All stories by Sanjeeb Mukherjee
What are locusts? And why are they such a big menace?Rediff.com5 Aug 2020
Swarms of immature pink locusts and adult yellow locusts are currrently active. Not only are fresh locusts swarms expected to arrive in the coming weeks, but even those already present in India have mated and are breeding new offspring.
Rainfall in Aug, Sep to be normal, says IMDRediff.com1 Aug 2020
The met department said that rainfall in August is projected to be within the normal range at 97% of LPA. In August and September, India receives around 43 mm of rainfall.
As labourers get jobs in farms, MGNREGA work demand dropsRediff.com1 Aug 2020
However, demand was still much higher compared to the previous years, underlining the scheme's vital role in providing employment to the rural poor, a vast majority of whom are migrants.
For milk cooperatives, it's a problem of plentyRediff.com29 Jul 2020
The demand for milk and milk products slumped during the Covid-19 lockdown mainly from hotels, restaurants, sweetmeat shops which were shut to control the spread of the disease.
Monsoon gains wiped off on scanty July rainsRediff.com29 Jul 2020
Between June 1 and July 28, about 32 per cent of the 685 districts in the country did not receive adequate rainfall.
How chana saved govt's plan to distribute free pulsesRediff.com17 Jul 2020
Distributing chana is easier than other varieties of pulses as it only requires cleaning and sorting and can be consumed whole; it was also abundantly available with Nafed.
Will govt's move to limit use of herbicide glyphosate hit India's food security?Rediff.com10 Jul 2020
Kerala, Punjab, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are among the major agriculturally important states that have banned the use of glyphosate citing its adverse impact on human health.
Kharif crop sowing picks up pace as monsoon moves inRediff.com27 Jun 2020
Data from department of agriculture showed that kharif crops had been sown in around 31.56 million hectares till Friday, which was 104.25 per cent more than the same period last year. Acreage of almost all crops was higher than last year.
MP, not Punjab is now the top wheat-procuring stateRediff.com9 Jun 2020
Till date, MP has procured around 12.77 million tonnes of wheat, which is expected to reach 13 million tonnes by the time the process ends in the next few weeks.
Centre's agri market reform ordinance comes under fireRediff.com7 Jun 2020
Kiran Vissa, co-convenor of National Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, said that amendments to the EC Act have nothing to do with farmers' welfare but instead meant to please big players and agriculture companies. This is because small and marginal farmers don't have the storage capacity to attract provisions of the EC Act.
Agriculture grew 4% in FY19-20, but what about this year?Rediff.com30 May 2020
As the growth figures relate to pre-Covid lockdown period it does not reflect the real picture of distress which unfolded from April onwards in the sector, when acute supply disruption led to sharp drop in prices of many commodities largely perishables impacting farmers.
Locust invasion puts summer crop in many states at riskRediff.com27 May 2020
The locusts initially entered Rajasthan from Pakistan and from there the swarms moved towards Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab over the last few weeks and are now threatening to enter Uttar Pradesh, putting at risk the summer crop.
How Centre plans to enable free inter-state agri tradeRediff.com17 May 2020
The government is looking at tweaking provisions of the Indian Contracts Act of 1872 to bring agreements between farmers and companies under its ambit, aiming to prevent exploitation of farm people.
Wheat procurement finally picks upRediff.com28 Apr 2020
In total, the Centre plans to purchase around 40.7 million tonnes of wheat from farmers this year, which is almost 19 per cent more than last year.
States open up PDS to non-cardholders to meet crisisRediff.com24 Apr 2020
However, experts say that unless clear guidelines are there, it remains to be seen how many people fall within the ambit and who remains excluded.
Rabi procurement starts slowly across North IndiaRediff.com19 Apr 2020
In MP, farmers say sales under new 'Sauda Patrak' method below MSP; Haryana mustard farmers wait for their turn to sell. The annual purchases of major rabi crops in North India largely wheat, mustard and also chana to some extent have been delayed as most cereal mandis were closed in the aftermath of the nationwide coronavirus lockdown.
Why 100 million Indians are left out of the food ration systemRediff.com17 Apr 2020
A recent study shows that more than 100 million people are excluded from the public distribution system because the central government insists on using 2011 population figures to calculate state-wise PDS coverage, which effectively leaves out 100 million people, reports Sanjeeb Mukherjee.
India's ration story: Mounting stocks but hungry mouthsRediff.com17 Apr 2020
A study by eminent economists, by Jean Drze, Reetika Khera and Meghana Mungikar released few days back shows that more than 100 million people are excluded from the PDS because the central government insists on using 2011 population figures to calculate state-wise coverage under the National Food Security Act.
Modi asks states to alter mandi rulesRediff.com12 Apr 2020
The agriculture ministry, in the last few weeks, issued guidelines and letters to states to ensure agriculture and food products reach consumers in a timely manner, while farmers don't have to come to the mandis to sell them.
Will a warmer summer help slow down coronavirus spread?Rediff.com2 Apr 2020
IMD has said the temperature in April-June across most parts in India is expected to be 0.5-1 degrees Celsius warmer than normal. However, doctors and scientists say they haven't found any direct correlation between the speed of COVID-19 spread and warm weather.
Brace yourself, this summer's going to be hotter than usualRediff.com28 Feb 2020
The India meteorological department has stated that day temperatures are likely to be above normal by 0.5 degree Celsius, reports Sanjeeb Mukherjee.
Record wheat output expected, arranging storage for harvest a worryRediff.com19 Feb 2020
India is expected to harvest 291.95 mt of foodgrain in 2019-20
FCI to get Rs 2.15 trillion as food subsidy in 2020-21Rediff.com3 Feb 2020
This is the highest in the past five years and almost 24 per cent more than last year.
Why high food inflation is good news for the farmerRediff.com14 Jan 2020
While rising food inflation is a matter of grave concern for a significant chunk of the population and for policy makers as well, it marks a turnaround in the fortunes of the farmer, reports Sanjeeb Mukherjee.
Farm growth likely to remain subdued at 2.8% in FY20Rediff.com8 Jan 2020
A pick-up in farmer income could have a cascading impact on the rural economy, though agriculture is becoming a smaller part of India's overall rural incomes.
Centre halves onion stock holding limit for retailersRediff.com4 Dec 2019
India exported $102 million worth of dehydrated onions in 2018-19.
Why govt fund and monsoon failed to lift rural economyRediff.com22 Oct 2019
Although demonetisation and improper implementation of GST along with falling prices are being blamed for much of the distress in rural India for some time, experts believe those may not be the only reason.
Why it makes sense for farmers to rear birdsRediff.com21 Oct 2019
A data shows the number of backyard poultry has risen by 46 per cent between 2012 and 2019. The development is extremely positive because it provides an incentive for small and marginal farmers to rear birds.
Why India's milk production has grown at over 6% past few yearsRediff.com17 Oct 2019
As the number of cross-bred female cattle rise, the entire concept of lean and flush seasons for milk will go away, as these animals give similar quantities in all seasons.
Kharif crop: No major production loss seenRediff.com24 Sep 2019
However, the estimates could change in the coming months, as full impact of excess rainfall and floods on the standing soybean and urad crops in central and western India in late August and September has not yet been fully taken into account.
How govt plans to boost liquidity in the farm sectorRediff.com17 Sep 2019
It has decided not to levy the 2 per cent tax deducted at source (TDS) on cash payments above Rs 1 crore made through Agricultural Produce Market Committees.
Monsoon withdrawal delayed, might begin after mid-Sep: IMDRediff.com11 Sep 2019
This should augur well for the rabi crops as delayed withdrawal will leave enough moisture in the soil for early sowing.
Maximum sowing area for each crop to be notified in a yearRediff.com6 Sep 2019
Farmers should be encouraged into crops needing less of water, while ensuring a market for what they sow, said ICAR's head.
Cabinet nods Rs 6,268 crore export subsidy for sugarRediff.com29 Aug 2019
The subsidy will be credited to bank accounts of farmers against cane price dues and are compliant with WTO norms. This will benefit millions of farmers in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
With near-normal rains, paddy sowing likely to pick upRediff.com10 Aug 2019
The slowdown in sowing is mainly because of the delayed onset of the southwest monsoon and its slow progress in June.
Pulses and coarse cereal sowing gets a boost from good rainsRediff.com5 Aug 2019
However, the areas under paddy - the biggest cereal grown during the kharif season - continue to be less than last year, mainly due to delayed onset of rains and also on account of shift towards the more lucrative maize.
Monsoon cheer for India's farmersRediff.com2 Aug 2019
Officials said good rain in August - though it might not improve acreages much for most crops except urad, moong, and paddy - would help in improving yields in the crops already planted.
Why farmers in several states are turning to maizeRediff.com30 Jul 2019
Low rain coupled with the fact that maize prices in the open market have surged from around Rs 15-16 a kg to almost Rs 25 this year have forced farmers to turn to this crop.
August rain to determine final output of kharif crops this yearRediff.com29 Jul 2019
Till July 26, kharif crops have been sown in around 68.87 million hectares, which is 6.43 per cent lower than the area covered during the same period last year.
States keen on linking central grants with reformsRediff.com19 Jul 2019
The high-level panel also asked the government to work towards re-orienting subsidies in a targeted manner from the crop sector to the non-crop sector and redesign the electronic National Agriculture Market.