STRUGGLING TO ENTER THE BPL CLUB

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					                               STRUGGLING TO ENTER THE BPL CLUB
                               The Hindu                                                                                                      October 02, 2011


                               The Planning Commission's poverty straightjacket is but one of a series of obstacles faced by “aspirants” to the BPL status. Nothing
                               illustrates the absurdity of current food policies more poignantly than the plight of Dablu Singh's family in Latehar district,
                               Jharkhand. About two years ago Dablu, a young Adivasi who survived mainly from casual labour, fell from a roof at work and broke
                               his back. He is paralysed for life and needs intensive care. His wife Sumitra looks after him, their daughter, and a small baby (aside
                               from a few goats and hens), and is unable to work for wages. The family is on the verge of starvation. “Below Poverty Line” (BPL)
                               families in Jharkhand are entitled to 35 kg of rice per month at Re.1 per kg. This is a great relief for these families, but Dablu Singh's
                               family doesn't have a BPL card. Meanwhile, the godowns of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) are bursting at the seams yet again.
     Monthly News
                               The FCI is lumbered with about 60 million tonnes of wheat and rice, and doesn't know where to put the excess stocks. Some want to
                               export them, others want to brew them, others still want to privatise the FCI and be done. Expanding storage capacity is routinely
                               offered as a solution — but how about distributing some of the excess grain? There is no dearth of families like Dablu's. According to
                               the National Sample Survey, about half of all poor families in rural India do not have a BPL card. Why not cover the rest and distribute
                               the food? Dablu Singh's only hope is that his plight has been noticed. Soon after his accident, he attracted the attention of local
      Page No. 1               journalists, and later on, of the District Collector, local MLA, and others. Everyone agreed that he should get a BPL card, by way of
                               immediate relief. True to the Jharkhand government's “gesture administration”, the District Collector instructed the BDO to do the
                               needful. From then on, various officers (BDO, SDO, BSO, so-and-so) passed the buck to each other for a few months. Dablu's well-
                               wishers pleaded his case all the way to Ranchi and even Delhi. Nothing doing — one year down the line, Dablu still didn't have a BPL
                               card. When the Commissioners of the Supreme Court swung into action and took the District Collector to task, he finally admitted
                               that the entire district administration was powerless to give a BPL card to Dablu without striking someone else off the BPL list. He
    Month October              might as well have said it from the beginning — but that's another matter. The point is, the district has a “quota” of BPL cards, so no
                               one can be inducted unless someone else is dropped. Someone quietly suggested that, since Dablu had become a VIP of sorts, he
                               could perhaps be “adjusted” by removing someone else at random. There rested the matter a few weeks ago, more than a year after
                               a whole team of well-wishers (stretching from Latehar to Delhi) joined forces for Dablu. One shudders to think how many tonnes of
                               grain putrefied in the FCI godowns in the meantime. Anyway, the local Block Supply Officer finally managed to identify a sacrificial
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.        lamb: someone on the BPL list in Dablu's village had died, and so had his wife, and their son already had a separate BPL card, so it
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,
                               seemed alright to strike that name from the list and accommodate Dablu. It took just another 10-15 days to complete the job —
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,
District Centre, Vikas Marg,   Dablu finally has a BPL card.
Delhi - 110092
                               But there is a catch: Dablu may be deprived of his BPL card very soon. This is because the BPL list is supposed to be redone after the
Telephone :
                               ongoing BPL Census (alias “Socio-Economic and Caste Census”) is completed. And the methodology of this Census is such that
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)
+91-11-22457226, 22457230      Dablu's family meets only one of the seven “deprivation indicators” that make up the BPL score. With a score of one on a scale of zero
                               to seven, Dablu is almost certain to be excluded again. And just to make it a little harder for Dablu to sneak into the exclusive club,
Telefax :                      the Planning Commission has made it clear (in its recent “striptease affidavit” to the Supreme Court) that the BPL list is expected to
011-47675201/06                shrink over time, in line with official poverty estimates based on the government's measly poverty line of — roughly — Rs.25 per
                               person per day in rural areas. This is what Dablu actually needs, as a bare minimum, for essential medical care alone. Many States
E-Mail :
email@assocom-india.com        have rebelled against the Planning Commission's poverty straightjacket, and expanded the Public Distribution System (PDS) well
                               beyond the BPL list. Had Dablu lived in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, or even Chhattisgarh, he might not have gone through this
Website :                      ordeal. In Tamil Nadu, the PDS is universal — everyone has a ration card. Andhra Pradesh has rejected the BPL framework in favour
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                               of an “exclusion approach”, whereby everyone is eligible except those who meet well-defined exclusion criteria such as having a
                               government job. Chhattisgarh, for its part, still uses an inclusion approach, but the inclusion criteria are quite broad (e.g. all SC/ST
                               households are eligible) and the PDS covers nearly 80 per cent of the rural population. Further, the list of ration cards is regularly
                               verified and updated. In areas like rural Latehar, the case for a universal PDS is overwhelming. Indeed, except for a few exploiters
                               (e.g. contractors and moneylenders), there are no rich people there — most of them move to urban areas, if only because they want
                               decent schooling facilities for their children. In the villages, almost everyone is either poor or vulnerable to poverty. Further, the local
                               administration is too inept, corrupt and exploitative to conduct a credible BPL survey or any sort of identification exercise. In these
                               circumstances, a universal PDS makes a lot of sense. The proposed National Food Security Act (NFSA) is an opportunity to end the
                               BPL nightmare, and ensure that a family like Dablu's is entitled to a ration card as a matter of right. Unfortunately, the official draft of
                               the NFSA perpetuates the entire BPL approach under a new name. Meanwhile, the government has lifted the ban on exports of wheat
     Monthly News              and rice, to “solve” the food crisis.


                               FOOD PROCESSING - KEY CHALLENGES AND DELIVERABLES FOR SUCCESS
                               Hindu Business Line                                                                                              October 02, 2011

      Page No. 2               Aptly recognised as the ‘sunrise industry', providing vital linkages between the two pillars of our
                               economy – manufacturing and agriculture – the Food Processing industry in India is undergoing a
                               significant transformation. With a turnover of $110 billion, it accounts for 35 per cent of the Indian food
                               market, and has been growing at a better rate of 14 per cent in the last few years. This can be attributed
                               to the improving policy environment and increasing thrust on public-private partnership and
                               improvement of rural infrastructure, to leverage India's strengths on the supply and demand frontiers.
    Month October              The Government has made commendable efforts to promote investment in the industry by way of
                                                                                                                                                     Rana Kapoor
                               channelling resources through various schemes as subsidies and grants. The schemes included
                               development of integrated cold chains, Mega Food Parks (MFP), Modern Terminal Markets (MTM) and
                               bulk storage facilities as well as modernization of markets, quality control laboratories and abattoirs. These efforts have placed the
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.        food processing industry on a high growth trajectory as reflected by the increase in food processing from 6 per cent in 2005 to 11 per
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,    cent in 2009. Though low levels of processing and market share in the global arena suggest an untapped opportunity to capitalise on
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,       India's enormous raw material base and propel exports, they also indicate critical challenges to be trounced to sustain continual
District Centre, Vikas Marg,   growth of the industry. Supply side bottlenecks: Small and dispersed marketable surplus due to fragmented holdings, low farm
Delhi - 110092
                               productivity, high seasonality, perishability and intermediation result in lack of distribution on supply and quality, and in turn, impede
Telephone :                    processing and exports. Infrastructure bottlenecks: More than 30 per cent of the produce from farm gate is lost due to inadequate
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)     cold chain infrastructure (covering only 1 per cent of total F&Vs production) and inadequate logistics. About 80 per cent of the 217
+91-11-22457226, 22457230      lakh tonnes cold storage capacity is engaged by potatoes while other F&Vs account for only 0.2 per cent. Likewise, instead of using
                               specialised transportation for perishables like reefer vans, their logistics predominantly rely on traditional modes, commonly used
Telefax :                      for grains. Yet, development of cold chains and logistics infrastructure remains an unviable investment option, on account of, lack of
011-47675201/06
                               critical scale and high operating costs (twice than in the West). The food processing industry has a high concentration of unorganised
E-Mail :                       segments, representing almost 75 per cent across all product categories. Thus, explaining the inefficiencies in the existing
email@assocom-india.com        production system, ascribed to the debility of small regional players to invest in technology up gradation and diversify into alternate
                               product categories. Deficiencies in the regulatory environment: Lack of integration & clarity: Numerous laws, under the jurisdiction
Website :                      of different ministries and departments, govern food safety and packaging. The multiplicity of legislation leads to contradictions in
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                               specifications, conflicting approach, lack of co-ordination and administrative delays. For instance, manufacturers of packaged food
                               products such as jams and squashes are obligated to comply with quality standards and label declarations prescribed under multiple
                               legislations such as The Standards of Weights & Measures (Packaged Commodities) Rules, Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) and
                               Fruit Products Order (FPO). Correspondingly, FPO allows usage of Class II sweeteners in Fruit Products, whereas PFA does not.


                               Lack of Holistic Approach - Despite conferring numerous incentives for establishing new processing units, proportionate results
                               have not been achieved. This can be credited to the absence of vital peripheral infrastructural linkages and legislation for contract
                               and corporate farming, inadequate implementation of the APMC Act and cumbersome procedures to avail grants. Also, unlike for
                               small scale industries, fewer schemes have been designed to promote scale by incentivising large scale investors.
                               Besides these, inherent anomalies such as mounting cost of finance, lack of skilled and trained manpower, inadequate quality control
     Monthly News              and packaging units and high taxes and duties, thwart development of FPI.


                               Solution Themes - The need of the hour is to adopt an integrated approach to address the abovementioned tailbacks with a clear-
                               cut focus on improving the quality and value of the output, reducing the cost of raw material for the processors, while improving the
                               farmers' income levels. In addition, to the host of path breaking interventions introduced by the government, particularly Ministry of
                               Food Processing Industry (MFPI), following are a few recommendations to realize the fullest potential of FPI:
      Page No. 3
                                  1.Policy initiatives to plug supply side and infrastructure bottlenecks
                                  •   Foster development of backward linkages crucial for securing scale and economic viability by evolving conducive regulatory
                                      framework for contract and corporate farming and encouraging commodity clusters and intensive livestock rearing.
                                  •   Promote holistic development through private sector participation while expounding a robust supporting framework (as in
    Month October                     case of MFP and MTM) with well defined roles of the participants, risk sharing mechanisms, fiscal incentives and partnership
                                      models for creation of infrastructure for logistics, storage and processing.
                                  •   Encourage technology up gradation of existing facilities and investment in development of ancillary industries like research
                                      and development, packaging, food processing equipment manufacturing, food safety certifying agencies by extending fiscal
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.
                                      incentives to investors.
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,       •   Enable better access to credit by augmenting current cap of Rs 10 crore investments in plant and machinery to qualify as
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,              Priority Sector Credit to accommodate the high cost technology adoption and scale enhancement.
District Centre, Vikas Marg,
Delhi - 110092
                                  2.Streamlining the regulatory structure
Telephone :                       •   Remove impediments of multiple departments and laws in seeking approvals by bringing them under a single window
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)            thereby providing clarity in roles and channels of operational and service delivery.
+91-11-22457226, 22457230
                                  •   Ensure uniform implementation of the APMC act to encourage private sector investment in infrastructure development.
Telefax :                         •   Hasten harmonization of indirect taxes by implementation of Goods & Services Tax, as aimed in the current budget, to
011-47675201/06                       warrant uniform tax structures across the country and reduce vast price differences in products.
E-Mail :
email@assocom-india.com           3.Change in mindset-Orienting stakeholders towards ‘demand and profit driven production'
                                  •   Participants across the agri value- chain need to shift their focus from trying to market ‘what is produced' to producing
Website :
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                                      ‘processable varieties and marketable products' meeting global quality standards and traceability requirements, duly
                                      adopting need based viable technologies and quality controls.


                                  4.Human resource development-to meet increasing demand for skilled manpower
                                  •   Stimulate industry, academia and government to put in combined efforts for development of specialized institutes and
                                      courses for providing training on managerial, safety and enforcements, technology and production, warehousing and
                                      distribution aspects.
                                  •   Encourage State Agricultural Universities to commence courses in food packaging, processing, bio-technology, information
                                      technology in agriculture and such allied fields.

     Monthly News
                               PVT SCHOOL QUOTA STUDENTS MAY GET MID-DAY MEAL
                               Indian Express                                                                                                October 03, 2011


                               The mid-day meal scheme department, responsible for providing meals to children in government schools under the Right of all
      Page No. 4               Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, is considering extending the programme to students in private schools who
                               have been admitted under the mandatory 25 per cent quota for those belonging to disadvantaged sections. The departmental
                               committee, which has agreed that the provision applies to children in private schools as well, is debating ways to implement it. Along
                               with mid-day meal, the students under the 25 per cent reservation category, are also entitled to free textbooks and uniforms. “The
                               interesting fact is no private and unaided schools has demanded we provide it. We are contemplating ways to do it in the right way.
                               The guidelines say we do it but we are wondering how to address the equity question in terms of the rest of the students who may
    Month October              come from affluent backgrounds,” a MDMS official said.


                               PROPOSED CENTRAL BILL MAY DENY SUBSIDISED RICE TO 66 LAKH CARD HOLDERS
                               The Hindu                                                                                                     October 03, 2011
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,       Ceiling for coverage of population is 75% in rural areas, 50% in urban areas. Approximately 66 lakh rice-drawing card holders in the
District Centre, Vikas Marg,   State may become ineligible to receive subsidised rice from the Central pool if the draft National Food Security Bill is adopted in its
Delhi - 110092                 present form. According to the bill [contents are available on the website of the Union government's Department of Food and Public
                               Distribution], the ceiling for the coverage of population is 75 per cent in rural areas and 50 per cent in urban areas. It states that of
Telephone :                    the covered rural population, 46 per cent should belong to priority households (PHH) and at least 28 per cent of the urban population
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)
+91-11-22457226, 22457230
                               account for PHH. The remaining portion would be regarded as general households (GHH). Food grain entitlements and issue price
                               vary with regard to PHH and GHH with higher weightage for those covered under the PHH. As of now, the State has 1.85 crore rice-
Telefax :                      drawing family cards, of which 1.07 crore cards are in rural areas and 78 lakh in urban areas. [The total number of cards is 1.97
011-47675201/06                crore, according to the Policy Note of the State Food and Consumer Protection Department]. If the rule of exclusion, as envisaged in
                               the Bill, is applied, 66 lakh cards will have to be removed. Of them 39 lakh cards will be from urban areas and the remaining 27 lakh
E-Mail :
                               from rural areas. Assuming that each card has four beneficiaries, about 2.64 crore people will be left out of the PDS. This accounts for
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                               around 37 per cent of the State's population of about 7.21 crore (2011 Census provisional data). Another point to be kept in mind, an
Website :                      official points out, is that urban areas account for 48.45 per cent of the State's population. It is against this backdrop that the
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                               restriction on the coverage of urban population, as provided in the Bill, has to be seen. The Centre's obligation under the proposed
                               legislation will be restricted to allocating food grains and ensuring them to those belonging to PHHs and GHHs. If any State
                               government wants to provide subsidised rice to others who, in the context of Tamil Nadu, are covered under 66 lakh cards, it will be
                               the concern of the respective State.


                               After the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government assumed office in May, the scheme of providing 20 kg of rice per
                               month free of cost to rice-drawing card holders in general is being implemented since June 1. The Antodaya Anna Yojana (AAY)
                               beneficiaries get 35 kg per month. The monthly requirement of rice is around 3.3 lakh tonnes whereas the Central allotment of rice is
                               2.96 lakh tonnes. Even now, the Centre provides rice to the State at an issue price of Rs.3 per kg for Antodaya Anna Yojana
                               beneficiaries; Rs.5.65 per kg for Below Poverty Line (BPL) people; and Rs.8.30 per kg for Above Poverty Line (APL) people. The
     Monthly News              difference of roughly 35,000 tonnes is met through various ad hoc allotments of the Centre at the per kg rates that vary from Rs.5.65
                               to Rs.11.85 to around Rs.15.4. The State also buys rice under the Open Market Sales Scheme of the Food Corporation of India at
                               rates that are in the range of around Rs.15.2 to Rs.16.10. However, the State government, while providing rice free of cost, does not
                               make any distinction among family card holders. This year's food subsidy bill has been estimated at Rs.4,500 crore, of which about
                               Rs.2,500 crore is earmarked for the component of rice. Basically, the State's policy differs from the approach of framers of the Bill.
                               While Tamil Nadu follows Universal PDS, the Bill is based on Targeted PDS. Another official who has been handling PDS says the State
      Page No. 5               has been adopting the policy of UPDS as it is the best way to address issues of accessibility and affordability in food security. In the
                               absence of nation-wide consensus over the methodology to be adopted to identify people belonging to the BPL, cent percent
                               targeting is not administratively feasible and can lead to a situation where the possibilities of unfair exclusion of genuinely poor
                               people and unwarranted inclusion of undeserving people cannot be ruled out. But, the UPDS, as adopted in Tamil Nadu, is left to the
                               option of beneficiaries. Only those in need of subsidised food articles will go to fair price shops and not the entire population.

    Month October
                               UPDS to continue - A senior official in the Food Department says there is no change in the State government policy of UPDS.


                               MILLS, RATION DEPOTS USURP FORTIFIED FLOUR MEANT FOR PUBLIC
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.                                                                                                                        October 03, 2011
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,
                               Hundreds of quintals of fortified flour meant to be distributed under the public distribution system was usurped by flour mills in
District Centre, Vikas Marg,
Delhi - 110092                 connivance with the Food and Civil Supplies Department staff and ration depot holders. While the supply of the fortified ‘atta’ (flour)
                               bags remained largely on papers, various mills took the money from the government after showing forged receipts, thus causing
Telephone :                    huge loss to the state exchequer. Taking a serious note of the development, Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal has, via a
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)     communiqué to the Secretary, Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Punjab, urged him to hold a high-level probe and take
+91-11-22457226, 22457230
                               stern action against the erring mill owners.Earlier, a complaint was lodged by former BJP councillor Naresh Sharma with the district
Telefax :                      administration and a probe was carried out by the district controller, Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department.
011-47675201/06                Sharma, via a letter to the Chief Minister, Deputy CM and Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister, had demanded a probe by an
                               independent agency into the scam. During the investigation, 11 ration depots were checked and the probing team found that it was
E-Mail :                       not practically possible to dole out the quantity of flour distributed by the ration depots, which was shown as lifted from the flour mills
email@assocom-india.com        on the official website of the department.
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                               UP TO RAISE WAREHOUSING CAPACITY TO 6.5 MT IN PRIVATE, PUBLIC SECTORS
                               Business Standard                                                                                            October 05, 2011


                               Uttar Pradesh is looking at total warehousing capacity of over 6.5 million tonnes (mt) in near future to keep pace with robust
                               foodgrain production in consecutive crop seasons and commensurate procurement by government agencies. The capacity
                               increment will be done both in the public and private sectors. The fresh capacity would ensure the foodgrain is stored in closed
                               warehouses and does not rot in the open. Currently, the consolidated warehousing capacity in UP stands at about 4.659 mt, including
                               2.393 mt with UP State Warehousing Corporation (UPSWC), 1.492 mt with Food Corporation of India (FCI) and rest with other
                               agencies. Under Private Entrepreneur Guarantee (PEG) Scheme 2008, 1.860 MT of fresh warehousing capacity will be added in the
     Monthly News              state soon, primarily in the private sector. The entrepreneur would be offered guaranteed lease of their premises by FCI and UPSWC
                               for nine years. The private parties would themselves arrange funds for setting up their warehouses, however, banks and financial
                               institutions would be willing to offer them credit based on the guarantee. The state is witness to bumper kharif season this year with
                               total production estimated at over 17 mt compared to about 15 mt last year. Likewise, the state is expecting a significant spurt in rabi
                               production, especially in the backdrop of Green Revolution Project underway in 28 districts in eastern UP. In July this year, UP was
                               feted as the country’s ‘Best Performing State’ in food grain production clocking 47.138 mt during 2010-11. Recently, cooperatives
      Page No. 6               minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui laid the foundation of 7 UPSWC warehouses in Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Sant Kabir Nagar, Balrampur,
                               Maharajganj and Chhatrapati Sahuji Maharaj Nagar districts. The total warehousing capacity of these units totals 37,000 tonnes and
                               another 10,000 tonnes capacity would added in the vacant land of UPSWC. He said under PEG scheme, the Centre had already
                               approved warehousing capacity of 1.376 mt in UP and private entrepreneurs had already started civil works. Last year, UPSWG had
                               stored 2.956 mt of wheat, of which 6,97,000 tonnes was left in the open. In current year, the Corporation has stored 2.174 mt of
                               wheat, of which 3,81,000 tonnes was left in the open due to lack of space.
    Month October
                               INFLATION-WARY MINISTRIES OPPOSE 15% WHEAT
                               MSP HIKE
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.        Business Standard                                                            October 05, 2011
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,
District Centre, Vikas Marg,   The ministries for food and finance have opposed an agriculture ministry proposal to raise the
Delhi - 110092                 minimum support price (MSP) for wheat 15 per cent to Rs 1,350 a quintal. The ministries fear the
                               move would worsen food inflation. That was suggested as CACP believed farmers should get Rs
Telephone :                    80 a quintal in addition to a Rs 80 hike by factoring in benefits they would have got had exports
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)     been fully allowed. However, the cabinet stuck to a Rs 80 a quintal rise, raising the MSP to Rs
+91-11-22457226, 22457230
                               1,080. The government had recently allowed exports of wheat and rice up to two million tonnes.
Telefax :                      Food inflation, barring a few instances, has refused to come below nine per cent. It stood at 9.13
011-47675201/06                per cent for the week ended September 17. However, price pressures from wheat are not that
                               much. Prices, in fact, declined 2.67 per cent for the week under review, compared to the              Earlier this year, CACP had
E-Mail :                       corresponding period of last year. As much as 28 million tonnes of wheat was procured for this       recommended raising of MSP
email@assocom-india.com                                                                                                              for paddy by 16 per cent to
                               financial year, a record high. Officials said the requirement for wheat may be much higher next       Rs 1,160 a quintal, from the
Website :                      financial year because of the provisions of the proposed food security law, expected to come into    then price of Rs 1,000 crore.
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                               effect from April 1, 2012. In the draft Food Security Bill, 75 per cent of rural households and half of urban households will be entitled
                               to subsidised grain. The food ministry feels when the Act is fully implemented, the requirement of grain for feeding the poor should
                               be around 61 million tonnes as against the current annual average procurement of 55-60 million tonnes. The extent of subsidy is also
                               expected to change if the beneficiaries under the proposed Act are determined on the basis of a socio-economic caste census. The
                               Planning Commission decided yesterday to delink the government’s social welfare measures with its controversial affidavit in the
                               Supreme Court. Unofficial estimates say the government’s annual food bill could rise to Rs 95,000-99,000 crore if the proposals
                               made in the draft Bill are implemented in toto. In the 2011-12 Budget, the government had estimated the food subsidy bill to be
                               around Rs 60,573 crore.


                               ICAR AND CIMMYT SIGN MOU TO SET UP BORLAUG INSTITUTE FOR SOUTH ASIA
     Monthly News
                               Press Information Bureau                                                                                      October 05, 2011


                               Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) signed here today
                               an MoU to set up Borlaug Institute for South Asia. The Institutes will be established at Ludhiana in Punjab, Pusa in Bihar and Jabalpur
                               in M.P. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Shri Sharad Pawar said that the
      Page No. 7               establishment of Borlaug Institute for South Asia in India will enable to harness the best of international science in meeting food
                               security challenges and will become an agricultural hub for the South Asia region. Shri Pawar said, “Ludhiana in Punjab is located in
                               the agro-ecological zone which can be safely called the “wheat bowl” of India. This region had been at the forefront of Green
                               Revolution and has been the region of high productivity. However, the region is facing problems of high ground water withdrawal and
                               the consequent water scarcity, and climate change effects such as terminal heat. Agricultural productivity in the region has hit a
                               plateau. The Center of Borlaug Institute at Ludhaina will have to concentrate on these issues and introduce newer verities that will be
    Month October              high yielding, more water and nutrient-efficient, terminal heat-resistant and, therefore, will produce more with fewer inputs.” About
                               Borlaug Institute at Pusa in Bihar Shri Pawar said, this center can concentrate on the research priorities of Eastern India and Maize-
                               based agricultural systems should be the focus of research at this center. He said, Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh is another
                               strategically located agro-ecological zone of Central India from where substantial productivity gains in agriculture, particularly
                               wheat and maize can come. This is also the region with substantial Kharif and Rabi fallows which can be put to cropping with judicious
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,    combination of crop, cropping system machinery and inputs, Shri Pawar added. The Institute will create state of the art research
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,       facilities to support the maize and wheat R&D and broaden the range of varieties and tools available to farmers. It will also
District Centre, Vikas Marg,   strengthen local crop breeding programmes to meet food production challenges.
Delhi - 110092

Telephone :                    OURVIEW | MANAGING THE FOOD SYSTEM
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)
+91-11-22457226, 22457230      Live Mint                                                                                                     October 05, 2011

Telefax :
                               The National Food Security law may see daylight in the winter session of Parliament. After much debate and persistent doubts, food
011-47675201/06
                               security will move to a more concrete stage. It is important to take a look at how well-prepared (or underprepared) the country’s
E-Mail :                       food management system is to deal with a much bigger mandate. The prognosis is not good. There are two choke-points in the
email@assocom-india.com        current system: at the level of purchase from farmers and at the level of distribution by the Union government to the states. In both
                               cases, it is the economics of managing food that creates problems. When the food security law is made operational, 75% of rural and
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                               50% of urban households will gain access to subsidized foodgrains. This will necessitate the Union government— through the Food
                               Corporation of India (FCI) and agencies of state governments that act on its behalf—to lay its hands on a much larger amount of what
                               farmers produce. There are only two ways of doing this: pay farmers a higher minimum support price (MSP) or effectively shut
                               private traders out from these markets, leaving the government as the sole buyer. A Business Standard report on Wednesday
                               showed how the Union ministries of finance and food and consumer affairs are disinclined to raise the MSP for wheat by 15% as
                               recommended by the agriculture ministry. The latter, in turn, had based its proposal on the recommendation of the Commission for
                               Agricultural Costs and Prices. The opposition from the two ministries was due to their fears that a higher MSP would stoke inflation in
                               these commodities. These fears are not unfounded: at the stage of distributing food stocks down to the states, higher MSPs translate
                               into ever-rising subsidies or an increase in the prices at which food is finally sold to poor consumers, defeating the purpose of
                               enhanced coverage. There may not be much time for the Union government to sort out this issue.
     Monthly News
                               The food security law—if everything proceeds smoothly—will be rolled out sometime next year. At the moment, the government is
                               comfortably placed on the supplies front, so much so that it allowed the export of foodgrains. Problems will, however, surface
                               anywhere from 16-18 months after the initial roll-out when the programme is accelerated. It will be good if the Union government
                               devotes some attention to these systemic problems before they become difficult to manage. What should the government do for the
                               smooth implementation of a food security law?
      Page No. 8
                               WORLD FOOD PRICES SEEN FALLING MORE IN SEPTEMBER
                               Reuters                                                                                                      October 06, 2011


                               World food prices fell last month, United Nations data is likely to show on Thursday, easing inflationary pressures ahead of the
    Month October
                               European Central Bank's expected decision on interest rates. U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) figures are expected to
                               reflect a sell-off in grains, part of a retreat across commodities on economic gloom, and edging back further from the record high in
                               February which helped stoke the unrest of the Arab Spring. The FAO will update its monthly Food Price Index on Thursday, just as the
                               ECB meets and is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged as investor concerns grow about Greece's possible default and
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.        its impact on the global economy. U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday the impact of food prices and
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,    energy on inflation was receding as he gave his bleakest assessment of the fragile U.S. recovery. The index -- which measures price
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,       changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar -- hit a record high of nearly 238 points in February, raising
District Centre, Vikas Marg,   fears the 2008 food crisis which sparked riots in some poor countries could be repeated.
Delhi - 110092

Telephone :                    Global food prices have fallen back in the last few months but remained at historically high levels. A sell-off on international grain
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)     markets in September, with investors worried about a global economic slowdown which may undercut demand, is likely to add
+91-11-22457226, 22457230
                               pressure on last month's food prices. Benchmark U.S. grain futures fell sharply in September also hit by larger-than-expected
Telefax :                      supplies announced by the U.S. government, with corn futures plunging 23 percent for the month -- the biggest monthly drop in
011-47675201/06                more than 15 years. U.S. wheat tumbled 23 percent in September and soybeans dropped 19 percent, the biggest monthly fall in
                               three years. Sugar prices also fell last month. On the physical markets, the average monthly price of benchmark U.S. maize fell to
E-Mail :                       $305.63 a tonne in September from $308.38 in August, while U.S. Hard Red Winter wheat rose to $334.60 a tonne from $331.00 a
email@assocom-india.com        tonne, the FAO's database showed. Thai rice jumped to a $617.75 tonne in September from $582.25 a tonne in August, according to
                               the database.
Website :
www.assocom-india.com
                               AHEAD OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS, GOVT PLANS HIKE IN WHEAT MSP
                               Indian Express                                                                                               October 08 2011


                               Ahead of Assembly elections in the two major wheat-growing states of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh early next year, the Agriculture
                               Ministry has proposed a substantial hike in the minimum support price (MSP) for wheat to be procured in April 2012. Sources in the
                               Krishi Bhavan said Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has accepted the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP)
                               suggestion of hiking wheat MSP by over 20 per cent to Rs 1,350 a quintal, from Rs 1,120 a quintal this year. In practical terms, the
                               hike works out to over 15 per cent as the government had announced a bonus of Rs 50 a quintal this year. In fact, the additional
                               bonus this year had resulted in record wheat procurement of over 28 million tonnes. The new MSP is likely to boost procurement
                               further, at a time when the government needs to enhance its wheat stock in the wake of the proposed national food security law.
     Monthly News

                               KEY FACTS ABOUT INDIAN CROPS IN 2011/12
                               Reuters                                                                                                      October 14, 2011


      Page No. 9               India, a top producer and consumer of wheat, rice, sugar and lentils, is likely to harvest record food grain in 2011/12 following normal
                               monsoon rains this year. The country, the world's second most populous, exports small amounts of grain and sugar as domestic consumption
                               is robust and the government is keen on keeping supplies at home to fight near-double digit food inflation.


                               Here are some facts about the key Indian crops.
                               Sugar: India, the world's top sugar consumer and the biggest producer behind Brazil, is expected to churn out more than 26 million
    Month October
                               tonnes in the 2011/12 year that began on Oct.1. The domestic requirement is of about 22-23 million tonnes. Industry officials say
                               the country could export 3-4 million tonnes this year compared to about 2.6 million tonnes a year ago. India is a key supplier of white
                               sugar to Asian and African buyers and competes with Thailand and Brazil.
                               Rice: Rice is the main food grain in India. The world's second biggest producer is aiming a record 102 million tonnes output against a
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.        local demand of about 90 million tonnes. Output from the summer-sown crop is estimated at 87.1 million tonnes. India produces
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,    various varieties of rice, but the grain is broadly divided into premium basmati and common non-basmati rice. It allows unrestricted
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,       exports of basmati rice, while restrictions on exports of non-basmati rice, imposed in 2007, were lifted this year. India exports
District Centre, Vikas Marg,
Delhi - 110092
                               basmati rice to the Middle East and Europe, while African and Asian countries are key buyers of its non-basmati rice. It competes
                               with Vietnam, Thailand and Pakistan in the exports market.
Telephone :                    Wheat: India, the world's second-biggest producer and consumer of the grain after China, expects a record harvest of 86 million
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)     tonnes in 2012, about 10 million tonnes more than the domestic demand. This means there is enough left for exports. In the current
+91-11-22457226, 22457230
                               year the country allowed exports of 2 million tonnes after harvesting a record crop of 85.93 million tonnes. Bangladesh is a key buyer
Telefax :                      along with other Asian and African countries.
011-47675201/06                Oilseeds: The world's top importer of vegetable oils cultivates oilseeds like soybean, groundnut, sunflower and rapeseed. For years
                               it has been trying to raise its oilseeds production and cut expensive imports. But imports are rising due to the increasing purchasing
E-Mail :                       power of middle class consumers.
email@assocom-india.com

Website :
www.assocom-india.com
                               WHEAT EXPORTS SLUGGISH AS GLOBAL PRICES ARE LOW
                               Press Trust of India                                                                                         October 16, 2011


                               India could export only 21,585 tonnes of wheat after the nearly four-year-old ban on its exports was lifted early last month as the
                               global prices were lower than the domestic rates. On September 9, the government lifted the ban on wheat exports, imposed in early
                               2007, as the country had produced a record 85.93 million tonnes in 2010-11 crop year (July-June). "The country has so far exported
                               21,585 tonnes," a senior Food Ministry official said. Flour millers said that wheat shipments are not picking up due to unfavourable
                               price situation in the global markets. They demanded government subsidy to boost shipments.


     Monthly News              The sentiment in the international market is bearish because the Ukraine government is planning to free wheat exports and also
                               there is an expectation of better crop in Australia," Roller Flour Millers Federation of India (RFMFI) Ex-President M K Dattaraj said.
                               There is no price parity as the FOB (Freight On Board) price of India's wheat is high at USD 300 per tonne against the Black Sea wheat
                               at USD 245-250 per tonne, he said. "The current global price does not favour exports without subsidy. The cost of wheat at an Indian
                               port is high and cannot be competitive in the world market," RFMFI Secretary Veena Sharma said.

      Page No. 10              The shipments could have improved if traders were allowed to source the grain from the government godowns, which are located
                               near ports, she said. Punjab Flour Mills Association President Naresh Ghai said whatever little exports has taken place so far has been
                               sourced from Rajasthan, where there are no local taxes on procurement. Exporters are not able to source wheat from Punjab and
                               Haryana because private traders in these two states do not have surplus stock to offer besides local taxes are huge, he added.


    Month October              WHEAT EXPORTS SLUGGISH AS GLOBAL PRICES ARE LOW
                               Press Trust of India                                                                                         October 16, 2011


                               India could export only 21,585 tonnes of wheat after the nearly four-year-old ban on its exports was lifted early last month as the
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.        global prices were lower than the domestic rates. On September 9, the government lifted the ban on wheat exports, imposed in early
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,    2007, as the country had produced a record 85.93 million tonnes in 2010-11 crop year (July-June). "The country has so far exported
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,       21,585 tonnes," a senior Food Ministry official said. Flour millers said that wheat shipments are not picking up due to unfavourable
District Centre, Vikas Marg,
Delhi - 110092
                               price situation in the global markets. They demanded government subsidy to boost shipments

Telephone :
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)     FOOD AGENCIES CELEBRATE WORLD FOOD DAY
+91-11-22457226, 22457230                                                                                                                   October17, 2011
Telefax :
011-47675201/06                The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the
                               World Food Program (WFP) celebrated World Food Day 2011 on Oct. 17 with a series of speeches by visiting guests and performances
E-Mail :                       by celebrity goodwill ambassadors. FAO will also name British film star Jeremy Irons as its newest celebrity goodwill ambassador.
email@assocom-india.com
                               The theme for World Food Day 2011 is “Food prices - from crisis to stability.”
Website :
www.assocom-india.com
                               A number of high-level dignitaries will make statements during this year's ceremony, which also marks the 60th anniversary of the
                               transfer of FAO to Rome. They include:


                                • Michelle Bachelet, former president of the Republic of Chile and current UN Under-Secretary-General and executive director, UN
                                  Women.
                                • Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, minister of state for agriculture, Equatorial Guinea.
                                • Franco Frattini, Italian minister for foreign affairs.
                                • Francesco Saverio Romano, Italian minister for agriculture, food and forestry policies.
                                • Gianni Alemanno, Mayor of Rome.
     Monthly News               • Archbishop Luigi Travaglino, permanent observer of the Holy See to FAO will read a message from Pope Benedict XVI.


                               The heads of the three Rome-based UN food agencies will also speak:


                                • Jacques Diouf, director-general, FAO.
                                • Kanayo F. Nwanze, president, IFAD.
      Page No. 11
                                • Josette Sheeran, executive director, WFP.


                               U.S. jazz artist Dee Dee Bridgewater, Italian singer and actor Massimo Ranieri, Senegalese griot musician Badara Seck and Brazilian
                               classical guitarist Marcus Vinicius will perform during the ceremonies.

    Month October
                               FARM SECTOR GROWTH TO TOUCH 3.5% DURING 11TH PLAN: MONTEK
                               Hindu Business Line                                                                                          October 18, 2011


                               Contrary to certain views that growth in the Indian agriculture sector has stagnated, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,    of the Planning Commission, said the Commission expected growth in this sector to touch 3.5 per cent during the Eleventh Plan
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,       Period, as against 2 per cent in the previous Plan Period. “Latest figures show that monsoons were good in the current year and even
District Centre, Vikas Marg,   marginally above normal. So there has been no stagnation in the farm sector and, instead, there has been an improvement,” Mr
Delhi - 110092                 Ahluwalia told media persons on the sidelines of the 17th convocation at Vignana Jyothi Institute of Management, here on Tuesday.
                               He said the Planning Commission was targeting a higher growth rate of 4 per cent in this sector during the 12th Plan Period. On rising
Telephone :
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)     coal prices, he said during the next Plan Period, energy costs will be higher.
+91-11-22457226, 22457230
                               “India will have to continue to import coal at higher prices. You cannot fight higher energy prices. And the sooner we adjust ourselves
Telefax :
011-47675201/06
                               to this (high energy cost regime) it is better,” he said. He was, however, confident that the Planning Commission target of adding
                               100,000 MW of power generation capacity during the 12th Plan Period. “We did fall short of the target during the 11{+t}{+h} Plan,
E-Mail :                       as when we began we were low on start ups. But, when we enter the 12th Plan, we will have projects of 50,000 to 60,000 MW in the
email@assocom-india.com        pipeline,” he pointed out. On inflation, he said it was high on a year-on-year basis, but expected it to cool down from November and
                               come down significantly next fiscal.
Website :
www.assocom-india.com
                               PROF. M. S. SWAMINATHAN'S STATEMENT AT THE OPENING SESSION OF U.N.
                               COMMITTEE ON WORLD FOOD SECURITY, ROME
                               The Hindu                                                                                                      October 18, 2011


                               Here is the statement made by Prof. M. S. Swaminathan, Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the High Level Panel of Experts
                               on Food Security and Nutrition, at the opening session of the U.N. Committee on World Food Security (CFS), in Rome, on October 17,
                               2011.


                                                               37th Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS)
     Monthly News                                                  Rome, October 17, 2011 - Opening session (14h30-17h30)


                                               Mr Chairman and Members of the Committee Bureau


                                               Excellencies,
      Page No. 12                              UNSG Special representative Dr David Nabarro
                                               Director-General of FAO, Dr Jacques Diouf
                                               Madam the Executive Director of WFP, Dr Josette Sheeran
                                               President of IFAD, Dr Kanayo Nwanze
                                               Members of the Advisory Group
    Month October                              Honourable Delegates and Observers,


                               Ladies and Gentlemen,
                               It is a great honor for me to address the Committee as the Chair of the Steering Committee of the High Level Panel of Experts on Food
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.        Security and Nutrition, after its first year of activity. Reports of the HLPE are demand-driven. Last year CFS had requested HLPE to
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,    provide it with analytical reports, with science and knowledge-based analysis and advice, on the following four topics, all in relation
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,       to food security:
District Centre, Vikas Marg,
Delhi - 110092
                               • Price Volatility    • Land tenure and international investments in agriculture         • Social protection        • Climate change

Telephone :                    As agreed when we met with the CFS Bureau in December 2010, we have prepared for this 37th session of the CFS, our reports on
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)
                               the issues of price volatility and on land tenure and international investments in agriculture. We have initiated work on the other two
+91-11-22457226, 22457230
                               topics, on Social Protection and on Climate Change and the reports will be ready for your consideration next year. At the outset, I
Telefax :                      must compliment and thank CFS for choosing these topics of great importance to the eradication of hunger and to the achievement
011-47675201/06                of the UN Millennium Development Goal No.1 relating to hunger and poverty by 2015. In the preparation of our reports, we attached
                               as much importance to the process as to the product. Thus, the HLPE operates with very specific rules, agreed by the CFS, in order to
E-Mail :                       ensure the scientific legitimacy and credibility of the process, as well as its transparency and openness to all sources of knowledge.
email@assocom-india.com
                               These two reports have been produced by two Project Teams appointed by the Steering Committee, and working under its oversight.
Website :                      The process adopted gives opportunities for a diversity of views, suggestions and criticism: the terms of reference, as well as the first
www.assocom-india.com
                               drafts (V0) prepared by the Project Teams, have been submitted to open electronic consultations. Final versions of the reports have
                               been reviewed each by three independent eminent experts, on the basis of which the reports were finalized by the Project Teams.
                               These reports were discussed in detail and approved by the HLPE Steering Committee in our meeting in Amsterdam in July 2011.
                               They are now in the hands of the Members of CFS, in all the official languages. The importance of price volatility in relation to food
                               security is clear from the fact that many international organizations, including FAO, have analyzed this issue. It is also on the top of
                               the political agenda of the G20 this year. It is the theme of this year’s World Food Day. Different causes of price volatility such as
                               demand–supply gap, cost of petroleum products and non-renewable energy, and climate variability, all need to be considered both
                               separately and together. Our report deals with these issues from a global as well as regional and national perspectives. Action at the
                               international level has to be taken by CFS, while national governments should lose no further time in preparing and implementing a
                               comprehensive national food security strategy, wherever this is not in place already.
     Monthly News
                               I would like to summarize briefly the package of measures which we consider to be important:-


                               1. Revisiting international trade rules, in order to promote a “food security oriented” trading system.
                               2. Creating a better market information system, inclusive on the level of stocks, to help restore confidence in international markets.
      Page No. 13              3. Tightening up speculation on the futures market to avoid price manipulations.
                               4. Reviewing support to biofuels, except when there is a win-win situation for both food and energy security.
                               5. Reducing food waste and post-harvest losses and ensuring food safety.
                               6. Increasing investment in ever-green agriculture and in agricultural research so as to promote sustainable food production.
                               7. Giving greater attention to the net income of smallholder farmers, through the concurrent enhancement of farm and non-farm
                                  income, and through a small farm management revolution designed to provide them with the power and economy of scale both
    Month October                 at the production and post-harvest phases.


                               At the national level, it is important to draw lessons from successful efforts in hunger elimination. Several countries like Brazil,
                               Mexico and India are in the process of making access to food a legal right, in order to insulate the economically under-privileged
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.        sections of the society from the adverse impact of price volatility and food inflation. The draft Indian Food Security Bill places
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,    emphasis on a human life cycle approach beginning with attention to maternal and child nutrition, particularly during the first
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,       thousand days of a child’s existence. It recognizes women as the head of the household from the point of view of legal entitlements to
District Centre, Vikas Marg,
                               food. It also gives great importance to the widening of the food basket to include along with rice and wheat, a whole series of nutri-
Delhi - 110092
                               cereals like millets and other underutilized crops. A simple combination of millet and moringa (drumstick) will help to provide all the
Telephone :                    needed macro and micro nutrients.
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)
+91-11-22457226, 22457230
                               I have been referring to productivity improvement without associated ecological harm as evergreen revolution. At the national level
Telefax :                      it is also important to ensure genetic variability among crops and varieties. Anemia in agrobiodiversity will also lead to anemia in
011-47675201/06                human beings. This is why we, HLPE, argue that the preparation or refinement of National Food Security Strategies is important for
                               ensuring food for all and forever, without compromising on human dignity. In national strategies, integrated attention will have to be
E-Mail :                       given to the availability of food, which is a function of food production and, where necessary, imports, to access to food, which is a
email@assocom-india.com
                               function of purchasing power or jobs, and absorption of food in the body which is a function of clean drinking water, environmental
Website :                      hygiene, primary health care, and nutritional literacy. To safeguard against food inflation, primary attention will have to be given to
www.assocom-india.com
                               enhancing small farm productivity and profitability on an environmentally sustainable basis. National Food Security Strategies
                               should be designed in such a way that all the stakeholders play their part much in the same way as members of a symphony
                               orchestra. Likewise, “Deliver as one” should be the philosophy of all international and bilateral agencies connected with food
                               security. I do hope that our report on price volatility and food security will help governments to design a hunger elimination strategy
                               which is ecologically, economically, ethically and culturally implementable. Our report on Land tenure and international investments
                               in agriculture is also a timely one considering the fact that the conservation of prime farm land for agriculture is now occupying a high
                               place in the political and professional agenda.


                               Recent initiatives include the launching of a Global Soil Partnership by FAO and a Global Soil Forum at Potsdam in Germany. There is
                               growing consensus that investments in agriculture and farm land are more than ever needed. There is also growing concern on the
     Monthly News              potential adverse effect of “land rush” on food security and poverty alleviation. Investments in agriculture will be futile if they do not
                               result in decreased hunger and poverty in local communities and countries. Unfortunately, not all investments in agriculture or in
                               land bring benefits to national food security, poverty eradication and environmental improvement. Just 20 percent of investments
                               have actually been followed up with agricultural production on the acquired lands. Land use and ownership issues are becoming key
                               socio-political problems. An asymmetry of power among the actors involved, including multinational companies, foreign
                               governments, commercial farmers, financial institutions, and local peasants whose land is being acquired, is leading to tensions and
      Page No. 14              in some cases violence .


                               Here again I would like to summarize briefly the package of recommendations which we consider to be important:


                                • Build socially inclusive discussion platforms prior to dealmaking, and for post-deal oversight. Too little is known and too little is
    Month October                 shared. And this includes domestic land acquisitions, which in some cases account for the bulk of large scale land deals, and is
                                  actually deepening a historical problem related to land distribution in many countries.
                                • Land tenure is key to protect land rights: Governments should create flexible, accessible systems for registering, tracking and
                                  protecting land rights, in particular of vulnerable groups, women and local communities, as well as those under “customary
                                  rights”.
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.
                                • Host country governments should play a pivotal role to ensure a proper environment for investments in agriculture, which at the
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,          same time provides incentives to invest, safeguards the interests of smallholders, guarantees harmonious rural development,
District Centre, Vikas Marg,      and ensures the long term interests of their citizens, rather than just short term profit for shareholders. Business models should
Delhi - 110092                    involve small farms and local farmers and generate employment opportunities. Food security for the nation and livelihood
                                  security for the poor should be the bottom line of all land acquisition initiatives.
Telephone :
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)
                                • Finally, following the adoption of the Voluntary Guidelines, an International Observatory for Land Tenure and the “Right to Food”
+91-11-22457226, 22457230         needs to be installed to which governments could be invited to report annually on actions taken to align investments in land with
                                  food security goals. The Global Soil Partnership of FAO could be a vehicle for spreading knowledge about the voluntary
Telefax :                         guidelines.
011-47675201/06

E-Mail :                       The World Bank is anticipating a continuation of the land rush. Therefore Governments should develop and implement policies which
email@assocom-india.com        can ensure that the right to food, as well as the livelihood security of the small land owners are concurrently safeguarded. For this
                               purpose we need institutions and arrangements which better balance the rights and interests of less powerful groups. For example,
Website :
www.assocom-india.com
                               the Government of India has introduced in Parliament a comprehensive Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill to
                               ensure a humane, participatory, informed consultative and transparent process for land acquisition. The bill provides for just and fair
                               compensation including adequate provisions for the rehabilitation and resettlement of the affected persons. The proposed
                               international observatory for land tenure can become an effective learning platform.


                               Excellencies,
                               I wish to pay my tribute to a very large number of experts who have helped us to prepare, under tremendous time pressure, these
                               two reports. Let me first thank the Vice-Chair Maryam Rahmanian and all my colleagues in the Steering Committee for the hard work
                               done in the guidance and oversight of the studies until their approval by the Steering Committee in July 2011. They have given their
                               time and knowledge free for this work. As per our rules of procedures given by the CFS, the Project Teams are working “under the
     Monthly News              Steering Committee’s oversight”. Therefore for each report, we had requested a few Steering Committee members to voluntarily
                               devote more time and effort in the oversight of the Project Teams. My special thanks go to Dr Sheryl Hendriks, who convened the
                               Steering Committee’s oversight of the report on Price Volatility and Dr Rudy Rabbinge who did the same for the Land Tenure report.
                               My gratitude goes to the Project Team Leaders Dr Benoit Daviron (Price Volatility) and Dr Camilla Toulmin (Land Tenure) and to the
                               Project Teams members. Our gratitude also goes to the External Reviewers and to the large number of experts who commented both
                               on the terms of reference and the first draft of the report. Finally let me acknowledge the untiring efforts and excellent work done by
      Page No. 15              the Secretariat of the HLPE, headed by Vincent Gitz. I am pleased to mention that our work on the preparation of the reports on
                               climate change and on social protection is making good progress. For both those studies, we have already conducted the scoping
                               open electronic consultations. These consultations were extremely successful, confirming the interest that these 2 issues are
                               raising. We will form the Project Teams in the coming weeks and we hope a draft zero of the reports can be produced and submitted
                               for open consultation and expert’s views and feedback in March 2012. In conclusion, let me express my gratitude to the donors who
                               have funded this exercise. HLPE is financed through extra budgetary resources and we are impressed with the spontaneous support
    Month October              the mission and rationale of HLPE has generated. We strive to keep the HLPE a “low cost, high impact” process. Experts work here for
                               free, as they do in other panels. But there is a need to cover core expenses, like the translation of reports in all official languages.
                               There is also a need to cover for minimal secretariat support, technical support, support to the work of the Project Teams,
                               arrangements of face-to-face meetings that are indispensable to launch and finalize the reports. We hope that pledges can be made
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.        here to allow the HLPE to get the support it needs to finalize the ongoing studies, and to fill a current budget gap of about half a
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,    million USD to cover these until CFS 2012.
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,
District Centre, Vikas Marg,
Delhi - 110092
                               Excellencies,
                               We are launching the first two reports this afternoon at 17.45 hrs in the Red Room when there will be adequate time for questions and
Telephone :                    discussion. The CFS is in its first year of operation after its important reform. This was also the first year of the HLPE. We all agree that
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)     the HLPE was not created to be “just one more panel of experts”. We have worked so that our reports are not just “one more report on
+91-11-22457226, 22457230
                               top of an already very huge pile”. We are proud to have shown that the HLPE can work quickly, efficiently and economically. This is
Telefax :                      paramount to provide the scientific foundation for the political discourse.
011-47675201/06
                               Your Excellencies,
E-Mail :
email@assocom-india.com        I sincerely hope that our first two reports based on a demand driven approach will be of help in insulating national food security
                               systems from price volatility and for ensuring that precious land is conserved for farming for food security as well as for the wellbeing
Website :                      of farm families who constitute 25 per cent of the global population. Recent unrest in different parts of the world highlights the fact
www.assocom-india.com
                               that the future will belong to nations with grains and not guns. In most developing countries, the farm population constitutes the
                               genuine majority of the total population and therefore their well-being will determine what the former King of Bhutan has christened
                               as “Gross National Happiness”.


                               I thank you for your support, guidance and interest.


                               Prof MS Swaminathan


                               ADDRESSING INDIA’S HUNGER GAP
     Monthly News              The Mint                                                                                                    October 18, 2011


                               The word ‘hunger’ does not appear in the 12th Plan Approach Paper even once, whereas according to the latest Global Hunger Index
                               Report, India continues to be in the category of those nations where hunger is ‘alarming’. What is worse, India is one of the three
                               countries where the hunger index between 1996 and 2011 has gone up from 22.9 to 23.7, while 78 out of the 81 developing
      Page No. 16              countries studied, including Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Kenya, Nigeria, Myanmar, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Malawi, have
                               all succeeded in improving their scores. According to the central government’s Economic Survey, foodgrain production in India has
                               gone down from 208 kg per annum per capita in 1996-97 to 186 kg in 2009-10, a decline of 11%. From the reduced production, India
                               has been exporting on average 7 million tonnes of cereals per annum, causing availability to decline further by 15% from 510 gm per
                               day per capita in 1991 to 436 gm in 2008. Ironically, despite falling per capita foodgrain production in the period 1991-2010,
                               procurement of cereals on government account has gone up, suggesting a decline in poor people’s consumption and their
    Month October              purchasing power. This may have happened because of structural imbalances (high minimum support price or MSP, rising capital
                               intensity, lack of land reforms, failure of poverty alleviation programmes, no new technological breakthrough in agriculture, etc.)
                               created in the economy, as well as due to production problems in less endowed regions (erratic rainfall, soil erosion and water run-
                               off, lack of access to credit and markets, poor communications) which led to the dangerous situation of huge surpluses in Food
                               Corporation of India (FCI) godowns since 2008 coupled with widespread hunger. Another factor escalating hunger is spiralling food
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.        prices, despite (or perhaps because of) rotting food stocks in government godowns.
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,
District Centre, Vikas Marg,   The policy approach to agriculture since the 1990s has been to secure increased production through subsidies on inputs such as
Delhi - 110092                 power, water and fertilizer, and by increasing the MSP rather than through building new capital assets in irrigation, power and rural
                               infrastructure in less endowed regions. This has shifted the production base from low-cost regions to high-cost ones, causing an
Telephone :                    increase in the cost of production, regional imbalance, and an increase in the burden of storage and transport of foodgrains. The
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)
+91-11-22457226, 22457230
                               equity, efficiency, and sustainability of the current approach are questionable. Subsidies do not improve income distribution or the
                               demand for labour. The boost in output from subsidy-stimulated use of fertilizer, pesticides and water has the potential to damage
Telefax :                      aquifers and soils – an environmentally unsustainable approach that may partly explain the rising costs and slowing growth and
011-47675201/06                productivity in agriculture, notably in Punjab and Haryana. Instead of promoting low-cost options that have a higher capital-output
                               ratio, present policies have resulted in excessive use of capital on the farms. Major food related programmes, such as the Public
E-Mail :
                               Distribution System (PDS) and Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) are plagued by corruption, leakages, errors in
email@assocom-india.com
                               selection, procedural delays, poor allocations and little accountability. They also tend to discriminate against and exclude those who
Website :                      most need them, by social barriers of gender, age, caste, and disability; and state hostility to poor urban migrants, street and slum
www.assocom-india.com
                               residents, dispersed hamlets, and unorganised workers such as hawkers. In Rangpur Pahadi, a slum area just a few kilometres away
                               from Vasant Kunj in Delhi, people living since 1980 have not been given a voter ID card or a ration card. Thus their very existence is
                               denied by the Delhi government! The practice of bogus reporting is so widely prevalent in all the states, presumably with the
                               connivance of senior officers, that the overall percentage of malnourished children under three years of age, according to central
                               government data, is 8%, with only 1% children severely malnourished, as against 46% reported by National Family Health Survey
                               (NFHS-3), with 17% being severely malnourished. Field officials are thus able to escape from any sense of accountability for
                               reducing malnutrition and hunger. A recent evaluation of ICDS in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, by the National Human Rights
                               Commission (NHRC) showed that 63% of food and funds are misappropriated. In place of cooked food as directed by the Supreme
                               Court, manufactured ready-to-eat food with only 100 calories is given to children, as against the norm of 300 calories.


     Monthly News              More than half of the poor either have no card or have been given above poverty line cards, and are thus excluded from the below
                               poverty line (BPL) benefits. These must presumably be the most poor tribal groups, women-headed households and people living in
                               remote hamlets where administration does not reach. Thus, the people most deserving of government help are deprived of such
                               assistance. On the other hand, almost 60% of the BPL or Antyodaya cards have been given to households belonging to the non-poor
                               category. It is doubtful that the current Socio-Economic Caste Census will be able to weed out these errors of exclusion and inclusion.
                               The food ministry should have a greater sense of ownership of PDS and improve its oversight mechanisms. For instance, it should
      Page No. 17              start an annual impact study of the PDS, especially in the poorer states. It is willing to spend Rs. 60,000 crore on the programme but
                               not willing to spend even Rs. 60 lakh on monitoring and evaluation of the programme. That means spending approximately one
                               rupee out of every one lakh rupees on monitoring. But the ministry has not conducted a single multi-disciplinary third-party
                               objective evaluation of PDS in the last eight years. Further, the poorest 150 districts (which will cover most of the tribal majority
                               areas in central India) should have universal PDS. In no case should export be permitted. If basmati is to be exported, equal amount
                               of ordinary rice must be imported. Large-scale substitution of PDS by direct cash transfers (DCT) is not feasible, as foodgrains
    Month October              purchased from the farmers through MSP mechanism need an outlet for distribution. Besides, DCT needs a good banking structure,
                               a functional registration system and widespread use of debit cards. At best, it could be tried on a pilot basis in a few poor localities of
                               metropolitan cities. India requires a significant increase of targeted investments in nutrition programmes, clinics, disease control,
                               irrigation, rural electrification, rural roads, and sanitation, accompanied by systemic reforms that will overhaul the present system
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.        of service delivery, including issues of control and oversight. This in turn requires improving the governance, productivity and
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,    accountability of government machinery. N.C. Saxena is a member of the National Advisory Council. He has worked as Secretary,
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,       Planning Commission (1999-2002) and Secretary, Rural Development (1997-99).
District Centre, Vikas Marg,
Delhi - 110092
                               HIGHEST EVER FOODGRAIN PRODUCTION IN KHARIF; RABI PRODUCTION TOO
Telephone :
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)     IS EXPECTED TO BE RECORD
+91-11-22457226, 22457230
                               Press Information Bureau                                                                                        October 19, 2011
Telefax :
011-47675201/06                NFSM Targets Achieved One Year in Advance; RKVY Outlay Raised to Rs. 7810 Crore this Year. Agriculture and Food Processing
                               Industries Minister, Shri Sharad Pawar, today expressed the hope that with record production in kharif and rabi seasons this year, the
E-Mail :
email@assocom-india.com        food production will exceed the target in 2011-12. The Minister also stated that strategies for rejuvenating agriculture sector have
                               been working well and the targeted 4% growth in agriculture sector would be achieved. Shri Pawar was addressing the Economic
Website :                      Editors’ Conference here today.
www.assocom-india.com
                               The following is the text of the Minister’s address: “I am very happy to participate in this edition of Economic Editors’
                               Conference. It is a great opportunity for sharing with you our initiatives, successes and challenges in the field of agriculture and allied
                               sectors. Your valued feedback will be important input to improve implementation of our existing schemes/programmes and to
                               formulate future strategies. My office has already circulated the background note. I, therefore, have decided to limit myself to only
                               the salient and important issues. You are all aware that foodgrain production has reached a record level of 241.6 million tonne in
                               2010-11. We have also achieved highest ever production of wheat, pulses, oil seeds and cotton. Overall farm output has also
                               achieved an impressive growth rate of 7.5% during the last quarter of 2010-11 thus helping Agriculture GDP to register a growth of
                               6.6 % during the year. This also makes average growth rate in current plan to be 3.2% which we could achieve under some of the
                               worst climatic conditions like drought, un-seasonal rains, flood, frost etc. in recent past. Monsoon 2011 has been very encouraging
                               and our production outlook too. As per 1st Advance Estimates, Kharif 2011 production of Rice in the country is estimated at 87.10
     Monthly News              million tonnes which will be an all time high. We are also expecting record productions in Cotton and Oilseeds this year. We hope to
                               see a substantial expansion in crop area and to achieving record production in coming Rabi season too. We are confident that we will
                               be able to surpass our own production record set last year. All these give me great optimism that strategies for rejuvenating
                               agriculture sector have been working well and we will now be able to achieve targeted 4% growth.


                               While the results are encouraging, we also have challenges ahead. Demand of food grain will grow rapidly in next few decades not
      Page No. 18              only due to growing population but also due to rise in per capita income and various governmental interventions to ensure food and
                               nutritional security to less advantaged people. We have to produce more for ensuring food and nutritional security of our nation. But,
                               this will be achieved with more competitive demand on land and water, progressive fragmentation of land holdings, degrading
                               natural resource base and emerging concerns of climate change. We know that increase in agricultural production would have to
                               emanate only by enhancement in farm productivity from existing cultivated area. We have concentrated on enhancing production
                               and productivity both by bringing in high yielding varieties, hybrids and efficient farm equipments. For this we need more
    Month October              investments in this sector. We have, over last few years, been able to ensure higher investments both private and public. Gross
                               Capital Formation (GCF) as percentage of agricultural GDP clocked 18.7% during first three years of current plan, which is
                               significantly higher compared to 12.5% during whole of tenth plan. Simultaneously, we have been able to enhance Plan outlay
                               substantially to reach Rs. 21, 530 crore in 2011-12. Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), launched in August 2007, has become the
                               principal instrument for increasing the States’ investment in this sector. Outlay under RKVY has been substantially increased to Rs.
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,    7,810 crore in 2011-12, which now includes several commodity specific measures namely ‘Bringing Green Revolution to the Eastern
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,       Region of India”, ‘Special Initiative for Pulses and Oilseeds’, ‘Accelerating Fodder production’, ‘Creating Vegetable Clusters’, ‘Nutri-
District Centre, Vikas Marg,   Cereals’, ‘Oil Palm development’ etc. Alongwith RKVY, National Food Security Mission (NFSM) has also emerged as another path
Delhi - 110092                 breaking intervention. I take pride to mention that NFSM has already accomplished its target of producing additional production of
                               20 million tons within 4 years of its implementation. With successful implementation of MGNREGA and other anti poverty
Telephone :
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)     programme of the Government, there is now pressure on availability of farm labour.
+91-11-22457226, 22457230
                               While we are attempting to innovatively utilise MGNREGA for augmenting activities that directly add to farm productivity; for
Telefax :
                               compensating scarcity of labour, I am proposing a large programme for agricultural mechanisation during 12th Plan. Agriculture
011-47675201/06
                               Credit plays an important role in improving agricultural production, productivity and mitigating both climatic and non-climatic risks.
E-Mail :                       Our concerted effort has seen surpassing credit flow target in 2010-11 by about 19%. We are hopeful to surpass target in this year
email@assocom-india.com        too. Similarly, price signals are an extremely effective tool for increasing agricultural production and productivity. Government has
                               been upwardly revising MSP of major crops such as paddy, wheat and pulses at regular interval for incentivising farmers to produce
Website :
www.assocom-india.com
                               more. We all know that Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries plays significant role in supplementing incomes and generating
                               gainful employment in the rural areas, particularly among the landless labourers, small and marginal farmers and women. It also
                               acts as an insurance against vagaries of nature like drought, famine and other natural calamities. For sustaining growth and
                               enhancing productivity in this sector, ICAR has initiated several special efforts namely establishment of elite herds of important
                               buffalo breeds, diagnostic kit ‘DIVA’ for differentiating Foot and Mouth Disease Infected and vaccinated animals, characterisation of
                               new goat breeds etc. As a result, India continues to be the largest producer of milk in the World. Small, marginal farmers and
                               landless labourers are majority producers of milk in India. To ensure a steady market and remunerative prices for them, about 14.08
                               million farmers have been brought under the ambit of about 1.35 lakhs village level dairy cooperative societies in the country.


                               Food processing industry is now increasingly being seen as a potential source for driving rural economy towards prosperity by
     Monthly News              brining increased farm gate prices and reduced wastages. During current plan, we are giving special emphasis on developing
                               Infrastructure for food processing. So far projects for 15 Mega Food Parks, 49 Cold Chain and 10 Abattoir are already approved by
                               the Ministry. Besides special focus is being given for capacity building, R&D, quality assurance and skill development with selective
                               but active collaboration with established foreign universities etc. I take pride to inform you that Indian Institute of Crop Processing
                               Technology (IICPT) has been fully functional for the last three years and National Institute for Food Technology and Entrepreneurship
                               Management (NIFTEM) is coming up fast on the outskirts of Delhi at Kundli. With a large diversified production base, coupled with
      Page No. 19              modern technology and low manpower cost, the Indian food processing sector is poised for growth. Future of Indian agriculture
                               would be technology driven; whether be in Biotechnology or efficient mechanisation or use of remote sensing tools.


                               ICAR through National Initiatives on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) has been creating synergy with other ongoing research
                               projects. Its National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP) is helping to foster and strengthen partnerships with stakeholders’
                               including in Private Sector for ensuring sustainable development of Indian agriculture. ICAR is gradually becoming a one stop
    Month October
                               destination for innovative agro-industry and entrepreneurship. AGRINDIA has been established for promoting spread and
                               commercialisation of R&D Outcome, protecting Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and forging partnership with Industries. A range of
                               other business incubation and promotion efforts are helping rural youths, budding entrepreneurs and Industries. I would like to
                               conclude by saying that for the whole world and for developing nations in particular, development in its truest sense can only take
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.        place when economic growth fosters social equity. For this to happen we have to keep agriculture in the forefront of our nation’s
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,    developmental effort.”
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,
District Centre, Vikas Marg,
Delhi - 110092                 INDIA WON’T ALLOW FOOD GRAIN EXPORTS FROM GOVT STOCKS: MINISTER
Telephone :                    Live Mint                                                                                                    October 21, 2011
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)
+91-11-22457226, 22457230
                               India, the world’s second-biggest wheat and rice producer, will not allow overseas sale of food grains from government stocks, food
Telefax :                      minister KV Thomas said on Friday. “No, we want to be cautious and government has not allowed exports from government stocks,”
011-47675201/06                Thomas said when asked whether such grain exports would be permitted. Indian traders want the government to allow exports from
                               its own grain stocks to clear overflowing warehouses as the country readies for a bumper harvest of summer-sown crops. But the
E-Mail :                       government wants to hold on to its supplies in the face of stubbornly high inflation and uncertainty over how much grain it would
email@assocom-india.com        need to meet requirements under a food security law. Last month, India had allowed exports of rice and wheat for private trade.
Website :
www.assocom-india.com
                               DRY FRUITS, BAKERY PRODUCTS BECOME MORE POPULAR
                               Times of India                                                                                                October 21, 2011


                               Adulterated mawa might have soured the taste of Diwali sweets for a few but for the unfettered sweet lovers, it is hardly news. From
                               mawa sweets to homemade chocolates, everything is getting sold in plenty in Pink City. However, these sweets, an indispensable
                               part of festivals, are getting trendy with time. From traditional ladoo and mithai, many people are now migrating to dry fruits,
                               chocolates and bakery products. All major sweet shops have added new products in their list and are luring customers with attractive
                               packaging. Rakesh Haritwan, owner at Kanji sweets says: "Buying preferences of people are changing and new trends have
                               emerged. These days, many people do avoid sweets made of mawa because of fear of adulteration. But still many prefer to buy
                               traditional sweets like Bengali sweets and those made of deshi ghee".
     Monthly News

                               FCI RELEASES ITS OPERATIONAL REPORT
                               Press Information Bureau                                                                                      October 21, 2011


      Page No. 20              Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri K.V. Thomas today released Operational Report of FCI for the year
                               2010-11. It is first report of its kind since inception of FCI in 1965. The statistical information contained in this report is based on
                               operational data of FCI. Releasing the report, the Minister said the report is an initiative to bring more transparency in the working of
                               FCI. He said that the report would serve as a single repository of information, which is handy at the same time comprehensive,
                               highlighting the metro level operational data. He said efforts are being made to modernize the storage of foodgrains by adopting
                               latest technology. Efforts are also being made to increase the storage capacity of FCI, which has been increased by 27.74 lakh tones
    Month October              during 2010-11. According the report, FCI recorded an increase of 10% in the total movements of foodgrains during 2010-11 over
                               last year. Movements to north-eastern region increased about 19%. During the year the FCI made record procurement and record
                               allocations of foodgrains. The Operational Report contained in eight chapters gives statistical data of stock, storage capacity,
                               distribution & procurement
                               .
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,
                               SHRI PAWAR CALLS FOR REFORMS IN AGRICULTURE MARKETING
District Centre, Vikas Marg,   Press Information Bureau                                                                                      October 21, 2011
Delhi - 110092

Telephone :
                               Parliamentary Consultative Committee of Agriculture Ministry Meets. Minister of Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Shri
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)     Sharad Pawar has called for reforms in agricultural marketing. He said, the prevailing system which comprises regulated markets set
+91-11-22457226, 22457230      up by the States under APMC Act has become a constraint on farmers’ ability to market their produce at the best possible prices. Shri
                               Pawar was addressing the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry here today. The Minister said, large
Telefax :                      number of intermediaries and large transaction costs, such as market fee, entry tax make marketing reforms a priority. He said, “ We
011-47675201/06
                               continue to pursue this with States and have achieved some success.
E-Mail :
email@assocom-india.com        Our model APMC Act of 2003 has been adopted, to varying degrees so far by 17 States and nine States have also framed the Rules .
                               There is no APMC Act in Bihar, Kerala, Manipur, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Dadra, & Nagar Havel, Daman & Diu and Lakshadweep.”
Website :
www.assocom-india.com
                               Shri Pawar said, “Farmers, specially small and marginal are unable to take advantage of the market system and often have to resort
                               to distress sale. Access to safe and scientific storage facility, coupled with efficient credit is the solution.” The Minister said that
                               Centre endeavours to provide this through Grameen Bhandarn Yojana. Since inception of the scheme in 2001, over 25 000 godowns
                               representing incremental capacity of about 290 lakh MT with a total investment of Rs. 800 crore have been sanctioned. Under the
                               Grameen Bhandaran Yojana subsidy is being provided @ 25% of the project cost to all categories of farmers, Agriculture graduates,
                               cooperatives & CWC/SWCs.


                               All other categories of individuals companies and corporations are being given subsidy @ 15% of the project cost. In case of NE
                               States, hilly areas and SC/ST entrepreneurs, their cooperatives and women farmers, the subsidy is 33.33%. This scheme has now
                               been further rationalized, on the basis of feedback and suggestions received from the states. Capital Cost norms have been revised
     Monthly News              to more realistic levels: from Rs. 2500/- to Rs. 3500/- per tonne in respect of godowns of capacity up to 1000 tonnes and from Rs.
                               1875 to Rs. 3000 per tonne for godwons exceeding 1000 tonne capacity. For the North Eastern and hilly States, the norm permissible
                               is now Rs. 4000/- per tonne. Similarly, the scheme which hitherto could take up schemes of maximum capacity of 10,000 tonnes can
                               now go upto 30,000 tonnes (25,000 for NE and hilly States). Dr. Charan Das Mahant, Minister of State for Agriculture was also
                               present in the meeting. MPs who participated in the meeting are: Shri A Ganeshamurthi, Shri Dhruva Narayana Rangaswamy, Shri
                               M. Krishnaswamy, Dr. Pulin Bihari Baske, Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, Sardar Sher Singh Ghubaya, Shri Ramesh Rathod and Shri
      Page No. 21              Kunvarjibhai Bavalia of Lok Sabha, Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, Shri Vikram Verma, Dr. K.P. Ramalingam, Shri T.M. Selvaganapathi,
                               Smt. Mohsina Kidwai and Smt. Renubala Pradhan of Rajya Sabha and Shri Raj Babbar, Lok Sabha as Special invitee.


                               HIGHER INFLOW POUNDS WHEAT
                               Hindu Business Line                                                                                           October 22, 2011
    Month October
                               Following high arrivals coupled with restricted trading in the market, dara wheat prices fell up to Rs 10 a quintal while desi wheat
                               varieties continued to rule flat, on Thursday. Easy availability of stocks due to high arrivals from Uttar Pradesh amid reduced offtake
                               mainly pulled dara down, said Mr Subhash Chander, a wheat trader. Sowing commences from next week in this region and the
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.        government is likely to decide the minimum support price for the rabi season 2011-12 within a week or two. Dara variety eased by Rs
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,    10 a quintal and settled at Rs 1,110-1,120 a quintal. Around 90 tonnes of dara variety arrived from the Uttar Pradesh and the stocks
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,       were directly offloaded at the mills. Mill delivery was at Rs 1,110 a quintal while delivery at chakki was at Rs 1,15-1,120 a quintal. On
District Centre, Vikas Marg,   the other hand, desi wheat prices remained almost unchanged on account of low trading. A little stock of Tohfa variety arrived and
Delhi - 110092
                               quoted at Rs 2,250, Samrat quoted at Rs 1,850 a quintal, Lal Quila ruled at Rs 1,835 while Rasoi sold at Rs 1,800 a quintal. On the
Telephone :                    National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange, wheat for November delivery decreased by Rs 2.2 to Rs 1,091.4 a quintal. It had
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)     touched a low at Rs 1,086.2 a quintal earlier on Thursday. On the MCX, wheat for December delivery remained unchanged at Rs
+91-11-22457226, 22457230      1,185.4 a quintal.

Telefax :
011-47675201/06                Flour Prices - Following a decline in wheat prices, flour prices too decreased by Rs 10 and quoted at Rs 1,130 for a 90-kg bag. On the
                               other hand, after witnessing an uptrend earlier this week, Chokar prices remained unchanged and sold at Rs 580-590 for a 49-kg
E-Mail :                       bag.
email@assocom-india.com

Website :
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                               UNION FINANCE MINISTER SHRI PRANAB MUKHERJEE’S ADDRESS AT THE NATIONAL
                               DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL MEETING
                               Press Information Bureau                                                                                      October 22, 2011


                               Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee addressed the National Development Council Meeting in New Delhi today. Following is
                               the text of his address:


                               1. “It is my privilege to address the meeting of the National Development Council, convened to consider the Approach Paper to the
                                  Twelfth Five Year Plan. I would like to congratulate the Deputy Chairman and the Members of the Planning Commission for the
     Monthly News                 work undertaken in preparing this Paper.
                               2. The renewed uncertainty in the global economy, due to sluggish US growth and worsening of the Euro-zone sovereign debt crisis
                                  and weak business sentiments and persisting high inflation at home, poses considerable challenges to the task of making a five-
                                  year plan. The fact that this task has been done well and the Approach Paper is before us for consideration is commendable.
                               3. In the last decade, the Indian economy moved to a higher growth path. Between 2005 and 2008, the economy grew at around
      Page No. 22                 9.5 per cent per annum. This made India one of the fastest growing nations in the world. The global financial crisis brought the
                                  growth down to 6.8 per cent in 2008-09, though even then India remained a growth leader in the world. This was followed by a
                                  strong recovery and the Indian economy grew by 8 and 8.5 per cent in the subsequent two years. Data for the first quarter of
                                  2011-12 indicate a growth rate of 7.7 per cent. While there may be some moderation in growth in the current fiscal, the
                                  fundamentals of the economy are intact and the medium-term growth prospects remain buoyant.
                               4. Over the last two decades the Indian economy has become increasingly integrated with the global economy. It is indeed a matter
    Month October                 of pride that the world views India today as a major driver of growth. But globalization also has a downside. It means that when
                                  the world sneezes, India runs the risk of catching a cold. Not surprisingly, the economic crisis in Europe and the slowdown in the
                                  US are impacting us adversely. As an important contributor to the global growth process, we are playing an increasing role in the
                                  international policy arena. In my intervention in the G 20 meet held recently in Paris, I highlighted the spill over effects of the
                                  policies of advanced economies. I pointed out that the strong injections of liquidity by Central Banks seem to have done little to
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                                  stimulate lending and borrowing. Instead we are witnessing negative consequences, especially on asset and commodity prices
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,          that have strengthened inflation in emerging markets.
District Centre, Vikas Marg,   5. Let me at the outset say that I endorse the overall theme of the Approach Paper to the Plan, namely, “Faster, Sustainable and
Delhi - 110092                    More Inclusive Growth”. It captures well the aspirations of ordinary Indians. There are, however, several issues that we need to
                                  focus on, I intend to briefly touch upon some of these.
Telephone :
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)
+91-11-22457226, 22457230      Growth target for the Plan
                               6. While making a plan, it is important to be realistic and not get carried away by flights of fancy. At the same time, when we make a
Telefax :
011-47675201/06                   plan in the midst of a difficult economic situation, it is easy to be over-pessimistic. We have to remind ourselves that a plan is not
                                  like a Budget. The horizon for a plan is much longer and we must look beyond the immediate concerns. The Approach Paper
E-Mail :                          outlines two alternative growth scenarios - 9 per cent and 9.5 per cent. There are good reasons, as has been outlined in the
email@assocom-india.com           document before us, to pitch for a 9 per cent average growth for the plan period. Yet we need to retain a certain flexibility in our
                                  planning to consider raising the growth target to above 9 per cent, should the global environment improve and we make good
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                                  progress in strengthening our domestic growth drivers in the initial years of the Twelfth Plan. We have achieved 9 per cent plus
                                  growth prior to the global slowdown. Our ability to deepen and broad-base the inclusion of the marginalised and vulnerable
                                  segments of our society in the economic mainstream, hinges crucially on sustaining buoyancy in our resource mobilisation and
                                  sustaining high growth path.
                               7. It is also important that more of this growth takes place in the backward areas of our country. There is already evidence that
                                  some of the slow growing states in the past have improved their performance in the recent years. This trend should be further
                                  reinforced. The objective of making growth more inclusive cannot be realised unless we are able to narrow down the regional
                                  imbalances and disparities.


                               Fiscal consolidation
     Monthly News              8. The budgetary support for the 11th Plan was targeted at Rs 16.08 lakh crore in nominal terms and has been fully financed by the
                                  Government. However, this was possible at high fiscal costs. After bringing down the fiscal deficit to 3.3 per cent of GDP in 2007-
                                  08 we had to breach fiscal targets and incur fiscal deficit of 7.8 per cent and 6.5 per cent of GDP in 2008-09 and 2009-10
                                  respectively. The fiscal impact of these deviations will be felt in years to come in terms of high debt servicing requirements. We
                                  could afford this deviation to tide over the global economic crisis without any solvency concerns only because of the fiscal space
                                  we had created during the period 2004 to 2008. That fiscal space for manoeuvrability is no longer available.
      Page No. 23
                               9. Our recent experience has shown that sustained high growth and fiscal consolidation can be mutually reinforcing. The fiscal
                                  consolidation path as envisaged in the Medium Term Fiscal Policy Statement in the Budget 2011-12 has to be followed. As
                                  Finance Minister, I stand committed to this path of fiscal consolidation. However, I do recognize that to sustain growth along with
                                  fiscal consolidation, we will have to take our due diligence beyond monitoring the quantitative parameters. The quality of
                                  expenditure and its multiplier effect on growth must get our attention.
    Month October              10. The States’ finances have been improving steadily in recent years. The fiscal consolidation brought about through
                                   implementation of the Debt Consolidation and Relief Facility in the Twelfth Finance Commission award period, 2005-10, has been
                                   built upon through higher devolutions under the Thirteenth Finance Commission award. Plan assistance to the States through
                                   the Centrally Sponsored and Centrally administered schemes has also expanded over the years. The States’ share in central
                                   taxes has been showing an upward trend: this share was 29.5 per cent during the Eleventh Finance Commission period (2001-
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.            2005); it was raised to 30.5 per cent during the Twelfth Finance Commission period (2005-2010) and currently stands at 32 per
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,        cent for the period 2010-15. The current Finance Commission award also aims to fulfil identified specific needs of States through
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,
                                   grants of nearly Rs.28,000 crore over the next four years.
District Centre, Vikas Marg,
Delhi - 110092                 11. The flow of resources to the local bodies has been stepped up and made more buoyant during 2010-15, as the Thirteenth Finance
                                   Commission has linked grants to local bodies with the quantum of taxes collected by the Union Government. Reforms at the local
Telephone :                        body level have been incentivized through additional grants. The local body reforms have been uneven across States, but I am
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)
                                   sure that the States are working at strengthening local bodies through improved devolution of funds and functions. The capacity
+91-11-22457226, 22457230
                                   of local bodies has to be enhanced by making higher devolutions through the State Finance Commissions.
Telefax :                      12. These steps, and the States’ own efforts, have led to improvement in the States’ aggregate fiscal parameters. There has been a
011-47675201/06                    decline in the aggregate debt to GDP ratio for the States from 28.4 per cent in 2007-08 to an estimated 23.7 per cent in 2011-12.
                                   The estimated aggregate fiscal deficit of States in 2010-11 was 2.5 per cent of GDP, which was within the FC-XIII target of 2.6 per
E-Mail :
                                   cent. The 2011-12 Budget Estimates of the States show an aggregate fiscal deficit of 2.2 per cent of GDP, which is well within the
email@assocom-india.com
                                   target of 2.5 per cent set by FC-XIII. The aggregate revenue surplus of States in 2011-12 is about 0.3 per cent, again ahead of
Website :                          FC-XIII projections. It is expected that the improved fiscal health of the States will result in their taking up more responsibilities
www.assocom-india.com
                                  for developmental activities at the State level, particularly in bridging the infrastructure gap during the Twelfth Plan period.
                               13. One area of concern which some States need to address relates to tax revenues of States’. The States’ tax to GSDP ratios show
                                   wide variations. In the 2008-09 actuals, the tax to GSDP ratios of General Category States ranged from 4.1 per cent to 9 per cent,
                                   with the average being 6.7 per cent. The top two States had tax to GSDP ratios of 9 per cent and 8 per cent and the bottom two
                                   4.1 per cent and 4.2 per cent. These ratios point towards the need for more work by many States to rationalize tax rates, improve
                                   compliance and widen the tax base.


                               Infrastructure Development
                               14. In the Eleventh Plan, the investment target in infrastructure was about Rs 20.5 lakh crore, with an attendant objective of
                                   increasing the share of private sector in the total investments, from around one-fourth to one-third. We have been successful in
     Monthly News                  scaling-up infrastructure investments. According to Planning Commission estimates, in the first four years of the current Plan,
                                   the infrastructure investment will be around Rs.15.26 lakh crore. Gearing up to sustain the momentum during the next plan
                                   period commencing in 2012, would be a greater challenge. Issues like land acquisition, environment clearance and resettlement
                                   and rehabilitation will have to be addressed to de-risk both green-field and brown-field project development. We have to be
                                   focused on creating an enabling environment to facilitate investments.
                               15. A major challenge in this context would be to manage the funding requirement of the sector. We have to collectively plan for
      Page No. 24
                                   meeting the investment target of US $ 1 trillion during the Twelfth Plan, with half of the proposed investment coming from the
                                   private sector.


                               Power sector
                               16. In the context of Power generation, the recent concerns relate to supply constraints regarding fuel, coal and natural gas. Issues
    Month October                  like land acquisition, deteriorating health of the state electricity boards and environmental clearances have also been adversely
                                   affecting this sector. On the distribution front, the efficiency as measured by the aggregate technical and commercial (AT & C)
                                   losses remains woefully low. On date the losses, on an average, exceed 40%. This is not acceptable. The operational efficiency of
                                   the distribution utilities has to be improved. The States will have to review and revise the tariffs regularly to ensure the financial
                                   health of these utilities. Urgent action is needed on both fronts to ensure that the cumulative losses of utilities do not ultimately
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.
                                   devolve on State Governments.
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,       17. I have recently reviewed the progress of the power projects requiring funding of Rs.5000 crore or more from Indian banks. A
District Centre, Vikas Marg,       large number of cases are held up because of the delay in obtaining clearances from State Governments and some departments
Delhi - 110092                     of the Government of India. While I am working with my colleagues at the Centre, I strongly urge Chief Ministers to set up a
                                   mechanism for according early clearance to such projects.
Telephone :
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)
+91-11-22457226, 22457230      GST and DTC
                               18. We have initiated two major steps in the area of tax reforms. The first pertains to the DTC and the second to the Goods and
Telefax :
011-47675201/06                    Services Tax (GST). The DTC Bill was introduced in August, 2011 and has been referred to the Parliamentary Standing
                                   Committee. I am hopeful that the Committee will submit its report by the Winter Session of the Parliament, and thereafter we
E-Mail :                           would seek to get the legislation passed during the Budget session. By amalgamating several taxes levied by the Centre and the
email@assocom-india.com            States at different stages of the value chain, the GST would mitigate cascading and make Indian industry competitive in domestic
                                   as well as international markets. It would also improve compliance and make the level of taxation transparent to the end
Website :
www.assocom-india.com
                                  consumers. The introduction of GST requires a Constitutional Amendment to enable the Centre to levy a tax on the distribution of
                                  goods beyond the manufacturing stage and to empower the States to levy a tax on supply of services. A Constitutional
                                  Amendment Bill to this effect has already been introduced and is currently with the Parliamentary Standing Committee. I seek
                                  full cooperation of the States in supporting this Constitutional Amendment Bill to pave the way for the early introduction of GST.


                               Food Security
                               19. Ensuring the food and nutritional security for all Indians is the collective responsibility of the Centre and the States. After initial
                                   consultations with States, Ministries, expert advisory bodies and other stake holders, the Department of Food and Public
                                   Distribution has prepared a draft National Food Security Bill.
                               20. The draft Bill has been sent to all States and Union Territories and the Central Ministries for their comments and suggestions. It
     Monthly News                  has also been put on the website of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. So far, only a few States and
                                   UTs have sent their comments. Since this is an important legislation, I request the States to send their views at the earliest to
                                   help us finalize the bill for introduction in the Winter Session of the Parliament.
                               21. The implementation of the Food Security Act will be the joint responsibility of the Centre and States. Both have to work together
                                   to procure the required quantity of food grains and ensure distribution of the food grains to the beneficiaries through an effective
                                   delivery system.
      Page No. 25
                               22. Revamping the PDS is a necessary pre-requisite for the effective implementation of the proposed National Food Security Act. The
                                   Supreme Court has also directed an end-to-end computerization of PDS. The Task Force under Shri Nilekani is working on direct
                                   transfer of subsidy that will eliminate leakages and will minimize the distortion of prices. As soon as this is available the
                                   States/UTs should draw up a time bound action plan for computerization of Supply Chain Management.

    Month October              APMC reforms
                               23. It is important to reduce the gap between producer prices and retail consumer prices through an efficient supply chain
                                   management. The APMCs were established to protect the interest of farmers. However, in reality, the APMC system has led to
                                   monopolistic behaviour and reduced the choices available to small farmers. Reforms in APMC Act could play an important role in
                                   reducing the supply side constraints. I would urge upon this august gathering to consider these proposals on merits without any
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,        delay.
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,
District Centre, Vikas Marg,   Plan Size and Centrally Sponsored Schemes
Delhi - 110092
                               24. There is at present excessive focus on plan size and greater demands for resources. What is important is the plan outcomes;
Telephone :                        there is a need to correlate outlays with outcomes. The number of Centrally Sponsored Schemes needs to be rationalized. There
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)         has been some progress on this front over the years but there is scope for much more streamlining of these schemes.
+91-11-22457226, 22457230
                               25. Let me take this opportunity to make an appeal to all our leaders, cutting across party lines and regional identities. No matter
Telefax :                          which party each of us belongs to, our first commitment must be to India. As politicians we like to win elections. Let me confess
011-47675201/06                    that I too like to win elections. But our own election victory must never take precedence over India’s victory. I say this because
                                   there are some important reforms, which need legislative action and cannot be brought in by an executive order. We all agree
E-Mail :                           that reforms like this are important for India’s development and can happen only if we all work together. We must remind
email@assocom-india.com            ourselves that if India wins, we all win.”
Website :
www.assocom-india.com
                               WHEAT AND RICE STOCK OVER 611 LAKH TONNES
                               Press Information Bureau                                                                                       October 22, 2011


                               Foodgrains stock in the country with the Government procurement agencies as on 1st August, 2011was 611.46 lakh tonnes
                               comprising 252.71 lakh tonnes of rice and 358.75 tonnes of wheat. The procurement of rice as on August 1, 2011 (KMS 2010-11)
                               was 325.99 lakh tonnes as against 301.60 lakh tonnes procured last kharif season. Wheat procurement for Ravi Marketing Season
                               2011-12 was 281.44 lakh tonnes as against 224.62 lakh tonnes procured last in season. The off take of rice in all schemes, during
                               July, 2011, has been 27.79 lakh tonnes. This comprises 21.95 lakh tonnes under TPDS and 5.84 lakh tonnes under other schemes.
                               The total off take of wheat has been 20.76 lakh tonnes comprising of 17.48 lakh tonnes under TPDS and 3.28 lakh tonnes under
                               other schemes. The total allotment of rice during July, 2011, under TPDS including BPL, APL and AAY was 22.01 lakh tonnes, against
     Monthly News
                               which the total offtake was 21.95 lakh tonnes, representing an overall percentage offtake of 99.7 percent.


                               The BPL allotment of rice was 9.68 lakh tonnes, against which the offtake was 10.45 lakh tonnes, representing percentage off take
                               107.9 per cent. In respect of AAY the allotment during the month was 5.75 lakh tonnes, against which the off take was 5.99 lakh
                               tonnes, which represents 104.3 percent off take. The total allotment of wheat under TPDS including BPL, APL and AAY was 19.55
      Page No. 26              lakh tonnes, against which the total off take was 17.47 lakh tonnes, representing an overall percentage 89.4 percent off take. The
                               BPL allotment of wheat was 4.85 lakh tonnes, against which the off take was 6.25 lakh tonnes representing an off take of 128.7 per
                               cent. In respect of AAY, the allotment was 2.79 lakh tonnes, against which the off take was 3.11 lakh tonnes, which represents 111.5
                               percent off take.


    Month October              FARM VARSITY MOOTS CREATION OF FOOD PROCESSING CENTRES
                               Hindu Business Line                                                                                            October 23, 2011


                               The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University has stressed the need for the establishment of food processing centres both – at the block and
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.        district-level in the State to contain waste and enhance value-addition to the farm produce. The TNAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr P.
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,    Murugesa Boopathi, said that the farm varsity has submitted a proposal to the Central Planning Commission for establishing Food
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,       Processing Centres (under the XII Five- Year Plan) in all the 30 districts of Tamil Nadu with a budget outlay of Rs 150 crore (at the rate
District Centre, Vikas Marg,   of Rs 5 crore per centre). “We have also proposed for establishing such centres at the block level. A representation to this effect was
Delhi - 110092
                               made to the State Planning Commission, so farmers can use such centres for processing their produce/ value-addition,” he said and
Telephone :                    added that the university was working in collaboration with the University of Guelph for developing a nano film to control post-
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)     harvest losses. Dr Boopathy disclosed this at the National Seminar on Emerging Technologies in Food Processing for ensuring Food
+91-11-22457226, 22457230      Safety and Quality – Foodxplore'11.

Telefax :
011-47675201/06                About 20 scientists and students numbering around 150 from various institutions in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh
                               attended the event. In his inaugural address, the Vice-Chancellor said while, foodgrains wastage is around 8-10 per cent of the total
E-Mail :                       production (estimated at 241 million tonnes), wastage of perishables such as fruits and vegetables is around 25-30 per cent and
email@assocom-india.com        estimated at Rs 46,000 crore. Stating that this wastage could be minimised if there are sufficient storage facilities, he said the food
                               processing centres would help in adding value to the farm produce. The General Manager of Reliance Retail, Hyderabad, Mr
Website :
www.assocom-india.com
                               Jayatheertha Chary, said that only 30 per cent of the produce was processed in the country against 65 per cent in the US. The
                               percentage of processed perishable food is even less at around 6 per cent compared with the world average of 70-80 per cent. The
                               country's share in the export of processed food is just 1.5 per cent at $3.2 billion.


                               The food processing industry in India has been growing at 13 per cent due to increase in domestic demand. He pointed out that from
                               simple trading activity, food retailing surpassed the dominant apparel and accessories sector. The food and beverage segment is
                               worth Rs 8,97,000 crore and growing at 30 per cent. The challenge at this juncture is to ensure safety, convenience, freshness,
                               range, affordability etc. while developing the processes and products. Food Process Engineers must aim to develop small-scale
                               technologies with low investments with a scalability option and these technologies should be eco-friendly. They should strive to
                               provide market access to their products, Mr Chary said. Agricultural Engineering Dean (in charge), Dr S. Chellamuthu, said the
     Monthly News              market size for processed foods is expected to increase from Rs 4,600 billion to Rs 13,500 billion by 2014-15 and the share of value-
                               added products in processed food consumption from 3 per cent (Rs 1,800 billion) to 58 per cent (Rs 7,800 billion). “To achieve the
                               targeted level we will have to shift to demand-driven approach, enhance financing to agriculture and food processing sectors,
                               increase competitiveness of SMBs by facilitating access to best practices, technology, capital and marketing and by replicating
                               successful Indian and international business models in production, processing and marketing of food products.”

      Page No. 27
                               GOVT'S FOODGRAIN STOCK AT 51.78 MILLION TONNES TILL OCT 1
                               Press Trust of India                                                                                       October 24, 2011


                               Foodgrain stocks in the government's godowns were almost two-and-a-half times more than the required stock at 51.78 million
                               tonnes at the start of the current month, a fact that re-affirms India's food surplus status. As per government norms, Food
    Month October
                               Corporation of India (FCI) should have 21.2 million tonnes (MT) of wheat and rice available in its buffer stock as of October 1 every
                               year, which includes 5 MT in strategic reserves. Among total reserves, 51.20 million tonnes of foodgrains are stored in various
                               government godowns and 0.58 million tonnes is in transit, the latest FCI data said.

Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,    WHEAT MSP HIKED BY RS 115/QTL, PULSES BY UP TO RS 700
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,       Press Trust of India                                                                                       October 25, 2011
District Centre, Vikas Marg,
Delhi - 110092
                               The government on Tuesday announced a hike of Rs 115 per quintal in minimum support price (MSP) of wheat to farmers at Rs 1,285
Telephone :                    per quintal for the ongoing rabi (winter) season, to offset the impact of higher input cost. The decision to raise MSP of wheat and
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)     other rabi crops was taken at the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). MSP for wheat had stood at Rs
+91-11-22457226, 22457230
                               1,170 per quintal in the 2011-12 marketing year (April-June). The CCEA also approved increase in the MSP of pulses by up to Rs 700
Telefax :                      per quintal to boost production as the country is dependent on imports to meet domestic demands. The government has raised the
011-47675201/06                MSP of for both gram and masur at Rs 2,800 per quintal, a jump of Rs 700 and Rs 550 a quintal, respectively, for the 2012-13
                               marketing season. The support price for mustard seed and safflower has been increased to Rs 2,500 per quintal each, up by Rs 650
E-Mail :                       and Rs 700 per quintal, respectively. The hike in MSP is based on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and
email@assocom-india.com        Prices (CACP). The sowing of rabi crops such as wheat commenced this month. These crops are to be harvested in April, 2012.
Website :
www.assocom-india.com
                               PROPOSAL FOR UPSCALING OF THE CENTRAL SECTOR SCHEME OF INFRASTRUCTURE
                               DEVELOPMENT FOR FOOD PROCESSING: MEGA FOOD PARKS.
                               Press Information Bureau                                                                                     October 25, 2011


                               The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved setting up 15 new Mega Food Park Projects under the Infrastructure
                               Development Scheme (in addition to 15 ongoing projects), involving a total Government grant of Rs. 787.50 Crore. The setting up
                               of 15 new Mega Food Parks will result in creation of state of the art infrastructure in major parts of the country with efficient supply
                               chain management from farm gate to retail outlets. The projects are expected to bring about substantial reduction of wastage, value
                               addition, employment generation and increased income for the farmers. The Scheme will be implemented in a market driven
     Monthly News              manner commensurate with both global and national demands. Innovative supply chain management will be the key to
                               implementation of this scheme. Expressions of Interest (EOI) will be invited from the prospective entrepreneurs. As per the
                               procedure laid down in the scheme guidelines, the most suitable proposal will be selected The timeline for project implementation in
                               respect of each Mega Food Park is 24 months from the date of release of first tranche of the first instalment.


                               Each Mega Food Park is expected to generate the following financial outcomes:
      Page No. 28
                               I. Expected to benefit 6000 farmers / producers directly and 25000-30000 farmers indirectly,
                               ii. Estimated investment in each project will be about Rs. 100 Crore. in common facilities and will leverage an additional
                                   investments about of Rs. 250 Crore.
                               iii. Expected annual turnover of each project will be Rs. 500.00 Crore.
                               iv. Each Mega Food Park will generate about 40,000 direct and indirect jobs.
    Month October              v. In each Project, an estimated number of 30-40 food processing industries are expected to be set up.


                               The Infrastructure Development Scheme for Mega Food Parks aims at providing excellent infrastructure facilities for food processing
                               industries along the value chain from farm to market. The Scheme operates in hub and spoke model under which there will be farm
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.        proximate Collection Centres (CC) and Primary Processing Centres (PPC) which will facilitate for cleaning, grading, sorting and
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,    packing facilities, dry warehouses, specialised cold stores including pre-cooling chambers, ripening chambers, reefer vans, mobile
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,       pre-coolers and mobile collection vans.
District Centre, Vikas Marg,
Delhi - 110092

Telephone :
                               GLOBAL AGRI CONNECT HELD
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)                                                                                                                  October 25, 2011
+91-11-22457226, 22457230

Telefax :                      Central Institute of Horticulture, Nagaland participated in Global Agri Connect 2011 conference cum Exhibition from October 14 to
011-47675201/06                16 at IARI campus, Pusa, New Delhi. The Exhibition was organized by NSFI (National Skill foundation of India) New Delhi where CIH
                               Nagaland was one of the co- organizers of the event. The exhibition was formally inaugurated by Harish Rawat, Minister of State
E-Mail :                       Agriculture and food processing industries, Government of India, informed a press note. The note stated that the institute exhibited
email@assocom-india.com
                               the niche crops of the region like ginger, turmeric, naga king chili, bird’s eye chili, oranges etc., and various publications of the
Website :                      Institute. A host of dignitaries including Shri. Pawan Singh Ghatowar, Hon’ble Minister, DONER, GOI, Shri. Harish Rawat, Minister of
www.assocom-india.com
                               State Agriculture & Food Processing Industries, GOI, Shri. Bijay Kumar IAS, Managing Director, NHB, Director & Head of IARI,
                               officials of Department of Agriculture & Co-operation and various government officials, private organizers, farmers, students,
                               buyers etc. visited the stall. Dr. Akali Sema, Director of Central Institute of Horticulture along with Miss K. Lily Rangnamei, Senior
                               Technical Assistant and Eliyamo Humtsoe, Field Assistant participated in the exhibition. There was an international conference on
                               “Transformational Changes in Indian Agriculture: The Next Decade” and a special session was given to North East Region of India on
                               the theme “North East: Changing Trend”, where Dr.Akali Sema, Director, CIH Co-chaired the session along with Mr.JNL Srivastava,
                               Head – IFFCO Foundation. During the same time, the Institute, as a part of its vision to promote transfer of technology for better
                               production and productivity organized exposure trip of flower growers from Nagaland and Assam for 16 farmers at IARI, Pusa and
                               HTI Haryana, it said.

     Monthly News
                               INDIA RAISES LOCAL WHEAT PURCHASE PRICE, EXPORTS VIABLE
                               Reuters                                                                                                     October 25, 2011


                               India will pay nearly 10 percent more to local farmers for buying wheat in 2012 over this year, Law
                               Minister Salman Khurshid said on Tuesday, to ensure better returns to growers as inflation continues
      Page No. 29              around nine percent. India, the world's second-biggest wheat producer, has raised the price it will
                               pay to buy grain planted from October to 1,285 rupees per 100 kilogrammes (about $258 per tonne)
                               from 1,170 rupees (about $235 per tonne) paid in 2011. Inflation is currently running above 9
                               percent but policymakers are expecting it to ease to 7-8 percent by March 2012 as the Reserve Bank
                               of India hikes interest rates to curb demand. "We have to take care of both farmers and consumers.
                               We have to ensure adequate returns to farmers. At the same time, we have to keep inflationary
    Month October              pressures under check," Khurshid said. The local wheat purchase prices equate to lower than the
                               current global price of around $280 per tonne on a delivered basis, making exports viable, traders
                               said. "Indian FOB (free on board) wheat is about $250 per tonne. For Bangladesh and the Middle East, supplies from Russia or
                               Australia would cost $280-$300 per tonne.
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,    The Indian wheat is competitive now," said a trader with a Mumbai-based global firm. India formally allowed wheat exports in
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,       September but few deals were struck while domestic prices outstripped global rates. That situation has now changed. An Indian firm
District Centre, Vikas Marg,
Delhi - 110092                 made the lowest offer at $274.1 a tonne, including cost, insurance and freight, in a Bangladesh tender for 50,000 tonnes of the grain
                               that opened on Oct. 10. Global wheat prices have risen 3 percent to $6.45-7/5 a bushel in the past 10 days after being weak most of
Telephone :                    this year. Reuters analyst Wang Tao is still looking at a bullish target at $6.55-3/4 for CBOT December wheat. But any further
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)     supplies from India will add to global stocks. On Oct. 12, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projected a 5.4 million tonne
+91-11-22457226, 22457230      rise in global wheat supplies for 2011/12 from a year earlier. India itself aims for a record wheat harvest of 86 million tonnes next
                               year, which could mean more exports from the world's second-biggest consumer after China. It harvested a record 85.93 million
Telefax :
011-47675201/06                tonnes in 2011 against demand of some 76 million tonnes. On Oct. 1, wheat stocks in government warehouses were 31.4 million
                               tonnes against a target of 11 million tonnes. The government has said private firms can export up to 2 million tonnes. India sets a
E-Mail :                       price to buy grains from local farmers to protect them from distressed sales, help build stocks for emergencies and run various
email@assocom-india.com        welfare programmes. ($1 = 49.825 Rupees)
Website :
www.assocom-india.com
                               FOOD PRO 2011 CONCLUDES WITH RECORD 20,000 PLUS VISITORS; HIGHLIGHTS
                               SAFETY
                                                                                                                                             October 25, 2011


                               The Indian bakery industry, with an estimated Rs 15,000 crore turnover and an annual growth rate of 20%, needed to introduce food
                               safety measures in order to sustain its growth in the future, said industry leaders, who participated in the three-day Foodpro 2011
                               event – India’s biennial food processing & food technology event, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) from
                               October 21-23, 2011, at the Chennai Trade Centre, Chennai. The Foodpro 2011 exhibition attracted the participation of about 170
                               exhibitors representing a wide range of equipment, products, and solutions in the food processing and allied sectors and over
     Monthly News              20,000 visitors from the trade and business community from all over the country. The event witnessed new product launches, live
                               demonstration of machinery / equipment, sectoral seminars / workshop and business meets. The industry leaders also urged the
                               government to modify the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, and make the process of modification open to public participation.
                               The government should take into account the ground realities in terms of lack of quality control infrastructure, raw material
                               availability, and the size of the industry.

      Page No. 30
                               According to G Selvarajan, chairman, McRennett Foods, who is also the founder president of Tamilnadu Bakers’ Federation, said the
                               government should leave the food standards to the industry, while restraining its focus only to food safety. Selvarajan said that it was
                               impossible for the government to standardise all foods sold in the market. For instance, pickle alone had about hundreds of varieties
                               and it would take years for the government to bring standards to all type of pickles. He said that food standards should be introduced
                               only as an enabling provision that will be useful for the industry to adopt as part business-to-business contracts.
    Month October
                               For example, a food brand can ask its suppliers to adopt food standards. Some of the growth factors of the bakery industry included
                               changing lifestyles, growing demand for convenient food, disposable income in the hands of younger generation who had media
                               exposure, creation of modern retail stores, entry of fast food giants, availability of imported raw material and technology, and low
                               entry barrier, he said. He opined that there was a conception in the market that bakery foods were celebration, fun or pleasure foods
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.        with no health value. Hence, the industry had to increase its offerings that suited the changing lifestyles – from active to sedentary --
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,
                               of consumers. Bakeries should introduce nutrition-enhanced health foods for different age groups and special sugar-free, low-fat
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,
District Centre, Vikas Marg,   variants for diabetics and people with special diet needs. B S Bhat, managing director, the Bangalore-based Polykorp Private Limited,
Delhi - 110092                 said that implementing food safety and food standards would require the help of educational institutions that should introduce
                               diploma courses in these emerging domains. In the wake of basic sciences such as chemistry losing attraction, it was not possible for
Telephone :                    the industry to get qualified supervisors to ensure food safety. V Muralidharan, Bunge India, a global agri business and food
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)
                               company, said that the industry should focus on using only standard raw materials such as flour, fat, sugar and egg. They should
+91-11-22457226, 22457230
                               follow good manufacturing processes, and train their employees on hygiene practices. Since food safety required the involvement of
Telefax :                      the entire employee force, it might take investment in long-term, and organisation-wide training. He said that bakery was a labour-
011-47675201/06                intensive industry, though the industry was increasingly going for low-cost, low-level automation. Tamil Nadu alone had about 5,500
                               bakery units of small and medium-scale, and three times the number of micro scale units in rural areas. In the state, the small sector
E-Mail :                       bakeries alone employed about 40,000 skilled people like cake masters and helpers.
email@assocom-india.com

Website :
www.assocom-india.com
                               OILSEED FLOOR PRICE RAISED, WHEAT TO GET LESS SUPPORT
                               Business Standard                                                                                                October 26, 2011


                               In a clear message to farmers on the margins to switch from grains
                               to oilseeds, the Cabinet on Tuesday approved one of the biggest
                               increases in minimum support price of rabi oilseeds, but limited it
                               in the case of wheat.The minimum support price (MSP) of wheat
                               was raised from Rs 1,170 per quintal (which includes a bonus of Rs
                               50 per quintal), to Rs 1,285 per quintal, an increase of around 10
     Monthly News              per cent. But, the support price for mustard was raised by 35 per
                               cent to Rs 2,500 per quintal, while that of chana and masoor was
                               raised by Rs 33 per cent and 24 per cent, respectively to Rs 2,800
                               per quintal for each.


                               “We want farmers in the margins to switch from grains to oilseeds
      Page No. 31              as on the one hand our grain stocks are overflowing, and on the
                               other hand, in 2010-2011 India imported edible oils worth Rs
                               29,000 crore. This needs to be corrected,” Ashok Gulati, chairman
                               of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) told
                               Business Standard. CACP, the government’s nodal agency for
                               setting price of farm commodities that government pays, had recommended increasing the MSP of wheat for 2012-2013 crop
    Month October              marketing season that starts from April to Rs 1,350 per quintal, a jump of almost Rs 180 per quintal over and above the current price.
                               However, the MSP rise to Rs 1,350 per quintal depends on the states reducing their mandi tax to four-five per cent from 14 per cent in
                               big grain producing states like Punjab. The finance ministry was believed to have been not in favour of such a proposal. It also feared
                               rise in retail prices if the proposal was accepted. Officials said the food ministry, too, was not in favour of the increase as suggested by
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.        the CACP on the grounds that it will inflate the subsidy bill, which is already poised to cross Rs 100,000 after the Food Security Bill is
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,    passed. “Heavy taxes distort the markets and ward off private traders. This is unjust to states like Madhya Pradesh, which are
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,       emerging as big contributors of grains to the central pool, but levy much less tax on primary products,” the official said.
District Centre, Vikas Marg,
Delhi - 110092
                               IGC UPS GLOBAL WHEAT OUTPUT PROJECTION TO 684 MT FOR 2011-12
Telephone :
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)     Press Trust of India                                                                                             October 28, 2011
+91-11-22457226, 22457230
                               International Grains Council (IGC) has revised upwards the world wheat production forecast for 2011-12 to 684 million tonnes,
Telefax :
011-47675201/06                expecting higher crop in Europe, Australia and Kazakhstan. Till last month, the London-based organisation had kept the forecast at
                               679 million tonnes. The wheat output forecast for the current year remains higher than the 651 MT output last year. "The global
E-Mail :                       production estimate is boosted by 5 MT to 684 million tonnes (as against 679 MT projected last month) after upward revisions for the
email@assocom-india.com        EU, Kazakhstan and Australia," the IGC said in its latest Grains Report. While world wheat consumption is forecast to increase at a
                               quicker than normal pace in 2011-12, the second-largest harvest on record should ensure ample availabilities, lifting carryover
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www.assocom-india.com
                               stocks to their highest in a decade, it said. According to the IGC report, the world wheat consumption has been pegged at 677 MT for
                               this year, as against 655 MT in 2010-11. While the forecast for human food use has been raised since last month, there are
                               reductions for feed and industrial use, it said. "However, both are still seen rising significantly and growth in total consumption this
                               year is expected to be about double the ten-year average," it said. Meanwhile, world carryover stocks are forecast to exceed 200 MT
                               for the first time since 2001-02, including a recovery in the eight major exporters, IGC said. As a result, world trade in wheat is
                               expected to be higher at 132 MT in 2011-12, from 127 MT in the previous year. "Strong demand for competitively-priced and amply
                               available Black Sea feed and milling wheat contributes to an upward revision in projected wheat trade at over 132 MT," the IGC
                               report said. The Black Sea exports, especially from Russia, have captured a high proportion of demand in the first part of the season.
                               While that country may eventually introduce measures to control shipments beyond a certain level, they are still seen setting new
                               records, it said. Exports by Ukraine are expected to accelerate following the recent removal of taxes, it said. China and India are the
     Monthly News              world''s top two wheat producers.


                               FOOD FORTIFICATION TO CHECK MALNUTRITION IN RAJASTHAN
                               India Blooms News Service                                                                                     October 29, 2011

      Page No. 32              Kalawati Devi, 45 years old, is no longer able to stitch clothes at night and support her family financially. It was two years back that
                               she stopped stitching clothes which was a significant source of income for her family. She had been having vision problems during
                               night for some time which gradually turned into complete night blindness two years ago. She used to work at night after attending to
                               her household chores during the day. But today regular household duties are no less than an ordeal for her and she can’t even cross
                               the street without help. Kalawati is one of the many women grappling with debilitating effects of vitamin A deficiency in rural
                               Rajasthan. This is one curse that has left her battling for a normal life. Across the country many women like Kala Wati are struggling
    Month October              with various consequences of micronutrient deficiency including anaemia, goitre, mental disabilities or even death. Fortunately for
                               Rajasthan things are beginning to look up. A massive food fortification drive rolled out recently across all 33 districts of the state
                               seeks to counter the soaring rates of malnutrition. Oil and milk fortified with Vitamin A and wheat flour fortified with iron, Vitamin
                               B12 and Folic acid are being made available in these districts as part of a three pronged approach to bring down high rates of
                               micronutrient malnutrition in the state. Institute of Health Management and Research (IIHMR) Jaipur is spearheading the project
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,    with technical and financial support from the international developmental agency Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). The
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,       Rajasthan fortification project seeks to establish food based strategies, especially fortification as one of the primary nutritional
District Centre, Vikas Marg,   interventions in the fight against malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies.
Delhi - 110092

Telephone :                    The problem of micronutrient deficiency in the country has been largely overlooked so far. In the rural areas of the country, for
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)     instance rural Rajasthan, it grabs attention only when some of the external manifestations like blindness, goitre, anaemia and
+91-11-22457226, 22457230      mental disabilities become visible. “It is evident that undernutrition not only affects physical and mental growth but also undermines
                               productivity at work and home, which obviously has far reaching implications for income and economic growth”, says Dr
Telefax :
                               Chandrakant Pandav, National President, Indian Public Health Association (IPHA). Eliminating micronutrient deficiencies requires
011-47675201/06
                               prompt interventions. Experts aver that a multi – pronged strategy encompassing multiple interventions is the way forward. Food
E-Mail :                       based strategies like food diversification and food fortification may play a very important role in this fight against malnutrition. Food
email@assocom-india.com        fortification, for one, seems to be the most effective food-based approach especially in low income states like Rajasthan as it is
                               considerably more cost-effective than supplementation. Food fortification as a strategy to counter nutritional deficiencies has
Website :
www.assocom-india.com
                               already courted some notable successes. Universal iodization of common salt stands out as one of the most ambitious and yet highly
                               successful public health programmes taken up in the country in recent memory. Salt fortified with Iodine has gone a long way in
                               helping blunt the thrusts of Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD). The whole idea behind fortifying food commodities like salt and, as in
                               Rajasthan’s case, wheat, milk and oil, is that these foods are universally consumed by all population groups and are therefore the
                               best candidates for fortification. The Rajasthan fortification drive is unique in its own way as it includes the fortification of oil and milk
                               in addition to wheat flour fortification. Oil is just about ideal for fortification (with Vitamin A) because of its use across all households
                               in rural and urban Rajasthan. The strategy is expected to be very effective in reaching out to rural Rajasthan as people even in rural
                               areas buy oil from the market and it is easy to ensure supply of fortified oil in these areas through regular distribution channels. Milk
                               is another good vehicle for fortification with Vitamin A especially in the semi urban areas in Rajasthan. In the rural areas
                               consumption of milk might not turn out to be high because people own milch animals. “The universal consumption of Oil and milk
     Monthly News              across households makes them very effective vehicles for fortification”, says Dr Chandrakant Pandav, National President, Indian
                               Public Health Association (IPHA). The reason for not fortifying wheat flour with vitamin A is that its stability in oil and milk is more
                               compared to it stability in wheat flour. Fortification is considered to be a very effective food based approach to counter malnutrition in
                               general and micronutrient deficiencies in particular. Fortification of wheat flour with iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid and of edible oil
                               and milk with Vitamin A is an effective way to get essential nutrients into food especially for low-income families at risk of
                               micronutrient deficiencies.
      Page No. 33
                               MAJOR INTERNATIONAL MILLING SYMPOSIUM IN HAMBURG

                               Over 300 visitors came to the Fourth Mühlenchemie symposium "Future of Flour" - Transfer of knowledge is essential if we are to
                               meet the challenges of the future. Our world is currently undergoing enormous changes. The earth's population is growing
    Month October              continuously, the climate is becoming progressively warmer, and globalization is making economic developments more and more
                               unpredictable. Although these changing conditions have very different effects on individual regions, they have one thing in common:
                               a considerable influence on human nutrition. Since flour is a staple food in nearly all cultures, the international milling industry has a
                               special responsibility. In order to help mills meet the growing challenges of the future, Mühlenchemie issued an invitation to the
                               Fourth International Symposium "Future of Flour - Economic, Functional & Nutritional Aspects" in Hamburg in September 2011. 310
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.
                               visitors from 60 countries discussed requirements in the field of flour production at present and in the future and 32 specialist papers
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,       held by research scientists, economists, experienced millers and representatives of public institutions gave the participants valuable
District Centre, Vikas Marg,   information and stimulus.
Delhi - 110092

Telephone :
                               The latest research results and examples of applications were presented under the headings "The Future of Wheat", "Emerging
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)     Asian Wheat Producers", "Milling", "Flour Fortification", "Science & Technology", "Baking" and "Ingredients". Lennart Kutschinski,
+91-11-22457226, 22457230      Managing Director of Mühlenchemie and the initiator of the symposium, drew a positive balance for the three-day meeting: "The
                               specialist programme was an important component of the symposium this year too. But in the conversations and discussions
Telefax :                      between the papers, and at the evening events, we came to realize yet again how much the daily work of the millers can help to
011-47675201/06
                               shape the future of our world. We feel it's important to offer the industry a forum for exchanging knowledge and experience and
E-Mail :                       where the "milling family" can learn from each of its members." One of the highlights was the presentation of the "flour art award
email@assocom-india.com        2010". Mühlenchemie started collecting flour sacks with their fascinating motifs 13 years ago; in 2008 the company even created a
                               home of its own for them, the "flour art museum", where over 2,400 exhibits from every corner of the earth can be viewed. So of
Website :                      course the flour sacks were given the attention they deserve at the symposium too: at the end of the two-day information marathon,
www.assocom-india.com
                               Volkmar Wywiol, the founder of the museum and managing partner of Mühlenchemie, presented the "flour art award" newly
                               established by him. The aim of this competition was to find the most attractive motif with a historical, regional or milling background.
                               Three mills from Mexico, Russia and the Lebanon reached the final round; the winner was the mill Harinas del Sureste from Mexico,
                               with a picture of a pheasant. As a souvenir of the symposium Volkmar Wywiol presented each participant with a commemorative
                               key-ring pendant. For this purpose, Mühlenchemie had had a bronze pendant of the figure "The Corn Grinder" specially cast as a
                               limited edition created by the artist Yves Rasch. It symbolizes the arduous but essential task of corn grinding. In ancient Egypt,
                               statuettes of these corn-grinding women were often used as burial objects. The woman's task was to relieve the deceased person of
                               hard work in the realm of the dead. Mühlenchemie owns a valuable copy of such an Egyptian statuette in its original size (27 x 40 cm)
                               at the company's own flour art museum in Wittenburg, Germany.


     Monthly News              FAO WARNS OF TIGHT WORLD GRAIN MARKETS AS FOOD PRICES FALL

                               World grain markets are expected to remain tight this crop year, the United Nations' food body said, even as growing economic
                               gloom and improving harvest prospects pushed food prices lower in September. The Food and Agriculture Organization's food price
                               index, which measures the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities, averaged 225 points last month,
      Page No. 34              down 2% from August. Although that's still only 13 points below the record peak reached in February and higher than at the same
                               time last year, that marks the third consecutive month of declines from this year's heady heights. The fall, particularly in grain, sugar
                               and oils prices, was triggered by both fears of a global economic slowdown and the strength of the greenback, as well as improving
                               suppl prospects for many agricultural markets, the FAO said. "Large [grain and oilseed] supplies from the Black Sea put downward
                               pressure on prices from other origins," the FAO said. "A stronger U.S. dollar further contributed to the price decline." The body raised
                               its forecast for 2011-12 world cereal production by 3 million metric tons to 2.31 billion tons, up 3% compared to the last crop year,
    Month October              thanks to a 4.6% increase in wheat output and a higher rice harvest. And it forecast a 2% decrease in cereal use, largely due to a
                               sharp fall in the growth of ethanol production from wheat and corn, which is now only expected to grow 2% in 2011-12, compared to
                               5% the previous crop year. But it warned that even with improving prospects for the global harvest, the outlook remains "uncertain"
                               for the world's most food insecure countries given the worsening economic climate and low world food stocks. "Despite this positive
                               production outlook, the impact on global food security remains uncertain given the current international economic slowdown," it said
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.
                               in a report. International grain prices as measured by the FAO's cereal index fell 3% to 245 points in September, continuing the
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,       downward trend seen since April, the FAO said. Still, it noted that with prices still at historically high levels, "the crop should remain
District Centre, Vikas Marg,   an attractive option for producers." The FAO's oil index also fell 2.3% last month, while the sugar index fell 3.8% as improving
Delhi - 110092                 production prospects in Europe, India, and Thailand helped prices to ease from their July peaks.

Telephone :
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)
+91-11-22457226, 22457230
                               GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO PROVIDE ASSURED FOOD SECURITY TO ALL CITIZENS

Telefax :                      Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Prof K.V Thomas has said that the Government is committed to enactment of
011-47675201/06                the National Food Security Act to provide a statutory framework for assured food security to all . Addressing the Inaugural Session of
                               a seminar organised by International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) here today, the Minister said that the proposed legislation would
E-Mail :
email@assocom-india.com        be a paradigm shift in approach towards food security - from welfare based to rights based approach, involving legal obligation on
                               the Government to deliver food entitlements. It will be a comprehensive effort, adopting a lifecycle approach, in providing food and
Website :                      nutritional security to people, with special emphasis on vulnerable groups. Highlighting the priority of the Government to provide
www.assocom-india.com
                               food security to all Prof Thomas said that the draft Bill proposes to provide right to receive food grains at subsidized prices under the
                               Targeted Public Distribution System by persons belonging to priority households and general households. It proposes coverage of
                               upto 75% of the total rural population, with at least 46% population belonging to priority households and up to 50% of the total
                               urban population, with at least 28% population belonging to priority households. Each person in priority households would be
                               entitled to 7 kg food grains per month @ a price of not exceeding Rs. 3, 2 or 1 per kg for rice/wheat/coarse grains and 3 kg per person
                               per month @ a price of not exceeding 50% of the minimum support price for wheat and coarse grains and derived minimum support
                               price for rice in general households. The Food Minister said that the Bill also contains provisions for Nutritional support to pregnant
                               women, lactating mothers and children, entitlements of special groups such as destitute persons, homeless and such other needy
                               persons, emergency and disaster affected persons, persons living in starvation etc. He said the Central Govt has held wide ranging
                               consultations with various stakeholders, including State Governments and UT Administrations regarding the proposed Food Security
     Monthly News              legislation. Based on these consultations and comments/recommendations received, we have recently prepared a draft National
                               Food Security Bill and the same has been placed on the website of the Ministry for comments/suggestions. The Bill is likely to be
                               introduced in the Parliament shortly after taking into account the comments received from stakeholders and after appropriate
                               consultations. Prof Thomas said that implementation of the legislation which will place a major demand on agricultural production
                               and related infrastructure is no doubt, going to be a challenging task. It would involve enhanced production of food grains, higher
                               procurement, creation of additional storage facilities, rail-road infrastructure for movement of food grains and a streamlined
      Page No. 35              distribution network. Based on the provisions of the draft Bill, the requirement of food grains for TPDS, Other Welfare Schemes
                               (OWS) and natural calamities is estimated at about 61 million tons. In order to cover a large section of rural as well as urban
                               population, as envisaged in the proposed National Food Security Act, it is necessary to have sufficient stocks of food grains in the
                               Central Pool for distribution. To meet the increased requirement of food grains, R&D efforts need to be intensified to ensure better
                               yield from the available agricultural land. Development of modern farming technologies, high-yield varieties of seeds, efficient
                               irrigation techniques are required to attain higher food grain production. The minister expressed confidence that Institutions like
    Month October              ICAR and IRRI are quite capable in meeting the challenges of research and development in the field of agriculture to ensure
                               sustained implementation of the proposed legislation. Government, NGOs, Research Institutions and other stakeholders must work
                               together to make this momentous legislation a success so that the intended benefits reach the targeted beneficiaries, the minister
                               added.

Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,    CWC PAYS RECORD DIVIDEND
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,
District Centre, Vikas Marg,
Delhi - 110092                 The Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) achieved yet another record turnover of Rs.1030 crore during 2010-11 as against
                               Rs.988 crore achieved during the preceding year. Shri B.B. Pattanaik, Managing Director, CWC presented a dividend cheque of
Telephone :
                               Rs.14.97 crore to Prof. K.V. Thomas, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution on here today. Congratulating CWC for
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)
+91-11-22457226, 22457230      its commendable performance, the Minister urged CWC to modernize its storage infrastructure and introduce mechanized handling
                               of stocks at its warehouses. CWC achieved highest ever Profit Before Tax (PBT) of Rs.203.73 crore as against Rs.163.88 crore during
Telefax :                      2010-11, registering a growth of 24.32%.This could be possible due to addition of constructed storage capacity by 1.45 lakh MT and
011-47675201/06                increase in overall capacity utilization (occupancy) to 88% as against 85% achieved during previous year. Keeping in view the
                               national priority for safe preservation of food grains procured for Central Pool, utilization of capacity for storage of food grains was
E-Mail :
email@assocom-india.com
                               given adequate attention which increased from 48% during 2009-10 to 54% in 2010-11. CWC registered 10% growth in handling of
                               12.32 lakh TEUs during 2010-11 as against 11.21 lakh TEUs handled during 2009-10 and 6.4% increase in revenue earned out of
Website :                      Container Rail Transport operations and income under Pest Control activities also registered a growth of 12.66%. Keeping in view the
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                               excellent financial results, CWC has declared highest ever dividend for the year 2010-11 @ 40%. During the current financial year,
                               CWC plans to construct storage capacity of about 2.09 lakh MT with a financial outlay of Rs.78 crore in 11 States mainly for storage of
                               food grains and construct Multi-Storeyed Warehouses in the Metro cities. CWC also plans to commence operations of Private Freight
                               Terminals at its rail-based facilities at Bamanheri (UP) and Nabha (Punjab) besides setting up of Land Custom Station at Ghojadanga
                               (West Bengal).


                               POLICY FOR ACQUISITION OF RAW MATERIAL ASSETS ABROAD BY CENTRAL
                               PUBLIC SECTOR ENTERPRISES (CPSES) APPROVED
     Monthly News
                               The Cabinet today approved the policy for acquisition of raw material assets abroad by Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).


                               The main features of the policy are as under:
                                • The following will be applicable to CPSEs in Agriculture, Mining, Manufacturing and Electricity sectors having a three year record
                                  of making net profits.
      Page No. 36
                                • CPSEs will examine proposals, undertake due diligence and obtain approval of Board of Directors in a transparent manner.
                                • Powers delegated to the boards of Maharatna and Navratna proposed will be enhanced and enhanced powers available only for
                                  acquisition of raw material assets abroad.
                                • Coordinating Committee of Secretaries (CCoS) headed by the Cabinet Secretary proposed to be constituted. Proposals (i) where
                                  the administrative Ministry/CPSE requests for a coordinated view and (ii) involve Government funds to be put up before the
    Month October                 CCoS.
                                • CCoS will facilitate quick and coordinated decision making, coordinate grant of concessional credit to foreign
                                  enterprise/Government, recommend Government funding and decide about the nature of the Government funding on case to
                                  case basis. The CCoS to be serviced by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE).
                                • CPSE/Ministry will submit proposals to the DPE which will convene a meeting of the CCoS. The CPSE/Ministry to nominate a
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,       nodal officer. Recommendations of CCoS will be placed before CCEA by the DPE.
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,        • Existing Empowered Committee of Secretaries (ECS) mechanisms shall continue to function. Ministries presently not having ECS
District Centre, Vikas Marg,      proposed will be authorized to have an appropriate ECS mechanism.
Delhi - 110092
                                • The Ministry of External Affairs and its Missions abroad will be associated right from the beginning of the process.
Telephone :                     • The Government to, in due course, will consider constituting a dedicated, Sovereign Wealth Fund.
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)
+91-11-22457226, 22457230
                               The approval of the policy for acquisition of raw material assets abroad by CPSEs is expected to significantly enhance the capabilities
Telefax :                      of CPSEs to acquire raw material assets abroad and thus protect long term economic interests of the country.
011-47675201/06
                               Background - The availability of adequate quantities of raw materials is a pre-requisite not only for the growth of the manufacturing
E-Mail :
email@assocom-india.com        sector in particular and the economy as a whole, but also from a strategic perspective. Some countries have already taken the lead in
                               acquiring sources of raw material assets globally. The acquisition of raw material abroad will also help in improving the energy
Website :                      security of the country. The matter requires a timely response before global raw material assets are no longer available, or are
www.assocom-india.com
                               available at exorbitant prices. It was, therefore, decided that in the long term interests of the country, a policy statement in clear
                               terms needed to be pronounced to convey to all concerned the commitment of the Government to take all necessary measures
                               towards acquisition of raw material assets abroad by CPSEs. This policy emanates from the recommendations of National
                               Manufacturing Competitive Council and wide inter-ministerial consultations.


                               FIRST ADVANCE ESTIMATES OF CROP PRODUCTION FOR 2011-12

                               The 1st Advance Estimates of production of major agricultural crops for 2011-12 (covering only kharif crops) with slight revision are
                               as indicated below:-
     Monthly News
                                            Crops                                                           Estimates of Production
                                                                                             For                                                 Read
                                            Foodgrains (million tonnes)                      123.88                                              123.95
                                            Oilseeds (lakh tonnes)                           208.90                                              208.86
      Page No. 37
                               BADAL DEMANDS RS 2,200 PER QUINTAL AS WHEAT MSP

                               Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today rejected the proposed MSP of Rs 1,350 per quintal for wheat for 2012-13 as
                               suggested by the Commission for Agriculture Cost and Prices (CACP). He demanded Rs 2,200 per quintal as MSP to compensate the
    Month October              farmers for an exorbitant hike in the cost of agricultural inputs. In a statement, Badal said that the non-remunerative MSP coupled
                               with anti-farmer policies of Centre was primarily responsible for the slowdown of the agricultural growth. The Chief Minister said that
                               though his government had been constantly pleading the case of Punjab’s beleaguered peasantry which was in great distress and
                               agony and demanded MSP of at least Rs 2,200 per quintal of wheat from the Government of India in line with the escalation of
                               agricultural inputs. He said that factors like withdrawal of subsidy on fertilisers and consequently nearly three-fold hike in the cost of
Assocom-India Pvt. Ltd.        DAP fertilisers had put the farmers in quandary and therefore, it was obligatory on the part of Centre to announce an adequate hike
Flat No. 601, DDA Building,
                               in the MSP of wheat. Badal reiterated the CACP should re-fix the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of wheat at Rs 2,200 per quintal for
Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,
District Centre, Vikas Marg,   the Rabi 2012-13 in accordance with the prevalent cost of the inputs in market. He said that the state Agriculture department had
Delhi - 110092                 worked out the MSP for the crops in consultation with experts of the Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana in view of the recent
                               escalation in the prices of agriculture inputs like seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, diesel besides cost involved on irrigation and labour.
Telephone :                    Source: http://www.dayandnightnews.com/2011/10/badal-demands-rs-2200-per-quintal-as-wheat-msp/
+91-11-47675200 (50 lines)
+91-11-22457226, 22457230

Telefax :                      OPEN MARKET SALE PRICE FOR GRAIN REDUCED
011-47675201/06
                               Following the lukewarm response to its Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS), which is meant to offload excess grain stocks held with
E-Mail :
email@assocom-india.com        the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state agencies to bulk buyers and small traders, the government has decided to reduce the
                               price of grain offered under the scheme. Sources told FE that henceforth the government would sell grain, mainly rice and wheat, to
Website :                      bulk buyers at a price calculated on the basis of purchase price for the FCI (the minimum support price offered to farmers) and half of
www.assocom-india.com
                               the cost of freight from Ludhiana to the purchasing locations. Earlier, the OMSS prices included the cost of purchase for the FCI and
                               actual freight cost from Ludhiana. “Because of bumper production and sufficient stocks with FCI, the market price for all grain is
                               below the OMSS price, leading to a lower offtake under the scheme,” said an FCI official. Under OMSS, the government had allocated
                               1.2 million tonne wheat to bulk buyers such as floor millers during April-September this year. However, it could sell only 60,881
                               tonne till now and since last August, there are hardly any buyers for OMSS wheat. “We will offer a lower rate for wheat under OMSS
                               and an empowered group of ministers (EGoM) would decide the price during the next few weeks,” KV Thomas, Union food minister,
                               had told FE in September. “At present, while wheat under OMSS is offered at R1,158 per quintal, the prevailing market price is well
                               below the price offered under the government scheme,” said a Delhi-based trader. The extra allocation of wheat under OMSS to
                               states for retail distribution has also not taken off. Against the allocations of close to one million tonne wheat during April-September
                               2011, states have lifted only 82,677 tonne. According to the latest stock position with FCI and state agencies at the start of this
     Monthly News              month, the government has total grain stocks of 51.7 million tonne against the buffer stock and strategic reserves norm of 21.2
                               million tonne. The FCI and state agencies have a wheat stock of 20.3 million tonne and rice stock of 31.4 million tonne. OMSS was
                               launched in 2008-09 to sell excess wheat stocks in the open market. However, it has mostly failed to attract a large number of buyers
                               due to the high price offered when compared to the market price. In a bid to cut down on the cost involved in physical tendering, the
                               FCI has been using the National Spot Exchange Limited platform to sell wheat under to bulk buyers under the scheme. According to
                               an FCI official, e-auctioning, besides reducing transaction cost, ensures quick settlement of payment and delivery, in turn leading to
      Page No. 38              better price discovery.



                                                               END OF THE MONTHLY NEWS
    Month October



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Plot No. 4, Laxmi Nagar,
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