Agriculture

Spices Board launches Subsidy Scheme to boost production and export

Spices Board of India has launched subsidy scheme in a bit to promote spice cultivation in India by offering subsidies and sensitise to farmers.

Under this scheme

Financial assistance: To farmers cultivating and planting various spices will be provided. The assistance will be provided for irrigation, mechanisation, land development, soil conservation, replanting and organic farming of various spices. Under this scheme financial aid will be also given to purchase farming equipment and irrigation tools.

Cardamom cultivators: Small cultivators from Kerala, Tamil Nadu will be provided aid 70,000 rupees per hectare for replanting. While farmers from Karnataka will get up to 50,000 rupees a hectare. The cultivators will also be given aid for planting and material production.

Irrigation and land development: For small scale cardamom farmers from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka financial assistance up to 25 per cent of actual cost for acquiring irrigation sprinkler sets, pump sets, equipment for gravity-fed irrigation system will be provided. While, up to 50 per cent actual cost will be provided for water storage structure and upto 25 per cent for soil conservation.

Farmers will be also given a subsidy of 1 lakh rupees for purchasing improved cardamom curing devices and 50 per cent subsidy for bee-keeping boxes and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) kits.

Under the Board’s farm mechanisation programme, small cardamom growers in these 3 states will be provided with 50 per cent subsidy for purchasing equipment for cardamom plant protection and grading, washing and polishing.

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Union Agriculture Ministry launches PGS-India, Soil Health Card and FQCS Web Portals

Union Agriculture Ministry has launched 3 agricultural-portals namely Soil Health Card (SHC) portal, Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) and Fertiliser Quality Control System portal (FQCS).

These portals were launched as part of first phase which is only in English. While in later phase they will be made available in regional languages.

Objective: These portals seek to make the process of fertilisers’ quality checking, organic farming certification and issuance of soil health cards more transparent and accountable.

Soil Health Card (SHC) portal

  • soilhealth.dac.gov.in is developed for recording test results of soil samples and generation of SHC along with registration of soil samples. It will provide crop wise fertiliser recommendations to farmers.

Participatory Guarantee System (PGS)

  • pgsindia-ncof.gov.in is web based platform to simplify the process of certifying organic products in accordance with the standards laid down for organic products for export purpose. Thus it seeks to curb third party certification.
  • Implemented: by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation under the aegis of Union Ministry of Agriculture.

Fertilizer Quality Control System (FQCS)

  • fqcs.dac.gov.in is a web-based and configurable workflow platform for processing of sample collection, testing and generation of analysis reports. It is developed by National Information Centre.

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NABARD to provide Rs 30,000 crore credit to farmers for irrigation

State-run National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has set a target of providing 30,000 crore rupees as credit to farmers for irrigational purpose.

It was announced by Bank’s Chairman and Managing Director Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala in Mumbai on the occasion of 34th Foundation Day of NABARD.

This credit will be provided over the next three years i.e. till 2018 and for this NABARD already has sanctioned 1,000 crore rupees.

This funding will be in addition to the government’s 50,000 crore rupees of loans to farmers over the next five years (till 2020) under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY).

Besides, it was also announced that NABARD has been accredited as the national implementation agency for climate change at the rural level by the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

It should be noted that, NABARD is only the banking entity from South Asia to be shortlisted for the purpose by GEF. The World Bank and Asian Development Bank among others are the 20 such entities which have already been shortlisted.

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