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2   AgriTech indiA  January 2018                                                                                                     News


          Agri experts call for income                                           In U.P., potato farmers dump

          security, price support for farmers                                    their produce as prices crash



                                 general elections.      allocations  to  set  up  the   arge  dumps  of  rotting
                                    Pointing  out  that  the   ‘Farmers’ Income Commission’   Lpotatoes  can  be  spotted
                                 median  income  of  farmers   for securing  ‘income security’   on  either  side  of  the  kutcha
                                 in 2012 was just Rs. 1,600 per   on the lines of the Seventh Pay   road  leading  to  Bhimakpura
                                 month,  B  Dasaratha  Rami   Commission,” he said.  village. The stench emanating
                                 Reddy,   Secretary   General   Underlining  the  Prime   from  them  is  unbearable.  But
                                 of  the  Consortium  of  Indian   Minister’s  plan  to  double   for  hungry  mules  and  cows,
                                 Farmers  Association,  said,   farmers’ income in the next five   the  potatoes,  discarded  by
                                 “The  farming  community  of   years,  Y  Sivaji,  an  agriculture   farmers and cold storages, are
                                 India  demands  an  Income   expert  and  a  former  Member   a welcome treat.
                                 Security Act for farmers as well   of   Parliament,   said   the   “At least these animals are
                                 as tenant and farm labour.”  government should announce   helping  us  clear  it,  or  else  all
                                    Ashok   Gulati,   Former   MSPs  for  more  agricultural   this  will  lead  to  illness,”  said
                                 Chairman  of  the  Commission   products  and  they  should  be   young  farmer  Anuj  Yadav,
                                 of  Agricultural  Costs  and   linked to the inflation in input
                                 Prices,  said  that  structural   costs.        who   is   stacking   Pokhraj
            xperts from the agriculture   reforms  in  agriculture  should   He  also  called  for  a   potatoes freshly reaped on his   and  transporting  them  to   smooth,  medium-sized  ones,
          Esector   have   sought   be addressed rather than farm   “national  policy”  on  loan   family’s  20  bigha  land  some   the  markets  in  the  hope  of  a   would   be   selected,   said
          measures to offset the impact   loan waivers.  waivers   to   farmers   and   distance away.   profitable  sale  would  entail   Kuldeep Singh, a farmer.
          of  inflation  on  crops  and   He  also  called  for  buffer   providing them social security   This   year,   Yadav,   a   additional costs for him.
          income  security  for  farmers   stocking of those commodities   benefits like pension.  resident of Tirwa, has already   “So  I  left  them  to  rot.   Payment delays
          and  also  debated  the  farm   whose prices are trading below   Experts  also  demanded   got  50  sacks  of  potatoes  (one   The  cold  storage  dumped  it   “What  do  I  do  with  the
          loan  waiver  at  a  pre-Budget   their  minimum  support  price   removal  of  the  Essential   sack  holds  50  kg  on  average)   outside  as  I  didn’t  go  to  pick   rest?  When  we  sell  to  the
          meeting with Finance Minister   to control food inflation.  Commodities  Act,  including   from just three bighas.  it up. The government did not   government,   the   payment
          Arun Jaitley.             “In  the  last  three  years   all  agriculture  inputs  and   Production  is  not  the   buy  a  single  kilo.  Where  else   involves a lengthy process as it
            This  was  the  first  such   agricultural   growth   has   equipment  under  zero  per   problem  here.  Farmers  are   will  I  take  the  potatoes?”  he   is done through the bank. We
          meeting  and  the  Finance   fallen below 3 per cent. Some   cent  under  the  Goods  and   finding it difficult to sell their   asked.  In  addition  to  the  cost   are  hard-pressed  to  pay  the
          Minister  will  meet  more   commodity  prices  have  gone   Services  Tax  and  effective   produce  at  profitable  rates.   of  the  crop,  which  comes  to   labour  and  settle  our  dues  in
          sectoral  groups  to  get  their   below minimum selling price,”   implementation   of   crop   Mr.  Yadav  fears  the  potatoes   around Rs. 6-8 per kg, Yadav   cash. So we sell our produce to
          proposals   for   the   Union   he said.       insurance   and   irrigation   grown  by  him  this  year  will   would also have to pay Rs. 240   the traders, who may not give
          Budget 2018-19, which is likely   Ajay Vir Jakhar, Chairman,   projects.  face  the  same  fate  as  his   per quintal to the cold storage.   us satisfactory rates but are not
          on February 1.         Bharat Krishak Samaj, said that   Finance   Secretary   produce  last  year,  when  he   “I still owe them money. They   so choosy about grading,” said
            As the farm sector provides   a minimum price must be set   Hasmukh   Adhia,   Chief   produced 200 sacks. Out of it   will  squeeze  it  out  from  me   Singh.
          employment  to  nearly  half  of   for all crops such as onions and   Economic  Adviser  Arvind   he sold 100 in the market, while   next  season  or  will  not  allow   According to a government
          the  country’s  total  workforce,   tomatoes  where  the  Central   Subramanian,   Expenditure   the other half he dumped in a
          its prospects will play a crucial   government   intervenes   to   Secretary AN Jha and Financial   cold storage, in the expectation   me to store my potatoes,” said   official,  12,937  quintals  of
          role in the upcoming Assembly   reduce prices of food.  Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar   that  the  government  would   Yadav.  potatoes,  the  highest-ever,
          elections  as  well  as  the  2019   “Make   budgetary   also attended the meeting.               Last  year,  Uttar  Pradesh   were purchased from farmers
                                                                                 purchase it or the rates would   produced  155  lakh  metric   in  April-May  last  year.  This
                                                                                 improve. That didn’t happen.  tonnes of potatoes, the highest   pushed up the rate for farmers
                                                                                    And  as  prices  fell  and   ever  in  the  State.  However,   by  Rs.  100  per  quintal.  “But
                                                                                 the  new  crop  started  pouring   the  bumper  crop  led  to  a   then  farmers  started  getting
                                                                                 in,  Yadav’s  old  potatoes   slump  in  rates  for  farmers.   more  than  the  government
                                                                                 turned  into  a  liability  as  they   To  provide  them  relief,  the   price  in  the  markets;  so  they
                                                                                 had  no  takers.  Withdrawing   Yogi  Adityanath  government   stopped coming to us,” said S.P
                                                                                 them  from  the  cold  storage   launched   a   market   Joshi,  Director,  Uttar  Pradesh
                                                                                                         intervention,  under  which   horticulture department.
                                                                                                         the  State  agencies  would   And the price is at the core
                                                                                                         purchase 1 lakh metric tonnes   of the discontent. According to
                                                                                                         at  a  support  price  of  Rs.  487   farmers, to grow 1 kg of potato,
                                                                                                         per quintal. However, farmers   including  costs  of  storage,
                                                                                                         alleged that the State left them   required  an  investment  of
                                                                                                         in the lurch.           Rs. 8-9.
                                                                                                            At  best,  only  their  best   Geetendra   Yadav,   a
                                                                                                         potatoes were selected, leaving   farmer-cum-activist,  said  the
                                                                                                         the bulk of the produce at their   minimum cost to grow a kg of
                                                                                                         disposal with few takers. Due   average-quality  potatoes  was
                                                                                                         to the State’s grading system,   Rs. 6.27, more than the Rs. 4.87
                                                                                                         of  a  quintal  on  average  only   offered by the government.
                                                                                                         20  kg  of  potatoes,  the  shiny,

                                                                                                         Shrimp exports may

                                                                                                         double in 5 years: Crisil



                                                                                                           ndia’s  shrimp  exports  are
                                                                                                         Ilikely to double and touch $7
                                                                                                         billion by 2022 in the wake of
                                                                                                         strong  demand,  high  quality,
                                                                                                         improved  product  mix  and
                                                                                                         increase  in  aquaculture  area
                                                                                                         in  Andhra  Pradesh,  Gujarat,
                                                                                                         Odisha and West Bengal.
                                                                                                            According  to  the  ratings
                                                                                                         agency  Crisil,  the  country
                                                                                                         emerged   as   the   biggest
                                                                                                         exporter  of  shrimps  in  FY16,
                                                                                                         garnering  $3.8  billion  in   significant  quality  challenges,
                                                                                                         exports  even  as  Vietnam   said Crisil.
                                                                                                         clocked   only   $3   billion.
                                                                                                         The  country’s  performance   Maintaining quality
                                                                                                         assumes significance at a time   However, Indian exporters
                                                                                                         when  other  Asian  rivals  such   have  in  the  past  few  years
                                                                                                         as Thailand, China are battling   emphasised  on  lower-density
                                                                                                         with  structural  issues  and   shrimp   farms   to   control
                                                                                                         rising  domestic  consumption.   diseases,  while  maintaining
                                                                                                         Since 2010, shrimp production   the  quality  across  the  value
                                                                                                         in  Asia  has  been  severely   chain.  What  also  helped  was
                                                                                                         affected due to diseases, floods,   the  use  of  resilient-specific,
                                                                                                         labour  issues  and  tightening   pathogen-free  (SPF)  brood-
                                                                                                         environmental norms.    stock  imported  from  the
                                                                                                            Vietnam’s production had   US.  Consequently,  between
                                                                                                         declined  by  40  per  cent  from   fiscal  2012  and  2017,  the
                                                                                                         peak levels due to the shortage   country’s  shrimp  production
                                                                                                         of   fresh   water,   salinity   doubled, and helped grab the
                                                                                                         intrusion  and  illegal  shrimp   opportunity  created  by  lower
                                                                                                         farming.   Thailand,   which   supplies from Asia.
                                                                                                         was  once  the  top  exporter,  is   To leverage opportunities,
                                                                                                         now  ranked  5   after  a  65  per   big  Indian  exporters  are
                                                                                                                    th
                                                                                                         cent  plunge  in  production   expanding  infrastructure  to
                                                                                                         from peak levels. And in 2016   cater to the increasing demand
                                                                                                         China’s  shrimp  production   for   value-added   products
                                                                                                         nosedived  by  60  per  cent   from  global  retail  chains  and
                                                                                                         even as its consumption more   restaurants.  This  would  push
                                                                                                         than  doubled,  rendering  it  a   up  exports  of  value-added
                                                                                                         marginal exporter. In addition,   products significantly.
                                                                                                         these  countries  also  faced
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