Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Araku tribals fight deforestation threat with gourmet coffee

Bangkok: Once forbidden by colonialists from cultivating coffee, indigenous people in southern India have won a prestigious award for their bean, which they farm while fighting deforestation.

Araku Valley Coffee won gold in the Prix Epicures OR Award in Paris earlier this month. The beans are grown by Adivasis – or “original inhabitants” – of southern Andhra Pradesh state through a cooperative set up by the Naandi Foundation.

The organic farming model has benefited more than 45,000 Adivasi families, with profits from the high-grade coffee put into schools, healthcare and other needs of the remote community, according to Manoj Kumar, who founded Naandi.

Sikkim CM calls for global effort to make agriculture organic by 2050, gets UN award

Rome: Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling on Monday called for global cooperation to make agriculture totally organic the world over by 2050, citing the achievement of his Himalayan state in north-east India.

Addressing a news conference at the Chamber of Deputies in the Italian Parliament, Chamling said to heed the warnings of climate scientists about impending dangers, the world must adopt farming without chemical fertilisers and pesticides as that would help reduce carbon emissions by 50 per cent.

India celebrates the day dedicated to women on farm

15th October is celebrated as National Women Farmer’s Day or Rashtriya Mahila Kisan Diwas’ in India. Every year, on this day of activities and programmes, are organized – mainly to empower women in the field of agriculture. But, before celebrating and discussing the role of women in agriculture, it is necessary for all of us to think about certain things. What is the position of women in the field of agriculture? Women have always been an important part of agriculture not only in India but all over the world, then why all of a sudden, new schemes and initiatives are being launched for women in this field? Women empowerment is always discussed in all the booming sectors, then what triggered the need of empowered women agriculturists now?

‘Local Food First: Towards Zero Hunger’

DIMAPUR,: Naga women farmers of Phek, Dimapur and Kohima districts along with members of the Self Employed Women Association (SEWA), Nagaland and the North East Network (NEN) have issued the Chizami Declaration, urging the government and local authorities (village councils in particular) to address challenges to indigenous food and farming systems in the context of climate change.

Delhi teen helps grow 6000+ trees, raise farmer incomes in Vidarbha by 25%!

Aarnav Agarwal is only 17, but his work in the last three years has been instrumental in saving hundreds of farmers from losing hope in the Vidarbha belt after they suffered crop failures.

UjjBhav, short for Ujjwal Bhavisha (meaning ‘bright future’), is a unique mentorship programme that the teenager started. It not only aims to get to the root of the agrarian crisis but also helps farmers with their issues, earn profits and become self-sufficient.

Speaking to The Better India, the 17-year-old recalls the beginning of his journey, “I still remember reading a newspaper article three years ago. It spoke about how farmer suicides constituted 11.2% of the total suicides in India. It rattled me.”

It all began when he visited Vidarbha, also known as the epicentre of farmer suicides in India. Even as young as 14, Aarnav knew that he wanted to do something to alleviate their problems.

MP woman turns organic farmer, helps village go chemical-free & now earns lakhs

Lalita was born in the small village of Sirsala in the Manawar tehsil of Dhar, Madhya Pradesh. And even though her parents, late Shankarlal Patidar and mother Shakuntalabai Patidar were farmers by profession, she was never forced to follow in their footsteps. Instead, they encouraged her to pursue her education.

At the age of 19, Lalita was married to Suresh Chandra Mukati. When she expressed a desire to study beyond class 12 at her marital home, her late father-in-law, a champion of women’s education, enrolled her in the open university where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Arts.

This was the same man, who at the age of 25, had given up all the gold in the household for the soldiers fighting the Indo-China war, recalls Lalita.

And while her degree in arts may have little to do with the agricultural field, she is an award-winning organic farmer, who apart from handling the day-to-day activities of her own farm, has also formed an association of 21 women to promote the boons of chemical-free farming.

Situated in the Borlai village of Barwani district, she has freed over 36 acres of farmland from the clutches of chemical pesticides, where she grows all kinds of crops, ranging from amla, custard apple, banana, lemon, maize, cotton, wheat, soybean, chickpea, sapota, etc.

Agriculture polytechnics ushering in modern farming

Bukkarayasamudram (Anantapur): The five Agriculture Polytechnics in the district are proving to be a great boon to students opting for agriculture sector.

The five polytechnics are churning out many high-tech agriculturists every year. The students from agriculture background were being trained in modern methods of farming and being exposed to high-technology farming through exchange programmes and inter-district field visits.

The polytechnics are offering a two-year course in modern agriculture covering all aspects of disease and pest management, modern farming methods and mechanisation and organic farming.

The food on your plate: Is it safe? Is it organic?

Given the state of the environment today and the fact that each one of us is a consumer at some level, it has become almost imperative that our concerns grow beyond just our purchase and include the journey of the product before and after we use it.

The fear among people seems to be related to heavy metal contamination. Kiran R V, a resident of Rajajinagar, says the vegetables might have been grown using contaminated water, or using sewage as fertiliser, which might even be contaminated with industrial waste and heavy metals.

5th edition of ‘Women of India Organic Festival’ comes to Delhi

Organised on an annual basis by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development since 2015, the 5th edition of the ‘Women of India Organic Festival’ will be held from October 26 – November 4 at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA).

The timing for the 10 days festival (WOI Festival) will be from 10 am till 8 pm The festival which is going to celebrate and promote women entrepreneurs and farmers in the organic field from across India – will have producers and manufacturers of organic products from 28 Indian states.

Here’s how 5000 villages were transformed by one organization

Bismi is just one example amongst thousands of SHGs and income generation groups (IGGs) supported by Srinivasan Services Trust (SST), the social arm of TVS Motor Company and Sundaram Clayton, where they work with communities and governments in tandem to empower India’s rural poor through awareness, skills and training programs.

What had started out as an in-house tailoring outlet by Banu in 2010 soon paved the way for other women in the community to join hands. Today, Bismi has a workforce of 14 tailors – each one of whom is no longer financially dependent on their fathers or husbands.

Farmers may soon get 20% higher MSP on organic produce

The Indian government is considering bringing organic produce under the minimum support price (MSP) system. This is a great way to encourage pesticide-free farming in the country. It is important to mention that presently there is no support price for the organic produce, except in the state of Sikkim.

In a recent meeting, the Agriculture Ministry discussed offering 20 percent higher MSP for the organic farm produce, over non-organic or traditional ones. An official who was part of this discussion spoke of a detailed presentation on this subject by the Ministry.

Sikkim shortlisted for organic farming award in Rome

Gangtok: Sikkim has been shortlisted as finalist for the World Future Council award which would be presented in Rome later this month, Director COLABORA, Germany, Bernward Geier informed at  a seminar on ‘Ëxploring the opportunities and identification of areas of co-operation in organic dairy development in the State’ held at Krishi Bhavan in Tadong on Monday. This award is the highest recognition in the organic world.
Former agriculture minister of Germany Rebate Kuenast shared her experiences in the pratice of organic farming. She suggested that a policy of quality production rather than mass production be followed.

Jharkhand emerging as India’s vegetable basket

Jamshedpur/New Delhi: Chief minister Raghubar Das pitched Jharkhand as India’s emerging vegetable basket while calling for investments to set up food processing units during a global agriculture and food summit that the state is slated to host in November.

Addressing stakeholders in New Delhi, part of a series of road shows to promote Global Agriculture and Food Summit to be held in Ranchi between November 29 and 30, Das enumerated the state’s investment potential in food processing industries, horticulture, floriculture, dairy and fisheries.

Radha Mohan calls for Organic Farming Revolution

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh called upon farmers groups, NGOs and other stake holders to adopt organic farming in order to free the soil and environment from deadly chemicals. He asked them to usher in Organic Farming Revolution in the country.

Organic farming has the potential to provide livelihood to farmers and create employment opportunities for rural and urban people, he said while addressing Jaivik Krishi Sammelan organised by the National Centre of Organic Farming in Pandit Deen Dayal Dham, Mathura.

Assam-Norway tie-up on raising climate resilient plants

Guwahati : Norway Ambassador to India Nils Ragnar Kamsvag on Monday evening called on Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal at Circuit House and discussed with him about collaboration in the field of agriculture, pisciculture, horticulture, power and issues concerning the mutual interests of both Norway and Assam.

The Norwegian envoy told Chief Minister Sonowal about his country’s intensive research on raising climate resilient plant species to aid agricultural sector of his country. He expressed his keen interest in sharing the technology with Assam to help the latter to raise plant species to withstand adverse climatic conditions. They also discussed Norway-Assam’s mutual interests where investment is required for the benefits of the both the geographical entities.

Karnataka to host international trade fair to promote organic agriculture, millets farming

The Karnataka government will hold an international trade fair on organics and millets on January 18, 2019, in Bengaluru to promote them in a big way, a state minister said on Friday.

“The three-day fair will pitch Karnataka as the source of organic produce and millets, which are the next-generation smart foods,” said Agriculture Minister N.H. Shivashankara Reddy at a preview of the event here.

Natural farming vital for soil fertility: Himachal Guv

Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat on Sunday said Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) is the only way to maintain fertility of soil.

Addressing a farmer’s workshop at Gurukul in Kurukshetra in Haryana, Acharya Devvrat said as per the data of agricultural scientists, the land of major agricultural producing states was deteriorating which could only be restored through ZBNF.

“It was a matter of satisfaction that many states like Himachal, Arunachal, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka had started work on it,” he added.

W Bengal to impart organic farming training to inmates of Midnapore Correctional Home

Kolkata: The state Technical Education, Training and Skill Development department will impart training on organic farming to the inmates of Midnapore Central Correctional Home (MCCH), with the objective of making their integration into society easier and at the same time, equip them to be employable.

“The state Correctional Administration department will soon submit a formal proposal to us. I have already held talks with the minister of the concerned department. There is availability of space in the MCCH and we are already working on the modalities,” said Purnendu Basu, minister for Technical Education, Training and Skill Development.

Organic farming to be theme of Global Agro Summit

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das said that the Global Agriculture Summit scheduled to be organized on November 29 and 30 in Ranchi will be based on ‘Organic Farming’ theme. The CM, while holding a high-level meeting on the summit and preparations for State Foundation Day on November 15 here on Wednesday asked officials to make best arrangements for the summit.

He, on the occasion, instructed officials to invite best performing farmers in the field of organic farming. “They will share their experiences with others. Also, invite the farmers and agriculture ministers of those states that are doing well in cultivation. Invite agriculture experts and organize road shows in all the districts,” said the CM instructing officials.

Rs 25 crore for organic farming, says HP minister

UNA Himachal Pradesh Rural Development Minister Virender Kanwar on Tuesday said the state government was spending Rs 25 crore for the promotion of organic farming during the financial year.

Addressing farmers during a training workshop organised by the Agriculture Department on organic farming in Raipur Maidan panchayat of Bangana, the minister called upon farmers to diversify and cultivate oilseeds and pulses to enhance their farm income.

Manipur trying to achieve organic status

Manipur is trying to achieve the “organic status” by not using fertilizers while farming. As fertilizers are one of the factors that bring health hazard, the Agriculture minister of Manipur is on all out effort so that farmers stop using fertilizers.

Manipur Horticulture and Soil Conservation Minister, Thounaojam Shyamkumar appealed today to the farmers in Manipur to end the use of fertilizers so as to achieve “organic state status” for Manipur. He urged the farmers to stop using fertilizers for a healthier Manipur.

Chemical farming contributing to climate change: Vandana Shiva

Environmental activist Vandana Shiva on Monday highlighted the hazards of chemical farming, saying this has generated a lot of problems and is also contributing to climate change.

She also called for giving up chemical farming and suggested promoting organic farming to face the challenge.

Speaking at a session in the three-day global summit-cum-expo on science, spirituality and environment which concluded Monday at Abu Road in Sirohi, Shiva said some of the reasons for the climate change were plastic and chemical farming.

Thanesar adopted to promote organic farming

Kurukshetra, Kesni Anand Arora, Assistant Chief Secretary (ACS), Revenue, on Friday said the Thanesar block in the district would be developed as a model of organic farming.

After inaugurating a sale counter of organic produces at Sector 7, Arora said Thanesar was adopted on the directions of the chief minister to boost chemical-free farming.

Andhra’s push for zero budget natural farming inspires others

Use of chemical pesticides in India, including those that are banned in other countries, has been a matter of concern and a raging topic of discussion in the country. Addressing the issue, the Andhra Pradesh government has adopted a chemical-free approach with the concept of zero budget natural farming (ZBNF) and is now scaling it up to an unprecedented level to cover the entire state by 2024.

The push for ZBNF by the Andhra Pradesh government has inspired Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh to adopt it as well. Additionally, international agencies like the United Nations Environment (formerly UNEP) and others have expressed interest in supporting the natural farming practice in Andhra Pradesh. ZBNF is a farming practice or set of methods which involve natural farming without chemicals and no spending on purchased inputs.

Tapping the N-E’s organic farming potential

India’s North-East, comprising eight States, is largely unspoilt by modern agricultural practices, which involve heavy use of agro-chemicals and chemical fertilisers. For this precise reason, the region is a natural choice for promoting organic farming in the country. Sikkim, the first organic State in India, has already shown the way for the other States in the region.

According to the estimates available with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), as of 2017-18, nearly 90,500 hectares of land in the NE region is already under organic cultivation. Even though Sikkim accounts for more than three-fourths of this, other States such as Meghalaya and Assam have shown tremendous progress in embracing organic farming. As per the available statistics, another 77,600 hectares is the process of switching over to organic cultivation. The conversion process normally takes three years.