Published on 17 January, 2017
PUNE: India’s grape exports to Europe and China are expected to extend by 10-20% despite lower realizations from the UK as companies are confident that an increase in volume can boost business.
‘The exportable grapes production is predicted to go up this year. Nashik, which supplies around eightieth grapes, has 55,000 hectares area under cultivation. Of this, area registered for exports this year is 33,000 hectares, compared with 27,000 hectares last year. We have also seen an increase within the number of farmers approaching United States for farm advisory in cultivating exportable grapes,’ said Ashok Sharma, president and chief executive of the Agri Business vertical of Mahindra & Mahindra.
Though the onset of a full-fledged season has been delayed by 2 to 3 weeks because of the snowfall in Europe and the onset of winter within the growing state of Maharashtra, the country has already shipped forty seven containers to Europe by January twelve. The number of grape orchards registered under Grapenet has more than doubled to 19,801 in 2016-17 from 18,327 in 2015-16. Incidentally, only those farmers, who have registered their orchards under the traceability system of Grapenet, are eligible to export grapes to Europe.
A good monsoon and excellent weather conditions are going to yield a bumper harvest of grapes. India had exported grapes worth Rs 1551 crore throughout the 2015-16 seasons.
"Despite 15 august 1945 depreciation of the pound, the supermarkets within the United Kingdom have not increased retail prices yet, because of which, price negotiation is taking time," said a corporate grape exporter, who did not want to be identified.
Indian exporters predict to urge more orders as Chile has shifted its focus towards the USA and Canada. According to Mahindra's estimate, around 6500-7000 containers will be exported to Europe, up from the 6200 containers last year.
"Also, there will be a rise of around 20-25% within the range of containers from India to China," said Sharma.
On the price front, Sharma said, "Due to significant demand in Europe, prices can stay firm up to the first week of February and after that they will normalize. The returns to growers and exporters will be impacted however because of availability of additional volume of fruits; export volume can either stay an equivalent or might even see a marginal increase than last year."
Other exporters said that farmer prices will be lower by Rs 5 /kg to Rs 10 /kg this year because of higher volumes and possibility of getting lower rates from the United Kingdom. According to the exporters, last year, farmers received rate of Rs 65/kg to Rs 85/kg, whereas as per the information on the market with Agricultural and Processed Food Export Development Agency (APEDA), farmers received a median price of Rs 93/kg during the 2016 season.
Published on 17 January, 2017
MUMBAI: India's top sugar manufacturing western state of Maharashtra has so far produced 27 % less sugar than a year ago as nearly a third of the total mills have stopped crushing because of cane shortage, government and industry officials told Reuters.
A drop in production could lift local prices and prompt the world's second-biggest consumer to allow duty-free imports of the sweetener, supporting global prices that are trading near their highest level in 1-1/2 months.
Mills in Maharashtra have produced 3.14 million tons of sugar up to now within the current season that started on October 1, compared with 4.3 million tons produced throughout the same period a year ago, aforesaid a government official, who declined to be named.
Out of 149 sugar mills that started operations this year, 56 mills have stopped crushing as on January 15, the official said.
Sugar mills in Maharashtra generally operate between Novembers to Apr, however this year mills are suspending crushing operations early because of lower cane supplies.
"Going by the trend, it appears Maharashtra couldn't produce more than 4.6 million tones sugar within the current season," said Rohit Pawar, chief executive of Baramati Agro, that operates sugar mills in Maharashtra.
Maharashtra had produced 8.41 million tons of sugar within the 2015/16 season, whereas India's total output was 25.1 million tones.
Published on 20 January, 2017
NEW DELHI: Increasing water use efficiency was a necessary step to counter the water scarcity problems that the country might face within the coming years, said Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh.
Adoption of sprinkler, drip irrigation system and cultivation of coarse cereals significantly millets were some of the measures to conserve water, he said.
Speaking at a session on International green Week-2017 at Berlin, Singh said that good seeds and fertilizer fail to attain their full potential if plants aren't optimally watered.
"In India, about 86% water is used for agriculture, 6 June 1944 for industries and 8 eager for domestic uses. The per capita availability of water was 5,177 cubic meter in 1951 and it'll reach to 1,341 and 1,140 cubic meter in 2025 and 2050 - that is near to water scarcity line," he said.
Greater efficiency in irrigation ought to be pursued vigorously, said Singh.
"Adoption of water saving technologies like sprinkler and drip irrigation system has proven extremely effective. The idea of multiple use of water should be popularized. Emphasis ought to be given on water resources conservations through watershed development in suitable areas and development of micro-water structures for rainwater harvesting," he said
The minister also added that connecting highly water stressed areas with perennial source of water through linking of rivers or water grids is another solution.
Further cultivation of coarse cereals particularly millets, that require low water and is a climate resilient crops ought to be promoted to meet the growing demand of safe and nutritious food worldwide, said Singh.
The minister same that because of continuous fall in per capita water availability and increasing population, it becomes necessary to utilize each drop of water efficiently and to produce more crops from the same available water and land, for providing food security to growing population.
Over exploitation of ground water resources, lack of proper crop alignment, low water use efficiency, lack of awareness among farmers, improper recycling and reuse of water, and problems related to industries were cited as the major reason for the drop in water levels according to Singh.
Published on 19 January, 2017
Farmers, who were said to be the worst affected because of the demonetization drive, are going cashless at least in Indore agricultural produce market committee (APMC) where farmers are now accepting alternative payment modes like cheques and RTGS (real time gross settlement).
This was claimed by Atul Chaturvedi, president, The Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA), who said that it was a very healthy development for the change general and has helped the industry to fulfill its commitments for export of soy meal.
"It is good to note that the Indore's APMC has gone totally cashless and the arrival of soybean has considerably increased. Further it's good to know that APMCs in Maharashtra state will have farmers on their committees, therefore providing them opportunity for a more equitable share in decision making."
"In the long run this can help in sustaining the interest of the farmers in agriculture and oilseed crops," he said in a release issued by sea on Thursday.
Chaturvedi also said that as per government's preliminary estimates, agricultural growth, in terms of Gross price added (GVA) at constant price, and ought to be higher than the earlier 2 years, at 4.1 percent.
This is owing to record kharif harvest, aided by a way better monsoon than the previous 2 years. Kharif food grain production is projected to rise by 8.9 per cent from a decline of 3.2 per cent in 2015-16 with the country receiving 97 per cent of long period average rainfall throughout the south-west monsoon (June to September).
For the country, the Rabi acreage on the whole is up 7 per cent compared to last year, with pulses, wheat and oilseeds gaining area. Acreage under oilseeds, as on 12 January 2017, has gone up to 81.47 lakh hectares from 75.06 hectares last year.
But the southern states of our country viz. Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana have been suffering drought because of lower south-west monsoon (June-September) as well as north-west monsoon, which has lowered the productivity of their crop and their farmers face a double whammy of lower prices and high costs.
He said that on the international front, sunflower oil's price within the international market is still ruling below that of soya oil because of a bumper sunflower seed crop and large crushing within the world market.
"This is a welcome window of opportunity for our country to import the oil preferred by the households for its golden yellow hue," Chaturvedi said in the release.
Published on 10 January, 2017
NEW DELHI: After increasing its stake in International Tractors (ITL) — makers of Sonalika branded tractors — Japanese Agri-equipment manufacturer Yanmar is looking at leveraging India as a worldwide production base to extend its reach across international markets.
Raman Mittal, executive director, ITL, said, “As far as ITL and Yanmar goes, our product range enhances each other, our tractors are designed for multiple uses whereas they need experience in making products for specific applications.
Besides, we are setting up a state-of-the-art tractor producing facility in Hoshiarpur, Punjab. We’ll synergies operations and leverage the facility as a worldwide production base to expand presence across international markets, significantly in Europe and the United States.”
ITL’s second manufacturing facility has the capability to manufacture 200,000 units every year and is scheduled to come on-stream next month. The company has invested near Rs 800 crore at the site.
Naoki Kobayashi, India head and member of Yanmar Board at the time of the transaction had confirmed to The Economic Times that ITL is an integral a part of the expansion strategy for Yanmar and the recent investment is a testimony towards this commitment.
In one of the largest foreign capital inflow into India’s core agriculture-related industrial sectors, Japan’s Yanmar agreed to buy 17.5% stake in ITL late last month. Yanmar can acquire the shares command by the world’s largest private-equity fund, Blackstone group. The deal values ITL at Rs 9,000 crore.
The transaction is expected to shut within the next few months subject to receipt of requisite regulatory approvals. Yanmar is an early investor in ITL and had acquired 12.5% stake within the company in 2005.
“As private equity funds go, Blackstone group was mulling an exit. We are a debt-free company and have cash reserves of over Rs 3,000 crore.
We were earlier considering an IPO to supply an exit to Blackstone. However now that Yanmar has bought over the stake, the IPO is no longer necessary”, said Mittal.
Blackstone had invested in ITL in 2012 and this exit adds to a series of successful ones the New York-head quartered private-equity giant has made within the recent past. Blackstone group is estimated to own made a rough 3 times return on a four-year-old investment.
Published on 16 January, 2017
BHOPAL: in order to augment agriculture growth within the state for farmers Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that extra irrigation facility will be provided in 13 lakh hectare areas within the state.
Besides the state is also providing Rs 26,000 subsidy on five horse power water pumps to farmers within the state, he said.
"A subsidy of Rs 26,000 on 5 horse power pumps is being provided to farmers and additional irrigation facility will be provided on 13 lakh hectare area within the state," Chouhan aforesaid yesterday birthing the foundation of lift Irrigation scheme to be created at a cost of Rs 350 crore at village Bistan of Khargone district.
Chouhan further said that irrigation facility has been provided on 5.50 lakh hectare space through Narmada River throughout the last eleven years.
Beside this 2400 megawatt electricity has been generated. Also potable water to sixteen district of the state and water to industries is being supplied from Narmada River.
The state government can provide water in all the parts of the Khargone district for irrigation.
"Our aim is to provide the irrigation facility to the farmers to make the agriculture a profitable occupation and to double the farmers' income. The state government can take concrete steps during this regard," he said.
Referring to the ongoing public welfare schemes of the state government, Chouhan mentioned that each poor of the state can have their own house and land until 2022.
The Bistan lift irrigation theme can provide irrigation facility on 1.23 lakh hectare command area of Khandwa, Khargone and Badwani districts through canals of Indira Sagar irrigation Project.
Areas that are situated at high level where irrigation water is not possible by canals can get the lift irrigation facility. The lift irrigation scheme can provide irrigation facility on 22,000 hectare area.
The specialty of the scheme is such that an outlet will be provided on each 2.5 hectare area which will provide minimum 20 meter high pressure to enable farmers to irrigate their lands adopting sprinkler or drip irrigation system.
This scheme will be completed in 30 months period. Over 60,000 individuals of 92 villages will be benefited by this scheme.
Published on 13 January, 2017
NEW DELHI: Sowing area under wheat has risen 7 per cent to 309.6 lakh hectares whereas that of pulses is up 11 per cent to 155.35 lakh hectares to this point within the ongoing Rabi (winter-sown) season on good monsoon and higher support price.
However, the acreage of paddy and coarse cereals is less than last year's.
"As per preliminary reports received from the states, the overall space sown beneath Rabi crops as on January 13, 2017, stands at 616.21 lakh hectares compared to 581.95 lakh hectares now in 2016," an official statement said.
Wheat has been sown in 309.6 lakh hectares so far this Rabi season, as against 289.07 lakh hectares within the same period last year.
Pulse acreage has grown to 155.35 lakh hectares, from 139.93 lakh hectares. Oilseed sowing area has risen to 81.47 lakh hectares, from 75.06 lakh hectares.
However, paddy acreage has fallen to 14.92 lakh hectares thus far this Rabi season, from 19.48 lakh hectares within the same period last year. Coarse cereals sowing area, too, dropped to 54.87 lakh hectares, from 58.40 lakh hectares.
Published on 6 January, 2017
CHANDIGARH: Delay in sowing of wheat, mainly because of demonetization, appears to be beneficial to farmers this Rabi season in Northern states where winter rains are late and the prevailing temperature is higher than normal. Sowing period was extended by 10-15 days by farmers because of demonetization in many districts in Punjab and Haryana this season.
Lack of rains in November and December, this season, had increased the temperature by few degrees from normal. Rains and winter chill is crucial for wheat crop that is sensitive to temperature, say experts.
Farmers who opted for late sowing are in better condition in North as rains are late and temperature has been higher than normal so far. Experts suspect that crop will bear brunt of dry weather in areas that lack irrigation facilities as winters have been dry up to now. The crop is more prone to extreme temperature and dry weather in areas where it was sown early, experts maintain.
“The condition of wheat crop is normal across the districts in Punjab and its better where the sowing was late,” says director agriculture Punjab Jasbir Singh Bains. Sowing was delayed by farmers in states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh opted for late sowing because of demonetization of currency notes. To tackle dry weather famers were advised to irrigate the crop, Bains said. In Punjab, wherever irrigation covers nearly entire wheat growing area, around 35 lakh hectares has been sown beneath wheat this season, he said.
In Haryana the area beneath wheat has increased by 8,000 hectares than normal. The state witnessed extended sowing period as many famers chose to late sown types of wheat this year.
“There is no report of damage to the wheat crop so far from wheat growing states,” says Gyanendra Pratap Singh, director Indian Institute of Wheat & Barley research. He said that the temperature has been few degrees more than normal this season but expected arrival of rains in the current week would be beneficial for the crop.
Wheat crop is also highly susceptible to sudden rise in temperature at the time of maturity. Higher than required temperature lead to shriveling in wheat grain. In areas that lack irrigation facilities the wheat crop can still bear brunt of dry weather and higher temperature, experts maintain.
Published on 5 January, 2017 By Khetigaadi Team for Sonalika
Tractor maker Sonalika ITL today reported a 20.3 % growth in total sales at 5,169 units in December 2016. The corporate had sold-out a complete of 4,297 units within the same month of 2015. "The brand initiatives, methods and after sale services have earned Sonalika ITL a well-deserved success within the winter month sales," Sonalika ITL executive director Raman Mittal said in a statement. The tractor maker has taken steps to extend its visibility and expanded market reach whereas following a holistic approach to serving our customers for a much better experience, he added. The corporate sold 4,080 units in domestic market and 1,089 units in overseas markets throughout the last month.
Published on 17 January, 2017
PUNE: the government has warned sugar industries within the country that it will take all the 'necessary' steps to manage sugar prices and that the industry shouldn't be under the notion that the Govt. cannot do it due to elections in certain states. Representatives of sugar mills have advised millers to avoid getting caught with speculation.
As sugar prices crossed government's comfort level of Rs 40/kg in wholesale, the food ministry has sent to the sugar industry that the government at the highest level is concerned about the sudden increase in sugar prices in last eight to ten days.'
"The government thinks that the recent increase in sugar prices is unnecessary and is more due to speculation," stated a letter issued by ISMA to its member. The Govt. has warned the industry that it will take all possible steps to manage prices and that the industry shouldn't be under the wrong notion that the Govt. cannot take steps to manage prices due to elections in some states.
Following the concerns shown by the Govt., industry body ISMA has cautioned its members to not get caught with the speculation within the market and be 'patient and reasonable'. At the same time, T Sarita Reddy, president, ISMA pointed out that, although sugar prices have gone up, we also have to realize that the price of sugar production has also increased drastically.
However, Reddy said, "If the Govt. decides to import sugar, it can be a disastrous move. It will take the prices crashing down and cane payment to farmers will suffer."
NCDEX has already increased special cash margin on buyers by 20% to 45%. A 5% additional margin already exists taking the total to 50%. Along with an initial margin of 5% total margin to trade is 55%.
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