Chandigarh, August 25

The Haryana government has set up the Haryana Agriculture Development Agency (HADA) under the overall supervision and guidance of its board of patrons headed by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

The agriculture minister, the power and irrigation minister and the chief secretary will be the members of the board of patrons.

Agriculture minister H.S. Chatha said the agency would be an autonomous body and it would have a governing body under the chairmanship of the financial commissioner and principal secretary, agriculture.

V.K. Ramachandran

New data show that, even over the last three years, the extent of land acquired by the State government for industrial and infrastructural purposes was a fraction of the agricultural land distributed under land reform.

The primary point of distinction between Left-led and all other State governments in India is that, on coming to power, every Left-led government has confronted the agrarian question directly. Land reform has been integral to the policy of the Left in government from the outset.

HYDERABAD: Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said the Centre would import one million tonne of edible oil every month for supply to various States for sale to below poverty line families (BPL) at a subsidised price.

On this count, the Centre will bear a burden of Rs.1,500 crore, allowing a subsidy of Rs.15 a kg to the BPL households.

The new 'records' of most crops are not significantly higher than those achieved in the past.

The updated crop production estimates released by Krishi Bhawan for 2007-08 and the previous year, showing new production records for most crops, may suggest an impressive performance of agriculture, but a closer look at the numbers shows that the new peaks are not significantly above the levels scaled in the past. The average annual growth beyond the previous high levels has been rather modest in most crops, barring cotton.

DH News Service, Hubli:

Former minister and senior Congress leader H K Patil will soon meet Primary Minister Manmohan Singh and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and appeal them to take up cloud seeding in different parts of the country to save farmers from continuous droughts. Speaking to media persons here on Monday, Mr Patil said there was an urgent need for exploring the modern technology to bail out farmers, especially living in drought-prone areas, who were suffering due to lack of rains.

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.