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.

S&T, agriculture ministries hold the key to exploiting a good monsoon to augment food production

The Punjab government has asked the Centre to include the state in the National Food Security Mission (NFSM)-Rice to ensure higher contribution to the Central pool of foodgrains.

With the Congress often seeking to blame the Agriculture Ministry for inflation, the Nationalist Congress Party, headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, on Sunday sought to turn the table demanding "more stringent' measures from the Finance Ministry, headed by P Chidambaram, to control price rise. Expressing deep concern over the soaring prices of essential commodities and unbridled inflationary trends, a resolution adopted by the NCP National Committee here on Sunday appealed to the Government to "have a thorough review of the fiscal management policy'.

The M.S. Swaminathan Commission, appointed by the Central government to study the distressed farm sector in Idukki district, has submitted its report to Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, team leader S. Balaravi has said.

The creditable performance of the Indian agricultural sector in three successive seasons ending 2007-08 has taken the output of food crops to 227.3 million tonnes from 208.6 million tonnes in 2005-06. The yield of fine cereals, particularly wheat, has improved dramatically as out of the increase of 18.7 million tonnes in total food output, fine cereals alone account for 11.3 million tonnes

The Centre, as per its announcement in the Union Budget, will relieve debt-ridden farmers from their loans within three weeks by issuing final orders, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said here on Saturday. Pawar, who was here to participate in the golden jubilee celebration of Ahmednagar District Central Co-operative Bank, said the Congress and NCP have decided to jointly contest the forthcoming Parliament and Assembly elections.

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