Kisaan SMS Portal Launched by the Hon’ble President
During celebrations 85th ICAR Foundation Day, Hon’ble President of India launched on 16.07.2013 a SMS Portal for Farmers created by the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Government of India Officers, Scientists and Experts of Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Indian Council of Agriculture Research, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries, India Meteorological Department and Food grain Procurement Agencies will use this portal for disseminating relevant information, giving topical & seasonal advisories and providing services through SMSs to farmers in language of the State.
The State Governments and their field formations down to the Block level (including State Agriculture Universities and KVKs) also have come forward in a big way to use this integrated Portal. Considering availability of more than 33 crore mobile connections in the rural area, Kisaan SMS Portal is likely to be very useful to farmers and all other stake-holders as timely and relevant information will be provided to farmers in their own language. The SMSs will get transmitted only to the farmers within the territorial jurisdiction of an officer, scientist or experts for the crops or agricultural practice that such a farmer might have opted for. Search facility (by text and by topic) for going through previous advisories has also been created to avoid duplication and contradiction in advisories.
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Minimum Support Prices for the Year 2013-14 Announced
Acting on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, the Government has fixed Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for the Agricultural Year (July-June) 2013-14. MSP for Rice and Wheat have been increased to Rs 1310 and Rs 1350 per quintal.
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Draft Guidelines for setting up Automatic Weather Stations.
In compliance of one of the recommendation/suggestion of the Evaluation Report of Pilot WBCIS, a Committee has been constituted to draft the guidelines for setting up Automatic Waether Stations (AWSs) and Automatic Rain Gauge (ARGs) & their accreditation, standardization, validation and quality management of weather data. The Committee has submitted draft report covering following aspects:
- AWS equipment standards
- AWS installation standards & maintenance standards and
- Guidelines for 3rd party accreditation and data certification services.
Click here for Circular & Draft Guidelines.
Support to bringing green revolution to eastern india extended
Bringing the green revolution to eastern India has been a remarkable success. Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal have substantially increased their contribution to rice production. Therefore, support the Eastern Indian States has been extended with an allocation of 1000 crore in 2013-14.
Crop Diversification in Original Green Revolution States
The original Green Revolution States face the problem of stagnating yields
and over-exploitation of water resources. The answer lies in crop diversification.
Hence, in the recent Union Budget, a sum of 500 crore has been provided to start a programme of crop diversification that
would promote technological innovation and encourage farmers to choose crop alternatives.
Thrust to FPOs
Farmer Producer Organizations (FPO), including Farmer Producer Companies (FPC), have emerged as aggregators of farm produce and link farmers directly to markets. To signal our support to them, the Government has decided to provide matching equity grants to registered FPOs upto a maximum of 10 lakh per FPO to enable them to leverage working capital from financial institutions. A sum of ₨ 50 crore has been earmarked for this purpose. Besides this, a Credit Guarantee Fund will also be created in the Small Farmers’ Agri Business Corporation with an initial corpus of ₨ 100 crore.
Import Duty on Crude Palm and Soyabean Oil Imposed @ 2.5%
To save domestic oilseed growers in view of enhanced import shipments due to slump in international prices, the Government has decided to impose a Duty @2.5% on crude Soyabean and Palm Oil.
Short & Medium Term Agricultural Outlook and Situation Analysis Report
Pilot Programme on Nutri-Farms
A pilot programme on Nutri-Farms for introducing new crop varieties that are rich in micro-nutrients such as iron-rich bajra, protein-rich maize and zinc-rich wheat, is being launched. A sum of upto ₨ 200 crore has been earmarked to start the pilots. It is hoped that agri businesses and farmers will come together to start a sufficient number of pilots in the districts, most affected by malnutrition.