Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

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Ambar
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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Ambar » 12 Feb 2021 20:53

Anything which is "fixed" ignoring the market sooner or later becomes expensive both for the government and its citizens, be it a currency or lentils or fuel. Imagine if GoI tomorrow fixes a price of petrol at Rs 50 to encourage domestic sales of automobiles , and the international price goes up from $58 to $100/barrel, the government will then be bleeding money. MSP is a support price for farmers, it does little help the food security or the end consumer as we've seen over the last 20 years of chronic high to very high food inflation.

The clear trend of MSP has been it one-directional, you can look at the https://farmer.gov.in/mspstatements.aspx . At the current exchange rate the price per quintal is ~$70 in MSP, just looking at the Canadian markets in the last 10 yrs the wholesale price of red lentils have remained within a narrow band of $25 avg per cwt or about $50/quintal. So the government is picking it up at a 40% premium which is great for the farmers but not so great for the consumers. At the end of the day someone has to foot the bill and no prizes for guessing who that is. A private trader can take advantage of low prices and hedge against high prices but the government has no such leeway.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... umper-crop

Avg. lentil prices 10 yr graph https://pasteboard.co/JO1q00l.gif ( i struggle posting images so here's the direct link)

Ofcourse for grain and lentil importers in India, Canada is not the only source. Depending on source and quality red lentils wholesale ranges anywhere from $200 to $600. https://www.alibaba.com/showroom/wholes ... price.html -

Then there is the issue of quality of produce itself which was discussed in detail in the political thread. The MSP purchases are rife with mandi corruption where inedible quality of produce is marked as B grade (common grade) and A grade. A private importer has the control over the choice when it comes to selecting the quality, the government does not care or does not have that luxury because it cannot upset the farmers.

As much as we wish it won't be an electoral matter, the truth is retail inflation is real and has a huge political implication. The biggest reason for UPA's loss in 2014 was not just the daily scams or the abysmal security situation but also the near hyper inflation situation. Retail prices of food tripled and some like lentils quadrupled between 2009 and 2015 increasing the anger in people. The government needs to be careful in balancing MSP and retail food inflation. One only needs to talk to the average man on the street for their opinion about the recent hike in petroleum and cooking gas prices.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Suraj » 12 Feb 2021 21:27

Yes I have no problem with the argument that MSPs lack rational basis in many cases. But specifically for pulses , they have a history that is different from that of say, rice or wheat that we produce in excess of demand. Dal has historically been produced in too little quantity due to it being a time and resource intensive crop , and there has been a concerted effort over several years to break the import dependence.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Kakkaji » 14 Feb 2021 02:35

Suraj wrote:Yes I have no problem with the argument that MSPs lack rational basis in many cases. But specifically for pulses , they have a history that is different from that of say, rice or wheat that we produce in excess of demand. Dal has historically been produced in too little quantity due to it being a time and resource intensive crop , and there has been a concerted effort over several years to break the import dependence.


Correct.

In comparing with global lentil prices, we have to remember that India is by far the largest lentil consumer in the world. Several types of lentils have no significant market outside India.

As a result, imports by India greatly determine the prevailing global lentil prices. If news goes out that the lentils crop in India has fallen this year and India will again have to import the quantities it used to before the NDA Govt raised the MSP, then you will see the international prices quickly jump to levels close to the current MSP. Therefore, I believe it is currently better to pay the high MSP in Rupees to the Indian farmers, instead of same amount in Dollars to Canadian and Australian farmers.

In the long run, lentils/ pulses need the same kind of R&D focus and spending that gave us the high-yielding, quick-growing seeds for wheat and rice. This R&D will have to be done in India, as no other country consumes enough lentils to bother spending on this R&D.

Another factor is that lentils are an important source of protein for the large vegetarian population of India. Therefore, you do not want to be largely import-dependent for lentils, just as Japan does not want to be largely import-dependent for rice even if it has to pay a higher price to domestice farmers.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Suraj » 14 Feb 2021 02:50

Therefore, I believe it is currently better to pay the high MSP in Rupees to the Indian farmers, instead of same amount in Dollars to Canadian and Australian farmers.

Exactly. The pulses story has been a more than half decade long effort to force the increase of domestic acreage and output. It may cost consumers, but the money spent on MSP stays in India, and that is why they keep at it.

I have not yet been able to find the original article on this I posted years ago but the implication was clear there - there is no way to make 9 women give birth in one month, but they can wait out the proverbial 9 months with as many women (acreage) as possible and fix a long term problem . To get there means several years of high MSP to drive planting.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby SBajwa » 14 Feb 2021 08:16

I think some new formula for prices of essential commodities is needed

International price+10% or something like that to discourage importers. Indian land mass is conducive to fruits and vegetables along with its processed products. Problem is that around 30-40% of crops are destroyed in transportation, theft or due to lack of refrigeration(which needs lots of electricity). Transporting tomatoes and many fruits need special packing and training.

I do not know if Indian Railways have refrigerated freight bodies to transport such crops. I know very few trucks are refrigerated. It is this area that private capital is needed.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Ambar » 14 Feb 2021 10:49

Remember your average consumer also needs to deal with crushing inflation in everything from education, healthcare, housing, fuel to food. The last component is an absolute essential, and when retail prices rise 4x to 5x in just a decade then there is bound to be blowback. Theoretically it is great to say lets ignore the market forces and jack up MSP year over year to encourage farmers to grow lentils locally, but in reality you are punishing majority of the population through inflation, it is a form of expropriation of wealth from ordinary citizens. MSP in the long run is unsustainable but given the nature of Indian politics it will probably remain for few more decades. If that is the case i hope there is some balancing between retail inflation and MSP and not succumbing to the farmer/mandi lobby to continuously increase the support price on produce and completely ignoring the yield, quality and international prices. I am stressing on this point because when there was a shortage of lentils last summer and the retail prices had started rising alarmingly, the govt. slashed the import duties only to attract the ire of the farmers.

Btw, this problem is not limited to Indian cuisine centric lentils, the most staple crop in the world, wheat, also suffers from the same MSP price distortion. The last 8 yrs or so because of excess yield the international market price of wheat has nearly halved, whereas GoI;s MSP for wheat has increased by 60% in the same period. Although not as bad as pulses, GoI is still picking up wheat at a 30% premium over international market prices through MSP.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Vayutuvan » 16 Feb 2021 03:20

SBajwa wrote: Transporting tomatoes and many fruits need special packing and training.


One question - what is stopping from tomatoes getting processed locally into catsup, puree, and chunks and canned locally? The technology itself is completely worked out and low tech.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby darshan » 16 Feb 2021 03:56

There's also sun drying of tomatoes and growing of various specialities. GJ has pretty healthy dehydrated garlic and onion food processing joints that do lot of exports.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Vayutuvan » 16 Feb 2021 04:09

Suraj wrote:Dal has historically been produced in too little quantity due to it being a time and resource intensive crop , and there has been a concerted effort over several years to break the import dependence.

Tur daal (pigeon peas) cultivation is not resource-intensive. It is drought resistant. Large tracts of semiarid rainfed areas in AP/TS produce Tur, Moong, and Peanuts(which are also a type of legume). A couple of links follow.

http://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/a30a010d-5541-459d-9e9a-58f50f2a1a40/

Pulses and Climate Change. Revised edition


From this site

http://www.fao.org/pulses-2016/communications-toolkit/fact-sheets/en/
2016 International Year of Pulses: Nutritious Seeds for a Sustainable Future


From Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigeon_pea#Cultivation

Pigeon pea is an important legume crop of rainfed agriculture in the semiarid tropics. The Indian subcontinent, eastern Africa and Central America, in that order, are the world's three main pigeon pea-producing regions. Pigeon peas are cultivated in more than 25 tropical and subtropical countries, either as a sole crop or intermixed with cereals, such as sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum), or maize (Zea mays), or with other legumes, such as peanuts (Arachis hypogaea). Being a legume capable of symbiosis with Rhizobia, the bacteria associated with the pigeon pea enrich soils through symbiotic nitrogen fixation.

Pigeon peas can be of a perennial variety, in which the crop can last three to five years (although the seed yield drops considerably after the first two years), or an annual variety more suitable for seed production.

The crop is cultivated on marginal land by resource-poor farmers, who commonly grow traditional medium- and long-duration (5–11 months) landraces. Short-duration pigeon peas (3–4 months) suitable for multiple cropping have recently been developed. Traditionally, the use of such input as fertilizers, weeding, irrigation, and pesticides is minimal, so present yield levels are low (average = 700 kg/ha). Greater attention is now being given to managing the crop because it is in high demand at remunerative prices.

Pigeon peas are very drought-resistant and can be grown in areas with less than 650 mm annual rainfall. With the maize crop failing three out of five years in drought-prone areas of Kenya, a consortium led by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) aimed to promote the pigeon pea as a drought-resistant, nutritious alternative crop.
...


What I have seen 45+ years back was that harvesting, dehulling, and dehusking was labor-intensive.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Vayutuvan » 16 Feb 2021 04:15

darshan wrote:There's also sun drying of tomatoes and growing of various specialities. GJ has pretty healthy dehydrated garlic and onion food processing joints that do lot of exports.


Sundried tomatoes are quite popular in most produce markets in the US. That is my observation in Valli produce and other similar large produce chains in Chicago area.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Haresh » 16 Feb 2021 21:58

Sun dried tomatoes are very easy to produce.

Just Youtubed this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7CYpKQ9B2A

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Kakkaji » 21 Feb 2021 02:41

The rise of the agripreneur: Agritech startups trying to fix some major issues faced by agriculture sector

While there has been a lot of controversy around the new farm laws—with talks between the Centre and the protesting farmers resulting in a stalemate every time—a group of young entrepreneurs are engaged in fixing some of the major issues faced by India’s agriculture sector. These ‘agripreneurs’ are also trying to make agriculture niche and lucrative by the use of technology and innovative models of businesses.

In the past few years, two major tailwinds—deeper penetration of smartphones in rural areas and falling data costs—have changed the way rural India went about doing business and solving the challenges faced by the agriculture sector. Benefitting from all this are agritech startups that have mushroomed across the country. As per a recent study by Accel-Omnivore, funding in the agritech sector rose from $45.8 million in 2016 to $430.6 million in 2020—a 9.4x growth during this period.

Aquaconnect
Based in Chennai, it’s a one-stop solution for aquaculture farmers
India exports about $5 billion worth of farmed shrimps every year, making the country the largest exporter of frozen shrimps in the world. Yet the lack of technology adoption pulls the growth of the industry downwards.

AgNext
The startup, based in Chandigarh, is trying to resolve trust issues between the buyer and the seller Chandigarh-based AgNext is solving the biggest concern in Indian agriculture—the lack of trust in key transactions starting at the procurement stage. Vast amounts of farm produce are assessed by traders or middlemen by what they see and feel with their eyes and hands, based on which prices are determined. Over the years, this mode of assessment has become a tool with which traders and middlemen have exploited farmers.

GramCover
The startup, based in Noida, is creating a retail market for insurance products in rural India
Jatin Singh, the founder of GramCover, says he got into entrepreneurship by chance. First, he started Skymet, an agri weather risk management and data company. The 43-year-old Delhi native’s second stint as an entrepreneur was again by chance after he got acquainted with crop insurance. Singh saw a pain point there as he found that there was very limited penetration of insurance in the rural heartland. “I saw a good business opportunity,” says Singh, a Boston University alumnus. In 2017, GramCover was born.

Clover Ventures
Based in Bengaluru, this greenhouse agri startup delivers fresh produce through tech
Clover Ventures was started by childhood friends Avinash BR, Gururaj Rao, Arvind Murali and Santosh Narasipura—all aged 40 years today. The idea germinated when they used to spend occasional weekends at a coffee estate owned by co-founder Narasipura in Karnataka’s Chikmagalur.

Freshokartz
This startup, based in Jaipur, connects farmers through tech
Freshokartz was born in 2016 when founder Rajendra Lora noticed a huge difference in prices of vegetables sold in the cities and those in villages. “I was working as a software developer in Mumbai. One day, while buying onions from a retail outlet, I saw that they were being sold for `20 per kg, but when I called my father, I found out that they were available for just Rs 4-5 per kg in our village. That’s when I realised that there are many layers of mediators and they were taking a good amount of the margins,” says Lora, whose family grows onions at their farm in Nagour district in Rajasthan.

Hydrogreens
The agri solutions provider is working to solve the country’s fodder shortage problem
The shortage of feed and fodder remains a major area of concern in India owing to the huge gap between demand and supply. As per an estimate by the National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology—affiliated to the Indian Council for Agricultural Research—the deficit in the requirement and availability of dry fodder, green fodder and concentrates in 2015 was 21%, 26%, and 34%, respectively. This may increase to 23%, 40% and 38%, respectively, by 2025, as per the report.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Vips » 24 Feb 2021 06:24

New variety may lift wheat output to a record this year.

ndia’s wheat production is heading for a record in the current crop season 2020 July-2021 June on rise in acreage and change in varietal mix aided by a favourable weather.

“The crop is in good condition across all wheat-producing States and we are heading for another record harvest, which could range between 112 and 114 million tonnes this year,”said Director of the Karnal-based Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research GP Singh.

In 2019-20, wheat production, according to the Agriculture Ministry’s fourth advance estimates, was pegged at 107.59 million tonnes (mt).

High-yielding variety
Farmers have planted over a million hectares more this year and bulk of the increase has been registered in Madhya Pradesh. Also, farmers have planted the new high-yielding variety DBW187 between two and three million hectares, mainly in Punjab and Haryana, which will contribute to increase in output this year, Singh said.

DBW187 — released in 2019 and recommended for all wheat-growing States in the Indo-Gangetic belt from West Bengal to Jammu — is resistant to all diseases including wheat blast. It has higher protein content of around 12.5 per cent and yields up to eight tonnes per hectare, Singh said. DBW 187 has better bread and chapati making quality with higher gluten and protein content, which are as good as international standards, Singh said. The prevailing popular wheat varieties are HD-3086 and HD-2967.

Singh said that in Madhya Pradesh the harvest will begin in the next few days. “The crop is good in Western, Central and Eastern UP. Even in Bengal and Bihar the crop is good. On an average, in the wheat growing areas the crop is good across the country,” he added.

Image

Swelling stocks
Wheat stocks in the Central pool stood at a record 31.83 mt as on February 1 this year. The USDA has estimated India’s wheat output to be about 107.6 mt.

“The huge wheat crop and higher carry forward stocks will be a problem for the Government, trade and millers,” said Pramod Kumar S, Senior Vice-President of The Roller Flour Millers Association of India.

“The opening stocks in April will be around 28-29 mt, about 4-5 mt higher than last year. With an expected procurement of around 42 mt, it will be an interesting scenario for wheat. Moreover, this time we will not have Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY),” he said. Under the PMGKY, the Centre issued 10 mt of wheat and rice free of cost to the below poverty line people to tide over problems such as unemployment caused by novel Coronavirus pandemic.

Stocks are higher despite exports rising over five times to 9.76 lakh tonnes during the current fiscal against 1.71 lakh tonnes last fiscal. Kumar said the new crop from the early sown variety has started arriving in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat and is traded at around at ₹1,700 per quintal — lower than the MSP of ₹1,975 fixed for this year wheat.

On Tuesday, new wheat arriving in Gujarat markets traded between ₹1,600 and ₹1,800 a quintal.

“At the current MSP rates, we are getting wheat delivered at the factory gate today,” Kumar, who is also a miller in Bengaluru, said. “The new crop is quoted around ₹2,050-2,070 per quintal for delivery in Bangalore goodshed. We expect it to fall to around ₹2,000 levels going ahead,” he said.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Vips » 25 Feb 2021 05:04

India’s foodgrain production to be an all-time high at 303 million tonnes.

India’s foodgrain production in the 2020-21 crop year will touch a new all-time record high of around 303 million tonnes (MT), which is over 2% higher than the previous year's output.

Agriculture ministry’s second advance estimates for the current crop year (July-June cycle), released on Wednesday, shows record output of paddy (120 MT), wheat (109 MT), maize (30 MT) and gram (12 MT) in the foodgrain basket.

Attributing the production of over 303 MT of foodgrains to “tireless hard work of farmers, research by agricultural scientists, and farmer-friendly policies of the central government”, the ministry said the all-round agricultural reforms would also benefit the country in the long run.

The ministry’s figures show that the production during 2020-21 is higher by 24.47 MT than the previous five years’ (2015-16 to 2019-20) average production of foodgrains.

Image

Good monsoon rainfall (9% higher than the long period average) and its better distribution in most states last year helped in higher acreage of both Kharif and Rabi crops, leading to better output of most of the crops in the pandemic-hit year. Exemptions, given to the farm sector during the lockdown period, had helped uninterrupted sowing operations.

Among oilseeds, estimated production of groundnut and mustard too will touch a new high this year at a time when the government has been focusing on these crops to reduce India’s import bill. Overall oilseeds production is estimated to be 4 MT higher this year compared to 2019-20. The country currently has to import edible oil worth Rs 65,000–70,000 crores annually due to the huge gap between domestic demand and production.

Among non-foodgrain crops, production of sugarcane too is estimated to be higher this year by 27 MT whereas the output of cotton is estimated to be at the same level of the production of previous year.

The estimates of production of different crops are done on the basis of data received from states. Though the production of most of the crops for the agricultural year 2020-21 is estimated to be higher than their normal production, these estimates would undergo revision based on further feedback from the states.

During the first advance estimates in September last year, the ministry had estimated the 2020-21 output at 301 MT. But it has now been revised to 303 MT in the second advance estimates. The ministry every year comes out with four estimates of a particular crop year before releasing the final output data.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Kakkaji » 28 Feb 2021 04:55

Govt finalises products under scheme to increase farmer income, exports

The government on Saturday said it has finalised a list of products from agriculture and allied sectors that will be promoted in a cluster approach in 728 districts across the country as part of its effort to boost farm exports and enhance farmers income.

“The products have been identified from agricultural, horticultural, animal, poultry, milk, fisheries and aquaculture, marine sectors for 728 districts across the country,” the statement said.

The agriculture ministry said that these products will be promoted in a cluster approach through convergence of the central schemes, aiming to increase the value of the products and enhance farmers’ income.

Paddy will be promoted in 40 districts, wheat-5 districts, coarse cum nutri cereals- 25 districts, pulses 16 districts, commercial crops 22 districts, oilseeds 41 districts, vegetables 107 districts, spices 105 districts, plantation 28 districts, fruits 226 districts, floriculture 2 districts, honey 9 districts, animal husbandry/dairy 40 districts, aquaculture/marine fisheries 29 districts and processed products 33 districts.

The list includes 25 districts of Arunachal Pradesh; 38 districts of Bihar; 28 districts of Chhattisgarh; 2 districts in Goa; 22 districts of Haryana; 12 districts of Himachal Pradesh, 24 districts of Jharkhand, 20 districts of Jammu & Kashmir; 31 districts of Karnataka; 14 districts of Kerala; 52 districts of Madhya Pradesh; 36 districts of Maharashtra; 16 districts of Manipur; 30 districts of Odisha, 23 districts of Punjab, 4 districts of Sikkim, 36 districts of Tamil Nadu; 8 districts of Tripura, 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh, and 18 districts of West Bengal.

As many as 13 districts each of Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh, 11 districts each of Delhi, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland; and 33 districts each of Assam, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Telangana have been included.

That apart, three districts of Andaman & Nicobar Islands; total three districts of ‘Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu’; two districts each of Ladakh and Puducherry; one district each of Chandigarh and Lakshadweep are part of this exercise.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Kakkaji » 13 Mar 2021 07:38

Agri-reforms & food business: A win-win combination

Lot of good information from a GoI official

The food business environment is undergoing changes owing to various policy initiatives taken by the government. Youth are willing to participate in various food business activities and are also encouraged by the various initiatives taken by the government, like the new farm laws

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Kakkaji » 30 Mar 2021 05:25

Potential gain: Cow dung paint, a potential income booster for farmers

The daunting goal of doubling farmers’ income needs action on multiple fronts. A steady source of additional income for cattle growers is being explored by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) with the innovative technology of ‘Khadi Prakritik’ paint made out of cow dung. The eco-friendly, non-toxic, odourless product with anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, could potentially enable a farmer to earn additional Rs 30,000 from one cow annually.


Good initiative, but I am doubtful of its success, mainly because of this:

KVIC has priced the distemper at Rs 160/litre and emulsion at Rs 290/litre (white). While acrylic distemper prices of many established brands (in 10 litre pack) are lower (Rs 55-140/litre) than that of Khadi Prakritik, KVIC’s emulsion is cheaper compared to synthetic variants (Rs 345-600/litre).


Distemper is what is used in large volumes for wall painting and, at such a price difference, I doubt it will fins a mass market. Also, KVIS is planning to double the price it currently pays for the raw material. That will increase the costs, and price it further out of market. :(

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Mukhi » 30 Mar 2021 06:11

For GJ at least, Prices for Cow/ Buffalo Manure or Chicken dunk in general is going up where I am. The last lode I got was t Rs 3000 per trolley. This includes filling, transport and Dumping on farm. The more farmers turn towards Organic / “Vaidic” Farming the more demand will be there.

I wish NaMo and Co put more focus in Organic Farming in GJ.

The drawback I see is, lot more unwanted plants coming up as dunk has lots of seeds. This in turn adds lot more labour to keep the field clear. Or we pay direct price in low yield.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Ambar » 30 Mar 2021 23:17

‘DGFT is changing methodology since the old system failed to yield desired results’
A decision by the Directorate-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to go for an algorithm-based lottery system to allocate import quota for tur (pigeon pea) and moong (green gram) in the next financial year has left the trade “surprised”.

In a notification issued on March 19, permitting imports of four lakh tonnes (lt) of pigeon pea and 1.5 lt of green gram for the next fiscal, the DGFT said imports will be allocated “equally to pre-determined numbers of applicants through an algorithm-based lottery system, as per procedure to be notified.”
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The Centre is importing tur and moong to meet the shortfall in domestic supplies.

The total import of pulses during 2021-22 fiscal is projected to be over 11.5 lakh tonnes. This includes the permission given to import four lt of urad (black matpe) too.

The imports are being made despite the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare second advance estimates projecting production of pulses at 244.2 lt for 2020-21 crop year ending June. This crop year’s production is higher than last year’s 230.3 lt.

The Indian Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA) has welcomed the DGFT move to opt for the algorithm-based lottery system, saying the association came up with the suggestion.

While the jury is out on the new method proposed by the DGFT, trade experts wonder if the “algorithm-based lottery” was not a way of promoting gambling. “Shouldn’t we call this State-sponsored gambling?” an expert, who did not wish to be identified, asked.

Normally, imports are allowed on an actual user basis which means an importer should actually make use of the shipments into the country for his/her own use as raw material or feedstocks.

This is based on a 2104 Telangana High Court interim order passed by a single judge that only actual users be allowed to import maize (corn).

A slew of petitions is pending before the High Court since 2014 with a group of importers opposing the actual-user condition and another section, including farmers, arguing that only actual users be allowed to import.

In this context, the DFGT decision to include traders too to apply for import permits has drawn criticism.

The All-India Dal Mills Association has opposed this provision saying “it is not fair”.

“Traders import and stock, whereas millers import, process and sell them. There is a wide difference between the way each of them operates,” Suresh Agarwal, the Mills Association Chairman, told BusinessLine recently.

“All these bring the focus back to the lottery system. The algorithm will be based on software. What will be the criteria of the software? How will it select the criteria?” the expert asked.

However, others explain the reason why the DGFT has come up with these decisions. Traders are being allowed to apply for import quota now only. Earlier, they had applied in the pretext of millers. This led to the quota licences being traded at a hefty premium.

“Finally, these importers ended up on the defaulters’ list of the DGFT,” said a policy analyst on condition of anonymity.

Also, the earlier quota system did not work well in containing inflation and a controlled market.

“This was since the DGFT issued quota to, say, 1,500 importers with each getting to ship in 150 or 200 tonnes. However, these importers would queue before 7-8 Singapore-based trading firms,” said the analyst.

These firms determined the price of the pulses, resulting in higher prices for imports in the past. Hence, the new methodology the DGFT has come up with could change the dynamics of the trade itself.

On the other hand, there is also a danger of consignments of urad and peas that had been held at the ports for over a year-and-a-half of entering the country in the garb of re-exports.

About 2.5 lakh tonnes of urad and peas consignments from destinations such as Ukraine and Singapore were not permitted by barred by the Government.

This resulted in importers approaching the Supreme Court, where the Centre has now said it has no objections to their re-exports.

“What is the guarantee that these consignments will not be exported to Special Economic Zones(SEZs) and from there re-directed into the Indian domestic market,” the analysts asked, adding that they were valued at Rs 300 crore.

More importantly, if importers bring in these held up consignments that are re-exported to SEZs, it would amount to round-tripping.

Experts feel that a new system introduced by the DGFT for paperless applications to get import permits from last week could be critical to the algorithm.

They said that the Centre should opt for an algorithm based on deep learning and rating of traders and importers rather than basing it on luck.

A pulses importer in Mumbai said the DGFT’s new move could widen the number of traders importing pulses and could result in small competitions among them.

Another pulses importer in Chennai said that the new system without the actual user conditions offers equal opportunities to all.

“Traders will now get an opportunity to import but finally, they have to approach the mills to process. Maybe, the mills will have to settle for a lower margin,” he said.

The importer sees domestic production increasing to such an extent as to eliminate the need to import. “Our production could increase to levels that will rule out imports, provided the climate does not play truant,” he said.

The import decision has come at a time when the prices of pulses have increased to a five-year high on lower crop and steady demand.

The crop is 20 per cent lower this year against the anticipated production of 43-44 lt due to pest attacks and excess rains.

According to the Ministry’s of Agriculture’s second advance estimate, tur production is projected at 38.8 lt this season compared with 38.9 lt the previous season. Gram (chana) production is estimated at 116.2 lt (110.8 lt), while urad output is likely to be 24.5 lt (20.8 lt). Moong production has been pegged at 26.2 lt (25.1 lt).

The Centre decided to import pulses as domestic prices have surged on production not matching expectations and steady demand. Production this season has not met the target set by the Ministry of Agriculture as excess rains and floodings of the field affected the yield.

As a result, modal prices or the rate at which most trades take place in tur in agricultural markets in Maharashtra and Karnataka are ruling ₹400-600 a quintal higher than the minimum support price of ₹6,000 fixed by the Centre this season.

Urad modal prices in Tamil Nadu, a major growing region, are currently about ₹1,000 a quintal higher than the MSP of ₹6,000.

Chana prices, too, are almost ₹3,000 a quintal higher than the MSP of ₹5,100 a quintal in Madhya Pradesh.


Moong prices are, however, sharply lower around ₹5,000 a quintal in key growing States such as Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra compared with the MSP of ₹7,196.



https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/ma ... epage=true

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Vips » 13 Apr 2021 06:06

CWC told to double storage capacity, achieve Rs10,000-cr turnover.

The government proposes a modernisation-cum-expansion programme of the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) to double its current storage capacity by the end of 2023 and achieve a turnover of Rs10,000 crore by FY 2024-25.

CWC should build modern silos so that 100 per cent stock of food grains could be stored for longer period, union minister of food and public distribution and consumer affairs, railways and commerce and industry Piyush Goyal has said.

CWC has been asked to prepare a masterplan for upgradation of its all 423 warehouses, having complete basic public/staff amenities and additional infrastructure to be developed by 2024-25, Goyal said at a review of the modernisation plan of Central Warehouse Corporation.

Goyal said that CWC should double its warehouse storage capacity by end of year 2023 and achieve a turnover of Rs10,000 crore by the financial year 2024-25. At present, CWC has a storage capacity of 12.5 million tonnes.

Goyal said that the tariff rationalisation and setting of warehouses should be done independently by CWC without any bureaucratic interference. He said that maximum powers of decision making for operations should be delegated to the CWC. He also asked CWC to focus on building of cold chain storage in the country on priority basis. Goyal instructed CWC to do audit for fire safety, earthquakes, burglary and accidents at all its warehouses on a regular basis.

Further, Goyal said, CWC should build modern silos for wheat and rice storage all over the country, so that maximum grains could be stored in the country for longer periods.

CWC, he said, should build more cold chain facilities for storage onion, potato and tomato in coordination with NAFED.

The Minister suggested that CWC should prepare a masterplan for upgradation of its all 423 warehouses. CWC should do the warehouse / storage gap analysis for agricultural produce and accordingly prepare plans with the help of architects and experts, he said.

The minister further said that CWC should work in mission mode for taking care of all stakeholders, ie, staff, clients, workers, truck drivers.
He said all CWC warehouses must have modern and convenience facilities, like toilets for male, female workers, customers, drivers and divyangs, proper waiting rooms/restroom, worker-shed, drinking water facilities and other basic amenities with neat and clean ambience.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Haresh » 13 Apr 2021 16:33

Purple revolution: India’s farmers turn to lavender to beat drought

https://www.theguardian.com/global-deve ... at-drought

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Rsatchi » 13 Apr 2021 17:25

^^^ Just as the above introduction of Lavender cultivation as a cash crop I have a question.
I come from Karnataka and know how much of water used for Sugarcane cultivation.
Has anyone thought about the introduction of 'Sugar-Beet' crop for production of sugar!
In the West I think bulk of sugar production is from the sugar-beet crop and not dependent on Sugarcane.
I am told sugar-beet is less water consumption crop but the only point is will the crops tolerate Tropical climate!!

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Haresh » 13 Apr 2021 17:52

Rsatchi wrote:Has anyone thought about the introduction of 'Sugar-Beet' crop for production of sugar!


A quick Google

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_beet

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Haresh » 13 Apr 2021 17:54

Dairy in distress: the milk revolution draining Punjab dry


https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable ... gy-el-nino

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Kakkaji » 14 Apr 2021 01:09

Haresh wrote:Dairy in distress: the milk revolution draining Punjab dry


https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable ... gy-el-nino


They don't mention that one main reason for water level going down in Punjab is the massive cultivation of rice in the state.

If, in place of non-basmati rice, maize is grown once again in Punjab, it will provide food as well as cattle fodder, and also stress the water table a lot less.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby rsingh » 14 Apr 2021 03:24

Haresh wrote:
Rsatchi wrote:Has anyone thought about the introduction of 'Sugar-Beet' crop for production of sugar!


A quick Google

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_beet


Sugarbeat sugar content is much lower than that if sugarcane. Plus, sugarcane provides fodder for animal during winters.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Kakkaji » 14 Apr 2021 03:57

Haresh wrote:
Rsatchi wrote:Has anyone thought about the introduction of 'Sugar-Beet' crop for production of sugar!


A quick Google

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_beet


From the Wikipedia link above:

Sugar beets grow exclusively in the temperate zone, in contrast to sugarcane, which grows exclusively in the tropical and subtropical zones.


So, for India, sugarcane it is.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Kakkaji » 18 Apr 2021 01:26

Italy launches first ever mega food park & food processing unit in India

The pilot project “The Mega Food Park” was launched today, in virtual mode, with the signing of a Letter of Intent between the ICE Office in Mumbai and Fanidhar Mega Food Park, in Gujarat.

The project aims to create synergy between agriculture and industry of the two countries and focuses on the research and development of new and more efficient technologies in the sector. With this Italy also aims to explore the great opportunities offered by the Indian market, according to an Italian Govt statement.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Mort Walker » 18 Apr 2021 09:09

Haresh wrote:Dairy in distress: the milk revolution draining Punjab dry


https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable ... gy-el-nino


That is an old report from 2016. Punjab dairy production has increased over the last 4 years, but still ranks 6th in overall dairy production.
https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punja ... hart-53517
https://www.mapsofindia.com/answers/sta ... r-of-milk/

Here is the table of Top 10 Milk Producing States in India as per 2018-19:

S.No. Name of State/UT Production (‘000 tonnes)
1 Uttar Pradesh 30,519
2 Rajasthan 23,668
3 Madhya Pradesh 15,911
4 Andhra Pradesh 15,044
5 Gujarat 14,493
6 Punjab 12,599
7 Maharashtra 11,655
8 Haryana 10,726
9 Bihar 9,818
10 Tamil Nadu 8,362

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Vips » 23 Apr 2021 05:21

Wheat set for record output despite some farmers reporting lower yield.

India’s wheat production is on course for record production, despite some farmers, especially in Madhya Pradesh, reporting lower yield.

“Our scientists have visited different parts of the country where wheat is grown. We don’t find any problem with the crop. The Union Government has projected a record crop of 109.24 million tonnes (mt). I expect it higher than 110 mt,” said Gyanendra P Singh, Director of Karnal-based ICAR-Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR).

Singh was responding to a question on whispers in the trade that wheat production could be lower this year compared with a record 107.86 mt.

Earlier this week, Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu told media that initial reports pointed to 2-3 quintal lower yield in Punjab, though he has said that picture would be clear only later. Shrivelled grains were also reported from Tarn Taran district, he said.

“We have done a survey of wheat production, including through satellites. Wheat production is expected to be good. It could be a record,” said BK Singh, founder of BKC WeatherSys. “In Punjab, we hear that the yield is lower by 10 per cent as unseasonal weather during January and February has affected the crop,” said Bhagwan Das, Secretary-General of Youth Farmers Association of Punjab.

“We had heavy fog in December. It seems to have affected our production. If I got 7.5 tonnes per hectare of wheat last year, this year it is down to about six tonnes,” said Sunil Mukhati, a farmer in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore district. Anand Singh Anjana, a farmer in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain district, said, “If I got 1.2-1.4 tonne per bigha (1.6 acre) last year, this year, it is down to 700-800 kg.”

Both Mukhati and Anjana have harvested their crop. “I sold my superior variety Lokwan wheat in the agricultural produce marketing committee yard at ₹2,200 a quintal, while the other variety I gave it for government procurement,” Anjana said.

“Our wheat crop is better this year. We got 1.2-1.3 tonnes acre against one tonne last year. This year, we have benefitted as there were no rains in our region in December,” said Jaikishore Singh from Masoi village in Uttar Pradesh’s Chandauli district.

Uttar Pradesh is the top wheat producer in the country contributing over 30 per cent of the total output, while Punjab, which makes up 18 per cent, and Madhya Pradesh, which provides 16 per cent, are the next best producing States. “This time, the moisture is lower at 8-9 per cent compared with the usual 12 per cent. It could be one reason why farmers are feeling that they are having a lower crop,” said IIWBR Director.

“Lower moisture will mean the weight will be lower. This time, the area under wheat was higher and it will make up for any drop in the yield,” said Pramod Kumar, Vice-President of Roller Flour Mills Association of India.

This year, wheat was cultivated on a record 34.63 million hectares (mh) compared with 33.64 mh last year and the normal 30.32 mh.

Wheat prices in key States such as Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are ruling at the minimum support price (MSP) level of ₹1,975 a quintal. The MSP has been raised by ₹50 this year from ₹1,925 last year.

As of Tuesday, the Food Corporation has procured 13.65 mt of wheat from 11 of the States where it is grown. Punjab tops the procurement at 49.34 lakh tonnes, though Ashu told BusinessLine that 54 lakh tonnes had been procured until April 19.

Last year, a record 38.99 mt of wheat was procured. This year, the Centre has set a procurement target of 42.73 mt.

Besides, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) is carrying record wheat stocks of 27.30 mt against the mandatory norm to carry 4.46 mt of operational stock and three mt of strategic reserve.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Kakkaji » 06 May 2021 21:16

To achieve self-sufficiency in pulses Union Government formulates strategy for Kharif 2021

More than 20 lakh mini-kits of seeds to be distributed amounting to Rs. 82.01 crores; ten times more than the last year

The move will cover 4.05 lakh hectare area across the country

Production of pulses increased by 65% in 2020-21 in comparison to 2007-08

Through consultations with the state governments, a detailed plan for both area expansion and productivity enhancement for Tur, Moong and Urad has been formulated. Under the strategy, utilising all the high yielding varieties (HYVs) of seeds that are available either with the Central Seed Agencies or in the States will be distributed free of costto increase area throughintercropping and sole crop.

For the coming Kharif 2021, it is proposed to distribute 20,27,318 (almost 10 times more seed mini kits than 2020-21) amounting to Rs. 82.01 crores. The total cost for these mini-kits will be borne by the Central Government to boost the production and productivity of tur, moong and urad. The following mini-kits will be given;

13,51,710 mini kits of arhar containing certified seeds of HYVs of arhar released during last ten years and productivity not less than 15 qtl/ha- for intercropping.

4,73,295 mini kits of moong containing certified seeds of HYVs of moong released during last ten years but productivity not less than 10 qtl/ha- for intercropping.

93,805 mini kits of urad containing certified seeds of HYVs of urad released during last ten years but productivity not less than 10 qtl/ha- for intercropping.

1,08,508 mini kits of urad containing certified seeds of urad HYVs of Urad released during last 15 years and productivity not less than 10 qtl/ha - for Sole Crop.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Kakkaji » 07 May 2021 22:05

49% increase in Wheat procurement for ongoing RMS 2021-22 in comparison to corresponding period of last year

Total 323.67 LMT Wheat procured on MSP from around 32.21 Lakh farmers

Around 727.41LMTs paddy procured on MSP for ongoing KMS 2020-21 and RMS benefitting 109.09 Lakh farmers

Government through its Nodal Agencies procured 6,41,251.32MT of Pulses and Oilseeds on MSP benefitting 3,98,877 farmers

Procurement of Wheat in ongoing RMS2021-22 is continuing smoothly in the procuring States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan,Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir and Bihar at MSP, as was done in previous seasons, and till now (upto 06.05.2021) a quantity of over 323.67 LMT of Wheat has been procured against the last year corresponding purchase of 216.01 LMT. About32.21Lakh farmers have already been benefitted from the ongoing RMS procurement operations with MSP value of Rs. 63,924.56Crore.

Further, based on the proposal from the States, approval was accorded for procurement of 107.31 LMT of Pulse and Oilseeds of Kharif Marketing Season 2020-21 & Rabi Marketing Season 2021 for the States of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh under Price Support Scheme (PSS). The sanction for procurement of 1.74 LMT of Copra (the perennial crop) for the States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala was also given. For other States/UTs approval will also be accorded on receipt of proposals for procurement of Pulses, Oilseeds and Copra under PSS so that procurement of FAQ grade of these crops can be made at notified MSP for the year 2020-21 directly from the registered farmers, if the market rate goes below MSP during the notified harvesting period in the respective States/UTs by the Central Nodal Agencies through State nominated procuring agencies.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Kakkaji » 11 May 2021 21:50

About Rs. 22,215.93 crore already transferred directly into Punjab farmers’ account against sale of their Wheat crop

For the First Time, Farmers of Punjab receiving payments directly into their bank accounts

FCI under GOI & other agencies procured 341.77 LMT Wheat in Central Pool upto 10th May, 2021 against 252.50 LMT during corresponding period of last year

MSP Operations during Rabi Marketing Season 2021-22 in full swing

Mission "One Nation, One MSP, One DBT " taking firm shape

Out of the total purchase of 341.77 LMT wheat, major contribution has been made by Punjab- 129.35 LMT (37.84%), Haryana- 80.80 LMT (23.64%) and Madhya Pradesh-97.54 LMT (28.53%) upto 10thMay 2021.

About 34.57 Lakh Wheat farmers have already been benefitted from the ongoing wheat procurement Operations.

This year, a new chapter has been added in the history of public procurement when Haryana and Punjab also switched from indirect payment of MSP to direct online transfer of benefits to farmers’ bank account by all the procuring agencies as per direction of GOI, which is being rejoiced by the farmers of Punjab/Haryana as for the first time they are receiving direct benefits against sale of their hard toiled crops without any delay and cuts under “One Nation, One MSP, One DBT”.

About Rs 22,215.93 crore in Punjab and about Rs 12,384.11 crore in Haryana has been transferred directly into farmers’ account so far.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Kakkaji » 13 May 2021 06:02

LEAF to enable Rs 500 crore credit to marginalised tribal farmers to tide over COVID-19 crisis

Lawrencedale Agro Processing India (LEAF), on Wednesday said it is bringing in Rs 500 crore worth of organised cost-effective credit to marginalised small land-hold and tribal farmers to overcome the COVID-19 crisis. LEAF, an integrated agri-service provider, said it is aligning with new-age financial technology non-banking financial companies (NBFC) to funnel in the much-needed organised credit for the marginalised farmers.

Marginalised farmers in remote locations of Western and Eastern Ghats in South India do not have easy access to organised support.

"We are addressing these challenges by organising farming labour with all safety protocols and liquidating the aggregated harvest, on behalf of farmers, in large wholesale markets,"

Besides this, LEAF is setting up 25 Farmer Service Centre across locations that have a large concentration of tribal and marginalised farmers. These Centres managed by LEAF's team of professional agronomists will work with the farmers in the entire life-cycle of the harvest and ensure that their efforts are getting better results.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Kakkaji » 18 May 2021 06:29

Ethanol from B heavy molasses, sugar will help the industry, says Gadkari

Massive surplus stock in Maharashtra can be used to produce ethanol and improve sugar mills’ financials

Against the backdrop of massive sugar production this season the sugar industry wants the government to buy ethanol produced by blending of sugar in B heavy molasses at a rate of ₹62.65 per liter.

“There is a huge stock of sugar in Maharashtra. I have recently submitted a proposal and the Maharashtra government must pursue it with the Centre,” Gadkari said.

He said that about 15-20 per cent sugar could be added to B heavy molasses to produce ethanol. “The rate for ethanol produced using sugarcane juice is about ₹60 per litre. If the Petroleum Ministry gives the same rate to ethanol produced by adding sugar to B heavy molasses, about 25 lakh tonnes sugar in Maharashtra could be used for the purpose,” said Gadkari.

“In this case, the sugar mills will get rate of ₹36 per kg for sugar and mills will not have to pay heavy charges for stocking up sugar in godowns,” he said.


Does this proposal make sense, or are we throwing good money after bad?

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Prasad » 18 May 2021 13:22

This is like burning water in a state that has some of the most parched districts in the country!

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby nandakumar » 18 May 2021 15:16

Prasad wrote:This is like burning water in a state that has some of the most parched districts in the country!

Can you please explain this? There are two possibilities, as I see it, here. It is a one time measure to dispose of accumulated sugar stocks and molasses which cannot be otherwise converted into ethanol. The other possibility is that it is a recurrent use of surplus sugar perpetuating a type of land use that is not in the best interest of Maharashtra.
If it us the first then there is no harm done as the sugar already stands produced and the water from wherever it was got has already gone into cane cultivation. If it is the second your comment assumes that the Government will somehow be able to wean farmers away from using their land for sugarcane. Past experience tells us that this is well nigh impossible.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Prasad » 18 May 2021 15:35

Exactly. If it is done once, you need to actively discourage it the next year. As we've seen in maharashtra earlier, even despite drought they continue to produce vast amounts of sugarcane. Converting them to fuel and creating a dependency of this sort will make it entirely impossible to reduce sugar production.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby nandakumar » 18 May 2021 16:01

Prasad wrote:Exactly. If it is done once, you need to actively discourage it the next year. As we've seen in maharashtra earlier, even despite drought they continue to produce vast amounts of sugarcane. Converting them to fuel and creating a dependency of this sort will make it entirely impossible to reduce sugar production.

I have spoken to some people who are familiar with the farm economics. What they say is that with the exception of rice and wheat and to some extent cotton, sugarcane cultivation offers the farmer some advantage which other produces lack. First and foremost there is marketing certainty. Once the Tahsildar issues a cane cutting order sugar mill cannot refuse to accept it. There is price certainty. Above all there is negligible crop wastage. For all the hassles in cultivation and payment from mills, farmers if their land is capable of growing sugarcane, they prefer to do so.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby SBajwa » 18 May 2021 23:03

Kakkaji wrote:
Haresh wrote:
A quick Google

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_beet


From the Wikipedia link above:

Sugar beets grow exclusively in the temperate zone, in contrast to sugarcane, which grows exclusively in the tropical and subtropical zones.


So, for India, sugarcane it is.



Sugarcane is native to India. It is mentioned in ancient texts


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