Food Prices

  • Farm reform

    Farm reform

    Open markets, land on lease

  • Helping hand

    The food processing industry is growing faster than <font class="UCASE">it</font> and pharmaceuticals.One of the implications of this growth is that industry is buying raw materials on a large scale affecting both supply of food, which is contracting, and prices, which are rising.

  • State of supply

    Data compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) show that in 2004, though production of most cereals decreased as compared to 1990, exports increased. Similarly, the production of pulses and groundnut decreased but exports increased. In both cases, domestic consumption too decreased. In the case of wheat, however, all three indicators showed a rise.<br>

  • Futures trading in rice, wheat

    Futures trading in rice, wheat

    It could help the Indian farmer manage risks better. If it works

  • Agriculture: Don't fix is the government's fix

    It can be said that Union budget, 2007, is high on symbolism and intent. Most people in and close to power acknowledge that something is spoiling booming India s party price rise, agricultural

  • Pricing food in poor India

    The government is being severely criticised for the wheat it is now planning to import. Rightly so. India s season for wheat ended a few months ago. When the crop was being harvested the

  • Food is a great asset minus fund managers

    Investors can't afford to ignore food. As a hedge against a possible US recession, and direct exposure to rising urbanisation and wealth in Asia, it's an asset class that's tailor-made for the present times. As Jim Rogers of New York-based investment firm Rogers Holdings puts it, "If you're in agriculture, you don't know that there is a recession, you don't care.'' That may be as true for investors in agricultural commodities as it is for farmers, provided the former don't rely on the expertise of fund managers to beat the futures markets.

  • Centre extends validity of ECA with states for six more months

    With the Rabi season entering its last phase, the Centre on Thursday decided to extend the validity of power it had granted to state governments under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 for six more months to enable them to take action against hoarding of wheat and pulses by private traders. At the end of the season, the Government will begin its wheat procurement operations. The decision, taken during a meeting of the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, comes under the backdrop of firming up of domestic prices of pulses and higher global prices of wheat, which the Government has found difficult to import. Following the recent fuel price hike, the decision also aims to keep tab on inflationary pressure by controlling hoarding of wheat and pulses by the private traders. Under the Act, the state governments can register cases against persons engaged in hoarding of agricultural commodities under which the offenders can be imprisoned for a period of up to six months. The Centre had first issued the notification to this effect on August 29, 2006 for a period of six months, which it had continued extending under the worries of inflation that had even crossed the 6-per cent mark last year. The Cabinet also gave approval to a bilateral agreement between India and the Russian Federation on cooperation to combat illicit trafficking in narcotics, psychotropic substance and their precursors. In another decision, the Cabinet approved an agreement between India and Luxemburg that will help both countries in avoiding double taxation and fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and capital.

  • Tikait-led farmers' team meets Pawar

    Addressing concerns: Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Mahendra Singh Tikait addressing a mahapanchayat of farmers at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Wednesday. Bharat Kisan Union leader Mahendra Singh Tikait on Wednesday led a high-power delegation of farmers' representatives from various States to meet Union Agriculture and Food Minister Sharad Pawar. The delegation sought relief from debts for farmers and higher minimum support price for wheat and paddy. "If the government is giving a tax holiday to Special Economic Zones, then why should there not be debt relief for farmers who are responsible for the food security of the country?' the delegation asked the Minister. Separately, an all-party delegation from Karnataka comprising, among others, Union Ministers K.H. Muniyappa, M.V. Rajashekaran, Oscar Fernandes, Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha K. Rahman Khan and the former Minister, Ananth Kumar, met Mr. Pawar. They sought payment of sugarcane arrears to farmers and a higher statutory minimum price for sugarcane. Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Tikait said they had asked for a loan waiver, higher remunerative prices and MSP for commodities. "The Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices must take into account the lease amount/cost of farm land farmers own and their families' labour input while computing MSP. It should include 50 per cent profit so that the farmers have some income in hand.' Mr. Tikait said the delegation

  • Wheat farming expands in Faridpur

    FARMERS in Faridpur are getting interested in wheat cultivation due to its increasing demand, high price and favourable weather. The land for wheat farming in the district has been increased significantly over the past few years. According to the Department of Agricultural Extension in Faridpur, 25,545 hectares of land have been brought under wheat cultivation this season while the figure was 20,310 hectares in the previous year. The wheat production might be about 53 thousand tonnes this season which was about 34 thousand tonnes in the previous season. In 1999-2000 season, 12,904 hectares of land were brought under wheat cultivation in the district and the production was 24,634 tonnes, according to the regional statistical office. DAE officials said in the current season cold weather and rain made a good contribution to the expected production which could increase by 5 to 10 per cent. The officials said some 10 years back the cultivation of wheat was not on a large scale in the district. In the winter, farmers used to remain satisfied with vegetables' cultivation as well as other rabi crops. A vast tract of land remained fallow. In course of time, the scenario has been changed. Dr Sirajul Islam, scientific officer of On Firm Research Division of the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute in Faridpur, said in the last few years the land under wheat cultivation had got almost double. He attributed the increase of land to rising demand of flour in the domestic market. He also added that in the past years agriculture researchers had invented some high yielding varieties of wheat, which had become very popular to the farmers. The varieties are Sonali, Akbori, Bolaka, Waghrany, Protiva, Sourav, Shotabdi, Behari Kalyan etc. Old local varieties like Sona Digha, Kanchon, Elyas etc can no longer attract farmers with their low productivity, Dr Sirajul Islam said. Oasiul Islam, deputy director of the Faridpur DAE, said his department had tried heart and soul to ensure proper supply of fertiliser, seeds and technological support. Abdul Kuddus, a farmer of village Parchar at Machchar union in the district headquarters, said he was expecting a good harvest of wheat in the current season because of favourable weather. He also added that farmers in the area got sufficient quantity of fertiliser. The farmers said they had taken to wheat farming due to its growing demand and increasing price in the market. Besides, cultivation of wheat is very easy in comparison with many seasonal crops. In the market wheat is now selling at Tk 1,100 to 1,200 per mound which was only Tk 700 to 800 in the previous year.

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