Moscow, June 8 : Afghanistan, the world's No. 1 producer of opium, will have to decide on its own how to combat drug trafficking after the US military pulls out next year, a top US official has said.
"There are number of options on the table, but the decisions will be made by the Afghan people and the government of Afghanistan as to what the best approach is," Michele Leonhart, head of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), said in Moscow.
Leonhart's Russian counterpart agreed but said further international involvement would also be needed.
The Authorities in South Korea have said that they have not detected genetically modified wheat during their initial tests of the wheat imported from Oregon State in the US.
Imports of US wheat were concerned after reports emerged that a rogue strain of the crop was detected in the US. Millers in South Korea had also suspended imports of wheat from the US until government tests on shipments from around the United States was released. The government report on the matter is expected to be released on Wednesday.
Chandigarh, June 3 : Contrary to expectations of a bumper wheat arrival of nearly 90 lakh tonnes, Haryana has seen wheat arrival of only 58.82 lakh tonnes this year, food and supplies officials said Monday.
"Over 58.82 lakh tonnes of wheat has arrived so far in Haryana mandis during the current procurement season. Out of it, over 58.73 lakh tonnes of wheat has been procured by government agencies and 9,232 tonnes has been purchased by private millers and traders," a spokesman of the food and supplies department said.
This is much lower than the arrival of 83.25 lakh tonnes of wheat in the season last year.
Mumbai, May 30 : Bollywood superstar Salman Khan and Suzuki Motors have joined hands to provide relief to the drought-hit farmers in Maharashtra.
Khan's NGO, Being Human Foundation, and Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt. Ltd, have donated 100 good quality water tanks each with a storage capacity of 2,000 litres to drought-hit people in Beed, Osmanabad, Jalna, Aurangabad and Nanded in the past few days.
The water tanks have been procured from Nagpur and are being routed through the respective district collectors to ensure a direct impact at the grassroots levels.
Shimla, May 25 : To reduce the use of fertilizers, Himachal Pradesh is going to check samples of soil under the Soil Health Programme, an official said here Saturday.
The government has asked the farmers to get soil from their fields tested free of cost, agriculture director J. C. Rana said.
He said that the department has set a target of checking 63,750 samples of soil during the current kharif season.
The report of the test samples would be recorded in the soil health cards of the farmers so that they could make judicious use of fertilisers.
Soon after taking charge as the minister of State for Agriculture, Krishna Byre Gowda said on Thursday that the government will work to streamline the existing schemes of the Agriculture Department to ensure their effective implementation so that the benefits reach the farmers.
Chandigarh, May 18 : What was supposed to be a bumper crop with a record target for wheat procurement has turned out to be a dampener with much lower quantities of wheat arriving in grain markets across Punjab and Haryana - the country's breadbasket.
Punjab has barely managed to procure 11 million tonnes of wheat while Haryana has seen just over 5.86 million tonnes arriving this season.
"Contrary to expectations of a bumper crop and record procurement, the actual arrival and procurement of wheat is much less in both states," a senior agriculture officer in Punjab told IANS.
Dairy farmers in the US are facing increasingly difficult business conditions and finding it hard to sustain operations due to rising costs and falling prices.
The business condition for dairy farmers in South Dakota have become very difficult following the fall in prices of milk during the recession of 2008-2009 at a time when the costs for livestock feed increased in the country. This has made it difficult for the firmest to sustain operations and they have been losing earnings.
The state-owned Food Corporation of India (FCI) wasted more than Rs 370 crore over a period of six years by not utilizing available storage space in Punjab and Haryana, the Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG) said.
FCI is the government's nodal agency for procurement, storage as well as distribution of food grains in the country.
According to the latest estimates, the sugar factories in the country have to pay a sum of Rs 12,683 crore to farmers for sugar cane supplies for the 2012-13 crushing season.
The data also shows that the total payable amount is a whooping Rs. 48,585 crore in the country. Sugar firms have said that the poor international trends and lower demand from the future commodities market have delayed payments to the farmers. Lower demand has affected the ability of the sugar producers to pay the farmers in the country.
Kolkata, May 3 : Tea production in Assam's Barak valley recorded a sharp decline during the months of March and April compared to same period last year mainly because of the drought conditions prevailing in the area, an official statement said.
Production of the brew in the valley has seen a 67 percent decline for the period up to April 24 from 6.49 million kgs in 2012 to 2.16 million kgs this year, a Tea Board release said here Friday.
Tea production in Barak Valley starts in the middle of March and the tea is processed in April. Tea production during the month of April is critical.
As part of its effort to rein in its fiscal deficit, the government on Wednesday decided to cut in subsidy on potash and phosphate-based fertilisers for the current fiscal year.
The government slashed subsidies for diammonium phosphate (DAP) and muriate of potash (MoP) by 14 per cent and 21.5 per cent to Rs 12,350 and Rs 11,300 per tonne for the FY2013-14.
Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu may face another draught like situation as monsoon rains in these southern states of India are expected to arrive late or at less than the normal level.
Food Minister K V Thomas also admitted that weather assessments hinted less than the normal monsoon rains for Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Speaking to reporters, Thomas said, "Monsoon will be quite satisfactory in India except the southern tip - Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Monsoon rains in these southern states may be delayed or could be less than the normal level."
The state government of Punjab has finally decided to provide farmers with an option to sell their produce straight to the parties, including the Food Corporation of India
(FCI), a move that will put an end to longstanding "arhtiya raj" in Punjab.
So far, farmers in the state have to sell their produce through Arthiyas (commission agents) only because they have no option to sell their produce directly to FCI or any other purchasing party.
Wheat procurement by Punjab government agencies and private millers topped 3.65 lakh tonnes till Monday evening, according to the food & civil supplies department figures.
While government agencies mopped up 3.61 lakh tones of wheat, private traders procured 4,070 tonnes.
In order to make the largest ever procurement operation trouble-free, the state government has deputed eight secretary-level officers to monitor the process at more than 1,750 procurement centres.
According to a new report released by the United Nation, the total opium poppy cultivation has increased for the third year in the war ravaged nation of Afghanistan.
The multinational agency said that it expects the opium poppy cultivation to touch its record high this year. The report noted that the cultivation has been rising particularly in the southern part of the country, which is dotted by Taliban hardliners and in areas where the US-led coalition troops have withdrawn or are in the process of withdrawing.
Chandigarh, April 13 : Haryana has set a target of producing 90 lakh tonnes of wheat this season, a Food Corporation of India (FCI) official said here Saturday.
Sudhir Garg, FCI northern region executive director, said that Haryana was likely to export 65 lakh tonnes of wheat to other states and abroad this year compared to only 30 lakh tonnes last year.
Poor farm technology and poor links between farmers and food processing industry is responsible for persistent food inflation in India, according to a fresh report by the CII and McKinsey & Co.
The report, published on Friday, revealed farmers, mainly producers of food products, are currently achieving less than 60 per cent of the full potential yield.
The report blamed use of poor farm technology along with farmers' week links between with food processing industry for the problem.
The government of Punjab apparently hasn't learnt any lesson from the past as the state still suffers a huge shortage of space for storing grains.
Punjab's grains procurement centres are expected to receive nearly 150 lakh tones of wheat this season, but the state has storing-space for just 60 lakh tones of wheat.
There is a need of more than 50 crore gunny bags to store the upcoming grain safetly but there are no more than 15 crore bags available in the state.
Chandigarh, March 26 : Punjab is headed for a record wheat procurement of 140 lakh tonnes this season, officials of the state food and supplies department said here Tuesday.
"Punjab is all set for achieving a new record in wheat procurement as the state government would begin the biggest ever procurement operations in the state from April 1," a spokesman of the department said here.