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2   AgriTech indiA  June 2018                                                                                                        News

          Southern flour mills worried                                           Vegetable prices soar as

          over wheat import duty hike                                            farmers’ protest continues

            oller  flour  mills  in  South   grown.  If  the  grain  is  moved                                                   for  next  few  days.  After  that
          RIndia  are  worried  over   from the North it costs Rs. 200                                                           if fresh supplies do not arrive,
          the  hike  in  the  wheat  import   more for transport in addition                                                     situation  may  worsen,”  he
          duty  as  it  makes  them   to  two  per  cent  wastage.
          uncompetitive in the domestic   Traders in wheat growing areas                                                         said.
          market  compared  with  their   can  directly  move  processed                                                            According   to   traders
          counterparts in wheat growing   wheat products South at more                                                           in  Chandigarh,  the  price  of
          areas in the North.    competitive prices, he said. The                                                                tomatoes  soared  to  Rs  20-
            Reacting to the recent hike   hike in the name of protecting                                                         25  per  kg  against  Rs  10-15
          in  Customs  duty  to  30  per   farmers  is  not  justified,  felt                                                    per  kg  prevailing  some  days
          cent,  DK  Gupta,  President,   industry  representatives.  But   domestic prices for the mills in                     ago.  Similarly,  retail  prices
          Tamil Nadu Roller Flour Mills   wheat  product  prices  will  go   the South which had cut back                        of  potatoes,  capsicum,  bottle
          Association, said the hike has   up for the common man.  on open market sales by FCI.                                  gourd,  cucumber,  have  also
          come as a surprise particularly   Even now wheat prices are   Last  year  they  had  procured                          gone up on short supplies.
          because imports had not been   up at about Rs. 2,040 after the   about 1.5 mt, he says based on                           Traders  said  the  fresh
          happening  in  recent  months   duty hike. “That is just a start,”   industry estimates.  etail  prices  of  vegetables   In  Mumbai,  the  Left-  supplies of vegetables coming
          when it was first doubled to 20   says  MV  Balasubramaniam,   For instance, local produce   Rshot up in some cities and   affiliated  All  India  Kisan
          per cent in November last.  of  Narusu’s  Mills.  Whatever,   under the open market scheme   fresh supply of farm produce   Sabha  (AIKS)  accused  the   through  vehicles  in  mandis
            Previously,   mills   had   imports  that  had  happened   was Rs. 20 a kg but imported   was hit as the farmers’ agitation   Maharashtra  government  of   have  dwindled,  triggering
          imported  50  per  cent  of   in  recent  years,  including   wheat  at  Tuticorin  in  South   continues with a Left-affiliated   having a “negative approach”   fears  of  more  price  rise  in
          their  requirement  at  about   about  1.5  million  tonnes   Tamil  Nadu  was  Rs.  17.75.   body  saying  the  stir  would   to the protest.  coming days.
          Rs. 1,900 a quintal and blended   last  year,  would  not  have   Mills  in  South  India  process   intensify from June 5.  “Farmers  across  the  state   Farmers   continued   to
          it  equally  with  domestic   impacted farmers in any way.   about 4 mt of wheat annually.   Agitating farmers stopped   are  holding  protests  but  the   hold  protest  at  several  places
          produce  priced  at  about   Domestic  production  is  at  a   According to industry sources,   supply  of  vegetables,  fruits,   government  seems  to  have   in  Punjab,  including  Nabha,
          Rs.  2,100  for  quality  reasons.   high and well supported with   the  recent  import  duty  hike   milk and other items to various   a  negative  approach  over   Ludhiana,   Muktsar,   Tarn
          This  also  helped  to  average   about  33  mt,  one-third  of  the   will  only  benefit  traders  and   cities.  keeping  the  promises  it  had   Taran, Nangal  and Ferozepur
          out  the  prices  at  about   production, being procured by   millers  in  the  wheat  growing   Though  the  impact  of   made  to  farmers,”  AIKS   and  there  were  reports  that
          Rs.  2,000  which  was  viable   government agencies.  regions  who  can  now  tap  the   farmers’  stir  on  price  of  farm   General  Secretary  Ajit  Navle
          for  the  roller  flour  mills  in   In the last two years import   southern  markets  for  wheat   commodities  was  not  visible,   told.  farmers even put up blockades
          the South, where wheat is not   prices  had  been  lower  than   products like maida and atta.  the  retail  prices  of  vegetables   At  a  meeting  of  farmers’   not  to  allow  supply  of
                                                                                 in  several  cities  rose  in  the   organisations,  it  was  decided   vegetables  and  milk  entering
                                                                                 range of Rs 10-20 per kg.  that  the  protests  would  be
                                                                                    Several      farmers’   intensified  from  June  5,  he   In   Ferozepur,   farmers
                                                                                 organisations   have   jointly   said.          allegedly forced the closure of
                                                                                 called  the  10-day  protest   “We  have  given  a  call  to   vegetable mandi.
                                                                                 across 22 states in the country   farmers  to  stop  selling  their   In  Bathinda,  a  group  of
                                                                                 demanding   remunerative   produce  meant  for  cities,”   farmers,   owing   allegiance
                                                                                 prices  for  their  produce,   Navle said.      to  the  Bhartiya  Kisan  Union
                                                                                 implementation   of   the   Delhi  may  face  problems   (Sidhupur), allegedly stopped
                                                                                 Swaminathan   Commission   in  supply  of  fresh  vegetables,   some  milk  sellers  from  going
                                                                                 recommendations  and  farm   fruits  and  other  perishables   to  the  city  in  the  morning
                                                                                 loan waivers, among others.  in  case  the  farmers’  stir   at  village  Jodhpur  Romana
                                                                                                         in   neighbouring   states   which  resulted  into  heated
                                                                                                         intensifies.            arguments among them.
                                                                                                            Trucks of vegetables, fruits   Milk   sellers   were
                                                                                                         and other food items reached   requesting   the   protesting
                                                                                                         Delhi  but  if  the  farmers   farmers  to  allow  them  to  sell
                                                                                                         resort to strict enforcement of   their  milk  but  they  refused,
                                                                                                         cutting  supply  to  the  cities,   said police.
                                                                                                         the  situation  may  deteriorate,   Four  farmers  were  taken
                                                                                                         said  Adil  Khan,  Chairman  of   into  preventive  custody,  said
                                                                                                         Azadpur Mandi.          Bathinda  police  station  Sadar
                                                                                                            “The  Mandis  in  Delhi   SHO Iqbal Singh. The farmers
                                                                                                         have  stocks  of  the  vegetables   even  staged  sit-in  outside
                                                                                                         and  other  items.  The  stocks   police   station   demanding
                                                                                                         are  enough  to  meet  demand   release of their fellow farmers.

                                                                                                         Fruit & vegetable

                                                                                                         output pegged at over
                                                                                                         307 million tonnes in

                                                                                                         current year

                                                                                                             orticulture  production  is   witnessed  in  tomato  whose
                                                                                                         Hestimated at 307.2 million   output is projected to grow by
                                                                                                         tonnes (mt) in the current year   6.6 per cent to 22 mt.
                                                                                                         (July-June), up 2.2 per cent over   Among  fruit  crops,  citrus
                                                                                                         last year, according to second   fruits  output  is  expected  to
                                                                                                         advance estimates of released   go  up  strongly  to  9.6  per
                                                                                                         by  the  Union  Agriculture   cent  at  12.51  mt  (11.42  mt).
                                                                                                         Ministry.               The  production  of  mangoes
                                                                                                            Last year’s production was   is  projected  to  grow  by  5.2
                                                                                                         300.6 mt.               per  cent  to  20.52  mt,  banana
                                                                                                            The production of fruits is   production is expected to drop
                                                                                                         estimated to be about 94.4 mt   below  30  mt  (30.5  mt).  The
                                                                                                         and vegetable 182 mt , the data   production of plantation crops
                                                                                                         showed.                 too registered a decent growth
                                                                                                            Total   area   under   mainly in crops such as areca
                                                                                                         horticulture crops was also up   and cashew. Spices production
                                                                                                         by 2.3 per cent to 25.4 million   will be up 5 per cent to 8.54 mt
                                                                                                         hectares  (mha)  from  24.85   (8.12 mt).
                                                                                                         mha  in  2016-17.  At  50.33  mt   A  substantial  increase  is
                                                                                                         (48.61  mt)  potato  production   also on anvil in the output of
                                                                                                         is estimated to be 3.5 per cent,   aromatic and medicinal plants
                                                                                                         whereas  a  slump  is  expected   and flowers. While the output
                                                                                                         in the output of onions, which   of  aromatic  and  medicinal
                                                                                                         is  down  2.6  per  cent  at  21.84   plants  is  estimated  to  cross  1
                                                                                                         mt.  The  highest  increase  in   mt (0.97 mt), flower production
                                                                                                         production   among   major   is expected to grow by 7.8 per
                                                                                                         vegetable   crops,   however,   cent to 2.58 mt.
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