Livelihoods News

NEW DELHI: India will not need to import pulses in the next two years and the country will be self sufficient to meet domestic demand, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh today said.

The production of pulses stood at record 22.95 million tonnes in the 2016-17 crop year (July-June) as against 16.35 million tonnes in the previous year. The country imported about 5 million tonnes of pulses last fiscal.

New Delhi, Oct 23 More than one lakh youths were employed at job fairs held during a fortnight-long campaign across India by the rural development ministry, it said today.

During the campaign on development and cleanliness of villages, which ended on October 15, "a total of 1.35 lakh youths were placed", the ministry said.

More than 38,000 villages were declared open-defecation free and 5.98 lakh individual-household toilets were built in rural areas, it said in a statement.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed on Sunday that economic reforms would continue and the government would maintain financial stability while initiating these measures.

"After the reforms and hard decisions, the economy of the country is on track and in the right direction... We will take all necessary steps to increase investments and bring in economic development," Modi said, addressing a rally in Dahej. He said several economists have described the fundamentals of the economy as robust.

Recently published National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) data reveals that India is confronted with severe challenges of an inter-generational cycle of under-nutrition. The fact that every second woman in India is anaemic, every third child stunted, every third child underweight and only every second child exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life is a matter of serious concern, calling for urgent action.

Despite the Centre’s claim that this year’s MGNREGA budget is the highest ever, almost 88 per cent of the funds available for the scheme have already been exhausted, just halfway through the financial year. As of next week, only Rs 6,000 crore of the Rs 48,000 crore budget allocation for 2017-18 will be left for implementation of the scheme over the next six months.

While food production is still not insulated from the vagaries of nature - which can vacillate between extremes - ranging from the floods which ravaged parts of Northern India this year, to the extant drought in the South, anthropogenic factors are holding back India’s quest to attain food security.

Amidst the excitement and controversy over demonetisation and GST, and the earlier noise over flagship policies such as Make in India, an urgent issue has slipped through the cracks. That issue is, the extent of poverty in India, and what to do about it. India’s poor performance on the recently published Global Hunger Index has been in the news last week.

New Delhi, Oct 15: The housing and urban affairs ministry plans to allow housing projects in villages close to mega cities, in a bid to give momentum to the Centre's flagship housing programme, a senior official has said.

The housing ministry is in talks with the rural development ministry over the move and a decision on it was expected soon, the official said, on condition of anonymity.

The proposed plan is expected to give a momentum to the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).

India

India is another major market for NPK (nitrogen, phosphate, and potash) fertilizers. The country is partly self-sufficient in nitrogen fertilizers, but it’s primarily dependent on imports for its potash and phosphate needs. India is expected to experience YoY (year-over-year) growth in the consumption of all three NPK fertilizers in 2017.

Demand

Digital technology can play a key role in fighting poverty, which can have disastrous consequences like fomenting armed conflicts and refugee crises, Indian lawmaker Santosh Ahlawat said. A member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, Ahlawat, who is part of the Indian delegation to the current session of the General Assembly, said that despite recent successes in lifting millions across the world from poverty, “large scale chronic poverty continues to be the greatest challenge for humanity”.

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