Agriculture Current Affairs

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Union Cabinet apporves agreement between India and Poland for cooperation in agriculture

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of an Agreement between India and Poland on cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.

Decision in this regard was taken by the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. 

Key Facts
  • The agreement covers various activities in the field of agriculture and allied sector including exchange of information on the current situation in agriculture.
  • It also includes exchange of information on the phytosanitary conditions of crops, threats posed by harmful organisms and animal infectious diseases.
  • It also covers participation in fairs, exhibitions, seminars and conferences related to agriculture and agri-food processing.
  • It also includes undertaking and developing joint economic initiatives including the support or agrifood trade between the states of the Contracting Parties.
  • The Agreement provides for constitution of a Joint Working Group (JWG) comprising of representatives of both countries.
  • The JWG will prepare plans of cooperation and also provide solutions to the problems arising during the implementation of the Agreement.

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Union Cabinet approves establishment of Food Legumes Research Platform at Amlaha

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved establishment of Food Legumes Research Platform (FLRP) at Amlaha in Sehore, Madhya Pradesh with Satellite Hubs in West Bengal and Rajasthan.

Cabinet approval confers FLRP an international status as contemplated in Clause 3 of the United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act, 1947. It authorizes the Department of Agricultural Research (DARE) on behalf of Union Government in all matters regarding establishment of the Platform.

Key Facts
  • The FLRP will be established by International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) for meeting the emerging food security challenges.
  • Under it, ICARDA will carry out research through a multi-disciplinary team of scientists for enhancing productivity of crops range-land and livestock.
  • It will enable India to harness the best of international science in meeting the emerging food security challenges. It will help India to rapidly and effectively absorb research output in the agriculture.
  • It will be a major international research & development (R&D) institution that will make India even bigger centre for agricultural research in the world. This in turn will attract further R&D investment in the country.
  • The research output through this centre will benefit farmers (big, small or marginal) of all regions and technologies developed will be available for all farmers in equitable and inclusive manner.
  • This platform will contribute significantly towards reducing poverty, improving food security, improving nutrition and health, and sustaining the natural resource base.

About International Centre for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)

  • ICARDA is a non-profit agricultural research for development institute that aims to improve the livelihoods of the resource-poor across the world’s dry areas. It was established in 1977.
  • Its research activities include the development of new crop varieties, conservation agriculture, water harvesting, diversification of production systems, integrated crop/livestock production systems, and empower rural women.
  • ICARDA has a good track record of innovation, including in climate resilient technologies such as suitable food legume varieties for dry-land production systems.

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Union Commerce Ministry approves Revenue Insurance Scheme for Plantation Crops  

The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry has launched pilot Revenue Insurance Scheme for Plantation Crops (RISPC) for protecting the growers from the risks such as pest attacks, yield loss and income decline caused by fall in prices.

It was announced by Union Minister of State (MoS) Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

About Revenue Insurance Scheme for Plantation Crops (RISPC)

  • RISPC announced in September 2016 is improved form of the Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) Scheme, 2003 which was closed 2013.
  • It was launched for protecting growers of plantation crops from twin risks of yield loss due to pest attacks, adverse weather parameters etc. and income loss caused by fall in domestic and international prices.
  • It shall be covering tea, coffee, rubber, cardamom and tobacco plantations and shall be implemented by the commodity boards.
  • It will be implemented on a pilot basis for two years i.e. till 2018 in eight districts in West Bengal, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Karnataka, Sikkim and Tamil Nadu.
  • On the basis of performance of the scheme in pilot project, it will be considered for extension to other districts.

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