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Food Policy

Sugarcane growers in Uttar Pradesh short changed

Issue Date: Dec 31, 2007
Sugarcane growers in Uttar Pradesh feel sold out to mills Frustration is growing among sugarcane growers in Uttar Pradesh. First private sugar mills refused to begin crushing and now the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has directed mill-owners to pay farmers Rs 110 per 100 kg of the sugarcane against the government's price of Rs 125.

Indian farmers get short shrift as country imports wheat

Issue Date: Nov 15, 2007
In February this year, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar announced that the country could export wheat in the near future. "If the current weather persists and the country's wheat production exceeds 72.5 million tonnes, I will allow exports," he said. But the minister seems to have done a volte-face on his statement. India has entered the wheat market all right, but as an importer.

India bans export of non-basmati rice

Issue Date: Nov 15, 2007
the Union government increased the minimum support price of wheat, paddy, sugarcane, mustard, rapeseed and other agricultural commodities on October 9. The announcement was made after the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the prime minister, accepted the recommendations on the minimum support price (msp) by the Commission of Agricultural Cost and Prices.

Indian farmers get short shrift as country imports wheat

Issue Date: Nov 15, 2007
In February this year, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar announced that the country could export wheat in the near future. "If the current weather persists and the country's wheat production exceeds 72.5 million tonnes, I will allow exports," he said. But the minister seems to have done a volte-face on his statement. India has entered the wheat market all right, but as an importer.

Reduce pasta prices, say Italians

Issue Date: Oct 15, 2007
Pasta-loving Italians observed a one-day 'no-pasta-buying' strike on September 13. The move was to protest against the recent 20 per cent rise in the price of Italy's national dish.

South Asia

Issue Date: Oct 15, 2007
Second deluge Less than a month after monsoon rains battered the country, a second wave of flooding that began on September 10, is further affecting parts of Bangladesh. According to government officials, the overall death toll from flooding since July had risen to 840, forcing over half a million from their homes.

Andhra salt-makers want recognition as farmers

Issue Date: Oct 15, 2007
"Why shouldn't salt-making be classed as agriculture?" asks R Potharaju. "Both require land, water and sunshine, and are subject to vagaries of nature," he reasons. Potharaju is convenor of the Prakasam District Salt Farmers Forum.

Supermarket giants Tesco, Asda threatened

Issue Date: Sep 15, 2007
Two supermarket giants--Tesco and Asda--in the UK have been accused of sending "threatening" e-mails to suppliers, farmers and dairy producers, to keep their prices low. The Competition Commission's Inquiry, instituted in May to study supermarkets behaviour towards food producers and farmers, revealed this recently. Tesco and Asda are part of four major retail outlets in the UK. The other two are Sainsbury's and Morrisons.

Food coupons for BPL families

Author(s): Supriya Singh
Issue Date: Aug 31, 2007
in a bid to stop pilferage in the Targeted Public Distribution System (tpds), the Union government plans to introduce food coupons for people below poverty line (bpl). Under the scheme initiated by the Union ministry of food and civil supplies, the coupons worth a fixed amount of cash, instead of food grains, will be issued to bpl families and the beneficiaries can choose what food to buy. The coupons can be exchanged for food grains at the fair price shops.

Ban on futures trading to go

Issue Date: Aug 31, 2007
the ban on futures trading in essential commodities is likely to be lifted. The expert committee under Abhijit Sen backs the idea. The committee was set up in March 2007 to assess the impact of futures trading--trading commodities at a future date--on agricultural commodities such as rice, wheat and pulses, and suggest ways to increase farmers' role in it. It was scheduled to submit the report by August 2, 2007, but recently sought a third extension.
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