A lot hangs on the monsoon, which is predicted to be near normal by the Met department. In case the monsoon fails or there are large dry spells, dal prices could shoot up further in the later part of the year.
Millers, as well as officials of the sugar commissionerate, said banks were wary of disbursing loans as most banks, including Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSC) Bank, had demanded either state government guarantee or collateral from the mills for sanctioning loans.
The past couple of months have seen prices of a host of farm commodities surge, mainly on the back of drought in large parts of western and southern India, coupled with an early and harsher-than-usual summer.
Failure of fodder crops like maize, jowar (sorghum) and the closure of the sugarcane crushing season has amplified the crisis, with more and more farmers taking their animals to the nearest fodder camp for survival.
Given its ability to feed on multiple crops — nearly 80 different crops ranging from maize to sugarcane — FAW can attack multiple crops. Similarly, it can spread across large tracts of land as it can fly over large distances. This explains the quick spread of the pest across India.
CropSap is a flagship programme of the department through which it monitors pests on cotton, tur, soya bean, paddy and gram. Formed in 2008, the programme is marked by extensive use of communications and information technology.
The drought has also led to a dip in milk production. Most dairies say production is down by about 20 per cent. As fodder and water become scarce, most farmers are struggling to keep their livestock alive.
Across Maharashtra there is a strong undercurrent of anger among the voters. There are multiple reasons for that, the failure of the government to fulfill the promises made in 2014 being one of the main, said Harshvardhan Patil.
Across Maharashtra, there is a strong undercurrent of anger among the voters. There are multiple reasons for that, the failure of the government to fulfil the promises made in 2014 being one of the main.
Traditionally, Kolhapur has been a stronghold of the Congress, but internal feuds and rise of the NCP almost wiped out the party from the region. Many of the cooperative sugar barons had joined the BJP, which now has one MLA in the constituency.
Maharashtra has never seen two consecutive seasons of record sugar production in the last 10 years. Thus, 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons will mark a major deviation from the state’s sugar production trend.
As leaders of various political parties campaign across the state, and thousands of party workers try to reach out to voters, the consumption of chicken has increased as the election fervour intensifies.