Livelihoods News

Zero-budget farming is being promoted in several areas as a low-cost, natural alternative to prevalent practices of heavy use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

The government has asked the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), India’s top farm research institution, to conduct a study on the efficacy zero budget farming (ZBF) results before its nationwide rollout. NITI Aayog member and agricultural economics and policy expert Ramesh Chand told ET reports were expected in two to three months.

The Union government on Wednesday signed off on several new initiatives to create the next category of beneficiaries modelled after its electorally favourable Ujjwala scheme.

The cabinet gave its approval to the construction and improvement of 125,000km of rural roads with an investment of over ₹80,000 crore that will connect villages with schools, colleges, agricultural markets and hospitals.

To probe the allegations of irregularities in utilisation of MGNREGA funds in various development works in this Assembly constituency during the last one year, a Central team, led by Dharmvir Jha, Director, MGNREGA, reached here this evening.

India stands at an interesting juncture today. With a stable government in place, a relatively fast-growing economy and a demographic dividend to potentially benefit from over the next several years, the tailwinds aiding the economy are many. Having said this, global growth uncertainty, escalating trade wars, delayed monsoons and growth related concerns in critical sectors are some of the headwinds that can create challenges for the economy.

Area sown under kharif crops was down by 27 per cent at 234.33 lakh hectare amid deficient monsoon rainfall last month, according to the latest government data.

However, the sowing operation is expected to pick-up in the coming days as the Indian Metereological Department (IMD) has projected good rains in July and August. Besides, the government has announced significant hike in the minimum support price of 14 notified kharif crops.

The paradox in India's farm sector is noticeable only when one reads through the following two statements carefully:

a. Over 50 percent of Indians depend on Agriculture for their livelihood

India’s first female finance minister in almost five decades, Nirmala Sitharaman, has held a wide range of jobs: She rode aboard a fighter jet as defence minister. As head of the trade department she grappled with falling exports. She’s been a national spokeswoman for her party, and in younger days worked in London as a home decor saleswoman.

Union Minister for Rural Development Narinder Singh Tomar has said that the government has no proposal to increase the amount provided under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, in reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha on Friday. He said the government plans to construct 60 lakh such houses in the current year and another 70 lakh and 65 lakh houses in 2020-21 and 2021-22 respectively. Here's what he told the Upper House:

The central government has targeted spending Rs 25 lakh crore on the rural and farm economy over the next five years, which will reflect in allocations to be made in these sectors in the annual Budget on July 5, an official said, requesting anonymity.

Ahead of the Budget’s preparation, departments and ministries had been asked to present monthly, yearly and full five-year targets, following a similar exercise to draw up the agenda for the first 100 days of the new government, a second official said.

New Delhi: Since Monday, nearly two-thirds of the country has been under a spell of a heatwave and India Meteorological Department (IMD) expects it to be the longest ever.

Churu in Rajasthan became the hottest place on Earth when it touched 50.8 degrees on Monday. Severe heatwave has also gripped western, central and northern parts of the country. Thus, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh will continue to face the heat until this week.

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