All stories by Sanjeeb Mukherjee
Will 2023 Be A Repeat Of 2015?Rediff.com5 days ago
States have been told to prepare in advance to counter any impact of an adverse southwest monsoon.
India asks for $55-million funding in first call with Pandemic FundRediff.com30 May 2023
In a significant development, India is believed to have placed a funding request of around $55 million in its first call with the Pandemic Fund of the World Bank, sources said. The fund has been set up to finance critical investments in a bid to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response capacities at national, regional, and global levels, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries. It was created in the aftermath of the Covid-19 global pandemic.
Govt holds meetings to prepare for adverse monsoon, works on action plansRediff.com19 May 2023
With different agencies showing divergent predictions regarding the southwest monsoon, the central government and states are gearing up to face adversity with various line ministries reportedly being directed to undertake mock drills and hold preparatory meetings. Around 56 per cent of the net cultivable area of the country is rain-fed, accounting for 44 per cent of foodgrain production. The June-September rains contribute around 73 per cent of the annual precipitation.
Monsoon onset over Kerala to be delayedRediff.com16 May 2023
The onset of the southwest monsoon is being keenly watched this year as it may provide an early sign regarding its progress over the Indian subcontinent, particularly when El Nio is expected to rear its head during the latter half of the season.
Monsoon nearing, fear of lumpy skin disease in cattle resurfacesRediff.com17 Apr 2023
The Centre has issued an advisory to states to speed up the preventive vaccination process.
Impact of untimely rain on wheat crop marginalRediff.com5 Apr 2023
There has not been a large impact of untimely rain and hailstorm so far in several major wheat-growing areas, and those might have damaged around 3 per cent of the standing crop -- not enough to make a big dent in the expected 112 million tonnes of production in FY24, a senior government official said on Tuesday. Relentless rain pounded most North Indian states all through March. Separately, the chairman of Food Corporation of India (FCI), Ashok K Meena, told reporters the agency was on track to achieve the targeted 34 million tonnes of procurement in FY24 on the back of a strong start to the purchase season from Madhya Pradesh.
Modi Prepares Govt For Harsh SummerRediff.com24 Mar 2023
Prime Minister Modi last week called for optimal grain storage, fire audits and mock drills in hospitals as preparations for the harsh summer forecast by the meteorological department.
Farm sector to grow 3.7% in Oct-Dec on kharif outputRediff.com3 Mar 2023
The Gross Value Added (GVA) in agriculture and allied activities is projected to clock its best growth in FY23 during the October-to-December quarter, at 3.7 per cent, on the back of a strong kharif harvest, according to the second advance estimates of national income. In the third quarter of FY22, GVA in the sector was 2.3 per cent at constant prices. At current prices, the growth in the third quarter of this financial year is projected at 8.6 per cent, which is almost at the same level in the corresponding quarter of FY22.
Farm to fork: Going in favour of the grainRediff.com27 Feb 2023
In the coming few weeks, agriculture markets in North and Central India will be full of wheat, mustard, and chana - the three main rabi crops grown in these parts. Not only will the price trajectory of these determine the course of food inflation in the months to come, but it could also have a wider impact on the rural economy in the main growing states for these crops. Wheat and chana are largely grown in Madhya Pradesh (MP).
March heat to shape up wheat output this year in North India: ExpertsRediff.com22 Feb 2023
Temperatures in March will be critical to determining the impact of any unusual heatwave conditions on this year's wheat crop in North India. It is that time of the year when the crop enters its vital grain-filling stage, say meteorologists and crop experts. So far, the high day temperatures in the North are not believed to have any significant impact on the final yields since the crop hasn't entered a stage where heat affects yields.
Government Cracks Down On FCI RacketRediff.com14 Feb 2023
'The corruption charges in FCI are not the first and won't be the last.'
Budget 2023: PMAY-G May Get A Big PushRediff.com19 Jan 2023
It may plan a significant hike in budgetary support aimed at completing the balance 8.4 million dwellings by March 2024.
IMD forecasts warm winter, crop yields likely to feel the heat this yearRediff.com2 Dec 2022
Brace for some warmth this winter as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in its December-February forecast on Thursday said that the minimum and maximum temperatures could remain 'normal' to 'above normal' over most parts of Northwest and Northeast India. Both the minimum and maximum will remain below normal in Southern Peninsular and Central India in these winter months. While this could give some respite from the intense cold of North India, it could have a negative impact on the standing rabi crops if the temperature rise is unusual and abnormal.
GEAC clears environmental release of GM mustardRediff.com27 Oct 2022
The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) has recommended the environmental release of the genetically modified (GM) mustard variety DMH (Dhara Mustard Hybrid)-11, paving the way for the commercialisation of the country's first GM food crop. The GEAC said the recommendation was valid for four years from the date the approval letter was issued. Further studies and coordinated trials will have to be conducted jointly with the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) within two years, according to the minutes of the GEAC meeting held on October 18, which was released on Wednesday.
Monsoon may finally start withdrawing in next three days, says IMDRediff.com19 Sep 2022
The southwest monsoon might finally start withdrawing from parts of North-West India over the next three days, signaling the end of its four-month journey over the country that started in June, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. However, though the retreat might begin from next week, the rains might not descend quickly, as the met department predicted fresh spells of rains in Vidarbha, Chhattisgarh and east MP on September 21-22 and over Odisha, Coastal areas north Andhra Pradesh and Gangetic West Bengal on September 19-21. "Due to anti-cyclonic flows over northwest India at lower tropospheric levels, dry weather is very likely over west Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi during the next five days. "Hence conditions are becoming favourable for the withdrawal of Southwest Monsoon from parts of northwest India during next three days," the IMD said.
Monsoon may see a brief lull in already-deficient statesRediff.com11 Aug 2022
After becoming active over the rice-growing Indo-Gangetic plains, the southwest monsoon might witness weak phase for the next 3-4 days over the already rain-deficient region. So far, the main deficit states are Uttar Pradesh (-42 per cent), Bihar (-36 per cent), Jharkhand (-48 per cent), and West Bengal (-24 per cent). According to private weather forecasting agency Skymet, rains in west UP, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, and Jharkhand are expected to be weak in the next 3-4 days before again picking pace.
Falling paddy acreage sparks concernsRediff.com9 Aug 2022
The area under paddy - the biggest foodgrain during the kharif season - was almost 13 per cent lower in the week ended August 5 as compared to the same period last year despite a slight pick-up in rains in the main growing regions, triggering fears of a 10-12 million-tonne drop in final output. Sources said with the peak sowing season for paddy almost coming to an end in the big-growing states, any uptick in coverage from here onwards may not give the desired yields. With 30 per cent of normal average area in which paddy is grown every year remaining unsown till early August, there is a limited chance of a big uptick in output, trade and market sources said.
How did SKM lose unity and direction post repeal of farm laws?Rediff.com1 Aug 2022
Centre's move to form a 29-member panel on making the minimum support price (MSP) mechanism effective and keeping three positions vacant in it for SKM representatives has triggered strong disapproval from it.
Poor rains hits paddy sowing, likely to affect final rice outputRediff.com30 Jul 2022
Trade and market players have already started factoring in at least 10 million tonnes drop in production in rice in the kharif season as compared to last year due to delayed sowing.
Wheat prices at record high of Rs 23,547/tonneRediff.com28 Jul 2022
A head of its meeting, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) can take some solace from the softening food commodity prices. However, the events surrounding the last few weeks show that the fall may not be uniform across all commodities, and cereals like wheat and rice could be the outliers. A Reuters report said that local wheat prices jumped to a record Rs 23,547 per tonne on Wednesday. That is a 12 per cent rise from the recent lows that followed the government's surprise ban on exports on May 14.