Connect with us

Investment

Modi's farm reform reversal to deter investment in India's agriculture – Financial Post

Published

 on


Article content

NEW DELHI — India’s repeal of agriculture laws aimed at deregulating produce markets will starve its vast farm sector of much-needed private investment and saddle the government with budget-sapping subsidies for years, economists said.

Late last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government introduced three laws meant to open up agriculture markets to companies and attract private investment, triggering India’s longest-running protest by farmers who said the reforms would allow corporations to exploit them.

Advertisement

Article content

With an eye on a critical election in populous Uttar Pradesh state early next year, Modi agreed to rescind the laws in November, hoping to smooth relations with the powerful farm lobby which sustains nearly half the country’s 1.3 billion people and accounts for about 15% of the $2.7 trillion economy.

But by shelving the most ambitious overhaul in decades, Modi’s backtracking now seemingly rules out much-needed upgrades of the creaky post-harvest supply chain to cut wastage, spur crop diversification, and boost farmers’ incomes, economists said.

“This is not good for agriculture, this is not good for India,” said Gautam Chikermane, a senior economist and vice president at New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation.

Advertisement

Article content

“All incentives to shift towards a more efficient, market-linked system (in agriculture) have been smothered.”

The u-turn does allay farmers’ fears of losing the minimum price system for basic crops, which growers say guarantees India’s grain self-sufficiency.

“It appears the government realized that there’s merit in the farmers’ argument that opening up the sector would make them vulnerable to large companies, hammer commodities prices and hit farmers’ income,” said Devinder Sharma, a farm policy expert who has supported the growers’ movement.

But the grueling year-long standoff also means no political party will attempt any similar reforms for at least a quarter-century, Chikermane said.

And, in the absence of private investment, “inefficiencies in the system will continue to deliver wastage and food will continue to rot,” he warned.

Advertisement

Article content

COLOSSAL WASTE

India ranks 101 out of 116 countries on the Global Hunger Index, with malnutrition accounting for 68% of child deaths.

Yet it wastes around 67 million tonnes of food every year, worth about $12.25 billion – nearly five times that of most large economies – according to various studies.

Inadequate cold-chain storage, shortages of refrigerated trucks and insufficient food processing facilities are the main causes of waste.

The farm laws promised to allow private traders, retailers and food processors to buy directly from farmers, bypassing more than 7,000 government-regulated wholesale markets where middlemen’s commissions and market fees add to consumer costs.

Ending the rule that food must flow through the approved markets would have encouraged private participation in the supply chain, giving both Indian and global companies incentives to invest in the sector, traders and economists said.

Advertisement

Article content

“The agriculture laws would have removed the biggest impediment to large-scale purchases of farm goods by big corporations,” said Harish Galipelli, director at ILA Commodities India Pvt Ltd, which trades farm goods. “And that would have encouraged corporations to bring investment to revamp and modernize the whole food supply chain.”

Galipelli’s firm will now have to re-evaluate its plans.

“We have had plans to scale up our business,” said Galipelli. “We would have expanded had the laws stayed.”

Other firms specializing in warehousing, food processing and trading are also expected to review their expansion strategies, he said.

PERISHABLE PRICES YO-YO

Poor post-harvest handling of produce also causes prices of perishables to yo-yo in India. Only three months ago, farmers dumped tomatoes on the road as prices crashed, but now consumers are paying a steep 100 rupees ($1.34) a kg.

Advertisement

Article content

The laws would have helped the $34 billion food processing sector grow exponentially, according to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), an industry group.

Demand for fruits and vegetables would have gone up. And that would have cut surplus rice and wheat output, slicing bulging stocks of the staples worth billions of dollars in state warehouses, economists said.

“Crop diversification would also have helped rein in subsidy spending and narrow the fiscal deficit,” said Sandip Das, a New Delhi-based researcher and farm policy analyst.

Food Corporation of India (FCI), the state crop procurement agency, racked up a record 3.81 trillion rupees ($51.83 billion) in debt by last fiscal year, alarming policymakers and inflating the country’s food subsidy bill to a record 5.25 trillion rupees ($70.16 billion) in the year to March 2021.

Advertisement

Article content

However, while the federal government now has limited scope for change, local authorities “can opt for reforms provided they have the political will to do so,” said Bidisha Ganguly, an economist at CII.

Similarly, venture capital-funded startups have also expressed interest in India’s agriculture sector.

“Agritech, if it is allowed to take root, has the potential to enable a better handshake of farmers and consumers through their technological platforms,” Chikermane said. (1 = 74.83 rupees) (Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj and Rajendra Jadhav; additional reporting by Aftab Ahmed; editing by Gavin Maguire and Kim Coghill)

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Investment

Major Value-Added Agriculture Investment Announced in Saskatchewan | News and Media – Government of Saskatchewan

Published

 on


Released on January 17, 2022

FCL To Build Canola Processing Plant And Canada’s Largest Renewable Diesel Facility In Regina

Today, Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) announced its plans to develop an Integrated Agriculture Complex (IAC) north of the Co-op Refinery Complex in Regina.  The IAC will include a renewable diesel facility, as well as a new canola crushing plant in partnership with AGT Foods.

The FCL renewable diesel production plant alone represents a nearly $2 billion investment for the province and is expected to create more than 2,500 construction jobs and 150 permanent operating jobs.  The entire IAC is estimated to have direct and indirect economic benefits of approximately $4.5 billion.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for Saskatchewan and for FCL and AGT Foods that will bolster the sustainability and economic goals of these companies and the province,” Premier Scott Moe said.  “Our province has the food, fertilizer, and fuel the world needs, including renewable energy from canola grown and processed here, which speaks to the heart of our plan for economic recovery and growth as we work to build an independent, strong and sustainable Saskatchewan.”

The FCL-AGT canola crushing facility will ensure Saskatchewan exceeds its 2030 Growth Plan goal of processing 75 per cent of the canola grown in the province.  It also supports the Growth Plan goal of increasing agriculture value-added revenue to $10 billion.

The FCL renewable diesel plant will have a production capacity of 15,000 barrels per day, or about 1 billion litres per year. The FCL-AGT canola crush facility will use 1.1 million tonnes of canola seed to produce 450,000 tonnes of oil, supplying approximately 50 per cent of the feedstock required for the renewable diesel plant, with the remainder of the supply being contracted from other canola crush facilities.

“We know the synergies between transportation fuel production and agriculture will play a vital role in Western Canada’s transition to the low carbon economy,” FCL CEO Scott Banda said.  “We believe our Co-op Retailing System is well-positioned to integrate and capture the full agricultural value-chain in the production of fuel and value-added products.  We are excited about our partnership with AGT and ultimately what this announcement means for value-added agriculture in our province.”

With facilities and outlets in 249 communities in Saskatchewan, FCL and local co-ops employ more than 10,000 workers across the province.

-30-

For more information, contact:

Robin Speer
Trade and Export Development
Regina
Phone: 306-519-5006
Email: robin.speer@gov.sk.ca

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Investment

Cross-border investment surged in November – Investment Executive

Published

 on


The cross-border activity was concentrated on debt securities, with foreign investors adding $31.4 billion worth in the month, up from $20.4 billion the previous month.

StatsCan reported that investors targeted federal debt — adding $8.6 billion in bonds and $6.5 billion worth of money market securities — along with $9.8 billion in corporate debt.

Conversely, foreign investors trimmed $1.3 billion worth of Canadian equities in the month.

“The reduction reflected retirements of Canadian portfolio shares resulting from cross-border merger and acquisition activities. Foreign purchases of Canadian shares on the secondary market, led by shares of chartered banks, moderated the overall reduction,” StatsCan said.

At the same time, Canadian investors ramped up their buying of foreign securities in November.

In total, domestic investors added $17.5 billion in foreign securities, StatsCan reported. This was up from $5.4 billion in October.

Canadian investors jumped into U.S. stocks in November, buying $7.4 billion worth of equities, up from just $652 million in October. Large-cap tech stocks and index funds were the primary targets, StatsCan said.

Additionally, investors bought $4.0 billion worth of non-U.S. foreign shares in November, reversing a $2.5-billion divestment in October.

Canadian investors also added $6.1 billion in foreign debt, including $2.8 billion in U.S. corporate bonds and $1.6 billion in U.S. government bonds.

In a research note, National Bank Financial Inc. (NBF) said November’s $17.5-billion net investment means Canadian investors acquired $144.4 billion worth of foreign securities during the first 11 months of 2021.

“In dollar terms, you won’t find a prior [year-to-date] tally remotely close,” NBF said, noting that the previous record was $73.3 billion about 15 years ago.

Even with the record flow into foreign securities, net portfolio flows are still positive for Canada, as foreign buying of Canadian securities has been even stronger.

“An improved current account means Canada is less reliant on foreign inflows,” NBF said. “Still, the apparent abandonment of Canada by domestic investors is part of an overall capital bleed that needs redressing.”

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Investment

4 Must-Have TFSA Stocks for Any Investment Goal – Yahoo Canada Finance

Published

 on


Make a choice, path to success, sign

Written by Amy Legate-Wolfe at The Motley Fool Canada

If you have a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), then you hopefully have an investment goal to go along with it. Now, we could drill down into specific savings goals, but, honestly, those goals change! What someone wants at 30 will be different at 50, and so on. First, it’s student debt, then a house, then a child, their education, and, of course, retirement.

Frankly, you shouldn’t have to juggle your investments every time you come up with a new goal. In fact, one of the main points of investing is to buy and hold for as long as you can. Sure, you can take out cash as your goals come in, but you should be able to hold onto them for as long as you want.

With that in mind, here are four TFSA stocks that will help you achieve any investment goal.

Fortis

If you’re going to have long-term TFSA stocks, you need stable companies to get you there. That would definitely include Fortis (TSX:FTS)(NYSE:FTS). The utility company has been growing its dividend each year for almost 50 years. This comes from a stable business plan of growth through acquisition.

Investors have been flocking to Fortis as one of the TFSA stocks they want because of this stability — especially during the market pullback. The company is basically recession proof, providing gas and electric utilities to 3.4 million customers. You need the lights on no matter what, making it a strong choice for any investor.

Fortis shares are up 16% in the last year with a dividend yield of 3.63%.

TD Bank

The Big Six banks may be trading at all-time highs, but there’s a reason. And that reason is why they’re TFSA stocks for any investment goal. The banks managed to get out of the market drop relatively unscathed, and yet they still have so much cash on hand to make up for lost time. And that comes through solid dividend jumps.

But Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD)(NYSE:TD) has even more to offer. TD stock offers the most growth of the Big Six banks, with the most amount of credit card partnerships, growing online and United States presence, and the most loan options for solid revenue streams. And yet even after all this growth, TD stock still trades at just 13.42 times earnings.

TD stock is up 41% in the last year, with a dividend yield of 3.47%.

Constellation Software

If you have the cash to invest, Constellation Software (TSX:CSU) is one of the few tech stocks that remains a stable investment. The company has been an acquisition powerhouse, identifying the software companies it believes will thrive with incredible expertise.

It’s those experts that have managed to keep the company growing at a stable clip, even as other tech stocks burn around it. Constellation shares have been steady as a rail, growing through venture funds and seeing revenue rise 30% year over year during the last quarter. It’s one of the TFSA stocks any investor should add as soon as possible before it rises even more.

Shares of Constellation are up 34% in the last year, and it recently boosted its dividend to offer a yield of 0.24%.

Nutrien

Finally, Nutrien (TSX:NTR)(NYSE:NTR) may be on the newer side, but don’t count this out among TFSA stocks. People need to eat, and Nutrien is now the world’s largest crop nutrient provider. As arable land decreases and climate change increases, Nutrien will be a necessity for any portfolio.

Nutrien continues to grow through acquisition. In the last few years, it has increased its digital presence at an incredible rate. This kept revenue coming in at an incredibly important time — for the company and farmers. Now, it’s nearing the three-digit mark and isn’t likely to come down.

Shares of Nutrien are up 37% in the last year, with a yield of 2.57% for investors.

The post 4 Must-Have TFSA Stocks for Any Investment Goal appeared first on The Motley Fool Canada.

Should you invest $1,000 in Air Canada right now?

Before you consider Air Canada, you may want to hear this.

Motley Fool Canadian Chief Investment Advisor, Iain Butler, and his Stock Advisor Canada team just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now… and Air Canada wasn’t one of them.

The online investing service they’ve run since 2013, Motley Fool Stock Advisor Canada, has beaten the stock market by over 3X. And right now, they think there are 10 stocks that are better buys.

Learn More Today!

More reading

Fool contributor Amy Legate-Wolfe owns TORONTO-DOMINION BANK. The Motley Fool recommends Constellation Software, FORTIS INC, and Nutrien Ltd.

2022

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending