Want to know what is going on in the agricultural sector of India? Here’s a round-up of the top 10 news.
1. 100-150 Lakh Tonnes Wheat Exports Likely This Year
Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said that India may export 100-150 lakh tonnes of wheat this year as against 70-73 lakh tonnes in the just-ended fiscal. India’s overall wheat exports were two lakh tonnes till two years ago. His statement comes after Egypt agreed to import wheat from India and approved it as a wheat supplier. According to the reports, the commerce and business ministry is exploring new potential markets for Indian wheat in Egypt, Turkey, and Italy. Read more here.
2. New Tea Bill To Remove Licenses, Archaic Provisions
The commerce ministry has proposed to repeal the 68-year-old Tea Act, of 1953 and introduce a new legislation Tea (Promotion and Development) Bill, 2022. The bill intends to remove archaic or redundant provisions, do away with licenses, promote ease of doing business and boost exports from the sector. It would also suit the need of the industry and the economic scenario currently prevalent in the country. Read more here.
3. Sugar Exports Can Jump To 90 Lakh Tonnes In 2021-22
Sugar exports are estimated to increase to over 90 lakh tonnes in the current marketing year ending September, from 71-72 lakh tonnes in the previous year. According to the industry body, ISMA, it is due to better demand for Indian sweeteners from Bangladesh and Indonesia. As per market reports and port information, around 80 lakh tonnes of sugar export have been contracted so far. Out of that, about 57.17 lakh tonnes of sugar have been physically exported out of the country during October 2021-March 2022 period. Read more here.
4. India’s Summer Pulses Sowing Up By 37.19%
India’s summer pulses sowing is up by 37.19% as of April 18, 2022, while summer oilseed is up 3.35%, according to the government of India’s latest data release. The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare said in a statement, “for pulses about 12.21 lakh hectare area coverage has been reported compared to 8.90 lakh hectare during the corresponding period of last year,”. The area has been reported mainly from the states of Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal, and Bihar. Read more here.
5. Fertiliser Subsidy Set To Touch Record ₹1.65 Lakh Crore
The fertiliser subsidy is likely to touch an all-time high of ₹1.65 lakh crore this financial year against the budget estimate of ₹1.05 lakh crore due to an unprecedented rise in the cost of raw materials and fertilisers globally. Crisil said in a report, “our assessment assumes a 3% year-on-year growth in demand for fertilisers and moderation of raw material and fertiliser prices in the second half of this fiscal”. If demand is higher than expected, or input prices do not soften even in the second half, the subsidy bill may inch up to ₹1.8-1.9 lakh crore,”. Read more here.
6. Agriculture Absorbed Additional 110 Lakh Workers: Report
The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy said, “driven by good performance compared to other sectors during the pandemic, agriculture has absorbed an additional 110 lakh workers over the last three years while the rest of the economy lost 150 lakh jobs”. According to CMIE’s Consumer Pyramids Household Survey, agriculture saw an estimated 45 lakh increase in employment during fiscal 2021-22. While total employment fell by 217 lakh in the 2020-21 pandemic year, agriculture provided employment for 34 lakh. Read more here.
7. Centre Approves 477 Pesticides For Drone Usage
To fast track agri-drone adoption, the Union Agriculture Ministry has granted interim approval to 477 pesticides for drone usage, the Drone Federation of India (DFI) said. Before this, each pesticide had to be approved by the Central Insecticide Board and Registration Committee which would take 18-24 months. These 477 registered pesticides include insecticides, fungicides, and plant growth regulators (PGRs), for commercial use through drones for two years. Read more here.
8. Government Sets Foodgrain Output Target At Record
The government has set the foodgrain production target at a record level of 32.8 crore tonnes for the 2022-23 crop year on the back of good monsoon rains. The target is 3.8% higher compared to the previous year’s output. As per the second advance estimate of the agriculture ministry, foodgrain production is estimated to be a record of 31.60 crore tonnes in the ongoing 2021-22 crop year ending June. The target for the 2022-23 crop year was set at the National Conference for Kharif Campaign 2022. Read more here.
9. Palm Oil Demand Jumped As Discount Over Rivals Widens
Palm oil demand is expected to jump in the coming months, driven by a widening discount to rival vegetable oils. Higher demand for palm oil could lift Indonesian and Malaysian exports and bring down inventories, supporting prices, which have already jumped 38% so far in 2022. Palm has become lucrative for refiners as it is available at a $150 per tonne discount over soyoil,” said Sandeep Bajoria, chief executive of Sunvin Group, a Mumbai-based vegetable oil brokerage, and consultancy firm. Read more here.
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