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India's potato output to hit near record level at 47mn tonnes

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The output in West Bengal and Bihar is also expected to be better than last year. In 2015-16, the output stood at 8 million tonnes and 6 million tonnes, respectively, in these two states.
So much potato is grown in UP that the centre has started procurement operation to ensure farmers avoid distressed sale. 
As per the state data, the output in Uttar Pradesh -- the country's top potato producing state -- is projected to be higher at 15 million tonnes this year as against 13.8 million tonnes last year, he added. 
The crop condition in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar -- the top three potato producing states -- is in very good condition. 
Singh further said that total area under potato was more or less at last year's level. But, good weather conditions coupled with recent unseasonal rains just before the harvest gave boost to the crop prospect and improved yields, he said. 
Initially, NHB had projected 43.88 million tonnes output for this year. But this will be revised after assessing the arrival, he said. 
"Looking at the crop condition and arrival in mandis, I feel the overall output will be close to record levels. Potato output would be around 47 million tonnes this year," National Horticulture Board (NHB) Managing Director A K Singh told PTI. 
The output stood at 43.4 million tonnes in 2015-16 crop year (July-June), while last record was 48 million tonnes achieved in 2014-15. 
NEW DELHI: The country's potato production is estimated to be around 47 million tonnes this year, just behind the all-time high witnessed in 2014.

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Wheat procurement up 14% to 119 LT

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NEW DELHI: Government's wheat procurement has gone up by 13.74 per cent to 119 lakh tonnes (LT) so far in the 2017-18 marketing year on higher purchases from Punjab and Haryana.

Although wheat marketing year runs from April to March, the bulk of procurement is done in the first three months. Procurement commenced early this year, from March 15, in some states like Madhya Pradesh.

Food Corporation of India(FCI) as well as state agencies undertake procurement operation at the minimum support price (MSP). They have set a target to buy 330 LT wheat this year as against 229.6 LT in 2016-17.

"Wheat procurement will pick up pace in the coming weeks. So far, about 119.07 lakh tonnes of wheat has been purchased as against 104.68 lakh tonnes in the same period last year," a senior FCI official told PTI.

Much of the procurement has been done from Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. It is yet to pick up in Gujarat and Rajasthan, he added.

As per the FCI data, wheat procurement in Haryana has increased to 47.16 LT so far this year, as against 44.56 LT in the year-ago period.

Similarly, the procurement in Punjab has gone up to 37.42 LT from 30.81 LT, while in Madhya Pradesh it rose to 30.55 LT from 28.29 LT.

About 2.31 LT wheat has been purchased from Rajasthan, 1.56 LT from Uttar Pradesh and 2,000 tonnes from Gujarat, the data said.

Of the wheat procurement target for 2017-18, Punjab aims to procure maximum wheat at 115 LT, followed by Madhya Pradesh 85 LT, Haryana at 75 LT, Uttar Pradesh - 30 LT and Rajasthan - 17 LT.

Higher wheat procurement target has been kept keeping in view of expected record output on the back of good monsoon.

Wheat production target is kept at a record 96.50 million tonnes for 2016-17 crop year, much higher than the actual output of 93.50 million tonnes last year.

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NABARD to support 600 more farmers' clubs in Andhra this year

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HYDERABAD: The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), has announced to support 600 more farmers' clubs of the state this year.

The assistance to additional 600 clubs will take the total number of clubs it helped to 2,000 during the financial year 2011-12.

Mr P Mohanaiah, Chief General Manager (Andhra Pradesh), said, “The target set was for to form 1,400. But we have already completed 1,850. We will be completing the remaining 150 to make it 2,000. Farmers' clubs are a good platform for farmers to come together to find solution to their farm related problems collectively.”

The bank provides aid to the clubs that are promoted by banks, non-governmental organisations and public relation institutes. The grant would be used for launching, maintenance for three years and capacity building of farmers.

During the previous financial year, the bank had released Rs 3.35 crore for these clubs in Andhra Pradesh.




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Budget 2012: Agricultural credit target raised by Rs 1 lakh crore

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New Delhi: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today announced Rs 1,00,000 crore increase in the agriculture credit target to Rs 5,75,000 for the next fiscal and raised the outlay for farm sector by about Rs 3,000 crore.

"Agriculture continues to be a priority to the government. The total plan outlay for agriculture and cooperation has been increased by 18 per cent from Rs 17,123 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 20,208 crore in 2012-13," Mukherjee said in his budget speech.

The allocation for scheme "Bringing Green Revolution in Eastern India" was also increased by Rs 600 crore to Rs 1,000 crore in next fiscal considering the success of the programme that led to an additional paddy production of 7 million tonne in the Kharif season of 2011-12 crop year.

The allocation for Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) was also increased by 17 per cent to Rs 9,217 crore.

"Farmers need timely access to affordable credit. I propose to raise the target for agricultural credit in 2012-13 to Rs 5,75,000 crore. This represent an increase of Rs 1 lakh crore," he said.

The credit target for this fiscal has been set at Rs 4,75,000 crore. During April-November period, credit worth Rs 2,94,023 were disbursed by banks to farmers, according to data provided by Economic Survey.

"The outlay for Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna is being increased from Rs 7,860 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 9217 crore in 2012-13," Mukherjee said.

Mukherjee allocated Rs 10,000 crore to the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for refinancing regional rural banks (RRBs) to disburse short-term crop loans to small and marginal farmers.

The short-term crop loans scheme offering 7 per cent interest rate per annum would continue during the next fiscal and those farmers who repay in time would continue to get crop loans at 4 per cent interest rate.

In order to reduce post-harvest losses, he announced that farmers would also be eligible to get post-harvest loans up to six months at 4 per cent interest rate provided they keep their produce in warehouses.

Stating that Kisan Credit Card (KCC) is an effective instrument for making credit available to farmers, the minister said that the KCC scheme will be modified to make the KCC smart card to be used at ATMs.

The minister set aside a sum of Rs 200 crore for incentivising scientific research to raise farm yields and develop seed varieties that are resistant to climate change. Pointing out that water scarcity could threaten agriculture production in the coming decade, Mukherjee felt the need to dovetail micro-irrigation scheme with water harvesting scheme.

He said structural changes are being made to the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) to boost investment in irrigation projects.

The minister stepped up allocation for AIBP by 13 per cent to Rs 14,242 crore. He announced that a government-owned irrigation and water resources company would be operationalised in 2012-13 to mobilise large resources to fund irrigation projects. To boost food processing sector, Mukherjee announced a new centrally sponsored scheme National Mission on Food Processing that would be started in cooperation with the state governments in 2012-13.

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Budget 2012: On agriculture

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This is what Pranab Mukherjee said on Agriculture in the Budget 2012 document

I now take up agriculture. Agriculture will continue to be a priority for the Government. The total plan outlay for the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation is being increased by 18 per cent from Rs 17,123 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 20,208 crore in 2012-13.

The outlay for Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) is being increased from Rs 7,860 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 9,217 crore in 2012-13. I am happy to inform the House that the initiative of Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGREI) has resulted in a significant increase in production and productivity of paddy. States in eastern India have reported additional paddy production of seven million tonnes in Kharif 2011. I propose to increase the allocation for this scheme from Rs 400 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 1000 crore in 2012-13.

This year, under RKVY, I also propose to allocate Rs 300 crore to Vidarbha Intensified Irrigation Development Programme. This Scheme seeks to bring in more farming areas under protective irrigation.

The Government intends to merge the remaining activities into a set of missions to address the needs of agricultural development in the Twelfth Five Year Plan. These missions are:

  1. National Food Security Mission which aims to bridge the yield gap in respect of paddy, wheat, pulses, millet and fodder. The ongoing Integrated Development of Pulses Villages, Promotion of Nutri-cereals and Accelerated Fodder Development Programme would now become a part of this Mission;
  2. National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture including Micro Irrigation is being taken up as a part of the National Action Plan on Climate Change. The Rainfed Area Development Programme will be merged with this;
  3. National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm aims to increase production and productivity of oil seeds and oil palm;
  4. National Mission on Agricultural Extension and Technology focuses on adoption of appropriate technologies by farmers for improving productivity and efficiency in farm operations; and
  5. National Horticulture Mission aims at horticulture diversification. This will also include the initiative on saffron.



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