SBI ‘kisan mela’ on July 18

State Bank of India (SBI) will organise ‘kisan melas’ in 875 rural and semi-urban branches spread across Karnataka on July 18. It is an initiative of the bank to connect with farmers and resolve their grievances. The bank also plans to offer Kisan Credit Cards to farmers. The bank will also make farmers aware of the benefits of timely renewal of KCC account & usage of KCC Rupay Card.

IFFCO rolls out portal for farmers

Fertiliser major IFFCO has partnered with Singapore-based technology firm iMandi to start an e-commerce platform for farmers, with an investment of about ?80 crore. An e-commerce app, ‘IFFCO iMandi’, has been introduced and would cater to 5.5 crore farmers already associated with the cooperative. A web portal has also been developed. IFFCO’s managing director is U.S. Awasthi.

Govt approves hike in Minimum Support Price

4 : The Centre approved the raise in Minimum Support Price (MSP) for kharif crops in line with its budget announcement to ensure that farmers get at least 1.5 times of the production cost. The MSP for paddy has been hiked to around ` 1,750 per quintal from previous year’s ` 1,550 and corn increased to ` 1,700 from ` 1,131. The MSP of cotton (medium staple) has been increased to ` 5,150.

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

Govt hikes ethanol price by Rs 3 per litre

The government hiked the price of ethanol, used for doping in petrol, by almost Rs 3 per litre to Rs 43.70. This move is to cut India’s oil import dependence as well as give the higher price for sugarcane to farmers. The govt has approved the mechanism for procurement of ethanol by public sector oil marketing companies to carry out the Ethanol Blended Petrol Programme.

SKY Scheme for farmers to generate solar power

The Gujarat government has launched a solar power scheme for farmers – Suryashakti Kisan Yojana (SKY). Under the scheme farmers would not only be able to generate electricity for their captive consumption but will also be able to sell the surplus power to the grid and earn an extra buck. The extra electricity given to grid would be purchased at a rate of ` 7 per unit for a period of 7 years.

Punjab to install dust collectors

Punjab is set to counter dust pollution in grain markets across the state with the installation of dust collectors on nearly 50,000-grain cleaning machines. It will provide relief to 3,00,000 directly-affected workers. The pollution is the main cause of respiratory and lung diseases among labourers, farmers, and commission agents, as well as those living in the vicinity of the grain markets.

Govt announced package for sugarcane farmers

The Centre has announced a comprehensive package of more than ?8,000 crore to provide relief to sugarcane farmers and to clear their dues, which have crossed over ?22,000 crore. The interventions include increase in customs duty on import of sugar, removal of custom duty on export of sugar, and the creation of buffer stock at the cost of ` 1,200 crore.

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.

Sikkim govt approves MSP organic commodities

Sikkim government has approved Minimum Support Price (MSP) for various organic horticultural commodities, mostly vegetables, being produced in the state in order to protect the interests of the farming community. The Sikkimese farmers will get differential MSP for the organic commodities. Sikkim government had banned sale of 27 non-organic food products in the state from April 1, 2018.

Customs duty on wheat raised by 30%

Customs duty on wheat has been raised by the government from 20% to 30% in order to protect domestic growers and curb cheaper imports. This has been done to restrict overseas purchase so that the farmers get their MSP (Minimum Support Price) and also to avoid pressure coming under domestic prices of wheat. Walnut shell has also seen an increase in the import duty from 30% to 100%.

India Post customises affordable life policies

India Post plays an important role in financial services, reaching out in the rural areas with its large and efficient network. Postal Life Insurance extended insurance cover to the rural population under the banner ‘Rural Postal Life Insurance’ (RPLI) in 1995. This scheme is primarily meant for people residing in rural areas, especially women and small and marginal farmers.

Easier credit norms for small farmers

The government has streamlined lending norms in schemes such as the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) to boost institutional credit flow to small and marginal farmers. Under revised guidelines, standard security requirements, such as hypothecation of crops, now do not apply to loans of up to Rs1 lakh. Under KCC, small farmers can avail of a “flexible limit” of between Rs10,000 and Rs50,000.

YES Bank to launch water-security programme

YES Bank is all set to roll out a capacity building project with farmers in Haryana and Rajasthan under its ‘Livelihood and Water Security’ CSR initiative. The overall focus of the programme would be on sustainable agricultural practices and digital literacy. The programme would be rolled out initially across 15 districts (eight districts in Haryana and seven in Rajasthan).

Telangana govt to launch Rythu Bandhu scheme

Telangana Government launched the “Rythu Bandhu Scheme” (Farmers’ investment support scheme) at Karimnagar district on 10th May. Under the scheme, the farmers will get ?4,000 each an acre in the Kharif and Rabi seasons to take care of the credit needs ahead of the farm seasons. The government has excluded about 11 lakh tenant farmers from the scheme.

NITI Aayog ropes in IBM to use AI

NITI Aayog has partnered with IBM to develop a crop yield prediction model using artificial intelligence to provide real-time advisory to farmers. The partnership aims to make use of technology to improve crop productivity, soil yield and farmers income. 1st phase of the project will focus on developing a model for 10 backward districts branded as “aspirational districts” by NITI Aayog.

Government aid to reduce sugarcane dues

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval to provide financial assistance of Rs. 5.50 per quintal of cane crushed in sugar season 2017-18 to sugar mills. This will help sugar mills to clear cane dues of farmers. The assistance shall be paid directly to the farmers on behalf of the mills.

Centre allows private poppy cultivation

The Centre has taken the first step towards privatisation of poppy cultivation and extraction of opium. Opium is the source of alkaloids such as morphine, codeine and the baine, used in anti-addiction therapies and medicines that treat extreme pain, such as in cancer patients. Opium production in India is highly controlled & farmers sell their produce to the government.

Government to host farmers welfare workshops

In an outreach to farmers, the Govern-ment is organising ‘Kisan Kalyan Karyashala’ at the block level across the country on 2nd May. The workshops will be part of the ongoing ‘Gram Swaraj Abhiyan’. ‘Gram Swaraj Abhiyan’ is a rural-centric campaign that had started on April 14, the birth anniversary of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar, and will end on May 5.

TN Govt Launches “Uzhavan” App for Farmers

Tamil Nadu government has launched the bi-lingual “Uzhavan” (farmer) app that will allow ryots to have access to nine types of services.The app can be used by farmers to get information on farm subsidies, book farm equipment and details about crop insurance. The app is available in Tamil and English language & includes information on the availability of seeds and fertilisers at stores.

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.

Urea subsidy to continue till 2020

The Cabinet has approved the continuation of the urea subsidy till 2020. The government also approved implementation of direct benefit transfer (DBT) for disbursement of fertiliser subsidy. The Centre subsidises the difference between the cost of delivered fertilisers at the retail store and the MRP paid by farmers. The subsidy scheme will ensure that urea is available to the farmers.

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.

Raje announces farm loan waiver for farmers

Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje announced a one-time loan waiver for small and marginal farmers up to ?50,000 each from their outstanding short-term debt in the 2018-19 State budget presented in the Assembly.While this move will cost ` 8,000 crore to the State exchequer, no new taxes were imposed in the budget. The budget proposed a total outlay of ?1,07,865.40 crore on schemes and projects.

Gobardhan Yojana launched to support farmers

Haryana launched the ‘Gobardhan Yojana’ to provide organic manure and cow urine with an aim to benefit farmers, CM Manohar Lal Khattar said.A provision of Rs 11 crore has been made to provide benefits of various projects under this scheme.The Yojana would help in doubling the income of farmers and next time, the MSP would be given with additional benefit of 50% over the cost of production.

Scheme for promoting solar power production

Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan or KUSUM scheme would provide extra income to farmers when by selling the power to the grid.It will help in de-dieselising the farm sector.The scheme will promote energy efficiency and water conservation.The Centre will spend ?48,000 crore on the ten-year scheme which was announced in the Union Budget 2018-19.

NABARD sanctioned 372.51 crore to Odisha

4 : National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development has sanctioned Rs 372.51 crore loan assistance to Odisha for irrigation and rural bridge projects.This loan has been sanctioned under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF).These projects will provide assured irrigation to about 36440 hectares of agricultural land and will directly benefit about 40000 farmers across Odisha.

Bhavantar Bharpai scheme in Haryana

To counter farm distress, Haryana government has launched Bhavantar Bharpai scheme (or the price deficit compensation scheme for vegetables). It is set on the lines of Minimum Support Price-type (MSP) formula for four vegetable crops, namely, potato, onion, cauliflower and tomato.The launch of the scheme is aimed at ensuring income of up to ` 48,000 to 56,000 per acre to farmers.

Project to Tackle Stubble Burning

MoEF has approved a regional project to combat climate change.The project on ‘Climate Resilience Building among Farmers through Crop Residue Management’ is under the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change. NAFCC was established in August 2015 to meet the cost of adaptation to climate change for the State and UT that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

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.

Package for paddy farmers: Maharashtra

Maharashtra government announced a financial package to help paddy and cotton farmers whose crops have been damaged because of pests. Farmers cultivating paddy will be provided with Rs 7,970 per hectare compensation for non-irrigated land. Farmers who have irrigated land would get Rs 14,670 per hectare. The compensation will be allowed upto two hectares.

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.

Radha Mohan Singh reviews Project CHAMAN

Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that project CHAMAN was launched in order to provide strategic development to the horticulture sector. In it remote sensing technique is being used for strategic development of horticulture sector as also to increase the farmers’ income. It gives methodology for preparing reliable estimates of horticulture crops.

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana

Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh said the government started PMKSY to provide a permanent solution from drought. Three ministries are implementing this scheme in mission mode. PMKSY aims not only to create irrigation sources but also to create protected irrigation by harnessing rainwater through ‘Jal Sanchay’ and ‘Jal Sinchan’.

Indian start-up wins award in Israel

An Indian startup has won a prestigious award in Israel for developing an affordable modular greenhouse that aims to give farmers steady & dependable income Kheyti, was chosen among 10 finalists in MassChallenge Israel contest that saw participation from over 500 companies. Kheyti design, adapt & implement low-cost farming solutions that help farmers increase yield & predictability of produce

Haryana offers Insurance cover for crops

Haryana govt has announced immediate implementation of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. It is aimed to help farmers avail of insurance cover against crop loss due to natural calamities for 2017-18. Under this scheme, paddy, bajra, maize and cotton crops would be covered during the Kharif season while wheat, gram, barley and mustard would be covered during the Rabi season.

Naming and shaming defaulters

Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chief K V Thomas hopes “naming and shaming” such corporate houses may help financial institutions get back their money. Out of the Rs 6.8 lakh crore of Non-Performing Assets of public sector banks, a whopping 70 per cent are those of big corporate houses. Thomas said, adding hardly one per cent of it constitutes loans to farmers.

Relief for Farmers Ahead of Rabi Season

The Centre has taken more steps to ease the cash flow for farmers after demonetisation of old 500 and 1000 rupee notes. Farmers can now purchase seeds with old 500 rupee notes. This comes on the back of permitting farmers to withdraw up to 25,000 rupees per week from their KYC compliant accounts. Govt has decided to provide 60 days more for repayment of housing, car, farm and other loans.

Farmers open to ‘Khet Heen Kisan’

There was positive response from the farming community to the proposed ‘Khet Heen Kisan’ initiative, with a majority of farmers stating that it would do wonders if implemented successfully. This scheme is for the financial assistance to those farmers who do not own their lands. Organising farmers into groups and extending financial assistance to them through NABARD to take up farming will yield good results provided the government backs every group till results are achieved.