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The Sale of Surplus Land of Four Pharmaceutical PSUs Approved By Cabinet

To meet the Pharmaceuticals PSUs outstanding liabilities, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the sale of surplus land of Hindustan Antibiotics Limited (HAL), Indian Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Limited (IDPL), Rajasthan Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Limited (RDPL) and Bengal Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Limited (BCPL), as would be required.
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TheAgrihub Launched 1st Agriculture specific online discovery platform

TheAgrihub Announced worlds 1st Agriculture specific online discovery platform.The platform connects, companies, distributor’s retailers to cater to the needs of farmers in India.
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Training Course on Potato Seed Marketing Practices at PAU.

At the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), a two-day training course on “Potato Seed Marketing Practices” began 6th June under the guidance of Dr R.S. Sidhu, Director of Extension Education. The potato seed growers of Punjab are participating in the course.
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Tuticorin district Having Adequate Fertilizer Stock.

Adequate stock of fertilizers is available in the district, to meet the growing demands of the farmers.

A stock of 1,500 tonnes of urea, 600 tonnes of Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) and 1,100 tonnes of complex fertilizers is maintained. During September, 2,500 tonnes of DAP was distributed to the farmers in the district through private dealers and Primary Agriculture Cooperative Credit Societies.

According to Joint Director of Agriculture V. Jeyakumar said, there is a demand for 4,000 tonnes of DAP during October. The district received 29.16 mm of rainfall in September as against the month’s average rainfall of 25.3 mm.

Pre-monsoon sowing of crops such as maize, sorghum, green gram, black gram, bajra, cumbu and chilli was in full swing in rainfed areas, including Kayathar, Vilathikulam, Kovilpatti and Pudur.

He said that, to inspect stores selling fertilizers eight teams had been formed as per the instruction of Collector M. Ravikumar Departmental action was initiated against three private shops for not maintaining stock note. One fertilizer shop was temporarily barred from selling fertilizers after a team, led by Assistant Director of Agriculture (Quality Control) S. Mathiazhagan, found that its licence had expired.

Mr. Jeyakumar said that farmers need not demand a particular brand of DAP fertilizer containing 18 percent nitrogen and 46 percent phosphorus. Fertilizers should not be applied beyond the levels recommended by officials since crops could become prone to pest and disease attack.


Licences of Private Fertilizer Shops Suspended.

Joint Director of Agriculture V. Jeyakumar said that three private traders in Eral and Sebathiapuram were barred from selling fertilizers after a team of officials suspended their licenses for violation of Fertilizer Control Order, 1985.

The directive of Collector M. Ravikumar informed that, a team was formed to conduct surprise raids in shops selling fertilizers to check irregularity. Assistant Director of Agriculture (Quality Control) S. Mathiazhagan, who led the team. He said that raids were conducted in ten private shops and a cooperative store in Karungulam, Srivaikuntam and Alwarthirunagari blocks.

The officials found the traders, whose licences were suspended, After inspecting the shops, that traders did not display the price list of fertilizers and they had also stocked unpermitted fertilizers for which the licence did not endorse them.

He said, they were charged with improper maintenance of stock book meant for fertilizers. Deputy Director of Agriculture Karuppasamy and others were involved in the raid.


Initiate Punitive Measures Against Dealers Hoarding Fertilizers

Tamil Nadu: Collector M. Karunakaran has warned the fertilizer hoarders of stringent action if they chose to create artificial demand in the district during the ‘pisanam’ paddy season even as the region is experiencing good rainfall.

While reviewing the agricultural input position in the district Dr. Karunakaran said Urea and Di-Ammonium Phosphate, the most important fertilizers used for paddy cultivation, should be made available to farmers at the right price and in adequate quantity.

Dr. Karunakaran said “My personal enquiries with a few farmers gave me an impression that some of the dealers are hoarding the fertilizers and creating artificial demand. This will indirectly lead to hike in their prices, which should not be allowed. Those who hoarded fertilizers would face severe action. The officials of Department of Agriculture should conduct surprise checks in fertilizer shops and initiate punitive measures against hoarders.”

Joint Director of Agriculture (in-charge) L. Perumal constituted a district-level special squad, headed by Assistant Director of Agriculture (Quality Control) Sankar S. Narayanan, and block-level squads are headed by the Agricultural Officers concerned.

Mr. Perumal said “The special squad inspected 12 shops in Ambasamudram block and found that 26.50 tonnes of fertilizers, worth Rs. 2.12 lakh, had been stocked in two shops without due permission from the Department of Agriculture. Hence ‘stop sales’ orders were issued on them. The special squad will also inspect fertilizer shops in other parts of the district to check for hoarding and selling at inflated price.”

He also said fertilizers like urea, which is a subsidized chemical nutrient used for agricultural purpose, should not be used for industrial purposes and transport of fertilizer to other States or to districts was also prohibited.

He said that fertilizers must be sold only at the maximum retail price and a special notice board should display the prices in each retail shop. Proper bills should be given to the farmers on sale and price list and stock position of fertilizers should be displayed in front of each shop.


Agri Retail: Good Sales Growth of Fertiliser in Kharif Season.

An inventory build-up with dealers could affect sales through the Rabi season. Also fertiliser sales through the Kharif season between April and July outstripped sales during the same period in the previous year. Sales refer to the movement of fertilisers from manufacturers to dealers, who then sell them to farmers.

Senior industry official said “Good rainfall distribution early in the monsoon had ensured increased demand. Hence, companies’ sales increased. Since late July there has been a build-up of excess stock with dealers and this will probably cause slower sales in the Rabi season.”

Fertiliser Association of India data showed that domestic sales of urea touched 9.97 million tonnes (mt) in the four-month period — around 9.4 per cent more than during the same time last year. The maximum retail price of urea, the most widely applied fertiliser, is fixed by the Centre.

In Between April and August, urea imports also increased to 3.06 mt against 2.13 mt during the corresponding period last year. The difference between the cost of production and the MRP — ₹5,360/tonne — is paid to manufacturers as a subsidy. Sales of di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) rose 56.3 per cent over the year to touch 3.02 mt while NP/NPK fertiliser sales recorded a 20.7 per cent increase to 2.43 mt.


Agri Retail News: From IDG Ventures India & Aavishkaar, AgroStar raises $4 mn.

Pune-based AgroStar has raised close to $4 million from venture capital investors IDG Ventures India and existing investor Aavishkaar Venture Management. AgroStar is a direct-to-farmer m-commerce firm launched in 2012.

The company also counts Snapdeal's Kunal Bhal and Rohit Bansal as its early backers and mentors. The company is co-founded by Sitanshu Sheth and Shardul Sheth both promoters having extensive experience across domains like consulting and retail.

It has partnered with multiple national and multinational brands whose agro products can be bought through AgroStar. Farmers can buy seeds, nutrients, crop protection, as well as hardware products from the AgroStar platform. The AgroStar Company plans to expand operations from Gujarat and Maharashtra to 3-4 additional states over the next 12 months and strengthen its tech and leadership teams.

"It is just the beginning of what an agricultural m-commerce platform can achieve, in a mobile-first nation. Their success in Gujarat is a testimony and validity of the idea, and we look forward to AgroStar replicating this change nationally. Having funded many vertical e-commerce leaders in early stage we believe AgroStar has the potential to be the disruptor and the leader in the Agricultural m-commerce vertical with a $ 200 billion market opportunity." said T C Meenakshisundaram, founder & managing director, IDG Ventures India.


The mass sampling of pesticides from retail stores and wholesalers begins.

After Punjab government probe panel constituted, the mass sampling of pesticides begins. The agriculture department started mass sampling of pesticides from retail stores, wholesalers and pesticide suppliers across the state. The four-member panel has been constituted under the supervision of Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota, director, bureau of investigation.

After the farmers failed to control the attack of whitefly on cotton even after repeated sprays of pesticides, provided by the government at subsidised rates, the complaints of substandard quality of pesticides started pouring.

"Department heads of all the districts have been asked to collect samples from each and every store to check their quality and the results of the samples will be submitted to the inquiry panel, which will further investigate the matter in detail" said one of the senior agriculture officials.