INDIA: Wheat farmers get government largesse
The Government of India today announced it has earmarked Rs3.5bn (US$75m) for wheat farmers in Punjab. This amount will cover the additional cost of concessions made today, which include permitting upto 8% (in place of 3% till date) faulty wheat in the wheat purchased from the farmers by the Government. The wheat will be procured at Rs. 5.40 and Rs. 5.10 ($0.11 to 0.12) per kg for the two main varieties grown in Punjab. The farmers have been agitating for a while now, and had blocked a major rail line Northwest of capital Delhi, between Ludhiana and Ferozepur for four days running. Ludhiana is among the three important Industial and Commercial cities of Punjab, and Ferozepur a major Rail Junction. Despite the government announcement, the farmers have not yet stopped the agitation. Punjab is India's granary. High yielding varieties of all crops are grown through intensive farming methods and fully irrigated land with two crops per year. Major companies in the branded packaged food business, including
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