement.
 
Wheat acreage up
Area under wheat, the main cereal crop was up at 343.23 lh with States such as Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh among others registering an increase, while Madhya Pradesh saw a decline of 4.15 lh.
 
Mustard acreage rose to a record 98.02 lh with States such as Rajasthan and MP leading area expansion, while the overall oilseeds acreage increased 7.31 per cent to 109.84 lh. The mustard acreage was higher by 54.5 per cent than the normal sown area of 63.46 lh for the season.
 
'Major area expansion has been attained due to implementation of Special Mustard Mission for the last two years. During rabi 2022-23, 26.50 lakh seed minikits of HYV, having yield potential of more than 20 quintals per hectare, were distributed to the farmers in 301 districts of 18 States under the National Food Security Mission,' the Ministry said.
 
Rabi rice recorded the maximum area increase, with farmers in States like Telangana and West Bengal expanding the acreages. Among pulses, the area under gram (chana) witnessed a marginal decline, which was on expected lines, while moong bean and lentil acreages saw an increase.
 
Overall area under coarse cereals increased 2.08 lh to 53.49 lh, led by higher sowing of maize, barley and ragi, while jowar and bajra saw a decline.
    
Source: thehindubusinessline.com



FSSAI advisory on raising grievances related to Central licences' plea.

Feb 06, 2023

The FSSAI has issued an advisory explaining the matrix for raising grievances/queries related to Central licences' applications.
 
The advisory says that in case any food business operator (FBO) is aggrieved by the decision by the Central licensing authority, the matter can be escalated to the concerned Regional Director while in case the FBO further wants to represent the case after receiving comments from the concerned Regional Director or in case no comments was received within 21 days from raising the request to the concerned RD, the FBO can escalate the matter before Executive Director Compliance Strategy at FSSAI Headquarters along with all the relevant communication made with respect to the case till date.
 
The FSSAI has also advised that communication should be made through registered email id as provided in the licensing application by the FBO.
 
It is pertinent to note that FSSAI has an online platform, the Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS) for issuance of pan-India FSSAI licence and registration and for Central licensing procedures as laid down under the FSS Act, the food authority has approved Central Licensing Authority (CLA).
    
Source: fnbnews.com



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