Anti-GM lobby alleged that Paroda has a clear case of conflict of interest because he was a part of organisations which don't only have representatives of seed companies

Ahead of the presentation of the report of the high-powered Technical Expert Committee (TEC) on genetically modified (GM) crops to the Supreme Court, a war of words seems to have broken between the pro-and anti- GM activists over the composition of the committee and its competence.

If Makhteshim Agan India fails to reply to the show-cause notice, its import approval could be revoked

The Union agriculture ministry has issued a show-cause notice to Makhteshim Agan India, the Indian arm of Makhteshim Agan (MA), a leading crop protection solutions company based in Israel, for "variance" in data of field evaluation studies commissioned by it. The studies were aimed at securing an approval to import a particular herbicide.

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s ambitious social security programme — the proposed National Food Security scheme — could be implemented in Congress-ruled states ahead of others.

The Budget, to be tabled tomorrow in Parliament, is likely to give substantial allocation to the programme. The Centre plans to launch the programme across the country simultaneously. However, given the opposition of some non-Congress-ruled states to certain provisions of the Bill, there is a possibility that Congress-ruled states might implement it first, said sources.

Lagging progress in farmer producer firms could lead to start of credit guarantee schemes, with possible equity stake from government

To boost small and marginal farmers, the Budget is likely to announce a credit guarantee fund for Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), with equity participation by government in such organisations. An FPO is typically a company comprising only farmers and producers but formed under the Companies Act. It is different from a cooperative society, though in most places these are called co-ops.

Revised bill likely to be tabled in the Budget session of Parliament

If all things fall according to plan, the UPA-2’s most ambitious social security programme--the National Food Security Bill--could include more people than the earlier proposed 67% of the India's population. The revised bill is likely to be tabled in the Budget session of Parliament, slated to begin later this month.
The Antodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) --targeted towards the poorest of the poor-- which was launched by the NDA government in December 2000, is likely to be retained in the final version of the bill.

Parliament's Standing Committee also proposed the State Food Commissions be vested with powers to check the quality of foodgrains before delivery from the central government.

Parliament's Standing Committee also proposed the State Food Commissions be vested with powers to check the quality of foodgrains before delivery from the central government

If the suggestions of Parliament’s standing committee on food are incorporated in the final version of the ambitious Food Security Bill, then beneficiaries of the Public Distribution System ( PDS) will for the first time have a right to reject inferior quality foodgrains. The committee, which presented its report to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar yesterday, has said the central government should prescribe a minimum quality norm for grain to be distributed under the proposed law.

To bring about a synergy between the proposed direct transfer of food subsidies and the food security Bill, which will provide legal entitlement for cheap grain to a majority of India’s population, a Parliament standing committee has suggested states have the option of choosing between the two.

The suggestion has not been included as part of the report but is just mentioned in remarks. The committee, expected to give its final report to the Lok Sabha Speaker soon, has said it should be optional on states whether they want to go for distribution of cheap foodgrain under the food security scheme or distribute cash directly to beneficiaries.

Meet this week to discuss proposal to increase 2013-14 wheat MSP by Rs 100

Riding high on NMDC stake sale garnering Rs 6,000 crore, the Cabinet is expected to discuss on Saturday a proposal to sell 12.5 per cent of its 92.5-per cent stake in state-run Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd (RCF). Officials said the Cabinet is also expected to discuss a proposal from the agriculture ministry to raise the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat for the 2013-14 crop marketing season, which starts from

Meet Parliamentarians and govt, seek removal of all hindrances in path of technological advancement of farming

A consortium of some farmers organisation from Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have urged the government to remove all hindrances in the path of technological advancement of Indian farming and let the farmers make their own choice of choosing high-yielding seeds like genetically modified (GM) ones. The farmers leaders who have been camping in Delhi for the last few days met Parliamentarians and government officials to allow use of high-yielding varieties of seed to improve their per hectare production which could also include use of GM seeds.