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4:36 am - Saturday November 18, 2017

Food Target

The Union Agriculture Ministry has fixed the foodgrain production target for the Agro year of the country from 1st July to 30th June of 2017-18 at 27.3 crore tonnes. It is almost same as it is in the current Agro year of 2016-17 of 27.19 crore tonnes a little higher than that of 2017-18. Earlier the weather assessment indicated El Nino effect and deficient rain.

But now latest assessment is that El Nino will not affect the normal rains and it will be around 95 per cent. The Government is fully prepared to meet the requirement of coming Rabi and Kharif seasons. It has stock of 83.46 lakh quintal paddy seeds and 3.73 lakh quintals of pulses seeds. The requirement of fertilizer is assessed at 3 crores tonnes and its regular supplies are being organized.

Under the agro marketing the Centre is formulating a new legislation to break away the monopolistic Mandi system. The new Mandi Act will allow private Mandis also to operate in grain trade. The Mandi is State subjects and it is expected that all the 15 BJP ruled States will accept the Central policy of opening Mandis to private sector.

The non-BJP Government may or may not accept it like GST. The foodgrain market should have uniform procedures and like GST. The Central Government allowing private Mandis should think to bring in Mandis under the GST. In the last few years the prices of pulses soared very high and Central Government to encourage the production of the pulses announced in minimum support price.

But for the first time it happened in the country the pulses were not purchased on support price of Rs.5050 per quintal but at much low at the rate of Rs.4000 per quintal. This year instead of making procurement at the Government centres the licenses were issued to private grain merchants to buy it on behalf of Government. Like GST there should be national and uniform trading in the foodgrains also in the entire economy.

Posted in: Editorial

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