Agri Stimulus Newsletter December 2021

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Leading private and public sector entities partners for Research in Agro Chemical & Promote Use of Drones: Renowned agro-chemical frim Dhanuka Agritech has signed MoU with G.B. Pant University to jointly conduct research in crop protection chemicals and promote use modern agriculture technologies like drone usage, artificial intelligence (AI), and precision agriculture.
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Pesticide industry's demands rejected by Parliamentary Standing Committee: Parliamentary panel rejects the demands of the pesticide industry on panel provision, data protection, and price control and has suggested several measures to strengthen the pesticide management bill, 2020 further. The panel has also asked the government to provide a system of checks and balances against possible misuse of power by pesticide inspectors.
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Centre to Promote Organic products and chemical free land by setting up designated labs: The central government aims to standardize and promote the supply of organic products to international markets by setting up a network of standardized laboratories in the country which will certify organic products as well as fertilizer and pesticide free land. The certification will furtherl allow farmers to fetch high remuneration for their produce.
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NITI Aayog signs an agreement with UN World Food Programme to diversify food basket: The deal aims at diversifying food basket of India under its free food distribution programme with primary focus on coarse grains and millets. Both entities plans to work in four phases including the development of a best practice compendium around millet mainstreaming and a scale-up strategy in the first phase.
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“Invasive Threat” to Chilli production: Crops severely infected by thirps in Telangana and AP: A new invasive species spreading across the state destroying the crop. The infection is affecting the plants at the flowering stage and stunting the growth of fruits. The damage is so extensive that farmers are ploughing fields before harvest phase. Farmers are being advised to implement integrated pest management practices like spraying neem oil and using bio-pesticides as an immediate remedy, and to install sticky-blue traps in the field to attract and trap the Thrips. The invasion is expected to inflate chilli prices by 30% or more. No crop rotation and indiscriminate use of pesticides and a cocktail of pesticides are considered primary reason for this scale of invasion.
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Plea for introduction of GM oilseed crops by apex edible oil body: The solvent and extractors association of India (SEA), the apex body of edible oil manufactures, importers and processors in the country, has requested the Centre for introduction of genetically modified oilseed crops in the country. Technology has the power to improve yields and farmer gains, increasing MSP alone will not help much. SEA is of the opinion that without better technology India will not be able to be self-reliant in oilseeds ever. Further SEA has also asked for diversion of area under wheat cultivation in northern India for the cultivation of mustard. This, would help in replenishing the water table and also help in the diversification of crops in the states of Punjab and Haryana.
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