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Ban on Wheat Exports lifted

India today lifted a 28-month ban on wheat export by allowing export of 900,000 tonnes of the grain by government-owned trading agencies. Export of 650,000 tonnes of wheat products like wheat flour and maida has also been permitted, according to a notification issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade today. This will help release the huge grain stock that the country is carrying due to a record purchase of wheat and rice. This notification follows a February decision by an Empowered Group of Ministers to allow export of wheat and wheat products up to 2 million tonnes. The ban was imposed in February 2007 as wheat procurement had declined and the country had to rely on costly imports. Food Corporation of India, the country’s grain procurement and distribution agency, had procured a record 25 million tonnes of wheat in the 2008-09 rabi marketing season on the back of a handsome minimum support price of Rs 1,080 a quintal. This is against the annual offtake of around 12-13 million tonnes under various public distribution schemes. The three trading agencies under the commerce ministry — MMTC, STC and PEC have been allotted a quota of 300,000 tonnes wheat each for export by March 2010. No subsidy would be provided for such exports. However, wheat exports will happen depends on the subsidy we can provide and the wheat situation is adequate.

Orissa to set up a mega food park at Khuda

Orissa government is planning to set up a mega food park at Mallipada (80 acres of land has been identified) near Khuda, around 30 kms away from Bhubaneshwar. The concept note for the project is developed by IL & FS. It seesm, the state govt. is interested to make use of Union Govt. grand of Rs.15000 million for such food parks. It has forwarded the proposal to Union govt. for grants. In either case, the govt. may proceed with food park, as Khurda is an ideal location with Andharua bio technology park to add synergy.

10% of potato production will be processed by 2012

Potato, which is consumed across the country is also one of the largest processed vegetable. Around 35-40 units located across the country process potato now to the tune of 4-5 % is expected to go up by 10% by 2012. This will facilitate farmers to plan their cultivation and also reduce losses in terms of excess supplies. The demand for potato is estimated at 50 million tonnes by 2020. Blight disease and lack of cold storage facilities is the woe for farmers and hope to sort those problems out by that time.

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