Ranchi: The move to acquire land from ICAR's Ranchi-based Horticulture & Agro Forestry Research Programme (HARP) for a housing scheme for MPs and MLAs has been shelved. "We do not want to get into a land dispute,' Jharkhand Assembly Speaker Alamgir Alam said on Wednesday.

Gargi Parsai Buoyed by the production of 78 million tonnes of wheat this rabi and a procurement of 222 lakh tonnes for the Public Distribution System, the government may intervene in the market with open sale of wheat to contain prices. Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said here that the government had set aside about three million tonnes of wheat for the open market sale in those States where the wheat prices continue to remain high. The pricemade available thus, to augment supplies, would be fixed at lower than the market rate, the Minister said.

Agriculture and food minister Sharad Pawar has said the restrictions imposed on export of major foodgrain are not permanent and the government could lift the ban once the supply situation improves. "I am confident that prices will go down and in such a situation we don't want to continue with these types of restrictions," Pawar said when asked about the demand being raised by world leaders on lifting export ban.

At around 11 a.m., Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar eagerly awaits an SMS. No, the message is not about the Indian Premier League. It is from his officials who send him the scores on a day-to-day basis on harvesting and procurement of foodgrain. Last week, as his slim mobile phone silently whirred, he checked the message and smiled to himself. His department had set a new record by procuring 210 lakh tonne

The Common Guidelines for Watershed Development Projects, brought out by the union government, is an adapted version of the Parthasarathy Committee Report. This article highlights some of the major features of the guidelines and discusses ways to take forward the main concerns that have engaged much of the recent policy discourse on watershed development.

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India will review bans on exports of wheat and basmati rice, but shipments of other grades of rice will not be allowed at least until November, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said. India last exported wheat in the 2003-04 fiscal year and became an importer in the past two years, but a bumper crop has helped the government purchase from local farmers a record 24.8 million tonnes of the staple this year. Pawar said on Thursday that a government panel, called the Empowered Group of Ministers , (EGoM), would soon consider lifting the ban on wheat exports.

It appears Mother Nature has at last answered the prayers offered for the last more than four years by our Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, for a second Green Revolution in agriculture so that foodgrains are available in plenty and it would no longer be necessary to import wheat from the world market at exorbitant prices as he had to do last year.

The Agriculture Department has directed its field staff to draw samples of vermin-compost and various types of bio-fertilisers to ensure that farmers were supplied products of the prescribed standard. Director of agriculture J.C. Rana said the fertiliser (control) order had been amended to include azotobacter, rhizobium, azospirillium and phosphate solublising bacteria under bio-fertilisers and town compost, vermi-compost and press mud under organic fertilisers.

The Union Minister for Agriculture, Mr Sharad Pawar, with the State ministers for agriculture at an exhibition of sorghum at the national conference, held at NAARM in Hyderabad on Monday. The Union Government would announce the much-awaited minimum support price (MSP) for paddy for this kharif season soon. Talking to newspersons on the sidelines of a national conference of the Ministers of Agriculture here on Monday, Mr Sharad Pawar, Union Agriculture Minister, said the Government would, in all likelihood, announce the MSP on May 29 or 30. He hinted that the MSP would be higher.

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