Agriculture

US extends anti-dumping duty on Indian preserved mushrooms for 5 years

United States (US) has extended the anti-dumping duty on Indian preserved mushrooms for another five years.

This decision to revoke existing anti-dumping duty orders on preserved mushrooms was taken by US International Trade Commission on cheap imports Chile, China, India and Indonesia.

The move will have a negative impact on India’s domestic exporters as US is a major export destination.

What is Preserved mushroom?

  • Preserved mushroom refer to mushrooms prepared or preserved by blanching, cleaning and sometimes slicing and cutting.
  • It is very nutritious, rich in fibre, proteins. It has high content of folic acid which is uncommon in vegetables and also has amino acids which are usually absent in cereals.

India’s Preserved mushroom trade and Production

  • India exported mushrooms worth 16.08 million dollars in year 2014-15. Major export destinations are US, UAE, Israel and Russia.
  • India’s mushroom export to US was record 24.76 million dollars in 2011-12.
  • In 2009-10, India produced 40,600 tonnes of mushroom. China is a leading player in terms of mushrooms production.
  • Major producing states: Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jammu & Kashmir.
  • Solan district of Himachal Pradesh is popular as ‘Mushroom City of India’ because of the vast mushroom farming in the area.

Anti-dumping duties: It is counter import measure under the multilateral World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime to protect domestic producers and market from below-cost/cheap imports. It varies from product to product and from country to country.

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Chengalikodan Banana from Kerala accorded GI status

Chengalikodan banana variety from Thrissur district of Kerala has been accorded Geographical Indication (GI) status by the Chennai based Central GI registry.

This banana variant is uniquely grown in Chowannur, Pazhayannur, Wadakkanchery, Puzhakkal and Ollukkara block panchayats in Thrissur district of Kerala.

Chengalikodan banana is known for its unique shape, size, colour and taste. It was cultivated in erstwhile Chengazhikode from where it got its name as Chengazhikodan banana which was later changed as Chengalikodan banana.

Other GI status products from Kerala

Vazhakkulam pineapple, Central Travancore jaggery, Pokkali rice, Palakkadan matta rice, Wayanadan scented rice varieties Jeerakasala and Gandhakasala are other agricultural products from Kerala already having GI status.

About Geographical Indication (GI) status

  • Geographical Indication is an insignia on products having a unique geographical origin and evolution over centuries. These products have special quality or reputation attributable to its geographical origin.
  • In India, GI registration is governed by the Geographical Indications of goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
  • Advantages: GI status confers legal protection to these products and prevents unauthorised use of it by others. It promotes economic prosperity of producers of goods and also helps consumers get quality products of desired traits.
  • Darjeeling tea was the first agricultural product in India to be accorded with GI tag. Presently, there are nearly 200 unique products registered as GIs in India.

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Food Grain Production declined by 4.66 per cent to 252.68 million tonnes

As per the fourth advance estimate released by Agriculture Ministry on 17 August, the estimated foodgrain production have declined by 4.66 per cent to 252.68 million tonnes (MT) in 2014-15 crop year due to poor monsoon and unseasonal rains.

The estimate includes Wheat, rice, coarse cereals and pulses in the foodgrain basket.

Key Facts for Foodgrain Production 2014-15:

  • The estimated foodgrain production for 2014-15 has lower by 12.36 MT to 252.68 MT  as against record production of 265.04 MT achieved in 2013-14.
  • Rice output has declined to 104.80 MT as against the record output of 106.65 MT in the previous year.
  • Wheat production has fallen to 88.94 MT as against a record 95.85 MT achieved in the previous year.
  • Coarse cereals output have declined to 41.75 MT as against 43.29 MT in the previous year.
  • Pulses and oilseeds output have dropped to 17.20 MT and 26.68 MT respectively as against 19.25 MT and 32.74 MT achieved in the previous year.
  • Cotton output has also declined marginally to 35.48 million bales (of 170 kgs each) from 35.80 million bales in the previous year.
  • Jute output too fell to 11.45 million bales (of 180 kg each) from 11.69 million bales in the period under the review.
  • Sugarcane output is estimated to have risen to 359.33 MT as against 352.21 MT in the said period last year.

Reason for declined production:

The reason for declined production is due to 12 per cent deficit monsoon in 2014-15 kharif season and unseasonal rains/hailstorms during February-March 2015 that affected rabi season production.

Note: The government releases four advance estimates followed by a final estimate of foodgrain production for each financial year.

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