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Food security Bill cleared by Cabinet

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Food Security Bill

The report stated that the objective is to provide access to nutrition at affordable rates to citizens.

 

The Union Cabinet on Sunday cleared the much-awaited draft Food Security Bill, aiming to provide legal entitlement for food to three-fourth of the country’s rural population and half its urban dwellers.

The bill is likely to be tabled in Parliament this week.

"The Food Security Bill will also bring within its fold a number of ongoing schemes,” Food minister K V Thomas reportedly said.

There are reports that the draft was passed unanimously with all Cabinet ministers agreeing to the proposals.

In rural areas up to 75% of the people will be covered by the Bill while in urban centres, it will cover up to 50% of the population, says reports.

The food security bill, which was vetted by the National Advisory Council headed by Sonia Gandhi, seeks to provide rice at Rs. 3, wheat at Rs. 2 and coarse grains at Rs. 1 per kg to over half of India's 1.2 billion population. 

Thomas told the Cabinet that the additional subsidy burden to the nation will only be Rs.210bn, as all the existing subsidised food distribution schemes will be subsumed under it.

The bill will now be sent to the Standing Committee


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Soyabean output forecast raised to 11.93 million tonnes

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Soyabean production for 2011-12 crop year ending June has been forecast at 11.93 million tonnes, 2.5 per cent more than the initial estimate of 11.65 million tonnes made in September.

The Soyabean Processors' Association of India (SOPA) revised its crop outlook by 3 lakh tonnes, due to higher output in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

However, its estimates still lag the Agriculture Ministry's projection at 12.57 million tonnes.

In Maharashtra, SOPA expects 8 per cent higher output at 3.84 million tonnes, against the earlier forecast 3.56 million tonnes, mainly due to bigger size grain resulting in higher yield per hectare.

In Madhya Pradesh, despite excess rains and water-logging in seven districts, production estimate has marginally increased to 6.17 million tonnes from 6.16 million tonnes earlier.

The decline in yield in districts such as Bhopal and Hoshangabad has been offset by higher output in other districts.

In States such as Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, there is no change in estimates.

HARVEST

Sources at SOPA said harvesting of kharif crop was almost over and arrivals, which have been delayed by about 15 days, are expected to pick up at various markets in the coming weeks.

Prices, delivered ex-factory, were hovering between Rs 2,220 a quintal and Rs 2,240 last week.

The average price in various markets was Rs 2,100-2,120.

Exports have started from the western ports of Jamnagar and Kandla at $348 to $349 a tonne, f.o.b. SOPA expects October exports to touch around 4 lakh tonnes.

 

 


source:http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/agri-biz/article2574286.ece


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Govt rice procurement up 7% at 34 mt

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Procurement of rice by various Government agencies for the kharif marketing season of 2010-11 (October to September) grew seven per cent to cross 34.1 million tonnes. As of October 27, the quantity of rice procured stood at 34.18 million tonnes as against 31.88 million tonnes in corresponding period last year.

Andhra Pradesh led the states by procuring 9.6 million tonnes, followed by Punjab at 8.63 million tonnes and Chhattisgarh at 3.73 million tonnes. Uttar Pradesh and Orissa procured 2.55 million tonnes and 2.47 million tonnes respectively, a statement said.

 


source:http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/agri-biz/article2574158.ece


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Minimum support price for wheat hiked by 15%

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The Government has announced a hike in the minimum support price (MSP) ranging from 15 per cent to 38 per cent for rabi crops such as wheat, mustard and gram.

The MSP for wheat to be marketed in 2012-13 has been increased by Rs 165 or 15 per cent to Rs 1,285 per quintal or 100 kg. Last year the Government had procured wheat at Rs 1,170 a quintal, which included a bonus of Rs 50 over and above the MSP of Rs 1,120.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Tuesday approved the MSP for the rabi 2011-12 crop, sowing of which started this month.

Ever since the UPA Government came to power in 2004, the MSP for wheat has more than doubled after factoring in the latest hike (see table). Besides wheat, the Centre's focus this time has been on oilseeds, the MSPs of which have been hiked by 35-38 per cent.

The support price for mustard has been increased by Rs 650 to Rs 2,500 a quintal, while for safflower it has been raised by Rs 700 to Rs 2,500 per quintal. This comes amidst concerns over the spiralling edible oil import bill and the substantial increase in the international prices of palm and soyabean oil.

In pulses, the MSP for both chana (gram) and masur (lentils) has been fixed at Rs 2,800 a quintal. The support price for gram has been increased by Rs 700 per quintal, whereas for lentil the increase is Rs 550 per quintal over the previous year's MSP.

The hike in MSP for gram and lentil should encourage more farmers to take up the cultivation of these pulses in the rabi season. The Government has created a contingency plan to boost the output of rabi pulses by an additional 2.78 million tonnes to offset the projected kharif shortfall of 0.7 million tonnes on account of lower coverage in States such as Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. This contingency plan includes area expansion and the productivity enhancement of pulses. The MSP for barley has been raised by Rs 200 per quintal and fixed at Rs 980 per quintal.

 

 


source:http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/article2571167.ece


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Cotton yields may plunge 50% in Andhra Pradesh

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Thousands of farmers sowed more cotton this year after prices topped Rs 6,500 a quintal last year. Some shifted from chilli while others shunned tobacco and sugarcane to shoot up the cotton acreage to 18.55 lakh hectares as against the season average of 13.51 lakh ha.

But nothing has gone right. Delay in announcing seed price and erratic rainfall have forced farmers to buy seeds more than once in most parts of Telangana region. “I had to sow 12 packets of seed for three acres to make most of scanty rainfall,” Mr T. Rajaiah, a farmer from Warangal, told Business Line over phone.

Though advised to sow one packet an acre, farmers generally go for two packets to tackle problems of insufficient germination. Growth of weed and erratic power (that accentuated during the 42-day general strike for statehood fro Telangana) only added to the cost of production. A dry spell of 45 days in most parts worsened the situation, starving the plants of moisture in the crucial growth phase.

Cost of production has gone up to Rs 40,000-45,000 an acre from Rs 30,000 last year, with farmers buying at Rs 2,000 a packet in the black market following fears of shortage of stocks. Farmers like Mr Rajaiah did a survey involving about 100 of them and arrived at this figure for the season. Cost of fertilisers, too, went up significantly. Acreage went up to five lakh ha from four lakh ha in Warangal.

Mr Inna Reddy, who heads the Cotton Interest Group recently set up by Federation of Farmers' Association, said the cost of production for a quintal would be Rs 3,500. But what they are getting at the Yenumamula market yard in Warangal is about Rs 3,300. “Though they are officially saying it is Rs 4,200, only a fraction of the produce is getting that,” Mr Rajaiah said.

LOW YIELDS

“We are expecting a drop of 50 per cent in yields. As against normal yield of 10-12 quintals, we can expect only 5-6 quintals. Some areas in Krishna, Guntur and Prakasam might get two quintals more. This is going to be a tough season for farmers. They will end up in losses,” Mr Inna Reddy said.

“The acreage would have crossed the 20-lakh ha mark this year had rains arrived on time. Several farmers shifted from tobacco and some from chilli in Guntur district, he said.

 

 


source:http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/agri-biz/article2574171.ece


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