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Monsoon deficit in June pulls down kharif sowing by 23%

 PTI |  2016-07-02 00:55:55.0  |  New Delhi

Monsoon deficit in June pulls down kharif sowing by 23%

Area sown to kharif crops like pulses has plunged by 23 per cent to 215.87 lakh hectare in 2016-17 season so far because of deficit rains in June. As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), June ended up with an overall rainfall deficiency of 11 per cent. But the situation is expected to be better this month.

Sowing of kharif crops begins with the onset of southwest monsoon from June and harvesting from October onwards. As per the data released by Agriculture Ministry, kharif crops were sown in 215.87 lakh hectare as on Friday as against 279.27 lakh hectare a year-ago. Paddy, the main kharif crop, was covered in 47.77 lakh hectares so far this year, marginally higher than 47.62 lakh hectare in the year ago period.

Maximum area under paddy so far was covered in Punjab followed by Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Assam. Area sown to coarse cereals was down 15 per cent at 37.15 lakh hectare as against 43.72 lakh hectare in the said period. Similarly, pulses acreage was down by 11 per cent at 19.85 lakh hectare as against 22.25 lakh hectare in the said period, out of which the maximum area of 7.02 lakh hectare was covered in Karnataka. 

Even area under oilseeds was down 47 per cent at 28.71 lakh hectare as on today when compared to 54.24 lakh hectare. The government has announced significant rise in support price of pulses and oilseeds this year to boost production and reduce the country’s dependence on imports. Among cash crops, cotton planting was down 49 per cent at 30.59 lakh hectare so far this season as against 60.16 lakh hectare in the year-ago. Jute area was also down at 7.43 lakh hectare from 7.60 lakh hectare, but sugarcane area rose marginally to 44.38 lakh hectare from 43.68 lakh hectare in the said period.

Meanwhile, state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) has signed pacts with two firms for construction of four silos at an estimated cost of Rs 165 crore to store wheat. The silos would have a combined wheat storage capacity of about 1,75,000 tonnes. As part of the agreement, Sudiksha Warehousing will construct one silo of about 25,000 tonnes capacity near Bangalore for an estimated cost of Rs 30 crore, a source said.

The other three silos of 50,000 tonnes each, would be constructed by Karthikeya Spinning & Weaving Mills in Delhi, Sanhewal in Punjab and near Guwahati. The cost of each of these silos is estimated at Rs 45 crore. The silos will be designed, built, financed and operated by the private partner while it will be owned by the FCI, the source added. FCI, the government’s nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains, would provide guarantee of rentals for 30 years. The rentals will be revised from time to time, based on the pre-decided formula. 

Govt mulls institutional mechanism to solve agro-product export issues
In order to boost farm exports, the Centre is mulling to create an institutional mechanism to address all inter-ministerial issues related to market access and export facilitation for agri-products. The Commerce Ministry, which has mooted the idea, is in discussions with concerned ministries including food, agriculture, health, revenue and consumer affairs. India is trying to get new markets for export of various commodities like mangoes and grapes. 

But the proposals are pending for want of appropriate documents prescribed by the importing nations. “Normally, the process of seeking market access in other countries is a very long drawn out process. Getting market access is the first crucial step towards promoting exports. So, an institutional mechanism is necessary as at present we do not have a coherent mechanism to respond to notices of the importing countries,” a government official said. 

There is a need to strengthen the entire back-end system as well as inter-ministerial coordination to respond quickly to such notices, the official added. The issues related to phytosanitary certification system, pest risk analysis, residue levels in processed food, agriculture, spices, and marine products as well as quality standards are being handled by different ministries. “Creation of an institutional mechanism would facilitate, strengthen and fast-track the decision making process,” the official noted. At present, India is working towards getting Australia, South Africa and South Korean markets for exporting mangoes. It is also looking at the US, Japan and Vietnam for grapes, while China for 
rice, fruits and vegetables. 

Govt mulls institutional mechanism to solve agro-product export issues
 In order to boost farm exports, the Centre is mulling to create an institutional mechanism to address all inter-ministerial issues related to market access and export facilitation for agri-products. The Commerce Ministry, which has mooted the idea, is in discussions with concerned ministries including food, agriculture, health, revenue and consumer affairs. India is trying to get new markets for export of various commodities like mangoes and grapes. 

But the proposals are pending for want of appropriate documents prescribed by the importing nations. “Normally, the process of seeking market access in other countries is a very long drawn out process. Getting market access is the first crucial step towards promoting exports. So, an institutional mechanism is necessary as at present we do not have a coherent mechanism to respond to notices of the importing countries,” a government official said. 

There is a need to strengthen the entire back-end system as well as inter-ministerial coordination to respond quickly to such notices, the official added. The issues related to phytosanitary certification system, pest risk analysis, residue levels in processed food, agriculture, spices, and marine products as well as quality standards are being handled by different ministries. “Creation of an institutional mechanism would facilitate, strengthen and fast-track the decision making process,” the official noted. At present, India is working towards getting Australia, South Africa and South Korean markets for exporting mangoes. It is also looking at the US, Japan and Vietnam for grapes, while China for 
rice, fruits and vegetables. 

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