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First mega food park in Rajasthan

  • Rajasthan’s first mega food park was inaugurated at Roopangarh village near Ajmer , will benefit thousands of farmers by providing them with the primary and central processing and storage facilities and enabling them to get remunerative prices for their produce.
  • The park has been set up at a cost of Rs. 113.57 crore, while its annual turnover is likely to be Rs. 450 crore.
  •  Inaugurating the food park, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that it would connect the farmers with the e-national agricultural market and enable them to sell their produce directly in 550 mandis.

 Uttarakhand gets second mega food park

  • Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurated the second mega food park at Mahuakhera Ganj village, Kashipur in Udham Singh Nagar district of Uttarakhand on Sunday.
  •  The park- Himalayan Mega Food Park – has been set up at a cost of Rs 99.96 crore The first Mega Food Park in the state, Patanjali Food & Herbal Park, Haridwar has already become operational.
  • The Centre provides an assistance of Rs 50 crore to each mega food park.

Uttarakhand gets second mega food park

  • Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurated the second mega food park at Mahuakhera Ganj village, Kashipur in Udham Singh Nagar district of Uttarakhand on Sunday.
  • The park- Himalayan Mega Food Park – has been set up at a cost of Rs 99.96 crore The first Mega Food Park in the state, Patanjali Food & Herbal Park, Haridwar has already become operational.
  • The Centre provides an assistance of Rs 50 crore to each mega food park.

SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of AgroProcessing Clusters)

  • Gobardhan’ scheme launched from Haryana Union Drinking Water and Sanitation Minister Uma Bharti launched the Gobardhan’ scheme from Haryana’s Karnal district with an aim to convert waste into bio energy, gas and compost which would not only benefit the people but also maintain cleanliness in the villages.
  • The scheme was launched at the National Dairy Research Institute in the district.

  Gobardhan stands for Galvanizing Organic Bio Agro Resources Dhan.

  • The scheme envisages implementation of 700 bio-gas units in different states of the country in 2018-19.

Significance of this scheme :

  • The 19th Livestock Census (2012) estimates India’s cattle population at 300 million, putting the production of dung at about 3 million tonnes per day, this will help to tap the full economic potential of such waste.
  •  A major thrust is now underway to promote general cleanliness and effective solid and liquid waste management in rural India.

Under the scheme : It also aims at creating new rural livelihood opportunities and enhancing income for farmers and other rural people.

  • The villagers will be mobilized to create self-help groups (SHGs) and creative societies that will help in clean energy and green jobs initiative.
  • The scheme focuses on managing and converting cattle dung and solid waste in farms to useful compost, biogas and bio-CNG, thus keeping villages clean, increasing income of rural households and generation of energy from cattle waste.
  • It is an important element of ODF-plus strategy under Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin). With the largest cattle population in the world, rural India has the potential to leverage huge quantities of GOBAR into wealth and energy.

According to a 2014 ILO study, the productive use of dung could support 1.5 million jobs nationally, there is a significant potential for farmers to generate income from the sale of cow dung.

  • The study also reports that the value of one kg of cow dung multiplies over 10 times, depending on whether the end product is fresh dung (sale price of Rs 0.13) or as input for a one megawatt biogas plant along with compost output (Rs 1.6).

Government to link 200 more mandis to eNAM this fiscal

  • The government will link additional 200 wholesale mandis to the online trading platform eNAM this fiscal and also encourage inter-mandi transactions At present, 585 regulated mandis in 14 states are linked with the electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM) launched in April 2016 Though the target is to connect 200 more mandis to the eNAM platform this year, but the priority would be given to improve the quality and encourage inter-mandi online trading.
  • So far, 73.50 lakh farmers, 53,163 commission agents and over 1 lakh traders are registered on the eNAM platform from 14 states.
  •  The 14 states include Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarkhand.

Frozen Semen Station being set up in Maranga,Purnea under the Rashtriya Gokul Mission

  • Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh laid the foundation stone the frozen semen station in Maranga, Purnea, Bihar.
  •  The frozen semen station is being set up at a cost of Rs 64 crore under the Rashtriya Gokul Mission with 100% contribution from the Central Government.
  • Out of this, Rs 20 crore has already been released. Currently, the artificial insemination is being done by COMFED (Sudha) in Bihar.
  • For artificial insemination, semen from high genetic merit bulls is needed.
  • The frozen semen station in Purnea will be the first state-of-the-art semen production center of the country.
  • The center will develop highly modern bull shade, semen processing lab, feed and godown, agricultural equipment, and other facilities.
  •  In this, 300 high genetic merit bulls will be kept and 50 lakhs of semen dose will be produced per year. Red Sindhi, Bachaur, Gangatiri, Sahiwal breeds will also be kept.
  • With the establishment of this semen station, milk productivity of cows and buffaloes will increase rapidly in the state.

Nabard approves Rs 14,690 cr funding to Rajasthan

  • National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has extended total credit support of Rs 14,690 crore to Rajasthan for 2017-18 Rajasthan has been one of the biggest beneficiaries under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) of NABARD, under which NABARD disbursed concessional loan of Rs 1,851.29 crore to the state government during 2017-18.
  •  among major infrastructure projects, bank sanctioned 10 irrigation projects, construction of 1614 roads and two rural drinking water supply projects.
  • Government bans imports of hormone oxytocin, later withdraws it The Union government banned imports of the hormone oxytocin to stop its misuse in the livestock industry, where activists say it causes hormonal imbalances and shortens the lives of milch animals.
  •  Often called the ‘love hormone’, oxytocin is released naturally in human bonding activities such as sex, childbirth and breastfeeding.
  •  The government also asked customs officials to step up vigilance against those likely to try and smuggle oxytocin into India


  • India had halted retail sales of oxytocin as prescription-only drug in 2014, but failed to curb illegal sales and the volume of imports was unclear It is a controversial hormonal injection that is used widely in the dairy industry, agriculture and horticulture.
  • The drug’s abuse in animals shortens their lives and makes them barren sooner.
  • Even its misuse is reported among trafficked children, injected to accelerate puberty among girls.
  • It is also being misused to speed up deliveries for pregnant women in overcrowded government hospitals.

Cabinet approves continuation of Nutrient Based Subsidy and City Compost Scheme till 2019-20

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal of the Department of Fertilizers for continuation of Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS)and City Compost Scheme beyond 12th Five Year plan till 2019-20.
  • The total expenditure for continuation of both the schemes till 2019-20 will be Rs. 61,972 crore.
  • The expenditure for the scheme will be on actual basis since national roll out of DBT entails 100% payment of subsidy to fertilizer companies on sale of fertilizers to farmers at subsidized rates.
  •  The subsidy on the P&K fertilizers and Market Development Assistant (MDA) on City Compost will be provided on the subsidy rates approved by the CCEA on annual basis.
  • The continuation of the Nutrient Based Subsidy Scheme and City Compost Scheme will ensure that adequate quantity of P&K is made available to the farmers at statutory controlled price.

 Nutrient Based Subsidy

  • Government is making available fertilizers, namely Urea and 21 grades of P&K fertilizers to farmers at subsidized prices through fertilizer manufacturers/importers.
  • The subsidy on P&K fertilizers is being governed by NBS Scheme w.e.f 01.04.2010. Similarly, the Market Development Assistant is being governed by City Compost Scheme w.e.f. 10.02.2016.

Madhya Pradesh’s Kadaknath chicken gets Geographical Indication tag.

  •  Chennai based Geographical Indication Registry and Intellectual Property India has awarded Geographical Indication (GI) Tag to Madhya Pradesh’s Kadaknath chicken.
  • The GI tag will ensure that no one else can use name Kadaknath Chicken while selling any other black chicken. It will also translate into higher prices for for producers.

Kadaknath Chicken Kadaknath

    • chicken breed is unique for its black colour due to its black-feathers.
    •  Its black colour stems from the deposition of melanin pigment.
    • This breed of chicken is popular for its adaptability and flavourful good-tasting black meat, which is believed to have medicinal properties.
    • It is native tribal districts of Jhabua, Alirajpur and parts of Dhar in Madhya Pradesh.
    • Kadaknath chicken contains 25-27% of protein in comparison with other breeds of chickens that contain 18% protein.


  •  It is also known for its high iron content.
  • It has fat and cholesterol content lower compared with other chicken breeds. Due to this special characteristics, Kadaknath chicken’s chicks and eggs are sold at much higher rate than other varieties of chicken.
  • This chicken breed is very popular among local tribal people mainly due to its adaptability to the local environment, disease resistance, meat quality, texture and flavour Cabinet approves continuation, strengthening and establishment of Krishi Vigyan Kendras till 2019-20
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs,
  • chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal of the Department of Agricultural Research and Education for continuation / strengthening, upto 2019-20, of 669 Krishi Vigyan Kendras(KVKs) established till 31.03.2017, 11 Agricultural Technology Application Research Institutes (ATARIs) Support to the Directorates of Extension Education (DEEs) of Agricultural Universities (AUs) and all special programmes associated with the Scheme and establishment of 76 spill over KVKs as already approved in the 12th Plan.

 Financial Outlay:

  • The financial outlay for the KVK Scheme [including Directorate of Knowledge Management in Agriculture (DKMA)] for 2017-20 shall be of Rs 2,82,400.72 lakh.
  •  Details: KVKs would act as knowledge and resource centre in the field of agriculture in the district and would build models of technology uptake and farmers’ empowerment leading to support Government of India’s initiative of doubling farmers’ income.
  • The special programmes which shall be initiated through the KVK Scheme are:
  • va Network Project on New Extension Methodologies and Approaches; Nutri-sensitive Agricultural Resources and Innovations (NARI); vprograms tilted Knowledge Systems and Homestead Agriculture Management in Tribal Areas (KSHAMTA), vValue Addition and Technology Incubation Centres in Agriculture (VATICA), vFarm Innovation Resource Management (FIRM) and vestablishment of Agricultural Technology Information Centre. Besides, Rain Water Harvesting, Integrated Farming System (IFS) Processing, Fish seed production, ICT enabled services, green agriculture and strengthening of soil health program shall also be supported.
  • Further two important programmes approved include the Farmer FIRST at 52 centres and Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture (ARYA) for 100 Districts.
  •  The ARYA component is being implemented currently in 25 States through KVKs, one district from each State with technical partners from ICAR Institutes and Agricultural Universities for taking up entrepreneurial activities through skill development of rural youth leading to employment generation.
  • It is, planned to enlarge this component to cover 100 districts by adding 75 more districts during 2017-20 period.

KVK Scheme

The KVK scheme is functioning on 100% Central funding pattern under the ambit of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE).

Chhattisgarh wins National Water Digest Award

  • Chhattisgarh was awarded National Water Digest Award for Water ConservationDiversion and increasing the irrigation capacity in the state.
  • The award was presented to Chhattisgarh Water Resources Department (CWRD) on the occasion ‘World Forestry Day’ (observed on March 21) in New Delhi.
  • This is first time that CWRD was given national Award during the past 17 years.

CCEA allows bulk export of all edible oils, except mustard

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has allowed bulk exports of all edible oils except mustard.
  • Mustard oil, will continue to be exported only in consumer packs upto 5 kgs and with a minimum export price of $900 per tonne.
  • The decision comes in the wake of a quantum jump in the production of oilseeds in 2016-17 compared to past two years.
  •  It is expected that the production of oilseeds in 2017-18 is going to sustain at the same levels.
  •  At present, only certain edible oils can be exported in bulk and other oils only in consumer packs upto 5 Kg with Minimum Export Price (MEP)

New committee to review edible oil trade

  • The CCEA also approved empowering a panel headed by Secretary, Department of Food and Public Distribution to review the export and import policy on all varieties of edible oils .
  •  It also discontinued the inter-ministerial committee, headed by commerce secretary, mandated to review the export of edible oils.

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