Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Indian women expats promote organic farming in Dubai

Indian women expats organised an event in Dubai on Friday where they gave tips about organic farming practices. These women have formed a Facebook group named Vayalum Veedum (Farm and Home) which stresses on organic farming.

Other highlights of the programme was be speeches by Malayalam film actress Aswathy Menon and social activist Honey Bhaskaran.

In the programme, women experts gave advice on organic farming and they also supplied plants and seeds free of charge. It also discussed toxic foods, wrong dietary practices and lifestyles that cause diseases and encouraged women to keep a better lifestyle and eat healthy food.

Now, a crowdfunding initiative to end farm distress

Hyderabad, April 20: Farmers in Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu continue to end their lives but the response from governments both at the Central and State levels has not been proactive.

Now, a group of IT professionals and an NGO are doing their bit to alleviate the situation and equip farmers better against hostile conditions.

They have decided to raise funds on a crowdfunding basis to help farmers. Against a target of ₹1 crore, the initiative has so far raised about ₹60 lakh.

Seeds of change

By Hindol Sengupta

Farming will go back to basics with the help of tomorrows technology.

The future of farming has been known to Indians for thousands of years, says Subhash Palekar. Half in jest, I ask the farmer who won the Padma Shri in 2016 if he is a fortune teller. With a laugh, he comes up with a profound reply: What we do today determines our future. Palekar is a proponent of a farming method he calls Zero Budget Spiritual Farming, which rejects chemicals and pesticides, and goes back to a more ancient form of agriculture. The method helps farmers bump up yields by adding a solution of cow excreta, jaggery, and gram flour to enrich the soil, and mulch from harvesting to add moisture. Apart from generating record yields from his farm in Maharashtras drought-prone Vidarbha region, Palekars method has also helped nearly 4 million farmers stave off poverty.

Navdanya to set up community seed banks at Singur, Nandigram

Kolkata, (PTI) Navdanya, a Delhi-based NGO, is keen on developing community seed banks in West Bengals Singur and Nandigram as part of its Organic India campaign to save, breed and multiply native seeds and prevent bio-piracy of indigenous seeds and plants.

“Join the Seed Satyagraha to stop patents on seeds and patents on life. Boycott GM seeds like Bt. cotton,” the NGO Director Dr Vandana Shiva said expressing hope that organic seeds will further spread agro-ecological farming bringing joy to farmers of Singur and Nandigram.

Karnataka to host India’s first ‘National Trade Fair for Organics and Millets 2017’

New Delhi [India], (ANI-NewsVoir): Department of Agriculture, Government of Karnataka will host ?National Trade Fair – Organics and Millets-2017? during April 28 to 30, 2017 at Palace Grounds, Bengaluru.

Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation Ltd. (KAPPEC) is the co-organiser of this national event.

The fair will be inaugurated by Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah in the presence of the Minister for Agriculture (GoI) Radha Mohan Singh, Minister for Agriculture, GoK, Krishna Byre Gowda and other dignitaries.

Monsanto Tribunal Judges Slam Monsanto over Violation of Human Rights

The judges conclude that Monsanto has engaged in practices that have impinged on the basic human right to a healthy environment, the right to food and the right to health. Additionally, Monsantos conduct has a negative impact on the right of scientists to freely conduct indispensable research.

The judges also conclude that despite the development of regulations intended to protect the environment, a gap remains between commitments and the reality of environmental protection. International law should now precisely and clearly assert the protection of the environment and establish the crime of ecocide. The Tribunal concludes that if ecocide were formally recognized as a crime in international criminal law, the activities of Monsanto could possibly constitute a crime of ecocide.

Over 97% of foods in EU contain pesticide residues within legal limits

More than 97% of food samples evaluated by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) contain pesticide residue levels that fall within legal limits, with just under 55% of samples free of detectable traces of these chemicals. The findings are part of EFSAs 2013 annual report on pesticide residues in food, which includes the results for almost 81,000 food samples from 27 EU Member States, Iceland and Norway.

An Initiative Is Helping Thousands of Farmers Across Gujarat Discover Organic Farming

Inspired by examples of farmers earning ample returns through various techniques of chemical-free farming, a farmers produce company in Rajkot is writing a new chapter on sustainable agriculture in arid and semi-arid zones. Hiren Kumar Bose explores the revolution wrought by Future Farms.

Neetu Patel, an agri-entrepreneur, has strong opinions about the kind of farming she endorses. She says, Farmers who are forced to sell tomatoes for ₹1 for a kilo, or onions for 50 p, and end up destitute have become the norm. Thats not the kind of farming we believe in. We are into growing medicinal plants, and even crops like wheat, castor, sesame, moong, arhar, etc., by strictly following organic farming.

The feisty director of Future Farmswhich counts Patanjali Ayurved, Himalaya Drug Company, and Zandu Pharmaceuticals as clientswas speaking at her organic food store in a residential neighbourhood in Rajkot. The shop stores a range of products, from alfalfa capsules to organically grown lentils. In 2016, it supplied 750 tons of castors grown in Kutchs Bhachauregion to Gandhidham-based Castor Products Company for pressing into oil, which was exported to Wala Heilmittel GMBH in Germany. With 100 acres adding up every other month, the farmers produce company is writing a new chapter on sustainable farming in the countrys arid and semi-arid zones.

Arunachal launches Organic Mission

ITANAGAR, Apr 16: Arunachal Pradesh took a major leap towards healthy and sustainable agriculture on Saturday with the launch of the State Organic Mission at the state Banquet Hall by Union Minister of State for Micro Small and Medium Enterprise, Giriraj Singh.
With this, the state hopes to shift to organic farming in a phased manner and promote Arunachal Pradesh as an organic state.
Terming Arunachal Pradesh as an agriculture heaven, Singh said that the people here have been abundantly blessed with all of natures resources, adding that organic farming will ensure that Arunachal Pradesh becomes a major agro-tourism destination. Asserting that it is pertinent to add value addition to agriculture and horticulture produces by changing the raw product into something new through different processes, he reiterated that Without value addition, it would be a meaningless venture.

Is Costco the New Whole Foods?

by Emily Monaco

Organic food no longer has to use up your whole paycheck it seems Costco has finally toppled the king of organics. Not only has the wholesalerbeen outselling other conventional retailers in organics for three years, but in 2015, itofficially surpassed Whole Foods in organic food sales, reporting a whopping $4 billion as compared to Whole Foods $3.5 billion.

The recentsales victory was a turning point for the development of inexpensive organic food: Whole Foods has been reporting difficulties of late,closing nine storesafter its sixth straight quarter of same-store declines, a period the Chicago Tribune has calledthe stores worst sales slump in more than a decade.

Meanwhile, Costco and other retailers like Trader Joes have been growing their organic offerings and attracting customers with lower prices.Blogger Whole New Mom writes that she was surprised when, after transitioning to an organic, whole foods diet, her grocery bills didnt actually change much, and via a price analysis, she found that over 90 percent of organic and whole food items were less expensive at Costco, and in many cases, the price difference was dramatic.

Kerala Is All Set to Recreate Its Traditional Magic Potion That Mixes Organic Farming and Theatre

By Ranjini Sivaswamy

There was a time in Kerala, like in many cultures, when farming cycles set the rhythm of the lives of its people.

One earthy contribution of those agrarian times is Vellari Nadagangal. Vellari, known as sambar-cucumber in urban lexicons, is a vegetable that was grown in between crop cycles. Nadagangal means drama.

The seeds of the vegetable was a favourite among birds and the farmers had a tough time keeping them away from the fields. Guarding the fields during the day was doable, but late evenings was tough. The ingenuity of the farmers gave birth to an incredibly creative idea. They decided to keep the fields alive through the evenings, till late into the night, by organizing theatre beside their Vellarifields. The loud renditions, dramatic drums and an entertained audience enlivened the atmosphere and in-turn kept the birds away from the fields. This folk theatre became popularly known as Vellari Nadagangal or the Sambar Cucumber Plays.

Modernity sent both farming and folk theatre into oblivion in the state. But Kerala is all set to revive this tradition not to keep the birds away to recreate a culture of farming and to emphasise the importance of going organic.

Why Indias Competition Commission Must Stop the Dow and DuPont Merger

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is currently assessingthe likely adverse effects on competition of the proposed merger of Dow Chemical Company (Dow) and E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont). If it goes through, the combined entity will likely be the worlds biggest chemical and materials company.

The two companies have submitted the necessary details of their merger plans to CCI in the prescribed Form IV. The CCI has consequently opened up the procedure for investigating the merger, as per the letter and spirit of Section 29 of the Competition Act of India.

But there are a dozen reasons and more why the combination of the two multinational corporations (MNCs) must be stopped.

Young Siva aspires to be a farmer

by Gopi Devarajan:
Last Friday veg market at the OFM (www.ofmtn.in) , something special happened. Siva, a small kid who is in 7th standard came to ofm along with his mother (who is a regular customer of ofm). His mom told me something which surprised me, she said that siva is interested in growing plants and he is aspiring to be a farmer !!! ( did you hear that). They started as a consumer at one of the OFM outlets in thuraipakkam, near Sivas house.
A hobby became his passion. yes, siva is growing keerai in the front yard of his home. In a small piece of land adjoining his house he grows various varieties of greens. He brought about 35 bunches of red amaranthus (thandukeerai) and arakkeerai that he harvested that morning. His mom asked OFM if siva could sell the greens at the OFM veggie Bazar. (Arun of ainthinai, the OFM outlet at OMR have visited the place already for inspection and assured the organicity). So, OFM allocated a separate section for the kid and made him to sell his own greens directly to the customers just to encourage him. We made an announcement about the kid to all our customers.

MOVCDNER scheme for organic farmers in Mkg

Mokokchung | April 11

The Department of Agriculture, Mokokchung today launched a Central Sector Scheme entitled Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER) at the DAO Conference Hall here today which was attended by registered organic farmers from twenty four areas under Mokokchung district.

The MOVCDNER is a central scheme launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare after realizing the potentials of organic farming in the north eastern region of the country, and this scheme will be implemented in whole of the eight northeastern states during the 12th plan period, said I Lipokonen Jamir, Assistant Agronomist during a training and orientation programme to mark the launch of the MOVCDNER.

Organic farming meets nutrition challenges

ByDr Shankar Chatterjee

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in its report, The Future of Food and Agriculture: Trends and Challenges, observes world population would reach 9.73 billion in 2050. In sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, agricultural output would need to more than double by 2050 to meet the increase in demand.

Incidentally, the Government of Telangana gives topmost priority to Promotion of organic farming to meet the demand for world market as mentioned in the Report of Agriculture Action Plan for 2016-17, published by it. The report states, Agriculture is on the top of the State Government agenda and efforts are being made to increase productivity and areas especially under food grains while ensuring that the income of the farmers goes up.

Gujarat Farmers Are Turning To Organic Agriculture For Better Yields

By Hiren Kumar Bose, Rajkot, Gujarat

“Farmers who are forced to sell tomatoes for ₹1 for a kilo or onions for 50 paise and end up destitute have become the norm,” says Neetu Patel, an agri-entrepreneur. “That’s not the kind of farming we believe in. We are into growing medicinal plants and even crops like wheat, castor, sesame, moong, arhar, etc., by strictly following organic farming.”

The feisty director of Future Farms, which counts Patanjali Ayurved, Himalaya Drug Company, and Zandu Pharmaceuticals as clients, was speaking at her organic food store in a residential neighbourhood in Rajkot. The shop stores a range of products, from alfalfa capsules to organically grown lentils. In 2016, it supplied 750 tonnes of castor grown in Kutch’s Bhachau region to Gandhidham-based Castor Products Company for pressing into oil, which was exported to Wala Heilmittel GMBH in Germany. With 100 acres adding up every other month, the farmers’ produce company is writing a new chapter on sustainable farming in the country’s arid and semi-arid zones.

By 2020, area under organic farming may treble to 20 lakh hectares

Ahmedabad: With organic farming reviving across India, and the world, the area under such cultivation is expected to increase from 7 lakh hectare (ha) now to 20 lakh ha by 2020.

Before the onset of Green Revolution in the 1960s, organic farming was widely in use, but productivity was low. India was forced to depend on imports due to acute shortages. During the Revolution (1960s-1980s), food production increased but its benefits did not reach farmers.

Besides, soil fertility and ground water quality and volumes, due to excessive use of fertilisers and irrigation, were impacted very negatively.

Krishi mela creates awareness about organic farming

The West Bengal Agriculture department organised a three-day-long Jaibo Krishi Mela at Bidhan Sishu Udyan in Ultadanga which began on Saturday. Purnendu Basu, the state Agriculture minister said that the department had received a proposal from the authorities of Bidhan Sishu Udyan to take up some projects in the vacant place of their organisation.

The state Agriculture department has extended all necessary support by providing expertise to initiate organic farming on around three bighas of the vacant land. There are around 300 coconut trees and waterbodies where the project has been taken up. Every Sunday, the produce gets sold in a weekly market. Farmers from many villages visit the weekly market to sell the organic vegetables.

Take up organic farming: Amritsar DC

Amritsar: Deputy Commissioner (DC) Kamaldeep Singh Sangha today advised the farmers to take up organic and natural farming and not to burn the crop residue.

He said moong (green gram) should be sown immediately after harvesting wheat crop. This would not only help in fertilising the land by increasing nitrogen element in the soil but also help in fulfilling the dearth of pulses in the country.

Kerala Police Starts Organic Farming in Their Compounds

Forty-one-year-old PR Sunu reaches his office a little after 7 every morning. Once there, the government employee from Ernakulam proceeds to get hold of a garden hose. The next half hour is spent watering the plants in the 25 cents plot adjacent to his office, that has now been converted to an organic vegetable garden.

Sunu is the Sub-Inspector of Mulavukadu police station in Ernakulam and the daily routine of the 18-odd police personnel at the station either begins or ends with tending to the organic vegetable garden they cultivate.

Mulavukavu police station is one among the many police stations in the state that is in the process of being converted to green police stations, as part of the government’s “Haritha Keralam” initiative.

Secret India: Meet the duo behind The Tables incredible farm

When you grow up in what is voted the most liveable town in North America (Nelson, Canada), which has more organic coffee shops than most cities, where the word(s) on the street are kale, spirulina and maca, and your father started the first WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) in Canada on his homestead, you understand why Jonathan Benda might have developed a green thumb.

On the other hand, half Indian Adrienne Thadani, Bendas partner in their organic farming and landscape consultancy Thrive, admittedly hadnt grown anything except maybe a cucumber with her grandmother while growing up in Washington DC. Luckily, as her best friends mom opened the first organic restaurant in the city, she always had access to the clean food she would one day want to grow.

Monsanto fingerprints found all over attack on organic food

By Stacy Malkan

When a reputable-sounding nonprofit organization released a report attacking the organic food industry in April 2014, the group went to great lengths to tout its independence.

The 30-page report by Academics Review, described as a non-profit led by independent academic experts in agriculture and food sciences, found that consumers were being duped into spending more money for organic food because of deceptive marketing practices by the organic industry.

Trade press headlines blared: Organics exposed! (Brownfield News) and Organic Industry Booming by Deceiving Consumers (Food Safety Tech News), touting the findings by supposedly independent experts.

Decision on transgenic crops on April 12

NEW DELHI: Restricted field trials of certain transgenic varieties of rice, wheat, maize and chickpea and discussions to determine the next course of action on GM mustard’s commercial release will be on the agenda of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee meeting on April 12.

“We will examine the pending applications of various research institutions and companies on different varieties of GM crops. Once they are allowed for confined field trials, they will have to take no-objection certificates from states,” said an official.

Promote organic farming in the AP farmlands

Maruteru (West Godavari): The benefits of research should reach the farmers to get good results, said Andhra Pradesh Labour Minister Pithani Satyanarayana. He also suggested the scientists to encourage farmers to take up organic farming in the farmlands. He inaugurated the Kisan Mela (farmers convention) organised by Acharya NG Ranga Agriculture University at Maruteru Paddy Research Centre on Tuesday.

Speaking on the occasion, he called on the scientists to produce the best variety of paddy seed that put the Andhra Pradesh in the first place. He said that it is time to control the fertilisers and pesticides and take up the organic and natural farming. Pithani also said that the chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu is giving much priority to agriculture and irrigation to make every farmer as a king.

Punjab is signalling another farm revolution: Organic Farming

Amaninder Pal

Chandigarh One of the most important lessons of life comes from a farmer: Keep an ear to the ground. The indications have come, simple and straight: Grow organic. Roughly translated, it would mean replacing most of chemical fertilizers for crops with natural resources to live longer, healthier and more contented. Manjeet Singh Bhullar, a former top executive of a private telecom giant, would vouch for it, sitting at his Dadiana (Fatehgarh Sahib) farmhouse with a glass of lassi to offer. I didnt spray even a drop of insecticide/pesticide or other nutritional inputs. I spent Rs 22,000 on labourers that I hired for de-weeding. I earned Rs 1 lakh from 1.5 acre. One cant generate that much profit following modern-day agricultural practices, he says.