Govt. raises minimum onion export price by USD 5/tonne

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The government has raised the minimum price for exporting onion by USD 50 to an average of USD 500-505 a tonne for January to increase domestic availability.

“The Minimum Export Price (MEP) has been raised by USD 50 a tonne for January 2010,” said a senior official with agri co-operative Nafed, which is the government’s agency to regulate onion export.

After the hike, the MEP now stands at USD 500-505 per tonne for export to Dubai and Sharjah, and at USD 515-530 a tonne for other destinations in the Gulf, he added.

The increase in MEP has been made even though export was lower in December 2009, the official said, adding, “there could be a check on retail prices through this move.”

According to data maintained by Nafed, onion export for December 2009 was 77,000 tonnes against 1.02 lakh tonnes during the same month in 2008.

Citing retail prices of onion at over Rs 20 a kg in many places in the country, he said the high MEP may bring down export further, thereby raising domestic supply.

Nafed, alongwith 13 other agencies involved in onion export, decides the MEP every month.

No export can take place below the MEP and all contracts are registered with the Nafed.

Read the whole story: The Hindu
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Indian companies buy land abroad for agricultural products

Indian companies are buying land overseas, mainly in Africa, to grow agricultural products that can be exported to large markets, including India.

Companies and investment houses prefer the African route to agriculture as direct investment in this sector in India is fraught with bureaucratic hurdles. Also, land is relatively cheaper in Africa and fertile. Contiguous nature of land — a company can get large tracts contiguous land — are the other main drivers.

According to statistics provided by governments of various countries in east Africa, more than 80 Indian companies have invested about £1.5 billion (about Rs 11,300 crore ) in buying huge plantations in countries in eastern Africa, such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Senegal and Mozambique that will be used to grow foodgrain for the domestic market.

The list of companies that have purchased land in Africa is quite long and includes companies in businesses ranging from agriculture and horticulture to engineering and metals. They include the Kolkata-based Kankaria group (manufacturing and textiles), Kommuri Agrotech (floriculture and horticulture), Surya Electrical (electrical products), Karuturi Agro Processing, AVR Engineering (construction), Nelvo International (minerals), Allied Chemicals, BP Jewellery, KSR Earthmovers.

Read the whole story: The Economic Times

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Two GM varieties of wheat developed by Mahyco registered

The first of the genetically modified seed varieties developed in India will make it to the market soon as the government has registered two such wheat varieties developed by Mahyco, an Indian seeds company. This will create competition in the market dominated by multinational companies and thereby help lower seed prices. The registration of vegetable varieties will begin in March next year.

The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPV&FR Authority) has registered these two hybrid wheat varieties. “The registration of the novel varieties is considered crucial since MNCs have so far dominated the sector and have even used the research knowledge and genetic material available here to register expensive varieties of food crop seeds,” PPV&FR Authority chairperson Nagarajan told ET.

Read the whole story: The Economic Times

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