Want to know what is going on in the agricultural sector of India? Here’s a round-up of the top 10 news.
1. Darjeeling Tea Output Sinks To Record Low In 2021
Production of Darjeeling tea, one of the most popular tea varieties globally, has shrunk to 65 lakh kg in 2021, the lowest on record. This is just half of the 130 lakh kg produced two decades ago. Climate change, closure of gardens, high level of absenteeism among tea workers, losing export markets, and little effort to promote Darjeeling tea in the domestic market have led to the fall. Planters fear that if the government does not come up with a revival package, then Darjeeling tea, the flagbearer of the Indian tea industry, will get lost in history just like the teas from Himachal Pradesh’s Palampur. Read more here.
2. October-December Sugar Output Up 4.75%
Sugar cooperatives body NFCSFL said that the country’s sugar production is estimated to have risen by 4.75% to 115.70 lakh tonne during the October-December period of the 2021-22 season. Sugar output stood at 110.45 lakh tonne in the same period of the 2020-21 season. According to NFCSFL, production in Uttar Pradesh, the country’s leading sugar-producing state, remained lower at 30.90 lakh tonne during October-December of the 2021-22 season, as against 33.65 lakh tonne in the year-ago period. Read more here.
3. Mustard Seed Sowing Up 22%; Wheat Slightly Down This Rabi Season
According to the latest data released by the agriculture ministry, the area sown under mustard seed crop is higher at 22.46% to 88.54 lakh hectare, while the coverage under wheat crop remains slightly lower in the ongoing 2021-22 rabi season. Wheat, the main rabi crop, has been planted at 325.88 lakh hectare as compared to 329.11 lakh hectare in the year-ago period. The sowing of rabi crops like wheat begins in October and harvesting from April onwards. Read more here.
4. India Takes New Steps To Kick Old Habits Of Stubble Burning
As winds slow during the winter months, a poisonous haze collects over northern India. During the worst stretches, the region’s air pollution can reach multiple times the global safety threshold. Stubble burning is one of the leading causes of smog. Several hundred gig workers in Haryana, all of them women, are trying to reverse that trend. They encourage farmers to spray a white substance on their fields to decompose crop residue, rather than set it ablaze. A digital platform called nurture.farm is overseeing this project and providing decomposers for free to farmers. Read more here.
5. Drones Take Over Pesticide Spraying In Kerala
The stereotypical image of farm laborers lugging heavy tanks and hand-spraying pesticides is getting a 21st-century makeover in northern Kuttanad. It’s because an increasing number of paddy farmers are roping in drone sprayers. The new technology, promoted by the Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kumarakom, is fast catching up in view of its capacity to address the issues of labor shortage and efficiency in pesticide application. The device is much superior to manual spraying as it does a quick job and ensures uniform spraying of pesticides covering the entire crop. Read more here.
6. Gujarat Leads Surge In Agri Exports During Pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic had posed various challenges to agricultural export including shortage of containers, high freight cost, and disruption in supplies due to lockdowns. However, data provided by the Ministry of Agriculture show that the export of agricultural commodities witnessed a 34.86% increase during 2020-21 to ₹2,10,093.40 crore, compared to ₹1,55,781.72 crore during 2019-20. Data available for the last three years show that only a few states, led by Gujarat, have reaped maximum benefits of agricultural export. Read more here.
7. Scientists of Chandigarh University Launches Crop Diseases Detection Mobile App
Among the many issues confronting Indian farmers, crop diseases have resulted in significant losses for the farming community. According to estimates, Indian farmers lose ₹90,000 crores per year due to pests and diseases that destroy standing crops in the field. Chandigarh University has stepped forward to assist Indian farmers in dealing with the growing crop loss problem caused by diseases. Scientists of the university have developed an AI-based mobile app that can assist farmers in the early detection of crop diseases. Read more here.
8. India Looks To Expand Honey Exports to EU, Southeast Asia
The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has been coordinating with producers and state governments to guarantee a reliable supply network of honey for export purposes to Europe and other nations. M Angamuthu, Chairman of APEDA stated that India is renegotiating the duty structure levied by several nations to increase honey exports. In 2020-21, India exported 59,999 tonnes of natural honey valued at 716 crores, with the United States accounting for 74.8%. Read more here.
9. Farmers Can Now Get Agriculture Machines On Rent
Sardar Randeep Singh Nabha, Agriculture Minister, Punjab, launched the “Farm Machinery App” of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) during the Farm Expo organized for the farmers of Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh. He said the app will help in hiring in and hiring out agricultural machinery. At the same time, it will benefit small and marginal farmers. DK Tiwari, IAS, Financial Commissioner (Development), Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare and Vice-Chancellor, PAU said that they wish to enrich the knowledge of the farmers through digital technologies. Read more here.
10. Account Import Feature To Ease Mandi Accounting With ChargeERP!
ChargeERP, the easiest, fastest, and most secure mandi accounting software from Bijak has brought in a new feature – ‘Account Import’. With this feature, a user can upload records of their old customers or suppliers with a single click in their ChargeERP account. They just need to download the sample report and accordingly format the records. Certain fields such as business name, account type, opening balance, debit/credit are mandatory. They also have the option to overwrite existing accounts in case of a duplicate account name.