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Telangana doubles agriculture production in 7 years




India’s youngest state Telangana has achieved the turnaround in agriculture by almost doubling the agriculture production and the area under cultivation during last seven years.

Officials say this could be possible due to completion of several irrigation projects, revival of tanks, 24X7 free power to farmers and Rs.10,000 financial assistance to farmers towards input costs per acre annually.

In 2014, when Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh, the area under cultivation in Telangana was 1.41 crore. The same has now gone up to 2.10 crore acres during the combined period of Vaanakalam (Kharif) and Yasangi (Rabi) seasons.

The agriculture yield has doubled from 2.05 crore tonne to 4.11 crore tonne during the same period.

According to official figures, Paddy was cultivated in 34.97 lakh acres in 2013-14, and this has gone to 1.04 crore acres in 2020-21. The procurement of paddy by the government has gone up from 24.30 lakh tonnes in 2014 to 1.11 crore tonnes last year.

The government claims that state has become rice bowl of the country.

The fact was highlighted during Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan’s customary address to the joint session of both the houses of state legislature on Monday, the first day of the budget session. She said Telangana has become Annapurna or food provider to the country.

Last summer, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) procured 1.15 crore tonnes of paddy all over the country. Of this, 64 lakh tonnes, that is about 56 per cent was procured from Telangana alone,

Paddy production during Vaanakalam was around 1.3 crore tonnes and during Yasangi it is expected to be 1.25 crore tonne, the highest for any state in the country during Rabi season. Thus the paddy production for the year is estimated to be 2.55 crore tonnes.

The area under cotton cultivation has also gone up from 41.83 lakh acres to 60.54 lakh acres. The cotton crop then accounted for only 18.45 lakhs of tonnes annually, whereas now, it accounts for 37.62 lakh of tonne annually.

The figures of last seven years show that the state has made tremendous strides in both area under cultivation and production. From a bottom rank once, it now ranks among the top states in the country.

To cater to the growing requirements of the state, the state also expanded marketing and godowns facilities. The number of markets has gone up from 150 to 192. The capacity of godowns today stands at 24.73 lakh against 4.17 lakh tonne in 2014.

The state is also on course to cross another milestone with the gross production value of agriculture and horticulture crops for 2020-21 crop year expected to touch the Rs 1 lakh crore. The figure for 2019-20 figure was Rs 89,058 crore.

Agriculture department attributes the increase in cultivation area and production to improved irrigation facilities with completion of new irrigation projects, revival of tanks under Mission Kaktiya and other measures like round-the-clock free electricity and Rythu Bandhu scheme under which every farmer is being paid Rs.10,000 per acre every year towards input costs.

The total crop sown area has increased by 21 lakh acre compared to 2019-20.

An official said the increase in sown area and production over last one year could also be because of Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown as people who own agriculture lands shifted back to their primary occupation after losing other sources of income

To prevent farmers from losses due to glut in the market, the authorities are encouraging them to go for alternative crops rather than relying totally on paddy, cotton or other traditional crops. The department has set a target to increase the cultivation of horticulture crops from existing 12.5 lakh acres to 66 lakh acres over the next five years.

Officials say Mission Kaktiya played a key role in augmenting irrigation facilities. Under this programme, the government took up revival of 45,000 tanks constructed during Kakatiya dynasty. This has resulted in the raise in the ground water levels.

According to data released by the Centre recently, out of 549 well analysed in the state, ground water increased by 91 per cent in 498 Wells.

The government embarked upon construction of major and medium irrigation projects. Kaluwakurty, Nettempadu, Bhima, Koil Sagar, Devadula, Mid Manair, Yellampally, Singur, Kinnerasani, Palem Vagu, Kumaram Bhim, Mattadi Vagu, Neelvayi, Jagganathpur and other projects works were completed on a fast track. Kaleshwaram, Palamuru-Rangareddy, Dindi, Sitarama Lift Irrigation project are nearing completion.

The government claims that Telangana region which was once a permanent address for famine and drought is now transformed and shaped as an excellent agriculture-based state.


PUBG developer Krafton to raise $3.7 bn via IPO next month





Krafton, the video game developer behind global hit PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), will raise 4.3 trillion won ($3.7 billion) in its initial public offering (IPO), the company said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.

Krafton said it priced its shares at 498,000 won each at the upper end of the range announced earlier this month.

The listing, scheduled for August 10, is expected to be one of the largest ever on the local bourse. Samsung Life Insurance holds the record for its 4.89 trillion won IPO in 2010, reports Yonhap news agency.

While Krafton had initially sought to raise up to a record 5.6 trillion won, it lowered its pricing band after financial authorities requested revisions to its plan amid controversy of overvaluation.

Krafton has downplayed overvaluation concerns, with the company saying in an online press conference that it is among a few players in the local tech and entertainment industry to hold a significant presence in the global market.

The video game maker has sold over 75 million copies of PUBG for PCs and consoles globally since its launch in 2017.

The mobile version of the battle royale shooter, in which players fight each other until the last survivor, has reached 1 billion downloads globally, excluding China.

Krafton is eyeing active mergers and acquisitions after going public, with plans to spend 70 percent of the funds secured from the IPO in acquiring promising game developers.

The company is looking to expand its video game portfolio with the launch of new in-house mobile game “PUBG: New State” as early as September this year and horror game “Callisto Protocol” next year.

The company is also expanding big in the Indian market.

Developed by Krafton for the Indian audience, the Battlegrounds Mobile India game surpassed 34 million registered users within a week after its release.

Online storytelling platform Pratilipi announced on July 14 that it has raised $48 million in a funding round led by South Korean gaming company Krafton.

The next day, Krafton announced its first esports tournament — Battlegrounds Mobile India Series 2021 — that was kicked off from July 19 with a prize pool of Rs 1 crore.

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‘Toofan’ leads the race as Amazon Prime’s most watched Hindi film in 2021





In a rare instance, OTT giant Amazon Prime Video has released data, revealing its highest streaming projects within their launch-weeks so far in this year. Actor Farhan Akhtar’s ‘Toofan’ is on top position as the most watched video within first week of its release globally.

According to the data released by the OTT platform, the Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra directorial was watched by more customers on Prime Video India than any other Hindi film in its opening week. The film was viewed in over 3,900+ towns and cities in India and in 160+ countries and territories across the globe.

Besides this, in the local languages catagory, films ‘Narappa’ (Telugu), ‘Sarpatta Parambarai’ (Tamil) and ‘Malik’ (Malayalam), were each watched in over 3,200+ towns and cities in India and in over 150+ countries and territories globally.

In the catagory of web shows, Adarsh Gourav’s ‘Hostel Daze (S2)’ emerged as one of the most loved shows amongst young adults within just a week of its launch, with viewership from 3,600+ towns and cities in India and from over 100+ countries and territories around the world.

The data comes to light as Amazon marked July 26 and July 27 as Prime Days. Prime Day 2021 marked the most Small Medium Businesses (SMBs) selling on ever, as they saw an overwhelming response from Prime members.

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Pandemic pushes digital payments, RBI index up 30%





The Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions associated with it has pushed up digital transactions in the country.

An indicator to faster adoption of online payment medium is the Reserve Bank of India’s Digital Payment Index. After moving at moderate pace over the years, the index has jumped sharply 30 per cent between March 2020 and March 2021.

The pandemic is one of the reason while people are increasingly preferring digital payment mechanism over physical mode. But improvement in the digital payment infrastructure has also pushed up this adoption.

The RBI had earlier announced construction of a composite Reserve Bank of India – Digital Payments Index (RBI-DPI) with March 2018 as base to capture the extent of digitisation of payments across the country.

The index for March 2021 stands at 270.59 as against 207.84 for March 2020, announced while launching the index on January 1, 2021.

The RBI-DPI index has demonstrated significant growth in the index representing the rapid adoption and deepening of digital payments across the country in recent years, the apex bank said in a statement.

Starting from March 2018, the index stood at 153.47 in March 2019, 173.49 in September 2019. This improved to 207.84 in March 2020, 217.74 in September 2020 and further increased to 270.59 in March 2021.

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