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          Monthly                                                                                           Vol. 8  Issue 10      February 2018     ` 50/-

         Challenges                                                              Govt expects wheat output

         of doubling                                                             to match last year’s 98 mt

         Farmers’ income                                                           Conditions in key growing States point
                                                                                   to bumper crop: Farm Secretary

           Economic Survey calls for                                               ndia’s wheat output this year   this year.
           radical follow-up action                                              Iwould be around 98 million
                                                                                 tonnes (mt), almost similar to   Procurement target cut
                                                                                 what  the  country  produced   However,  even  though
           – Bureau report                                                       last  year,  a  top  Agricultural   it  expects  a  bumper  crop  this
                                                                                 Ministry official said.  year,  the  government  has
                                                         the backdrop of water scarcity   “We hope this year wheat   pruned its procurement target
                                                         and limited efficiency in   output will match last year’s 98   by  3  percent  as  compared  to
                                                         existing irrigation schemes,   mt,”  said  Union  Agricultural   the previous year.
                                                         will be a defining challenge   Secretary   SK   Pattanayak   A   meeting   of   State
                                                         for the future.” Technologies   addressing a press conference.  Agricultural   Secretaries   SK Pattanayak
                                                         of drip irrigation, sprinklers   According   to   the   convened  by  Food  Secretary
                                                         and water management –   government’s  fourth  advance   Ravi  Kant  set  the  wheat   which  exists  as  of  now  in
                                                         captured in the ‘more crop for   estimates,   wheat   output   procurement  target  for  the   Punjab,  Haryana,  Rajasthan
                                                         every drop’ campaign – may   previous  year  was  98.38  mt.   2018-19,   Rabi   Marketing   and  Western  Uttar  Pradesh
                                                         well hold the key to future   For this rabi season, it has set   Season at 32 mt as against 33   is quite conducive for a good
                                                         Indian agriculture, said the   a target of 97.5 mt.  mt in the previous season.  output,” he said.
                                                         survey.                    However,  recent  media   “It  is  too  early  to  make
                                                            Referring to the recent   reports, quoting officials from   predictions.  Only  by  March   Crop condition
                                                         trends in the agriculture   the  Directorate  of  Wheat   15,  we  would  know  whether   If  there  are  no  adverse
                                                         sector, the survey noted the   Research,  said  the  wheat   the grain silos are completely   weather  conditions,  like  the
              rime Minister Narendra   cent to 18 per cent on average,   deceleration in rural wages   production  may  top  100  mt   filled up or not. The condition   hailstorm   that   happened
              Modi’s goal of doubling   and up to 20 per cent to 25   ...Continued on P4                                                      ...Continued on P4
          Pfarmers’ income by    per cent for unirrigated areas,
          2022 ”increasingly runs up   the survey said. It added, “At
          against the contemporary   current levels of farm income    ...Continued on P7
          realities of Indian agriculture,   that translates into more
          and the harsher prospects of   than Rs. 3600 per year for the
          its vulnerability to long term   median farm household.”
          climate change,” points out   “The central priorities
          the pre-budget Economic   of the government will be
          Survey 2017-18 presented to   to provide opportunities
          parliament.            for farmers to diversify
            “To move towards the   their income generating
          goal, the survey has suggested   opportunities to reduce the
          radical follow-up action,   various risks by facilitating
          including efforts to bring   the development of
          science and technology to   agricultural subsectors like
          farmers, replacing untargeted   livestock and fisheries.” The
          subsidies (fertilizer and   government has been urged,
          power) by direct income   said the document, to take
          support and drastically   “drastic” follow-up action
          extending irrigation, but via   to achieve its objectives
          efficient drip and sprinkler   of addressing agricultural
          technologies.”         stress and doubling farmers’
          Climate change
            The survey has warned   Irrigation
          that climate change could   Underlining the need for
          lower farmers’ income by   expanding irrigation, against
          25 per cent. Elaborating its   the backdrop of rising water
          impact, the document said   scarcity and depleting ground
          between 1970s and the last   water, the survey said in the
          decade, Kharif rainfall has   1960s, less than 20 per cent
          declined on a average by 26   of agriculture was irrigated,
          millimeters and Rabi rainfall   now this number is about 45
          by 33 millimeters. “Annual   per cent.
          average rainfall for this period   The Indo-Gangetic
          has on an average declined   Plain and parts of Gujarat
          by about 86 millimeters.   and Madhya Pradesh are
          Similarly, the average increase   well irrigated. But parts of
          in temperature during this   Karnataka, Maharashtra,
          period is about 0.45 degrees   Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan,
          C and 0.63 degrees C in the   Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand
          Kharif and Rabi seasons   are still extremely vulnerable
          respectively.          to climate change on account
            Climate change could   of not being well irrigated.
          reduce annual agricultural     “Fully irrigating Indian
          income in the range of 15 per   agriculture, that too against

       Inside Stories

             Centre targets procurement of 320 lt of rabi
             wheat, 55 lt of paddy
             Jaitley may lend an ear to farm sector
             Doubling of farm income a distant reality,
             says Yashwant Sinha
             Farmer ‘feeling cheated’, to gherao Delhi
             Centre’s plan may boost farmers’ solar power
             Tea prices to strengthen further as first flush
             arrives by March-end
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