Seed of Contention

Posted: Fri Jul 01 2011, 01:40 hrs

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has termed the proposed seed bill as a “black” bill, saying it does not safeguard the farmers’ interests and will increase the domination of multi-national seed companies in the country.

In a letter to Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, Nitish cited his state’s “bitter experience of private hybrids” in maize in December 2009-10 on account of “non-formation of grains”. The private companies had disowned their responsibility, he said, and the state had to step in to provide assistance, taking on an extra burden of Rs 61 crore. “The problem of the non-setting of grains was not observed in public sector hybrids,” he stated further.

While Nitish has outrightly rejected the bill in its present form, farmers of the agro-based state aren’t so vehemently opposed to it. Reason: The hybrid seed varieties assure them of a good yield even as they cost them a pretty penny. In the event of crop failure, however, they all look at the government for compensation.

At the Lagma panchayat of Kosi region’s Saharsa — which is one of the biggest maize growing districts along with Khagaria, Madhepura and Supaul — the farmers use hybrid varieties called 900 M Gold, 9081 and Pinnacle.

A farmer at Sirrahi village in the panchayat, Mohammed Usman, who has cultivated maize using 900 M Gold, a hybrid variety seed by US Monsanto company, said: “Though the per bigha cost has gone up from Rs 2,500 to around Rs 8,000 with the new seed and technique, the per bigha yield, too, has gone up — from 1,000 kg to 2,400 kg”.

Nonetheless, Usman wondered as to why farmers have to buy fresh packs of costly seeds every year. “Once we grow a new variety, we should be able to use it as seeds next year, but that is not possible with the hybrid varieties,” said Usman.

He is, however, happy that he fetches Rs 950-Rs1,050 for every quintal of maize.

Mohammed Qayamuddin, another small farmer, said the issue was not the yield but “the increasing price of seed packets every year”. The companies, he said, call it the packaging cost. Other farmers in the district echoed a similar demand for seed price control.

According to the Directorate of Maize Research, Saharsa, which sowed maize on 31,669 hectares in year 2007-08, produced 1,32,385 tonnes with 4,180 kg per hectare (kg/ha). West Champaran, in that period, led the kg/ ha table at 4,252 kg/ha, followed by Kosi region’s Khagaria (4,007 kg/ha) and Madhepura (3,968 kg/ha).

In 2009-10, according to the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) figures, Bihar produced 14.8 lakh tonnes of maize. The country’s maize production during that period was 167.19 lakh tonnes. The per kg productivity in Bihar was 2,341 kg/ha as compared to the national average of 2,041 kg/ha.

Bihar’s maize production in 2008-09 was 17.1 lakh tonnes (kg per hectare being 2,676), compared to national production of 197.30 lakh tonne (kg per hectare being 2,414).

Maize is grown during February-June with farmers unable to sow paddy due to the infamous floods submerging the Kosi region almost every year. The state cultivates maize at 6,53,000 hectare and grows it all three seasons of autumn, rabi and summer using both traditional and hybrid seeds.

Ask the farmers about the reasons behind last two years’ poor yield that forced the government to distribute compensation to them, they trot out different reasons. Some attribute it to weather and rat infestation while others to non-compliance of the prescribed methods of cultivation. They also said that traditional seeds, too, could result in a poor yield.

“We have had better yields last three years in comparison to the preceding three years. If the price of new seeds are monitored, farmers are going to be happy,” said Laddu Yadav, another farmer at Sirrahi village .

Experts of hybrid seed companies, meanwhile, have been impressing upon farmers to maintain a distance between two crops to increase productivity and minimise rat infestation. Farmers have been also willing to try out inter-cropping to optimize soil capacity.

Besides, Monsanto (US), which is in the state for almost 15 years, Pioneer is another US company that sells hybrid seeds in Bihar. Some Indian companies, like Kaveri, are also in the market. The companies have been citing production figures to push their case.

Shilpa Diverkar Nirula, Director, Maize Business, Monsanto India, told The Indian Express: “Soil fertility, growing conditions and the farmers in Bihar have made it possible for the state to be at a higher level of maize productivity as compared to the average maize yields in India. Our experience suggests that farmers in Bihar are extremely progressive and it is our constant endeavour to focus on the evolving needs of the farmers, develop the right products, technologies and share knowledge on agriculture practices, in alignment with the state government.”

Asked about the Nitish government’s stand on MNCs giving monetary assurance in case of crop failure, the Monsanto director avoided a direct reply. Nirula, instead, said: “As a responsible company focused 100% on agriculture, our single-minded focus continues to be on delivering higher yields on Indian farms through superior seeds and extensive farmer education.”

However, the companies won’t have it easy any longer with Nitish stating that MNCs and private companies cannot get away with selling high-cost seeds and that they have to provide some monetary cover to farmers in the event of crop failure. “Attributing bad yield to inimical or unsuitable weather is just not convincing,” he said.

Angrau pass outs reap rich harvest with hi-tech


HYDERABAD: Ratnam Mahipal Reddy, a 24-year-old from Mancheryal, Adilabad district, was heartbroken when he joined A N G Ranga Agricultural University for his B Sc in agriculture. He wanted to become a doctor and appeared for Eamcet in 2007. With a low rank shattering his dream, he had to settle for a degree in agriculture. But four years later in 2011, he is a successful hitech farmer, who cultivates gram in one acre of land in his district reaping a good profit of about 1.5 lakh per year.

“When I joined the course I was disappointed. But later I realised the potential of farming and started it,” said Mahipal Reddy who passed out in 2010. His first harvest was 2.5 quintal of gram. He along with four of his friends have also set up a support group for farmers using traditional methods.

Mahipal Reddy is a modern age farmer armed with a degree and a rare desire to invest in agriculture. Like him, many others from the state with under-graduation and post graduation degrees in agriculture are opting for traditional farming and seed production, using new age techniques that they learned in their classroom.

Smarter than the stereotypical farmers, these fresh graduates market their produce directly and in some cases have even set up agriclinics and seed production units to help others. Students doing agriculture courses in Angrau don’t regret not getting medical admission. While some students have started farming on land they inherited from their parents, others buy two to three acres for cheap prices in districts as they look at farming as an investment venture.

Meet Anita Shah and her husband Jitendra Reddy, both graduates of Angrau who now farm for a living. While Jitendra Reddy cultivates rice, his wife is into mushroom farming. Shah describes herself as a seed developer and farmer from Karimnagar district and says she has started a direct marketing method. “In our farm we develop seeds and produce crops without using fertilizers and pesticides. The idea of farming mushrooms came to me when I was doing my post graduation from agricultural university,” said Shah, a native of Gujarat who is settled in Karimnagar with her husband.

Students say that learning agriculture as a course does give them an edge over traditional farmers. “We specialise in developing seeds that are resistant to diseases that reduce production. This assures a good yield,” said Santhosh Reddy, a student from the agricultural university who is doing his Ph D from there.

Farming for seed production is as much in vogue as farming for food crop, students said. “Seed production units have mushroomed in cities like Hyderabad. When I entered into the field in 2005 there were very few agriculture students doing this sort of farming. But now every other office in the city is set up by agriculture students,” said C V Nagaraju, a seed producer whose company is located in Hyderguda.

Even the demand for agriculture courses has increased during the past few years. Faculty of colleges that offer degree in agriculture say that many of them have increased the number of seats due to an increase in demand. “For 52 seats that are available over 154 students applied this year.

We stopped accepting application forms after a point as the seats got filled on the very first day,” said Dr Raja Reddy from Loyola Degree College, Alwal. Some of the students have even opted for a post-graduation in agriculture sciences after doing their engineering or biotechnology degrees.
http%3A%2F%2Ftimesofindia.indiatimes.com%2Fcity%2Fhyderabad%2FAngrau-pass-outs-reap-rich-harvest-with-hi-tech%2Farticleshow%2F9059064.cms&h=tAQAlZRnD

Are There Benefits from the Cultivation of Bt Cotton? A Comment Based on Data from a Vidarbha Village

Madhura Swaminathan and Vikas Rawal (2011), Review of Agrarian Studies Vol 1(1) January-June 2011

This note examines costs and returns from the cultivation of different types of cotton in a rainfed village in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, India. While the pros and cons of GM cotton are extensively debated, there are only a few empirical studies on the economic performance of Bt cotton, particularly under rainfed conditions. The results from a detailed survey of farm business incomes show that Bt cotton was a clear leader in terms of production and gross value of output when grown as a stand-alone crop. However, on the fields of small and marginal farmers, where cotton was usually intercropped with sorghum (or other cereals and pulses), the relative income advantage of Bt cotton declined. Further, expenditure on chemical pesticides was higher for Bt cotton than for other varieties of cotton. Variability in production was also higher for Bt cotton than for other types of cotton.

Link (requires subscription): http://www.ras.org.in/index.php?article=ed519dacc89b2bead3f453b0b05a4a8b#A-title1

Response to Rahul Gandhi’s statement ‘I feel ashamed to call myself an Indian after seeing what has happened here in UP’

Rahul Gandhi: “I feel ashamed to call myself an INDIAN after seeing what has happened here in UP”.

Dear. Mr. Rahul Gandhi…PLEASE DON’T BE ASHAMED OF U.P. YET

Please don’t be ashamed of Uttar Pradesh yet. Congress ruled the State for the Majority of the duration Pre Independence to Post Independence.. from 1939 to 1989 ( barring the Periods of Emergency.. Thanks to your Grand Mom Indira G. and a couple of transitional Governments)

8 out of the total 14 Prime Ministers of India have been from UP, 6 out of those 8 have been from Congress…

I think your party had more than half a century and half a Dozen PM’s to build a State…

The Reason Mulayam Singh, subsequently came to Power is because your party wasn’t exactly Gandhian in their dealings in the State.. So May be If you look at in totality the present chaos in UP is the outcome of the glorious leadership displayed by Congress in UP for about 50 years!

So Please don’t feel ashamed as yet Dear Rahul.. For Mayawati is only using the Land Acquisition Bill which your party had itself used to LOOT the Farmers many times in the Past!

WHY DIDN’T YOUR PARTY CHANGE THE BILL WHEN IT WAS IN POWER FOR SO LONG?
Not that I Endorse what Mayawati is doing.. What Mayawati is doing is Unacceptable..

But the past actions of your party and your recent comments, puts a question mark on your INTENT and CONSISTENCY.

YOU REALLY WANT TO FEEL ASHAMED

But don’t be disappointed, I would give you ample reasons to feel ashamed…

You really want to feel Ashamed..?

First Ask Pranav Mukherjee, Why isn’t he giving the details of the account holders in the Swiss Banks.

Ask your Mother, Who is impeding the Investigation against Hasan Ali?

Ask her, Who got 60% Kickbacks in the 2G Scam ?

Kalamdi is accused of a Few hundred Crores, Who Pocketed the Rest in the Common Wealth Games?

Ask Praful Patel what he did to the Indian Airlines? Why did Air India let go of the Profitable Routes ?

Why should the Tax Payer pay for the Air India losses, when you intend to eventually DIVEST IT ANYWAY!!!

Also, You People can’t run an Airline Properly. How can we expect you to run the Nation?

Ask Manmohan Singh. Why/What kept him quiet for so long?

Are Kalmadi and A Raja are Scapegoats to save Big Names like Harshad Mehta was in the 1992 Stock Market Scandal ?

Who let the BHOPAL GAS TRAGEDY Accused go Scot Free? ( 20,000 People died in that Tragedy)

Who ordered the State Sponsored Massacre of SIKHS in 84?

Please read more about, How Indira Gandhi pushed the Nation Under Emergency in 76-77, after the HC declared her election to Lok Sabha Void!

(I bet She had utmost respect for DEMOCRACY and JUDICIARY and FREE PRESS)

I guess you know the answers already. So My question is, Why the Double Standards in Judging Mayawati and members of your Family and Party?

I condemn Mayawati. But Is She the only one you feel Ashamed for?

What about the ones close to you? For their contribution to the Nation’s Misery is beyond comparison.

You talk about the Land being taken away from the Farmers. How many Suicides have happened under your Parties Rule in Vidarbha ? Does that Not Ashame You ?

THE 72,000 CRORE LOAN WAIVER

Your Party gave those Farmers a 72,000 Crore Loan Waiver. Which didn’t even reach the Farmers by the way.

So, Why don’t you focus on implementing the policies which your govt. has undertaken, instead of earning brownie points by trying to manufacture consent by bombarding us with pictures of having food with Poor Villagers….

You want to feel ashamed. You can feel ashamed for your Party taking CREDIT for DEBITING the Public Money (72,000 crores) from the Government Coffers and literally Wasting it…

You want to feel ashamed.. Feel ashamed for that…

WHY ONLY HIGHLIGHT THIS ARREST?

Dear Rahul, to refresh your memory, you were arrested/detained by the FBI the BOSTON Airport in September 2001.

You were carrying with you $ 1,60,000 in Cash. You couldn’t explain why you were carrying so much Cash.
Incidentally He was with his Columbian girlfriend Veronique Cartelli, ALLEGEDLY, the Daughter of Drug Mafia.
9 HOURS he was kept at the Airport.
Later then freed on the intervention of the then Prime Minister Mr.Vajpayee.. FBI filed an equivalent of an FIR in US and released him.

When FBI was asked to divulge the information, by Right/Freedom to Information Activists about the reasons Rahul was arrested … FBI asked for a NO OBJECTION CERTIFICATE from Rahul Gandhi.

So Subramaniyam Swami wrote a Letter to Rahul Gandhi, ” If you have NOTHING to HIDE, Give us the Permission”

HE NEVER REPLIED!

Why did that arrest not make Headlines Rahul? You could have gone to the Media and told, “I am ashamed to call myself an INDIAN?”.

Or is it that, you only do like to highlight Symbolic Arrests (like in UP) and not Actual Arrests ( In BOSTON)

Kindly Clarify…..

In any case, you want to feel ashamed, Read Along…

YOUR MOTHER’S SO CALLED SACRIFICE OF GIVING UP PRIME MINISTER SHIP in 2004.

According to a Provision in the Citizenship Act.

A Foreign National who becomes a Citizen of India, is bounded by the same restrictions, which an Indian would face, If he/she were to become a Citizen of Italy.

(Condition based on principle of reciprocity)

[READ ANNEXURE- 1&2]

Now Since you can’t become a PM in Italy, Unless you are born there.
Likewise an Italian Citizen can’t become Indian PM, unless He/She is not born here!

Dr. SUBRAMANIYAM SWAMI (The Man who Exposed the 2G Scam) sent a letter to the PRESIDENT OF INDIA bringing the same to his Notice. [READ LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT IN ANNEXURE -3]

PRESIDENT OF INDIA sent a letter to Sonia Gandhi to this effect, 3:30 PM, May 17th, 2004.

Swearing Ceremony was scheduled for 5 PM the same Day.

Manmohan Singh was brought in the Picture at the last moment to Save Face!!

Rest of the SACRIFICE DRAMA which she choreographed was an EYE WASH!!!

Infact Sonia Gandhi had sent, 340 letters, each signed by different MP to the PRESIDENT KALAM, supporting her candidacy for PM.

One of those letters read, I Sonia Gandhi, elected Member from Rai Bareli, hereby propose Sonia Gandhi as Prime Minister.
So SHE was Pretty INTERESTED! Until She came to know the Facts!

So She didn’t make any Sacrifice, It so happens that SONIA GANDHI couldn’t have become the PM of INDIA that time.

You could be Ashamed about that Dear Rahul!! One Credential Sonia G had, Even that was a HOAX!

THINK ABOUT YOURSELF.

You go to Harvard on Donation Quota. ( Hindujas Gave HARVARD 11 million dollars the same year, when Rajiv Gandhi was in Power)

Then you are expelled in 3 Months/ You Dropped out in 3 Months…. ( Sadly Manmohan Singh wasn’t the Dean of Harvard that time, else you might have had a chance… Too Bad, there is only one Manmohan Singh!)

Some Accounts say, You had to Drop out because of Rajiv Gandhi’s Assassination.

May be, But Then Why did you go about lying about being Masters in Economics from Harvard .. before finally taking it off your Resume upon questioning by Dr. SUBRAMANIYAM SWAMI (The Gentlemen who exposed the 2G Scam)

At St. Stephens.. You Fail the Hindi Exam.

Hindi Exam!!!

And you are representing the Biggest Hindi Speaking State of the Country?

SONIA GANDHI’s EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

Sonia G gave a sworn affidavit as a Candidate that She Studied English at University of Cambridge

[SEE ANNEXURE-6, 7_37a]

According to Cambridge University, there is no such Student EVER! [ SEE ANNEXURE -7_39]

Upon a Case by Dr. Subramaniyam Swami filed against her,

She subsequently dropped the CAMBRIDGE CREDENTIAL from her Affidavit.

Sonia Gandhi didn’t even pass High School. She is just 5th class Pass!

In this sense, She shares a common Educational Background with her 2G Partner in Crime, Karunanidhi.

You Fake your Educational Degree, Your Mother Fakes her Educational Degree.
And then you go out saying, ” We want Educated Youth into Politics!”

Letters sent by Dr. Swami to EC and then Speaker of Lok Sabha are in ANNEXURE 7_36 &7_35 RESPECTIVELY

Contrast that with Gandhi Ji , who went to South Africa, Became a Barrister, on Merit, Left all that to work for South Africa, then for the Country….

WHY LIE ABOUT EDUCATIONAL CREDENTIALS?

Not that Education is a Prerequisite for being a great Leader, but then you shouldn’t have lied about your qualifications!

You could feel a little ashamed about Lying about your Educational Qualifications. You had your reasons I know, Because in India, WE RESPECT EDUCATION!

But who cares about Education, When you are a Youth Icon!!

YOUTH ICON

You traveled in the Local Train for the first time at the Age of 38.

You went to some Villages as a part of Election Campaign.

And You won a Youth Icon!! … That’s why You are my Youth Icon.

For 25 Million People travel by Train Everyday. You are the First Person to win a Youth Icon for boarding a Train.

Thousands of Postmen go to remotest of Villages. None of them have yet gotten a Youth Icon.

You were neither YOUNG Nor ICONIC!

Still You became a Youth Icon beating Iconic and Younger Contenders like RAHUL DRAVID.

Shakespeare said, What’s in a Name?

Little did he knew, It’s all in the Name, Especially the Surname!

Speaking of Surname, Sir

DO YOU REALLY RESPECT GANDHI, OR IS IT JUST TO CASH IN ON THE GOODWILL OF MAHATMA?

Because the Name on your Passport is RAUL VINCI.

Not RAHUL GANDHI..

May be if you wrote your Surname as Gandhi, you would have experienced, what Gandhi feels like, LITERALLY ( Pun Intended)

You People don’t seem to use Gandhi much, except when you are fighting Elections. ( There it makes complete sense).

Imagine fighting elections by the Name Raul Vinci…

It feels sadly Ironic, Gandhi Ji, who inspired Icons like Nelson Mandela ,Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lennon, across the world, Couldn’t inspire members of his party/ Nehru’s Family, who only seem to use his Surname for the purposes of FIGHTING ELECTIONS and conveniently use a different name on their PASSPORT.

You use the name GANDHI at will and then say, ” Mujhe yeh YUVRAJ shabd Insulting lagta hai! Kyonki aaj Hindustan mein Democracy hai, aur is shabd ka koi matlab nahin hai!

YUVRAJ, Itna hi Insulting lagta hai, to lad lo RAUL VINCI ke Naam se!!! Jin Kisano ke saath photo khinchate ho woh bhi isliye entertain karte hain ki GANDHI ho.. RAUL VINCI bol ke Jao… Ghar mein nahin ghusaenge!!!

You could feel ashamed for your Double Standards.

YOUTH INTO POLITICS.

Now You want Youth to Join Politics.

I say First you Join Politics.

Because you haven’t Joined Politics. You have Joined a Family Business.

First you Join Politics. Win an Election fighting as RAUL VINCI and Not Rahul Gandhi, then come and ask the youth and the Educated Brass for more involvement in Politics.

Also till then, Please don’t give me examples of Sachin Pilot and Milind Deora and Naveen Jindal as youth who have joined Politics..

They are not Politicians. They Just happen to be Politicians.

Much Like Abhishek Bachchan and other Star Sons are not Actors. They just happen to be Actors (For Obvious Reasons)

So, We would appreciate if you stop requesting the Youth to Join Politics till you establish your credentials…

WHY WE CAN’T JOIN POLITICS!

Rahul Baba, Please understand, Your Father had a lot of money in your Family account ( in Swiss Bank) when he died.

Ordinary Youth has to WORK FOR A LIVING.

YOUR FAMILY just needs to NETWORK FOR A LIVING

If our Father had left thousands of Crores with us, We might consider doing the same..

But we have to Work. Not just for ourselves. But also for you. So that we can pay 30% of our Income to the Govt. which can then be channelized to the Swiss Banks and your Personal Accounts under some Pseudo Names.

So Rahul, Please don’t mind If the Youth doesn’t Join Politics. We are doing our best to fund your Election Campaigns and your Chopper Trips to the Villages.

Somebody has to Earn the Money that Politicians Feed On.

NO WONDER YOU ARE NOT GANDHI’S. YOU ARE SO CALLED GANDHI’S!!

Air India, KG Gas Division, 2G, CWG, SWISS BANK Account Details… Hasan Ali, KGB., FBI Arrest..

You want to feel ashamed..

Feel Ashamed for what the First Family of Politics has been reduced to…

A Money Laundering Enterprise.

NO WONDER YOU ARE NOT GANDHI’S BY BLOOD. GANDHI is an adopted Name. For Indira didn’t marry Mahatma Gandhi’s Son.

For even if you had one GENE OF GANDHI JI in your DNA. YOU WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN PLAGUED BY SUCH ‘POVERTY OF AMBITION’ ( Ambition of only EARNING MONEY)

You really want to feel Ashamed.

Feel Ashamed for what you ‘ SO CALLED GANDHI’S’ have done to MAHATMA’S Legacy..

I so wish GANDHI JI had Copyrighted his Name!

Meanwhile, I would request Sonia Gandhi to change her name to $ONIA GANDHI, and you could replace the ‘R’ in RAHUL/RAUL by the New Rupee Symbol!!!

RAUL VINCI : I am ashamed to call myself an Indian.

Even we are ashamed to call you so!

P.S: Popular Media is either bought or blackmailed, controlled to Manufacture Consent!

My Guess is Social Media is still a Democratic Platform. (Now they are trying to put legislations to censor that too!!)

Meanwhile, Let’s ask these questions, for we deserve some Answers.

For we are all Gandhi’s. For Bapu is the Father of the Nation!

To know more, Try looking for Dr. SUBRAMANIYAM SWAMI. He is the reason today 2G SCAM is being Investigated!!!

Nitin Guptha, IIT

Great Dust Bowl which swept US in 1930s


1935 was one of the peak years with soil from 50 million acres blowing. 11 The storms were huge, some 600 by 400 miles, lasting 10 hours or more.
One dust storm in May 1934 started in Montana and spread south. It covered an area 1,500 by 900 miles, lasted 36 hours, and carried some 350 million tons of soil toward the East Coast.
During the storm of February 7, 1937, soil was carried from the Great Plains across the continent, depositing 34.2 tons of soil per square mile at Ames, Iowa, 14.9 tons at Marquette Michigan, and 10 tons in New Hampshire.
1935 alone 850 million tons of topsoil had blown away from 4,340,000 acres in the southern plains

Paddyy farmers in AP plan to grow capsicum

HYDERABAD, JUNE 29:

Farmers by and large never sit idle, even when they are protesting. Thousands of farmers in East and West Godavari, Krishna districts, who have declared a crop holiday to an extent of two lakh acres this kharif, are not the ones to waste time. While making their protest heard in the State capital, farmers are seriously contemplating life beyond, not just this kharif, but also paddy.

“It is time to reduce dependence and pressure on paddy,” Mr Trinadha Rao, a farmer in the water-rich East Godavari district, told Business Line.

With paddy yielding no encouraging returns, farmers have begun to look at alternative crops that could give them bankable incomes.

As their peers continued the novel protest by locking up the water distribution channels, a small team of 30 farmers had just completed a trip to Pune. They went there to study new models of farming that threw open lucrative vegetable markets to farmers.

To begin with, the farmers could build a couple of green houses this year. “We will break the beaten track and grow capsicum this year,” Mr Trinadha Rao, who also heads the local Water Users’ Association, said.

The team went to Pune on an invitation from WALAMTARI (Water and Land Management Training and Research Institute). After seeing the greenhouse-based vegetable farming, the farmers from Andhra Pradesh are convinced that it is time to change.

“We will try to convince our friends back home on the importance of the change,” Mr Rao who was on his trip back home, commented.

ALTERNATIVES

Mr Tirupathaiah, Director-General of WALMTARI, said it was time for the farmers and the Government to change their mindset. “People think that irrigated agriculture means cultivation of paddy. It, in fact, is not. We need to explore alternatives. We should go for irrigated dry crops such as maize and ragi. These crops have huge demand,” he said.

“High value floriculture too could be an option. By building poly houses, we can control water, temperature and humidity,” he said.

TAMIL NADU TRIP

WALAMTARI is planning to take another team to Tamil Nadu that had built extensive area under precision farming in order to face low availability of water. “We will lead a team in mid July,” he said

Food ministry says it is not averse to export of wheat or rice

NEW DELHI: Taking a U-turn, Food Minister K V Thomas today said he was not opposed to allowing exports of foodgrains and a decision on the issue will be taken by a panel of ministers at the earliest.

The government in early 2007 had banned shipment of wheat and later in April, 2008 restricted exports of non- basmati rice.

“We are not averse to export of foodgrains. I do not mind export of some quantity of wheat and rice as there is a bumper production. There are suggestions from state governments and other ministries for exports of 2 million tonnes of wheat and 1 million tonnes of rice,” Thomas told reporters, here.

An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on food, headed by Finance Minster Pranab Mukherjee , will take a decision at on allowing export of wheat and rice at the earliest, he said.

The minister had said several times that exports could not take place in view of the huge demand of foodgrains under the proposed National Food Security Act.

The government is now facing the problem of plenty with granaries overflowing in its godowns. As on June 1, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) has an all-time-high stock of 65.4 million tonnes of wheat and rice.

Sources said that the Food Ministry, which fears shortage of space in view of bumper procurement, has already send a proposal on this issue to the Commerce Ministry.

Asked whether the government will permit export of grains stored in FCI or from the private trade, Thomas said, “Details are being worked out. The final call will be taken by the EGoM”.

He, however, said that the export should not lead rise in domestic retail price and benefit should reach to farmers.

Wheat procurement by the FCI has touched the record 28 million tonnes in the ongoing 2011-12 rabi marketing season (April-June).
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/foreigntrade/Food-ministry-says-it-is-not-averse-to-export-of-wheat-or-rice/articleshow/9040598.cms