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ICAR introduces 'One Scientist One Product' for research revolution

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has unveiled a new target-oriented research plan called "One Scientist One Product" to be implemented over the next five years, with close monitoring from the top to ensure maximum productivity. This initiative aims to prevent duplication of efforts and drive innovation in the agricultural sector. Additionally, ICAR is set to release 100 new seed varieties across various crops as part of the government's 100-day plan. Director-General Himanshu Pathak highlighted that all 5,521 scientists under ICAR have been assigned specific targets to develop products, whether it be seed varieties, technologies, research papers, or concepts. The organization is also aiming to increase the area under climate-resilient seeds for paddy cultivation to combat challenges posed by climate change. Despite being the world's second-largest rice producer, India has restricted rice exports to stabilize domestic prices, with a focus on promoting climate-resilient seeds in agriculture. sources

Published:
Jul 15 2024, 7 pm IST

Sarees protect chilli nurseries from climate and animals

In a unique agricultural practice in the NTR district near Vatsavai, farmers are using colourful sarees to cover chilli nurseries and protect delicate seeds from the elements. This innovative method not only helps maintain moisture levels but also safeguards the seeds from potential damage caused by sudden rains or wild animal attacks, such as those by wild boars. The use of sarees has proven to be effective in ensuring the successful growth of chilli seedlings, with farmers pooling their resources to collectively raise nurseries on rented land. Despite challenges like black thrips affecting production, Telangana remains a key player in the chilli industry, ranking second in area and production, and first in productivity. sources

Published:
Jul 15 2024, 7 pm IST

Buhler to double manufacturing capacity in India in 5 years

Swiss agri and food processing equipment maker Buhler India is set to invest close to ₹200 crore in expanding its manufacturing capacity over the next five years, with a focus on doubling exports to markets in Africa, West Asia, and beyond. Managing Director Prashant Gokhale revealed the company's plans to meet the growing demand in India for equipment processing agri-commodities like rice, wheat, and pulses, as well as food products such as biscuits and chocolates. Buhler India's Bengaluru facility, the fourth largest in the company, currently exports majority of its products to Africa and West Asia, with specific equipment like coffee roasters reaching global markets. The company's India business, valued at ₹700-750 crore, is growing at an average of 10% annually, driven by factors like urbanization and demand for processed foods. Additionally, Buhler India operates a global R&D unit in Bengaluru, focusing on developing innovative solutions for both Indian and global markets, while also managing IT services for the group. sources

Published:
Jul 15 2024, 7 pm IST

India's goods exports increase to $35.3 billion in June

India's goods exports saw a modest increase in June, rising by 2.6 per cent to $35.3 billion, driven by sectors like engineering goods, electronics, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. However, imports surged by a higher 4.9 per cent to $56.18 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $20.98 billion. This deficit was slightly higher than the previous year but lower than the previous month. In the April-June period, exports rose by 5.84 per cent to $109.96 billion, while imports grew by 7.6 per cent to $172.23 billion, widening the trade deficit to $62.26 billion. Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal expressed optimism about crossing $800 billion in total exports for the fiscal year, focusing on key sectors and countries to boost exports. The top five export destinations in June included the US, the UAE, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and Tanzania. sources

Published:
Jul 15 2024, 7 pm IST

India's emissions in 2023 lower due to increased RE

India has made significant strides in reducing its carbon emissions from electricity generation, emitting 1,404 million tonnes of CO2 in 2023, behind China and the US. The country's focus on solar and wind power has helped decrease its carbon emission intensity, despite a rise in electricity demand. The share of coal generation has increased, but the addition of wind and solar power has led to a slight decline in emissions intensity. India's per capita emissions from the power sector are among the lowest in the G20, with coal still dominating the electricity mix. Solar generation has seen a substantial increase, making India the third-largest solar power generator globally. However, the country still relies heavily on fossil fuels for electricity generation, with clean energy making up 22% of the mix. sources

Published:
Jul 15 2024, 6 pm IST

Telangana approves ₹35,000 crore farm loan waiver scheme

The Telangana Government has unveiled a farm loan waiver scheme to assist struggling farmers, with loans up to Rs 2 lakh set to be forgiven. Families with outstanding loan amounts exceeding this limit must settle the excess to qualify for the benefit, with only one loan per family eligible for waiver. The scheme, estimated to cost between Rs 31,000-35,000 crore, will cover loans taken between December 12, 2018, and December 9, 2023. Collaboration with the National Informatics Centre and the use of PDS data will aid in beneficiary identification and fund disbursement. While the initiative aims to ease financial pressures on farmers, concerns have been raised about its inclusivity and impact on the state's finances. The government plans to complete the waiver process before August, utilizing funds from the upcoming State Budget and a dedicated corporation for timely disbursals. sources

Published:
Jul 15 2024, 5 pm IST

TN startup introduces soil-less media to boost seedling growth

FARMAI India, a start-up based in Tamil Nadu, has developed a cutting-edge soil-less media to enhance crop establishment in the crucial initial 20 days, aiming to boost yields and disease resistance while reducing input costs and addressing labor shortages in agriculture. The media, sold under the "vgro" brand, facilitates the cultivation of various crops like paddy, sugarcane, vegetables, and ornamental plants. The company not only provides the media but also offers ongoing advisory services until harvest through its arm FX. By training micro-entrepreneurs in villages to handle operations, FARMAI aims to promote mechanization and improve farmers' profitability. With a focus on sustainability and efficiency, the company has successfully assisted thousands of farmers across several states, demonstrating a retention rate of 95%. sources

Published:
Jul 15 2024, 5 pm IST

Rajaram Scholarship launched at DialogueNEXT conference

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) recently honored Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram, a renowned wheat breeder and World Food Prize Laureate, by unveiling his bust at the DialogueNEXT conference in Mexico. This event also marked the launch of the 'Rajaram-DCM Shriram Scholarship', aimed at nurturing the next generation of agricultural scientists in line with Rajaram's legacy. The scholarship, a collaboration between CIMMYT and DCM Shriram Ltd, reflects their shared goal of enhancing wheat productivity and fostering innovation in agricultural sciences. Sanjay Chhabra, Executive Director of DCM Shriram, expressed pride in their partnership with CIMMYT and Dr. Rajaram, highlighting the impact of the Wheat Seed Development Programme in delivering superior wheat varieties to Indian farmers. Anand Shriram, Senior Vice President, emphasized the importance of the scholarship in supporting young scientists and inspiring future innovation in crop improvement. sources

Published:
Jul 15 2024, 5 pm IST

Tea stocks rise due to higher prices, lower production

Tea manufacturing companies in India are experiencing a surge in stock prices due to rising brew prices nationwide, with shares of major South India-based companies like Harrisons Malayalam and Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation on the rise. The market is responding to expectations of strong performance from tea producers amidst crop shortages in both North and South India. Akshay Agarwal of Acumen Capital Services highlights the impact of erratic rainfall in North India on tea production, leading to price hikes. While the current high tea prices are beneficial for companies like Harrisons Malayalam and United Nilgiri, Agarwal warns that this trend may be temporary and could reverse once production normalizes. The increase in stock prices is not limited to tea companies, as the P/E ratio of quality stocks has also surged, driven by retail investors, operators, and institutions. sources

Published:
Jul 15 2024, 4 pm IST

Deloitte India seeks 2-year extension on tax for manufacturers

In a bid to boost foreign direct investment (FDI) in India, the Centre is urged to extend the concessional corporate tax rate of 15 per cent for new manufacturing companies by two years in the upcoming Budget. Introduced in 2019 for newly-established domestic manufacturing companies, this tax benefit has been instrumental in attracting investments, leading to a significant increase in FDI in the Indian manufacturing sector. Rohinton Sidhwa, Partner at Deloitte India, emphasized the positive impact of this measure, noting a 76 per cent jump in FDI from ₹89,766 crore in FY 2020-21 to ₹1,58,332 crore in FY 2021-22. Sidhwa suggested that extending the sunset clause of this regime for an additional two years from April 1, 2024, will further enhance India's economic growth and attractiveness to investors. Additionally, he recommended the Budget to introduce comprehensive guidelines for corporate restructuring to streamline administrative processes and minimize litigation for companies facing challenges during restructuring. sources

Published:
Jul 15 2024, 4 pm IST