Government is serious to resolve stubble burning issue

The Central government decided to give one-time financial assistance to individuals and companies to set up torrefaction and pelletisation plants to ensure a regular supply of paddy straw for co-firing in thermal power plants and industries. The setting up of these plants will help resolve the problem of stubble burning and generate income for farmers. It will also increase dry fodder availability for cows and buffaloes in north India. Paddy straw burning in Punjab and Haryana is a major reason behind the alarming spike in air pollution levels in the national capital in October and November. Punjab and Haryana generate around 27 million tonnes of paddy straw annually, of which about 6.4 million tonnes are not managed.

Maize prices have declined below Rs.2,000 per quintal to hover around or below the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs.1,962 in several markets of key producing States such as Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh in view of high moisture in the crop that has begun arriving. Animal feed mills are buying on a need basis during September and October as they are anticipating prices to come down further. Maize production is estimated at 23.10 million tonnes. The Soyabean Processors Association of India (SOPA) has pegged the Kharif 2022 crop at 120.39 lakh tonnes, higher than the previous year’s 118.89 lakh tonnes. The sowing of mustard continues to rise rapidly. Mustard acreage is around 4.30 lakh hectares. The government has set a target of 164.85 million tonnes (mt) of foodgrains including 112 mt of wheat, 18.5 mt of rice, 19 mt of pulses and 15.35 mt of coarse/Nutri cereals in the current rabi season.

Unrelenting rains have damaged Kharif crops in Maharashtra even though it has achieved 100 per cent during the Kharif sowing this year. Cotton, tur, soybean, onion and sugarcane fields across the State were inundated following consistent rains for the last few days. Bajara, maize and other crops too have suffered due to rains in the State. This will affect the availability of feed and fodder for animals.

Amul will be merged with five other cooperative societies to form a multi-state cooperative society (MSCS), The MSCS will ensure the export of the products after its certification so that profit can go directly into the bank accounts of the farmers. There is a need to double milk production in the country over the next five years, not just to meet the demand in the domestic market, but also those of neighbouring countries.

Amul will soon start work for a new 20 lakh litres per day (LLPD) of milk processing plant near Rajkot, creating additional processing capacity for the Saurashtra region. The region, comprising 11 districts, collectively produces about 35 lakh litres of milk per day. But only about 10-12 lakh litres per day of milk gets processed at the existing co-operative dairy facilities. Dairy products can be exported also from ports such as Mundra and Kandla.

Dvara E-Dairy Solutions has launched a “True cattle loan” digitally in partnership with Jana Small Finance Bank to create scalable access to finance for small dairy farmers in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. It is a tailored loan product for dairy farmers towards cattle purchase and maintenance. The cashflow dependency on dairy is assessed through a combination of the ‘Surabhi Score’, which is arrived at based on a digital assessment of how well the cattle is managed, taking into consideration various factors, as well as the farmer’s credit score. This helps mitigate the risk and helps identify the ‘right borrower’ for the loan. The loan amount ranges from Rs.30,000 to Rs.1,50,000, with an average ticket size of Rs.80,000. It will enable financial access for small and medium dairy farmers to enhance their livelihoods and increase their incomes.