Livelihoods News

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 December 2017 approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Indian and Columbia for cooperation in the field of agriculture and fisheries.

Following are some of the key areas of cooperation:

•        Innovating agriculture practices/approaches.

•        New agricultural mechanizations.

Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule on Thursday said the government would facilitate solar energy to five lakh farmers in the next two years. While admitting that 12- hour power supply during the daytime was not possible through thermal energy, he said that solar was the credible alternative. “The government would provide 2.18 lakh new electricity connections for operating agriculture pumps to farmers. And also provide single transformer to farmers. Or it can be shared by two farmers to ensure better maintenance.”

More than 3.67 million tons of agricultural products worth $3.85 billion were exported from Iran during the eight months to Nov. 21, registering a 3.5% decrease in weight and more than 9% increase in value compared with the corresponding period of last year, the head of Agriculture Commission of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture said.

Development projects worth more than Rs 40,000 crore, including one related to the new capital city, are in a limbo as the Andhra Pradesh government is caught in a fix over the utilisation of funds under the Externally-Aided Projects (EAPs).

Chief minister Chandrababu Naidu himself sounded sceptical about the “benefits” of the EAPs but it was a political decision which he now cannot shy away from.

NEW DELHI: Centre has recently hiked the price of certain minor forest produce (MFP) like lac, tamarind, sal leaves and others but the raise may not be enough to provide "fair returns" to forest dwellers who gather this produce. Odisha based Vasundhara, an NGO working on issues related to forest rights has conducted an analysis of the new MSPafter the ministry of tribal affairs sent the revised rates to state governments last month.

The current government is highlighting smart villages as one of its objectives. Smart villages are possible only through smart planning. Keeping this, the Government of India under the Ministry of Panchayat Raj guiding villages to develop their own Gram Panchayat Development Plans (GPDP: village plans) since 2015.

NEW DELHI: Agriculture experts today made a case for providing income security to farmers at pre-Budget consultations with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Agriculture provides employment to 48.9 per cent of the total work force in India although their contribution to the GDP is less than 20 per cent.

According to Consortium of Indian Farmers Association (CIFA) Secretary General B Dasaratha Rami Reddy, there is a need for Income Security Act for farmers, tenant farmers and farm labourers.

The rains are less reliable. Sudden heat waves create challenging conditions for crops. Poor harvests result not only in debt, but also in malnutrition for smallholder farmers. Farming in India is not an attractive career option.

Many Indian farmers are turning their backs on the life altogether. The pull of the city, with the promise of better work and a better income, is drawing huge numbers of rural Indians away from the land.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is likely to present first post-GST and the current government’s last full Budget on February 1 next year.

The Budget session may begin on January 30 with President Ram Nath Kovind addressing the Joint Session of both the Houses of Parliament, a government official said.

Economic Survey

The government has approved the launch of the National Nutrition Mission (NNM) to tackle the problems of under-nutrition, low birth weight and stunting, with a budget of Rs 9,046 crore for a period of three years. 
The mission, commencing 2017-18, has a target to reduce under-nutrition and low birth weight by 2 per cent each year. 
It will strive to achieve reduction in stunting from 38.4 per cent as per the National Family Health Survey-4 to 25 per cent by 2022.