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Now, India Inc. pitch for agri productivity

New Delhi, Feb 9: India Inc pitched for focus on rapidly improving human capital and agricultural productivity to sustain the economic growth trajectory, while cheering the GDP growth projection of 7-7.5 per cent in 2018-19 laid out by the Economic Survey.

 "The Survey provides new ideas for building a positive momentum for growth in the coming year and for faster growth thereafter. It delineates a long-term vision for powering the emergence of a New India which is both transformative and socially inclusive," CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said.

The Survey has rightly alluded that the chief areas of policy focus in the medium term are employment, especially for women; educated and healthy labour force; and raising farm productivity, he added. "We expect that the Budget will address some of these issues," he said. 

Industry body Assocham said while the Insolvency resolution mechanism has begun in the right earnest, a big vigil needs to be kept and the banks must be given additional capital at the earliest, observing that "until the issue of NPA (non-performing assets) is fixed, growth may elude us". 

"Economic Survey for 2017-18 has brought out areas of concern such as rising non-performing assets of the public sector banks and has underlined the need, rightly so, for putting maximum emphasis on creating new jobs, agriculture and education," Assocham President Sandeep Jajodia said. 

eNAM handled commodities worth ₹36,000 cr till mid-Jan

New Delhi, Feb 9:

Agricultural commodities worth over ₹36,200 crore have been transacted on the electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM) portal since its inception on April 14, 2016, Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat told the Rajya Sabha.

Agricultural mandis participating in eNAM handled 1,51,14,847 tonnes of agricultural produce in 55,35,953 transactions till January 20, the Minister said in a written reply to Congress MP MV Rajeev Gowda on last Friday.

The participation in eNAM was highest from mandis in Haryana which traded over 92 lakh tonnes worth ₹19,501 crore, followed by Tengalana with over 21 lakh tonnes of ₹6,795 crore, he said.

Shekhawat denied that Food Corporation of India was using eNAM platform and said the state-owned firm has already developed its own depot online system for the purpose of procurement.

Replying to a question of Mohammad Muzaffar Parray, the Minister said the government is implementing various centrally and state sponsored schemes for providing incentives to the youth to engage them in agriculture sector including Apiculture and mushroom cultivation. The farmers are being provided subsidy on seeds and fertilizers under the schemes, he added.

Meanwhile, replying to a supplementary question of Girdhari Lal Raina, the Minister assured that an Apiculture cluster would be established in Karnah. 

J&K Govt forms committee for Horticulture University

Jammu, Feb 9: The Jammu and Kashmir government has constituted a High Level Committee to work out the modalities and financial implications for establishment of University for Horticulture in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Committee would comprise of Chief Secretary as its Chairman and Administrative Secretaries, Finance Department, Planning, Development and Monitoring Department, Agriculture Production Department and Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs as members besides Administrative Secretary of Horticulture department as Member Secretary and Dean Horticulture SKAUST Kashmir as its Expert Member.

The Committee shall also propose the consequential amendments required to be carried out in Sher-e- Kashmir University of Agriculture, Science and Technology Act 1982.The Committee shall be serviced by the Horticulture Department. 

Pertinently, the government has already initiated a slew of innovative measures to boost Horticulture sector in the state with emphasis on research and skill development in the field.

J&K’s Horticulture is contributing Rs. 8000 crore towards state’s economy with about 8% contributions towards its GDP. The state produces 70% of the national production in apple, 92% in walnuts, 91% in Almonds and systematic efforts are underway to further strengthen the state’s position in production of fresh and dry fruits.

Government has taken up ambitious project of convergence at least 50 per cent of traditional horticulture orchards in to High density once it is expected that this will give up huge boost to the Horticulture industries making it worth 50—60 thousand crore in next 25 years. The stress is being laid on conversion of traditional plants into high density plants to get most gainful outcome.

As per the Census conducted by the horticulture department there are 7.63 crore fruit plants in the state.

“The total Horticulture production in the state has tremendously raised to 24.50 lakh MTs with coverage of 3.38 lakh hectare area in 2017-18 from mere 30,000 MTs with coverage of 16 hectare land in 1960”. 

Horticulture is one of the largest employment generating sectors as one hectare of an apple orchard generates almost 400 mandays per year, besides generating healthy employment figures in horticulture as well as in other allied sectors”.

Avail benefits of fish rearing : DDC to youth

Jammu, Feb 6: Youth in Kashmir can avail the benefits of fish rearing as it offers a quick return on investment, said deputy commissioner Srinagar, Syed Abid Rashid.

“Nature has bestowed Valley with natural streams, springs and lakes as such it offers various opportunities to earn the livelihood,” Shah said while speaking at the training cum awareness programme organized by fisheries department.

He urged to youth to come forward and avail that benefits which fish rearing business offers.

He said District Administration would facilitate the process for streamlining the fish rearing business in the district.

The aim of this training was to acquaint the people associated with the trade with the latest know-how in fish culture, management practices, disease control and techniques to boost fish production.

More than 100 fish farmers of the district participated in the training programme.

Among others who participated in the programme include Joint Directors Fisheries, Bashir Ahmad Bhat and Muzaffar Bazaz, Deputy Director, Assistant Director and other senior officers of the department.

Lower Munda, Borehallan Heerpur toll posts abolished

Jammu, Feb 06: Jammu and Kashmir government has abolished toll posts established in Kashmir division at Lower Munda in District Anantnag and Borehallan Heerpur in District Shopian.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (4) of the Jammu & Kashmir Levy of Tolls Act Samvat 1995 (Act No: VIII of 1995), the Government of Jammu and Kashmir hereby directs that the Toll Posts established at Lower Munda in district Anantnag and Borehallan Heerpur in district Shopian under the provisions of the said Act, shall cease to operate from of February 6th, 2018,” said SRO issued here.

Handicraft department unveils portable carpet loom

Srinagar, Feb 6: In what could be a game changer for the dying carpet sector, the handicraft department today unveiled portable carpet loom which is half the size and 10 times less in prize than the traditional loom.

Designed by a Kashmir-based carpet dealer and weaver, Syed Altaf Hussain who got the idea of developing the portal loom after his visit to Iran.

Speaking on the occasion, assistant director, handicraft department, Mushtaq Ahmad Shah said that modern loom could be a game changer as it would provide option of portability. “Traditional looms which are used currently by artisans are big in size and difficult to move, but this loom can be used at any place.”

He said that majority of their loom were not used by the artisans due to their large size. “We issued some 1400 looms previously but majority of them were not used. So the one made by Syed Altaf Hussain is very efficient and I appeal all the artisans to get benefitted with it,” he said.

District development commissioner, Abid Rashid Shah also spoke on the occasion.

The awareness camp was attended by artisans, officials of handicraft, handloom department.

Other news

Amazon-style e-mandi planned in India

New Delhi, Feb 6: 

As the union government completes its ambitious programme of connecting all large 585 agriculture produce marketing committees (APMCs) or regulated mandis to eNational Agriculture Market (eNAM) by the end of next month, it plans to fully establish an Amazon or Flipkart for agri produce. 

The eNAM is billed to act as the technology platform for millions of farmers to sell their produce, and remove the intermediaries APMCs were known to create.


In his Budget speech last Thursday, finance minister Arun Jaitely, said 470 APMCs have already been connected to eNAM network. That leaves another 115 mandis to go online in about two months. 

India's onions go global; Govt ends MEP, allows its export

Ziraat Times

New Delhi, Feb 4: A day after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley spoke at length about expanding agricultural exports, the government removed the restriction on onion shipments. It has removed the minimum export price (MEP) on onion and allowed domestic traders to ship out all its varieties.

“We are taking all measures to promote export of agriculture products,” tweeted Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu. Back in November, the government had imposed an MEP of $ 850, or Rs 54,000, a tonne. Such limits are imposed every now and then to discourage foreign traders from buying at a time when lack of supply lifts prices beyond a certain limit. However, traders had complained they were already fighting heavy competition abroad from producers in Egypt and Pakistan. India is the second-largest producer of onion after China but is also among the largest consumers. The MEP decision had been taken after the price had risen to its highest in two years.

Retail prices across major cities had been Rs 40-50 a kg. From there, prices had recently crashed as supply entered the market. Friday’s move might also have been a response to that, a sector insider said. At the largest wholesale onion market, Lasalgaon in Maharashtra’s Nashik district, prices per quintal dipped from Rs 2,850 to Rs 2,400 over the past month.

Rapid Detection Kits for Adulterants in Fresh Fish launched​

New Delhi, Jan 30:​

Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Radha Mohan Singh today launched the Rapid Detection Kits for Adulterants in Fresh Fish, developed by Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), Kochi. Ammonia helps in preventing ice from melting and use of formaldehyde increases the shelf life of fish therefore many people in the fisheries sector are using these chemicals. 

The kit helps in detecting both the chemicals in the fish. Shri Singh informed that continuous ingestion of ammonia and formaldehyde can lead to many health issues including abdominal pain, vomiting, unconsciousness, and sometimes even cause death. Union Agriculture Minister said it today at the launch of kit in New Delhi.

​Mr.​ Singh said that fish consumption is beneficial for health. Since fresh fish is highly perishable in nature, so fish don’t have a long shelf life. India’s domestic fish market is reported to be selling formaldehyde-adulterated fish, especially in markets located far away from landing centres or production sites. According to Indian and International regulations, the fresh fish and shellfish should be preserved only by means of ice and use of substances other than ice to maintain quality is a fraudulent practice.