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Record 16.5 Million tonne pulses production likely this year

India is likely to harvest a record 16.5 million tonne pulses this year. This was announced by the Agriculture Minister, Shri Sharad Pawar, at the 6th Agriwatch Global Pulses Summit here today. The Minister said that though India presently imports a large quantity of pulses, the use of new production technologies and agronomic practices, and government support will lead to self sufficiency. Shri Pawar said that more aggressive promotion of available technologies...

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Himachal now insures wheat, barley crops

Himachal Pradesh has now brought wheat and barley crops under an insurance scheme to protect them from adverse climatic conditions, an official statement said Sunday. The National Agricultural Insurance Scheme will cover wheat and barley crops too across the state during the 2010-11 rabi season, said the statement. Earlier, maize, paddy, potato and ginger crops were covered. Likewise, the government last year initially launched an apple crop insurance scheme in Shimla and...

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Above normal rains raise India harvest concerns

India’s monsoon rains were 19% above normal in the week to 15 Sept., the weather office said on Thursday, feeding concern cotton and groundnut harvests could be further delayed in Asia’s third-largest economy. “The monsoon withdrawal is unlikely at least in the next couple of days,” said a senior official of the weather office who did not wish to be named. Rains had already exceeded averages by 26% in the previous week. Signs...

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No pause in Punjab’s toxic harvest by Amrita Chaudhary

Even as recent media reports caution that most fruits and vegetables are largely unfit for human consumption due to their high chemical content, pesticides continue to be used recklessly in the fields of Punjab. The ‘Granary of India’ constitutes 2.5 per cent of the total agricultural land in India, but consumes more than 18 per cent of the total pesticides used in India. Within the state the worst affected is the southwestern...

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Low Pulse by Savvy Soumya Misra

Spiralling prices of pulses have shown India’s dependence on imports. Pulses are integral to India’s diet but not its food policy. As a result, supply cannot meet demand. What are the consequences and solutions? Surendra Nath has switched to eating grass-pea, though he knows it is not good for health. But so is tobacco, he argues. He cannot do without pulses and pigeon-pea selling at Rs 100 a kg is beyond...

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