The Green Cognizance – Agriculture 2018

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By  Prabodh Krishna

Agriculture prices are expected to edge up in 2018 due to reduced supplies, with grains, oils and meals price rising marginally

Global Agriculture produce prices may edge up in 2018 due to reduced global supplies, though nations like India may produce grains with a new record in productions. Most of the Asian economies will count on rising domestic consumption that will drive their GDP’s with India being no exemption.

Agriculture prices are expected to edge up in 2018 due to reduced supplies, with grains, oils and meals price rising marginally. Agricultural commodities markets are well-supplied and the stocks-to-use ratios (a measure of how well supplied markets are) of some grains are forecast to be at multi-year highs.

However, favourable weather patterns, well-supplied global food markets, and relatively low world prices do not necessarily imply ample food availability everywhere. Such phenomena can be easily witnessed globally. Drought conditions that are, by some accounts the worst in 60 years, Nation like India is not much affected by that but rapidly rising population, on the other hand, has posed an expectedly difficult challenge to handle. The recent global hunger Index speaks the same tone.

GDP growth in developing countries, especially in East and South Asia, is expected to remain driven by domestic consumption. India is expected to remain the fastest-growing large developing economy, as the country benefits from strong private consumption and the gradual introduction of significant domestic reforms.

Slower investment growth in major developing economies has been largely driven by the private sector. In line with their greater scope to exploit fiscal space, East Asian and South Asian economies have generally seen stronger growth in public investment, especially in infrastructure. State-owned enterprises have expanded infrastructure investment in China, while in India public investment has also been critical to avoid a further deterioration in investment growth.

India’s growth rate as projected by UN is 7.6; for the years 2018, for the forthcoming year that is calendar year (CY) 2018, agriculture by in large will be in need of sticking to policy measures that had already been taken by current Modi regime and will continue to prosper under few of the flagship programs.

Crop Insurance via PMFBY

With Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFYB), Government of India has taken a big step towards insurance of crops. However, for the success of the scheme, it is important that States, as well as Central Governments, should make provision for a timely subsidy to insurance companies. This will be playing a major role in the coming year, at every level be it national or village.

Unified Market for Agri-commodities at National level

The Indian government has boldly put forth the vision of creating a unified national market for agricultural commodities through the launch of the e-NAM initiative in April 2016. However, the progress so far has been slow. Farmers and corporates alike await the unleashing of e-NAM’s full potential to provide greater selling choice to farmers and reduce transaction costs and improve quality for buyers.

Agri Warehousing

The loss from farm to fork is huge, definitely, there is no way to actually calculate how much was grown at farm field & how much had arrived at wholesale mandi’s. This phenomenon makes postharvest value chain of the Indian agriculture and food sector ‘a vital part of Indian economy’. The country loses about 8-10 per cent of food grains every year due to post-harvest wastages whereas actual figures may be higher. The losses/wastages in fruits and vegetables segment are even more alarming. This not only leads wastage of food grains but also depresses farmer incomes. It’s all the inadequate storage facility which leads to a loss in farmers’ income post-harvest when the Mandi prices tend to be at the lowest. Government has put an extra effort to work for cold chain development along with the settlement of food processing parks and emphasis of investors for agriculture and allied activities.

Source: BW Businessworld

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