Agriculture

Nabard award to Repco Micro Finance Ltd

Repco Micro Finance Ltd, a non-banking finance company received Nabard 2018 award. The award is given service to self-help group in Tamil Nadu for the fiscal year 2017-18. The NBFC has disbursed loans amounting to ` 2,500 crore to over 10 lakh beneficiaries. NABARD Financial Services Limited is a subsidiary of NABARD to provide financial services in areas of agriculture & microfinance.

Pakistan launches 2 satellites from China

Pakistan has launched 2 indigenously built satellites into the orbit from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China. One of the satellites launched is PRSS-1, a remote sensing satellite that will enable Pakistan to meet its imagery requirements in areas of land mapping & agriculture classification among others. It is the 2nd time both China & Pakistan have collaborated in the space sector.

ADB approves USD 503 mln lining project

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved USD 503-million lining project of the Son canal in Shahabad-Bhojpur region of Bihar. This project will bring immense benefits to the agriculture sector of Shahabad Bhojpur region of Bihar. The estimated cost of this project is USD 503 million out of which USD 352 million is being provided by ADB.

Agriculture JWG between Gujarat and Israel

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani and Israel’s Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Uri Ariel and announced a joint working group in the fields of agriculture and allied sectors. The initiative is taken as a step to double the farmers’ income by 2022. This Agriculture Plan would also explore opportunities for using the hi-tech protective cultivation and precision farming methods of Israel.

Govt to link 22,000 rural markets to e-NAM

Centre has announced that 22,000 rural markets would be linked to Electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) by 2020 as part of its drive to double the income of farmers. These rural markets will be upgraded to Gramin Agricultural Markets & linked with e-NAM to enable farmers to sell directly to potential buyers. e-NAM is an electronic unified national market for agricultural commodities

V. Naidu at Ntl. Consultation on Agriculture

Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu addressed National Consultation on Agriculture at Vaikunth Mehta National Cooperative Institute of Management. He emphasised on a multi-pronged strategy & creating a policy framework with intensification of Farming. The focus was on marketing and agri Logistics, agri trade policy, transfer of technology and agricultural insurance and credit.

Japan to allow more foreign workers

Japan adopted an economic plan that would allow more foreign workers as the rapidly aging country seeks to make up for its declining workforce. Japan would relax visa requirements in sectors facing severe labour shortages such as nursing care, agriculture, construction and transport. The workers would be allowed to stay in the country for only up to 5 years as visitors, not as immigrants.

India gives Rs 99 mn to Nepal

India extended a financial aid of Rs 99 mn to Nepal for the construction of 2,700 shallow tube well irrigation systems in 12 districts of the country. The assistance has been extended as part of the final payment for the Nepal-Bharat Maitri Irrigation Project, which was launched to boost growth to the Himalayan nation’s agricultural sector. Manjeev Singh Puri is India’s Ambassador to Nepal.

Maharashtra most vulnerable state

Maharashtra has been ranked the most vulnerable state in the draft National Disaster Risk Index, followed by West Bengal & Uttar Pradesh. States like Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh that are prone to natural calamities have been ranked relatively lower. Few factors taken into consideration were exposure of population, agriculture and livestock, environmental risk & economic vulnerabilities.

KKA being implemented in 25 villages

The Ministry of Agriculture and farmers’ welfare has launched the Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan (KKA) from 1st June 2018 till 31st July 2018. The Abhiyan will aid, assist and advice farmers on how to improve their farming techniques and raise their incomes. The Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan will be undertaken in 25 Villages with more than 1000 population each in Aspirational Districts.

5th India CLMV Business Conclave

The 5th India-CLMV Business Conclave was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It was organized by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India along with Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia. It focused on the collaboration of CLMV countries and India on agriculture, health, tourism, education and connectivity for promoting regional integration and creation of value chain.

NABARD sanctions Solar street lighting system

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development has sanctioned LED Solar Street Lighting system for Arunachal Pradesh under its Rural Infrastructure Development Fund with a grant of Rs 87.83 lakh. It would be implemented in 4 districts of the state Tirap, Longding, Namsai & Tawang. The scheme was launched by Chief Minister Pema Khandu in presence of NABARD Chairman Harsh Kumar Bhanwala.

V.K. Singh’s surprise visit to North Korea

Minister of State for External Affairs General V.K. Singh has become the first Indian minister to visit North Korea in 20 years.The MoS highlighted the threat posed to India from nuclear proliferation. India and North Korea also decided to explore possibilities of cooperation in areas of mutual interest including vocational education, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and Yoga.

Record production of Foodgrain in 2017-2018

17 : Aided by a normal monsoon last year, India’s production of foodgrains touched a record 279.5 million tonnes in 2017-18. This was estimated in the third advance estimate of crop production released by the Agriculture Ministry on 16th May. The higher year-on-year food production is due to a larger harvest of rice and a record crop of pulses.

Govt to link 200 more mandis to eNAM

The government will link additional 200 wholesale mandis to the online trading platform eNAM this fiscal and also encourage inter-mandi transactions. Online trading on the eNAM platform can be done through the website, trading platform or the Mobile App. At present, 585 regulated mandis in 14 States are linked with the electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM) launched in April 2016.

India, Panama signed two agreements

India and Panama have signed two agreements on the exemption of Visas for holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports and in the field of Agriculture. Two centres for Biodiversity and Innovation will be set up by India in Panama. Both the countries have agreed to strengthen cooperation in tax information, air services, traditional medicines, culture and space.

BSE to launch commodity derivatives trading

Bombay Stock Exchange has decided to launch trading in the commodity derivatives segment from October 1. BSE will begin commodity derivatives with non-agriculture commodities like metals, energy and base metals. A derivative is a contract between two parties which derives its value/price from an underlying asset. The most common types of derivatives are futures, options, forwards and swaps.

Krishonnati Yojana to be continued

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved continuation of Umbrella Scheme Green Revolution – Krishonnati Yojana in the Agriculture Sector beyond 12th Five Year Plan to 2019-20. Umbrella scheme comprises of 11 Schemes. The schemes aim to develop the agriculture & allied sector in a holistic & scientific manner to increase the income of farmers by enhancing production & productivity.

Agri Minister launched portal to export seeds

Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh launched a portal to facilitate export-import of seeds and planting material.A seed import-export portal has been developed for making the trade process easy. With the launch of this portal, all organisations importing-exporting seeds will not be required to submit their applications in 20 copies.

NITI & ITC to transform agriculture sector

27 : NITI Aayog and ITC will collaborate in the area of agriculture and allied sectors in order to strengthen farming systems.The partnership is for a period of four years till April 2022 .The prime objective is to increase net returns from farming through reduction in costs of production and increasing productivity of major crops in each of the identified district.

National Bamboo Mission restructured

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Bamboo Mission under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture.The mission is to ensure holistic development of the bamboo sector. The Mission will focus on the development of bamboo in limited states where it has social, commercial and economical advantage, particularly in the North Eastern region.

CII Pegs India’s GDP Growth at 7.3-7.7% for 2018-19

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has announced that it expects India’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at 7.3-7.7% during the 2018-19 financial year. This is based on strengthening demand in the rural economy, including agriculture and non-farm activities, as well as better global growth climate. Rakesh Bharti Mittal is the President of Confederation of Indian Industry.

India, Nepal for strong relations

India and Nepal have agreed to further strengthen bilateral relations in key areas of border security, connectivity, trade and agriculture.The two countries have agreed for a rail line that will connect the border city of Raxaul in India to Kathmandu in Nepal. The agreements were reached during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

Agreement between India and Afghanistan

Cabinet approved the agreement between Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock (MAIL), Afghanistan for cooperation in the field of food safety. FSSAI and MAIL would establish a mechanism of information exchange and communication. Areas of cooperation also include facilitating technical exchange on identified topics of interest.

Agri & Skill development ministries sign pact

The ministries of agriculture and skill development signed an agreement to conduct training programmes for agriculture and allied sectors at 690 Krishi Vigyan Kendras. The aim is to intensify the pace of skill development in 690 Krishi Vikas Kendras country-wide by training agricultural workforce. Radha Mohan Singh is Agriculture Minister.

Krishi Unnati Mela kicked off in Delhi

The three-day annual Krishi Unnati Mela began in New Delhi with a focus on doubling farmers‘ income. The objective of the event is to create awareness among farmers about the latest agriculture-related technological developments. During the mela, latest agriculture and allied sector technologies will be displayed at more than 800 stalls.

Prevention of food loss by Radiation

7 : Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) & Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in particular is engaged in extensive research on the use of radiation processing for extending shelf life of food products. Irradiation is very effective in treating agricultural produce to enhance its shelf life. Application of nuclear techniques has helped in increasing productivity and production in agriculture.

India and Vietnam inked three pacts.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang also vowed to expand bilateral cooperation in several key sectors, including defence, oil and gas, and agriculture. The three pacts signed after the talks between the two leaders would provide for cooperation in areas of nuclear energy, trade and agriculture.

Govt. sanctions fund to clear pollution: Delhi

The central government has sanctioned ?1,200 crore for schemes to tackle air pollution in Delhi, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has said.He asserted that the city won’t face pollution on account of agriculture residue from neighbouring states this year. He further suggested that “those who are not able to live up to the environment control” will be penalised.

NITI Aayog Budget Allocation Increased

Allocations to the NITI Aayog, has increased by more than 20% over last year i.e. to Rs 339.65 crore in 2018-19 from Rs 279.79 crore in 2017-18.It includes a defined role for NITI Aayog in critical areas of artificial intelligence and agriculture policy. NITI Aayog, as the premier ‘think-tank’ of the Government of India has been crucial in navigating and charting the course of the country.

Parivartan scheme launched in Haryana

Haryana launched Parivartan scheme designed to address 10 issues.The 10 issues include facilitation of financing, making agriculture profitable & sustainable, improving health services, implementing Swachh Bharat, decongesting market areas, engaging the youth, checking air pollution, ensuring availability of identity-related services, effective policing, and ensuring road order and conduct.

National Conference to discuss farm issues

Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare is organizing a National Conference named Agriculture 2022 – Doubling Farmers’ Income in New Delhi.Aim of the conference is to build a consensus around appropriate recommendations that will help in shaping the vision of Govt on Doubling Farmers’ Income.It is being organised to identify critical issues relating to agriculture & farmers’ welfare.

India-Russia Agriculture Business Summit Held

India-Russia Agriculture Business Summit 2018 was held in New Delhi.The two countries discussed trade relations in the agricultural sector. The summit was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare. Gajender Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Sergey Beletskiy, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Russia addressed the Summit.

Haryana to set up ‘Kisan Kalyan Pradhikaran’

In an attempt to increase farm productivity and farmers’ income, the Haryana government announced the setting up of ‘Haryana Kisan Kalyan Pradhikaran’.The Pradhikaran will undertake all possible measures to enhance farm productivity and mitigate the physical, financial and psychological distress of farm households.It will maintain projects thorough the Agriculture Advisory Council.

Spider with a tail found in 100m yr old amber

An international team of scientists has found an arachnid resembling a spider with a tail, which was fossilised in amber in Myanmar, about 100 million years ago. Althou Nepal’s ex-King visits India Nepal’s last monarch Gyanendra Shah has arrived in Odisha to attend the International Gau Sambardhana Mahotsav as Chief Guest.He will lay the foundation stone for a Gaumata Mandir.Dubbing the event as the ‘Wow Cow Mission’, the event’s organisers said that it aims to raise the status of India’s ‘desi’ cow to boost the economy, agriculture and nutrition.

Govt announces ` 10,000 cr for fisheries

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced ` 10,000 crore for the fisheries and aqua-culture and animal husbandry fund, during his Budget speech.He also said that Kisan credit cards will be extended to fisheries and animal husbandry farmers.He added that exports for agriculture commodities will be liberalised.

Credit for agriculture to be ` 11 lakh cr

Finance minister said the government will focus on strengthening rural, agriculture economy.It credit for agriculture is increased from 10 trillion rupees to 11 trillion rupees. Minimum support price of all crops will be increased to at least 1.5 times of production cost and export of agriculture commodities to be liberalised.

` 2,000 cr fund for agriculture market

Arun Jaitely said that this year’s Budget will focus on strengthening agriculture and the rural economy.The Finance Minister says that APMCs will be linked with ENAM. The government will develop 22,000 Gramin agricultural markets. Minimum Support Price shall be increased by 1.5 times. Operation Green will be launched for agriculture and the Minister allocates ` 500 crore for this.

Union Budget 2018-19 presented

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s delivered his fifth and last full Budget.Budget focused on agriculture sector.India is expected to become the fifth largest economy very soon.Exports are expected to grow 15% in 2018.As per the FM, India is a Rs 2.5 trillion economy.The government will set up a fund of Rs 2,000 crore for developing agricultural markets.

Mahavitaran to buy 1000 MW solar power

Mahavitaran, the power transmission company of the state government, is planning to purchase 1000 MW solar power in 2018.At present, the solar power generation in Maharashtra is only 1,000 MW out of which 300 MW is produced by MahaGenco. Under the Chief Minister’s Solar Agri Feeder programme, solar power pumps with the capacity of 7000 MW will be set up for the agriculture purpose.

Sunny Verghese Appointed WBCSD Chairman

11 : Singapore-based Indian-origin businessman Sunny Verghese has been appointed as the Chairman of the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development. He succeeded Paul Polman. Verghese, Co-Founder and the CEO of Singapore’s agri-business group Olam International Limited, is the first WBCSD Chair from the agri-sector. He succeeded Paul Polman, the CEO of Unilever.

India leads in global milk production

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said during the past 3 years, India has outpaced the global milk production with an annual growth rate of 5.53% compared with the 2.09% achieved globally.India has been the largest producer of milk in the world for the past 15 years.Milk production, which was around 17-22 million tonnes in the 1960s, has increased to 163.7 m tonnes in 2016-17

Agriculture Minister Launches LDF App

Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh has launched Livestock Disease Forewarning – Mobile Application (LDF-Mobile App).The app is developed by ICAR-National Institute of Veterinary Epidemiology and Disease Informatics, Bengaluru.Apart from early warning, the app will also provide information about clinical samples for the diagnosis in case of the epidemic.

Loan Agreement between TN & World Bank

Govt. of India, Govt. of TN & World Bank signed a $318 million loan agreement for the Tamil Nadu Irrigated Agriculture Modernization Project.It will promote climate resilient agriculture technologies, improve water management practices, and increase market opportunities for small and marginal farmers.The $318 million loan from the IBRD has a 5 yr grace period & a maturity of 19 years.

SLCM Ties up with HDFC, IndusInd bank

Agri service solutions provider Sohan Lal Commodity Management having operations across India and Myanmar has tied up with HDFC Bank and IndusInd Bank.The agreement is for providing collateral management services.This tie-up will provide easy access to scientific storage facilities leading to a fair price discovery of their products in the market.

UP government signs MoU with South Korea

Uttar Pradesh govt has signed a MoU with South Korea to enhance cooperation in the field of tourism, skill development, culture and farming.The move is aimed at boosting job opportunities besides helping in development in tourism, agriculture and culture sectors.A delegation from Gimhae city of South Korea met Yogi Adityanath & discussed ways to improve cooperation b/w the 2 countries.

MoU between India and Colombia

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between India and Colombia in the field of agriculture and fisheries.The MoU focuses on Innovative agricultural practices/approaches, New agricultural mechanizations, Successful models of agricultural marketing.The MoU will be initially valid for a period of five years and shall be automatically extended for a subsequent periods of five years.

Mid-term review of foreign trade policy

Union Commerce & Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu unveiled Mid-Term Review of Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 by announcing a slew of incentives to boost country’s exports.It will focus on finding new markets and new products as well as increasing India’s share in the traditional markets and products.The FTP would focus on MSME enterprises, labour-intensive segments and agriculture sector.

Akshay Kumar to promote agri-schemes

Akshay Kumar will promote govt’s flagship agriculture schemes like soil health card & crop insurance.Union Agriculture Ministry has roped in the actor for television advertisements to intensify the publicity of the agri-schemes.Besides soil health card scheme, he will promote Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana & others.

World Soil Day

World Soil Day is celebrated annually on 5th of December at Food & Agriculture Organization of the UN headquarters in Rome, the regional offices and through national and local events.It aims to communicate messages on the importance of soil quality for food security, healthy ecosystems and human well-being.The Theme for this year Soil Day is ‘Caring for Planet starts from the Ground’.

MoU between India and Italy

The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of a MoU between India and Italy for cooperation in Agriculture and Phytosanitary issues.It replaces the earlier MoU signed in January 2008 which is going to expire in January 2018.The MoU provides for cooperation in the fields of Phytosanitary issues, agricultural production and a wide range of other sectors including animal husbandry etc.

WHO Deputy DG appointed

Soumya Swaminathan is set to assume the charge of deputy director-general of the WHO in Geneva. Her appointment as the Deputy Director-General for Programmes, announced early last month by the World Health Organisation, elevates India’s stature globally. Swaminathan is the daughter of agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan who is hailed as the father of the ‘Green Revolution’.

India, Philippines Inks Four Agreements

Four agreements were signed by India and Philippines during Modi’s visit to Philippines. The areas include Defence Cooperation and Logistics, agriculture, Micro, Medium and Small Enterprises-MSME and forging closer relations between the Indian Council of World Affairs and the Philippines Foreign Service Institute. Narendra Modi’s visit to the Philippines comes after 36 years.

Climate resilient committee: Maharashtra

The Maharashtra state government has decided to set up a committee for the implementation of a Rs.4,000-crore project on climate resilience agriculture in 5,000 villages of 15 districts in the state. The project would be funded by the World Bank. The programme aims to reduce farmers’ dependence on unpredictable weather cycles and enhance the resilience of agriculture to climate change.

Continuation of “Krishi Vikas Yojana”

Cabinet has approved the continuation of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana as Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana- Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied sector Rejuvenation for 3 years i.e. 2017-18 to 2019-20. Scheme promotes agri¬business entrepreneurship, adopting risk mitigation measures & strengthens farmers’ efforts with an objective to make farming as a remunerative economic activity

India & US held 11th TPF Meeting

The 11th Trade Policy Forum Meeting was held in Washington D.C., US. In the 11th TPF Meeting, Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry, Suresh Prabhu had productive discussions with the United States. During the meeting, discussions were held on issues like market access in agriculture, non-agricultural goods and services and Intellectual Property Rights.

India grants aid to Sri Lanka University

India provided equipment and vehicles worth USD 585,000 to University of Jaffna in Sri Lanka. Jaffna is a Tamil-dominated former war zone in Sir Lanka. It is to develop the agriculture and engineering departments of the university. The project aims to create better facilities and improved learning environment for students pursuing professional courses in Agriculture and Engineering.

Utpal Kumar Singh becomes Uttarakhand CS

Senior IAS officer Utpal Kumar Singh took charge as the new chief secretary of Uttarakhand replacing S Ramaswamy, in Dehradun. Utpal Kumar Singh is a 1986 batch IAS officer. He was earlier posted on deputation in New Delhi as additional secretary in the ministry of agriculture. He has earlier served as the principal secretary of various departments in Uttarakhand.

Adesina Receives 2017 World Food Prize

DR. Akinwumi ayodeji adesina, the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), will be recognized as the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate. He was Nigeria’s former Minister of Agriculture and rural development. The honour is being bestowed on Adesina for inspiring young people and promoting food security.

Maharashtra releases loan waiver scheme

The Maharashtra government has released a sum of Rs. 4,000 crore under the first phase of the over Rs. 34,000 crore farm loan waiver scheme, CM Devendra Fadnavis announced. Disbursal, in the first phase, will cover more than 8 lakh farmers. Fadnavis said that from Rs. 21,000 crore in 2011-12, investment in the agriculture sector had increased by almost three times to Rs. 63,000 crore now.

MP launches Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan launched the ambitious ‘Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojna’. The objective of this scheme is to ensure reasonable prices to the farmers for their agriculture produces and thereby protecting them from losses suffered on account of distress sale. The farmers will be compensated the difference between Minimum Support Price and the actual sale price.

Mahindra launches ‘Prerna’ project

Mahindra & Mahindra has launched a programme, Prerna, to empower women working in the agriculture sector. It aims to address these issues with the promotion of women friendly, efficient and ergonomic farm tools and equipment. The project will be initially launched in the state of Odisha, with the intention to positively impact the lives of over 1,500 families across 30-plus villages.

International Day of Rural Women

The International Day of Rural Women is observed on October 15 to recognise the services of rural women in food production and food security. This day was first observed on October 15, 2008, after being approved by the United Nations. The 2017 Theme is “Challenges and opportunities in climate-resilient agriculture for gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls”

Microsoft to help farmers

Karnataka Agriculture Department has signed a MoU with Microsoft India to develop a unique “farm price forecasting model” to help farmers & other stakeholders to understand market behaviour in advance. It will examine a slew of related factors including weather, rainfall & external factors that impact market behaviour. The model is expected to be in place for major crops by next Kharif crops

Cabinet approves renaming SAMPADA scheme

Cabinet has approved renaming of central sector scheme SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing & Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) as Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana. The objective of PMKSY is to supplement agriculture, modernize processing & reduce Agri-Waste. It will result in creation of modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlet

Agriculture Leadership Award

Telangana CM, K. Chandrasekhar Rao has been selected for Agriculture Leadership Award-2017 given by ICFA. The award is recognition of the efforts taken by him for development of agriculture through innovative irrigation projects taken up in the State. National awards committee of organisation headed by M.S. Swaminathan nominated Rao for Agriculture Leadership Award in policy leadership category

Climate change costs India $10 billion

According to the Agriculture Ministry India is losing $9 to 10 billion every year in extreme weather events. The agricultural productivity is likely to fall by 10 to 40 percent by 2100 due to climate change. Agriculture Ministry has warned that unless the country and its farmers adapt to the challenges posed by climate change, India could become an importer of oilseed, pulses and milk.

Nabard awards for Corporation Bank

Corporation Bank has bagged the best performance awards for SHG-bank linkage programme for Karnataka for 2015-16 & 2016-17 from National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development Bank was given the award for its overall performance under SHG-bank linkage programme for 2015-16 & 2016-17 among commercial banks operating in Karnataka. Bank has formed more than 1.32 lakh self-help groups till date

Lok Sabha passes NABARD (Amendment) Bill

Lok Sabha has passed NABARD (Amendment) Bill, 2017 by voice vote that seeks to amend National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Act, 1981. Bill allows central govt to increase authorise capital of Bank from Rs. 5,000 cr to Rs. 30,000 cr. NABARD is responsible for providing & regulating facilities like credit for agricultural & industrial development in rural areas.

Govt inks MoA to set up IRRI

Agriculture Ministry has signed a MoA for setting up a regional centre of global rice research institute IRRI in Varanasi, to develop high- yielding rice varieties. This will be 1st international centre in eastern India & will play a major role in sustaining rice production in the region. IRRI is known for its work in developing rice varieties that contributed to green revolution in 1960s.

BRICS Agriculture Research Platform

Cabinet has approved a MoU b/w India & BRICs countries to set up BRICS Agriculture Research Platform. Proposal was presented by PM Modi to establish BRICS Agriculture Research Centre during 7th BRICS Summit in Russia. BRICS-ARP will be the global platform for science-led agriculture-based sustainable development for addressing issues of world hunger, under-nutrition and poverty among others.

Quality mark logo for milk, milk product

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has launched National Dairy Development Board’s quality logo. It will signify safe and quality milk and milk products from dairy cooperatives. It is aimed at bringing about process improvement in the entire value chain from producer to the consumers to ensure availability of quality milk and milk products.

Center for research on rice varieties

Union Cabinet has approved setting up International Rice Research Institute, South Asia Regional Center in Varanasi. A Memorandum of Agreement will soon be signed for setting up Center b/w country’s agriculture ministry and the IRRI, Philippines. The Center will help in utilizing the rich biodiversity of India to develop special rice varieties. Center will be commissioned within 6 months.

India, Israel ink 7 agreements

India and Israel signed as many as seven agreements on areas including space, tech, water and agriculture. A MoU was signed for setting up of USD 40 million worth India-Israel Industrial Research and Development and Technical Innovation Fund. Separate MoUs were signed on cooperation in GEO-LEO optical link and cooperation in Electric Propulsion for small satellites.

Agriculture budget from next year

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has decided to present a separate agriculture budget from next year. He also asked the officials to form farmers’ associations at various levels. – from villages to the state to organise the cultivators. Farmers would also be provided training of modern and scientific methods of farming so as to increase the farm output.

Punjab govt announces crop loan waiver

Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh has announced crop loan waiver of up to ` 2 lakh for farmers who own up to 5 acres of agriculture land. Flat relief of ` 2 lakh will be offered to all other marginal farmers, irrespective of the loan amount. The ex-gratia for suicide affected families has also been raised to ` 5.00 lakh from the existing
` 3.00 lakh.

Hybrid seed prices cut by 10%

Seed industry has decided to cut retail prices of hybrid seeds excluding cotton by 10% through the ensuing 2017-18 kharif season. The decision in this regard was taken at a meeting called by Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh to reduce voluntarily the seed prices. Industry after consultation agreed to make arrangements for sale of hybrid seeds at prices 10% below MRP from June 19.

Subsidy on short-term crop loans

Farmers will continue to get short-term loan of up to ` 3 lakh at a subsidised interest rate of 7%, & prompt repayers will get it at 4% as the government extended the subsidy to banks for 2017-18. Under the scheme, a subvention of 2% per annum is provided for short-term crop loan of up to ` 300000 per farmer. For 2017-18, the target of agriculture credit has been raised to ` 10 lakh crore.

` 10000 immediate relief for farmers

14 : The state government decided to provide immediate financial assistance of up to ` 10,000 to all the small and marginal farmers to start sowing operations for the ensuing kharif season. The government would be providing bank guarantee to nationalised and district central cooperative banks. The amount will be adjusted later when they avail fresh crop loan.

Oldest fossil mushroom discovered

World’s oldest fossil mushroom dating back to about 115 million years has been discovered in Brazil. It has been named Gondwanagaricites magnificus and belongs to Agaricales order. It is about 5 cm tall and has gills under its cap rather than pores. 115 million years ago, when super- continent Gondwana was breaking apart, the mushroom fell into a river and began an improbable journey.

SBI to organise mega farmers’ meet

Ahead of kharif season, SBI will meet 10 lakh farmers to understand their credit need and provide finance. The meeting will be organised at bank’s 15500 rural and semi-urban branches across the country on June 8. During the meet, branches will receive applications for fresh loans as well as for renewal or enhancement of existing loan. Last year Agriculture sector witnessed a growth of 4.1%.

BoB signs agreement with SFAC

Bank of Baroda has entered into a MoU with Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium. Under this MoU, Bank of Baroda would provide collateral free loans to Farmers Producer Companies. SFAC will provide credit guarantee cover up to 85 percent of the loan amount. SFAC is an autonomous society promoted by Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers’ welfare.

World Milk Day observed

World Milk Day is observed every year on June 1 to recognise the importance of milk as a global food. It is established by the Food and Agriculture Organization and was first designated by the FAO in 2001. The Day provides an opportunity to focus attention on milk and to publicise activities connected with milk and dairy industry. Theme of World Milk Day 2017 is Raise a glass for milk.

E-clinics for J&K farmers.

The J&K government has launched an e-clinics service for farmers with the aim to double farmers’ income by 2022. Department of Agriculture, in collaboration with Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International has set up 15 plant clinics in Samba, Kathua and Jammu. These clinics will help in protecting the crops from diseases, thereby, increasing productivity and income of farmers.

e-Krishi Samvad portal launched

Union Minister for agriculture Radha Mohan Singh has recently launched an online interface “e-Krishi Samvad” in New Delhi to provide direct solution to the problem faced by farmers. It is an internet-based interface and is a unique platform that will provide direct and effective solutions to the problems faced by farmers and stakeholders. Farmers can also connect to the ICAR website.

6,000 crore scheme for food processing

Govt. has approved a new ` 6,000 crore central scheme ‘SAMPADA’ for the 2016-20 period with an aim to boost processing of marine and agriculture produce. The scheme will help in generating an investment of ` 31,400 crore and facilitate handling of 334 lakh tonnes of agro-produce valuing ` 1,04,125 crore. SAMPADA is an umbrella scheme incorporating all ongoing schemes.

UID numbers for cows

The Centre has proposed issuing “Unique Identification Number Sequences” for cows and their progeny to protect them from cattle smuggling. It is the brainchild of the Union Agriculture Ministry. The Ministry of Agriculture has devised a method of tamper-proof identification of cattle using polyurethene tags with Unique Identification Number Sequence.

Fino Paytech to digitalise rural banks

Fino Paytech will help NABARD to help the rural bank digitization drive in the states of Haryana, MP, Bihar, Gujarat and Maharashtra. It will provide over 5000 Aadhaar enabled micro ATMs financial inclusion gateway services to district central cooperative banks and Primary Agricultural Credit Societies across these states. NABARD deals with services related to agriculture.

Himachal bags Krishi Karman Award

15 : The Union Ministry of Agriculture has selected Himachal Pradesh for the Krishi Karman Award 2015-16 for commendable increase in food grains production. The state was also conferred the Krishi Karman Award for 2011-12 for increase in wheat production and in 2014-15 for increasing food grains production. The awards are given to Best performer States for raising country’s food grain production.

ICFMD inaugurated

Union Agriculture minister Radhamohan Singh inaugurated the International Centre for Foot and Mouth Disease (ICFMD) at Argul in Khurda district in Bhubhaneshwar. This centre will conduct research on how to control foot and mouth disease of cattle. This centre will serve as a regional resource laboratory for countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

Construction of 1cr tonne capacity silos

The Centre has approved construction of one crore tonne capacity silos for storage of food grains by the end of year 2019-20. These silos will be constructed by Food Corporation of India (FCI) as well as State Governments in Public Private Partnership mode in a phased manner. A silo is a structure for storing bulk materials. Silos are used in agriculture to store grain.

Aadhaar mandatory for crop insurance

The Maharashtra govt has made Aadhaar mandatory to farmers for availing crop insurance schemes from the next Kharif season. State Agriculture Dept. said farmers will now have to link bank account with the Aadhaar number before June this year to avail crop insurance schemes. It added that the scheme is applicable to food grain and horticulture sectors.

India’s first Bt cotton developed

9 : Punjab Agriculture University has developed country’s 1st genetically-modified (Bt) varieties of cotton- the seeds of which could be reused by farmers. ICAR has identified 3 Bt cotton varieties- namely PAU Bt 1, F1861 and RS 2013 – for cultivation in states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. PAU Bt 1 and F 1861 were developed by PAU, whereas, RS 2013 was developed at Raj. Agri. University.

Kerala to approach Centre on report

The Kerala government has written to the Centre to exclude 886.7 square km “non-forest land” from the area demarcated as Ecologically Fragile Land under Kasturirangan report for preservation of the Western Ghats. CM said there is a necessity to exert pressure on the Centre to exclude populated areas, agriculture land and plantation regions from the final notification of the EFL areas.

TN rolls out ` 800-crore plan for farmers

A comprehensive scheme of over ` 800 crore, benefitting at least 12 lakh farmers engaged in dry land agriculture and targeting coverage of around 18 lakh hectares, has been launched in 25 districts. The scheme envisages mobilisation of agriculturists through farmers’ clubs, formation of 1,000 clusters. Crop insurance will also be covered.

Jharkhand signs MoU with Microsoft

Jharkhand government and Microsoft India has inked an MoU to leverage cloud technologies to drive the state’s digital ambitions. The MoU will support the state government to explore cloud, machine learning and mobile based solutions to provide better facilities in the fields of education and agriculture. MoU was signed at the ‘Momentum Jharkhand: Global Investors’ Summit & Trade Exhibition’.

Inauguration of Indian Seed Congress

13 : Shri Radha Mohan Singh inaugurates Indian Seed Congress – 2017 in Kolkata. The theme of Seed Congress is “Seed of Joy”. Agriculture Minister placed emphasis on 7 points programmes laid down by Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi to make the income of the farmers double.

Following are the highlights of Mr. Jaitley’s Budget speech:

Demonetisation
1. Demonetisation is expected to have a transient impact on the economy.
2. It will have a great impact on the economy and lives of people .
3. Demonetisation is a bold and decisive measure that will lead to higher GDP growth.
4. The effects of demonetisation will not spillover to the next fiscal.
Agriculture sector
1. Sowing farmers should feel secure against natural calamities.
2. A sum of ` 10 lakh crore is allocated as credit to farmers, with 60 days interest waiver.
3. NABARD fund will be increased to
` 40,000 crore.
4. Government will set up mini labs in Krishi Vigyan Kendras for soil testing.
5. A dedicated micro irrigation fund will be set up for NABARD with ` 5,000 crore initial corpus.
6. Irrigation corpus increased from ` 20,000 crore to ` 40,000 crore.
7. Dairy processing infrastructure fund wlll be initially created with a corpus of
` 2000 crore.
8. Issuance of soil cards has gained momentum.
9. A model law on contract farming will be prepared and shared with the States.
Rural population
1. The government targets to bring 1 crore households out of poverty by 2019.
2. During 2017-18, five lakh farm ponds will be be taken up under the MGNREGA.
3. Over ` 3 lakh crore will be spent for rural India. MGNREGA to double farmers’ income.
4. Will take steps to ensure participation of women in MGNREGA up to 55%.
5. Space technology will be used in a big way to ensure MGNREGA works.
6. The government proposes to complete 1 crore houses for those without homes.
7. Will allocate ` 19,000 crore for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana in 2017-18.
8. The country well on way to achieve 100% rural electrification by March 2018.
9. Swachh Bharat mission has made tremendous progress; sanitation coverage has gone up from 42% in Oct 13 to 60% now.
For youth
1. Will introduce a system of measuring annual learning outcomes and come out with an innovation fund for secondary education.
2. Focus will be on 3,479 educationally-backward blocks.
3. Colleges will be identified based on accreditation.
4. Skill India mission was launched to maximise potential. Will set up 100 India International centres across the country.
5. Courses on foreign languages will be introduced.
6. Will take steps to create 5000 PG seats per annum.
For the poor and underprivilege health care
1. ` 500 crore allocated for Mahila Shakthi Kendras.
2. Under a nationwide scheme for pregnant women, ` 6000 will be transferred to each person.
3. A sum of ` 1,84,632 crore allocated for women and children.
4. Affordable housing will be given infrastructure status.
5. Owing to surplus liquidity, banks have started reducing lending rates for housing.
6. Elimination of tuberculosis by 2025 targeted.
7. Health sub centres, numbering 1.5 lakh, willl be transformed into health wellness centres.
8. Two AIIMS will be set up in Jharkhand and Gujarat.
9. Will undertake structural transformation of the regulator framework for medical education.
10. Allocation for Scheduled Castes is
` 52,393 crore
11. Aadhaar-based smartcards will be issued to senior citizens to monitor health.
Infrastructure and railways
1. A total allocation of ` 39,61,354 crore has been made for infrastructure.
2. Total allocation for Railways is
` 1,31,000 crore.
3. No service charge on tickets booked through IRCTC.
4. Raksha coach with a corpus of ` 1 lakh crore for five years (for passenger safety).
5. Unmanned level crossings will be eliminated by 2020.
6. 3,500 km of railway lines to be commissioned this year up from 2,800 km last year.
7. SMS-based ”clean my coach service” is put in place.
8. Coach mitra facility will be introduced to register all coach related complaints.
9. By 2019 all trains will have bio-toilets.
10. Five-hundred stations will be made differently-abled friendly.
11. Railways to partner with logistics players for front-end and back-end solutions for select commodities.
12. Railways will offer competitive ticket booking facility.
13. ` 64,000 crore allocated for highways.
14. High speed Internet to be allocated to 1,50,000 gram panchayats.
15. New Metro rail policy will be announced with new modes of financing.
Energy sector
1. A strategic policy for crude reserves will be set up.
2. ` 1.26,000 crore received as energy production based investments.
3. Trade infra export scheme will be launched 2017-18.
Financial sector
1. FDI policy reforms – more than 90% of FDI inflows are now automated.
2. Shares of Railway PSE like IRCTC will be listed on stock exchanges.
3. Bill on resolution of financial firms will be introduced in this session of Parliament.
4. Foreign Investment Promotion Board will be abolished.
5. Revised mechanism to ensure time-bound listing of CPSEs.
6. Computer emergency response team for financial sector will be formed.
7. Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana lending target fixed at ` 2.44 lakh crore for
2017-18.
8. Digital India – BHIM app will unleash mobile phone revolution. The government will introduce two schemes to promote BHIM App – referral bonus for the users and cash back for the traders.
9. Negotiable Instruments Act might be amended.
10. DBT to LPG consumers , Chandigarh is kerosene-free, 84 government schemes are on the DBT platform.
11. Head post office as the central office for rendering passport service.
12. Easy online booking system for Army and other defence personnel.
13. For big-time offences – including economic offenders fleeing India, the government will introduce legislative change or introduce law to confiscate the assets of these people within the country.
Fiscal situation
1. Total expenditure is ` 21, 47,000 crore.
2. Plan, non-plan expenditure to be abolished; focus will be on capital expenditure, which will be 25.4 %.
3. ` 3,000 crore under the Department of Economic Affairs for implementing the Budget announcements.
4. Expenditure for science and technology is ` 37,435 crore.
5. Total resources transferred to States and Union Territories is ` 4.11 lakh crore.
6. Recommended 3% fiscal deficit for three years with a deviation of 0.5% of the GDP.
7. Revenue deficit is 1.9 %
8. Fiscal deficit of 2017-18 pegged at 3.2% of the GDP. Will remain committed to achieving 3% in the next year.
Funding of political parties
1. The maximum amount of cash donation for a political party will be
` 2,000 from any one source.
2. Political parties will be entitled to receive donations by cheque or digital mode from donors.
3. An amendment is being proposed to the RBI Act to enable issuance of electoral bonds. A donor can purchase these bonds from banks or post offices through cheque or digital transactions. They can be redeemed only by registered political parties.
Defence sector
The defence sector gets an allocation of
` 2.74,114 crore.
Tax proposals
1. India’s tax to GDP ratio is not favourable.
2. Out of 13.14 lakh registered companies, only 5.97 lakh firms have filed returns for 2016-17.
3. Proportion of direct tax to indirect tax is not optimal.
4. Individuals numbering 1.95 crore showed an income between ` 2.5 lakh to ` 5 lakh.
5. Out of 76 lakh individual assessees declaring income more than ` 5 lakh, 56 lakh are salaried.
6. Only 1.72 lakh people showed income of more than ` 50 lakh a year.
7. Between November 8 to December 30, deposits ranging from ` 2 lakh and ` 80 lakh were made in 1.09 crore accounts.
8. Net tax revenue of 2013-14 was ` 11.38 lakh crore.
9. Out of 76 lakh individual assessees declaring income more than ` 5 lakh, 56 lakh are salaried.
10. 1.95 crore individuals showed income between ` 2.5 lakh to ` 5 lakh.
11. Rate of growth of advance tax in Personal I-T is 34.8% in the last three quarters of this financial year.
12. Holding period for long term capital gain lowered to two years
13. Proposal to have a carry-forward of MAT for 15 years.
14. Capital gains tax to be exempted for persons holding land from which land was pooled for creation of the state capital of Andhra Pradesh.
15. Under the corporate tax, in order to make MSME companies more viable, there is a proposal to reduce tax for small companies with a turnover of up to ` 50 crore to 25%. About 67 lakh companies fall in this category. Ninety-six % of companies to get this benefit.
16. The government proposes to reduce basic customs duty for LNG to 2.5% from 5%.
17. The Income Tax Act to be amended to ensure that no transaction above ` 3 lakh is permitted in cash.
18. The limit of cash donation by charitable trusts is reduced to ` 2,000 from
` 10,000.
19. Net revenue loss in direct tax could be ` 20,000 crore.
Personal income tax
1. Existing rate of tax for individuals between ` 2.5 – ` 5 lakh is reduced to 5% from 10%.
2. All other categories of tax payers in subsequent brackets will get a benefit of ` 12,500.
3. Simple one page return for people with an annual income of ` 5 lakh other than business income.
4. People filing I-T returns for the first time will not come under any government scrutiny.
5. 10% surcharge on individual income above ` 50 lakh and up to ` 1 crore to make up for ` 15,000 crore loss due to cut in personal I-T rate. 15% surcharge on individual income above ` 1 crore to remain.

Jallikattu Ordinance draft

CG approved a draft Ordinance by the Tamilnadu state government to make an exception for bulls in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The draft Ordinance passed through four ministries – Environment, Animal Husbandry department of Agriculture Ministry, Law and finally Home. CG requested the SC to delay its judgment on the legality of Jallikattu.

3rd edition of annual Raisina Dialogue

The third edition of the annual Raisina Dialogue will be inaugurated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on January 16, 2018.The event will see a series of high-powered panel discussions on geopolitical issues. Agriculture and water are the major strategic cooperation areas between the two nations. The bilateral trades between the two countries is 5 billion US dollar.