A favourable monsoon will help agriculture and allied sectors by 6%

As per NitiAayog’s Member Ramesh Chand, India’s agriculture and allied sectors may register growth exceeding 6 per cent in 2024-25 owing to a favourable monsoon prediction and the previous year’s low base. Monsoon regional distribution forecasts are encouraging and healthy. Agriculture growth in 2023-24 was 0.67 per cent. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted an “above normal” monsoon, at 106 per cent of the long-period average (LPA) of 87 cm, while private weather forecaster Skymet has said the monsoon is likely to be “normal” at 102 per cent of the LPA.“Real prices” of agriculture have been rising for several years. The wholesale price index (WPI) of agri-commodities is growing faster than non-agri-commodities. Adding stability in maintaining prices is required due to this aspect. Some see the government’s action to maintain stability as a move to bring down prices. We should boost exports of surplus production of certain crops because of bumper Kharif output.

Insurtech firm IBISA has announced the launch of the Heat Stress Solution, which utilises advanced climate metrics and satellite technology to protect dairy farmers. This unique solution serves as a lifeline for dairy farmers across India by offering compensation for revenue losses incurred due to heat stress. Milk yields are estimated to decline by 30-35 per cent during severe heat waves. Since its introduction in 2024, the Heat Stress Solution has already safeguarded over 100,000 livestock within a mere fortnight, spanning 14 districts in Kerala. Furthermore, the product is currently operational in select districts of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat. IBISA anticipates expanding its reach in the coming months through collaborations with multiple milk unions and key partners within the dairy value chain.

eFeed, a precision animal management and nutrition company, has launched a research platform to fuel innovation in sustainable dairy practices in the country. The new platform has been designed to address critical challenges in the dairy industry, such as increasing methane emissions from cattle, the detrimental use of urea in cattle feed affecting soil health, and the consequent depletion of groundwater levels.

Moneyboxx Finance Ltd, which finances livestock farmers, has cumulatively disbursed over  ₹1,200 crore as of March 2024 with women making up 57 per cent of its 1.10 lakh borrowers and 35 per cent availing credit for the first time. The company has opened its 100th branch in Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh to provide small-ticket business loans to micro-enterprises. It has branches in eight States – Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Gujarat. The company aims to meet the growing and unmet credit needs of micro and small businesses in Uttar Pradesh and provides unsecured and secured business loans ranging from₹70,000 to ₹10 lahks to individual borrowers in Tier-III and below cities. Through various lending initiatives such as complementary veterinary services, agroforestry initiatives, and funding of biogas digesters, they aim to make a noticeable impact on the lives of borrowers and the environment.

India’s soy meal exports were up 14 per cent during the first six months (October-March) of the oil year 2023-24 at 13.47 lakh tonnes over the same period last year’s 11.79 lakh tonnes (lt) on strong demand from Asian countries. According to the supply and demand estimates by the Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA), exports of soya meal for the oil year are expected to be around 18 lakh tonnes. Production of soya meal during the first six months stood at 53.16 lt – higher than the 52.25 lt registered in the same period last year. Offtake from the domestic feed sector was lower at 35 lt (35.75 lt).

Do you know that emotions play an important role in the lives of cows? Various studies and research have shown that the influence of the environment on the emotions of dairy cows is significant enough, and can be thoroughly interpreted through its behaviour. A fresh and verdurous environment with daily access to pastures significantly allows them to remain calm. The scientific reason behind this is that green is a cool colour. Other environmental factors such as housing conditions, space, water and temperature, can have an impact on the emotions of these cows. Overcrowded places, lack of ventilation, uncomfortable flooring and insufficiency of space causing reduced locomotion have all been shown to increase the emotional disturbance in dairy cows.

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