Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Maureen & Tane Datta stay dedicated to Hawaiian agriculture

Seldom do we meet two people as dedicated to keeping sustainable agriculture alive in Hawaii as Maureen and Tane Datta. They not only have a highly productive organic farm where they grow a wide diversity of crops, but they also have a business that distributes produce from local growers. They are Adaptations Farm and Adaptations, Inc., known as a regional food hub.

Maureen and Tane chose the name Adaptations to advance their desire to be resilient enough to change with the times while maintaining their mission: “to engage in ecologically sound community and land development based on organic farming, alternative energy and complimentary medicine.” They strive to develop the connection between Earth’s natural systems and people in a way that improves the resilience of both. That is a tall order, but the Dattas are definitely pursuing it.

Transdisciplinary approach to measure conservation agriculture’s adaptation for climate change and food security in India

Food security has become increasingly important globally as well as on domestic fronts as global supply, income growth, and access is not keeping pace with increasing population in developing countries. Increasing resource degradation problems such as groundwater depletion, waterlogging, salinization, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, and invasive species further add to food security challenges (Oliver and Gregory, 2014).

In the Indian context, the average farm size is very small and the average household member size is large, with poverty and food security prevalent among small land-holders (Pradhan et al., 2015). The issue is not only the availability of food but of its affordability by vulnerable populations in adequate quantity and quality. It is not a question of whether we can increase food production to meet the needs of the rising population, but whether we can do so in a sustainable manner. It is imperative to develop a long-term strategy that would reduce the vulnerability of the farming community and sustainably intensify agricultural productivity while minimizing the degradation of land and natural resources being used.

Malwa region in MP losing soil due to erosion

INDORE: There is a need to bring together all environmentalists working in isolation on one platform to conserve nature, said Indian Institute of Forest Management director Pankaj Srivastava, while appreciating Indore’s society, where people can unite for a cause.
He was speaking on the last day of three-day film festival on water resource management held at Govindram Sekasaria Institute of Management and Research.

Arunachal Gov participates in state conclave on agriculture

Arunachal Pradesh Governor Brigadier (Dr) BD Mishra (Retd.) participated in the State Conclave on ‘Perspective Planning for Resurgent Agriculture and  Allied Sectors in Arunachal Pradesh’ at Itanagar  Friday .

The two-day conclave is being organized by the State Government in partnership with NABARD, with an objective to have in-depth and solution seeking dialogues for promotion of agriculture and allied sector.

Speaking on the occasion, the Governor said that agriculture basically has five ingredients, which are soil, seed, irrigation, crop care and manure and these aspects need to be promoted for making sure that the crops grow well and farmers earn well.

Caritas Asia to develop sustainable farming

In an attempt to develop sustainable agriculture and reshape farming communities in Indonesia, Caritas Asia has taken initiatives to revive food sovereignty in the region

The commitment was made at a conference in Ruteng Diocese in Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara province from 8-11 May.

Representatives from 13 Asian countries including India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Philippines, Kazakhstan and Timor Leste, attended the conference. Apart from that Donor organisations, local government officials, students and activists also took part in the conference.

The participants’ discussion highlighted the development of sustainable agricultural methods by the use of organic farming in the region.

Darjeeling tea faces climate risk

Gradual change in temperature and rainfall patterns in the Darjeeling hills is beginning to affect production of the famous Darjeeling tea.

The maximum temperature in Kurseong has risen by 0.51 degree over the last 20 years while total annual rainfall dropped by 56 mm and relative humidity by 16.07%, leading to a decline in overall production of Darjeeling tea in terms of green leaf production per hectare.

This has emerged from studies conducted at the experimental farms of the Darjeeling Tea Research and Development Centre (DTR&DC) at Kurseong to see the effect of climate change on production of tea.

Poland interested in Bihar’s food processing: Dy CM

PATNA: Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi said on Wednesday he succeeded in enticing interested parties from Poland to invest in the food processing and higher education sectors in Bihar. He said Poland has succeeded to a large extent in preventing vegetable and fruit wastage while Bihar specially has a huge potential for growth and expansion in the food processing sector.
Modi, who is in Poland, addressed the three-day 10th European Economic Congress (EEC) that began at Katowice on May 14. Representatives from 27 EU countries and 700 delegates from other nations had been invited to take part in the EEC meet. The EEC meet had arranged for special session on Bihar on Wednesday.

How a Gurugram woman is helping others go organic

A Gurugram-based advertising executive has not only turned fallow land into a garden with edible plants, but is also helping others go organic.

Sangita Wahi Mohin, through her forum Green Street, has been successfully spreading awareness on how we can nurture our gardens without artificial fertilisers and pesticides.

Sangita’s own efforts gave a fillip to Green Street, where more than 200 gardeners actively share tips and tricks to increase green-spaces in our cities.

Eco-friendly fabric demands propel organic cotton farming in India

Barku Jairam, a 55-year-old farmer from Barwani of Madhya Pradesh, has taken up cultivating organic cotton, which he claims, has significantly brought down input costs besides ensuring a decent yield..

The demand for organic cotton from global apparel companies has prompted 1,000-odd farmers in the state to switch to eco-farming to grow cotton using bio-fertilisers and pesticides manufactured from medicinal plants.

IICT makes organic manure from water hyacinth

For years uncontrolled water hyacinth, an invasive species has posed a grave threat to the aquatic ecosystem.

This invasive species that covers lakes and ponds is infamous for affecting water flow, blocking sunlight from reaching native aquatic plants, thus, killing them, becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes or parasites and depleting dissolved oxygen, threatening life under these water bodies.

But what if we told you, this threatening species could boost vegetation if used innovatively?

Yes, in a path-breaking move that could be adopted across urban lakes in the country, Hyderabad-based Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) and Khar Energy Optimisers converted water hyacinth from the Kapra Lake into organic manure for farming.

Nepal calls for organic farming technology to double production

MAHOTTARI — Nepal Minister for Agriculture, Shailendra Sah, has called for tapping into the organic agricultural technology for the development of the agricultural sector.

During a visit to the Nigaul Cow Gaushala Management Office at Gaushala municipality on Monday, Minister Sah said the province’s dependence was based on agriculture and stressed there were no alternatives to organic farming for maximum production in less time.

The Minister also expressed his commitment for an all-out effort to make the office a model in the country.

Scheme succour for NE small tea growers

GUWAHATI: Small tea growers in the non-traditional areas of the Northeast now have reasons to cheer!

The Union ministry of commerce and industry has approved the modalities and guidelines of the “Tea Development and Promotion Scheme” for implementation during the Medium Term Framework (2017-18 to 2019-2020) that has a special package for small tea growers in the region.

The package is applicable for Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura (non-traditional areas), Sikkim, North Cachar Hills district (Dima Hasao) and Karbi Anglong district of Assam.

Farmers urged to adopt organic farming, shun use of pesticides

Hoshiarpur, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla was the Chief Guest in the ‘Kisan Goshthi’ organised at Krishi Vigyan Kendra Bahowal. Addressing the farmers he said Modi govt has made several efforts to increase the income of the farmers of the country. The farmers were being encouraged to cultivate using latest techniques.

He urged the farmers to increase their income through the processing of agro products and increase their productivity by adopting modern methods like bee keeping. Asking them to adopt new farming techniques he also encouraged the farmers for lesser use of fertilizers and promoted the organic farming.

Tamil Nadu panchayat school attracts kids by teaching organic farming

TRICHY: Veering away from traditional methods of marketing to ensure 100% admission, a panchayat union middle school (PUMS) in Perambalur district is reaching out on foot and attracting parents and students with the organic farming methods practised at the school.The PUMS in Kothavasal recently concluded a pan-village survey to identify children of appropriate age for school admission and subsequently enrolled 17 children in the hamlet by explaining to them the organic farming practised at the school with student participation.Panchayat school attracts kids by teaching organic farming.As the new academic year is about to begin, private schools are employing several marketing strategies including sending bulk messages to random mobile users apart from advertisements in local television channels to score admissions.

Rural time bomb that is ticking away – by Yashwant Sinha

The foot-march of over 35,000 farmers from Nashik to Mumbai in March this year attracted a lot of national attention and succeeded in highlighting the problems of the farmers. The numerous suicides by farmers earlier or the killing of six farmers in police firing in Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh in June last year did not attract as much attention. Nor did the farmers’ agitations in other parts of the country like Rajasthan, western Uttar Pradesh or by the Tamil Nadu farmers in Delhi. My own agitation with the farmers in Akola in Maharashtra or Narshingpur in Madhya Pradesh created a local splash but failed to make news at the national level. But these agitations and movements did succeed in sending the message that something is seriously wrong with agriculture in our country.

Organic farming gathers steam in the Sundarbans

Faced with longer and hotter summers, many farmers in the Sundarbans have embraced organic farming with local crop varieties that are better adapted to a changing climate

Umapati Sarkar, a progressive farmer in the Sundarbans in West Bengal who travels extensively to promote organic farming among the people, has many stories of his journeys. Sarkar, who is now in his sixties, has noticed that the climate has been changing in the Sundarbans, with shorter springs, and longer and hotter summers. Farmers have to change their farming practices to adapt and survive, he says.

Celphos for termites kills the ban

Chandigarh: Aluminum phosphide (brand name Celphos), an agricultural pesticide implicated in many suicides, is forest department’s recommended tablet for termite control under the Greening Chandigarh action plan. Local horticulturist Rahul Mahajan has reminded the UT agriculture director via a letter that this bug killer is banned for public use.

Smart kitchen garden to promote organic farming in Kerala

KOCHI: Teaming up with the government to promote organic farming in the state, the Vegetable and Fruits’ Promotion Council Keralam (VFPCK) has come up with ‘Grow Your Own Food’ (GYOF) initiative  The plan is to encourage more and more people to cultivate pesticide free, nutritious and healthy food on their rooftop by setting a Smart Kitchen Garden.

The Smart Kitchen Garden, the first of its kind initiative in Kerala, will have its maiden launch in the city.  Later, it is likely to be expanded statewide. The VFPCK has already inked a pact with WRENCH Solutions to distribute seedlings to benefit those who have a desire to cultivate crops.The ‘Smart Kitchen Garden’ will have ‘grow bags’ with coir pith and composts are used instead of soil. According to the promoters of the programme, these grow bags are effective than the common grow bags available in the market.

MP leads in organic cotton production: Bisen

Madhya Pradesh Minister for Farmer Welfare and Agriculture Development Gaurishankar Bisen said that Madhya Pradesh in one of the leading States in the country in organic cotton production. Madhya Pradesh produces one quarter of the total world’s organic cotton.

“Therefore, there is a need for better marketing arrangement for organic cotton being produced in the State at national and international level”, Bisen said while addressing the convention on Organic Cotton held at Academy of Administration on Tuesday.

Ban toxic insecticides: Maharashtra farm body to Centre

Nagpur (Maharashtra), May 8 (IANS) A prominent farm body on Tuesday urged the Centre to immediately accept the Maharashtra government’s plea to ban poisonous insecticides which have killed more than 60 farmers here so far.

Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission (VNSSM) chairman Kishore Tiwari said that following a series of farmers’ deaths due to toxic insecticides, the state government had submitted a proposal to the Centre seeking a ban on such chemicals.

Global Kokan Mango Fest, concludes in Mumbai

The Global Kokan Mango Festival, a week-long event that concluded at Nehru Science Centre, Worli, Mumbai, on May 8, 2018, made the largest platform available for the buyers in Mumbai and direct farmers from Maharashtra’s Konkan region, besides creating an open and straight market for organic mango farmers, producer companies and farmer co-operative associations from across the region.
It was organised by Kokan Bhumi Pratisthan, Nehru Science Centre and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Government of India, in association with Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB) and Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

Supreme Court rejects Monsanto plea on seed patent order

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay a 2 May Delhi high court order which held that plant varieties and seeds cannot be patented under Indian law by companies like Monsanto Inc., and that royalties on genetically modified (GM) technology would be decided by a specialized agency of the agriculture ministry.

As a result, the patent held by Monsanto, through its Indian arm Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech Ltd (MMBL) over its Bollgard-II Bt cotton seed technology, a GM variant which resists the bollworm pest, was decreed to be unenforceable in India.

Monsanto’s appeal challenging the Delhi high court order was brought before a bench headed by Justice Rohinton F. Nariman who sought the response of seed companies over the issue.

Truefarm Foods to venture into global market with their organic food products

After a success of their organic food products in India, Truefarm Foods is looking to venture into the global market says F&B News.  The move is to be initiated in June 2018. “We have fared very well since its inception. A lot of consumers are buying our products and the feedback has been really good,” Ravi Jakhar, the company’s founder, told F&B News.

“We will also expand to international markets starting from this June. Products will be sold through global tie-ups with top online retailers, such as Amazon, as well as through physical stores via distribution channels,” said Jakhar to the publication. “We would be investing $10 million in the next two years. Being totally funded by the four founders of Truefarm, we will gather more investment in the coming two years, which will be used to for more production and developing more organic products.”

Nitish opens up e-wallet for organic farmers in Bihar

Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, at a function organized by the state Agriculture Department in Patna on Saturday, electronically transferred Rs. 6,000 in advance in the ‘e-wallets’ of 20,173 farmers from four districts in Bihar for a total of over Rs. 12 crore.

Life on the slow track

Venkat Iyer gave up a high-paying IT job to become a farmer. Today, he’s happier, but Mansi Taneja finds out it was not an easy transition

From a stressful life to a carefree one, from the city’s concrete jungle to nature’s open spaces, from zipping around in cars to taking public transport, and from pollution to clean air, Moong Over Microchips is the journey of an IT professional who dared to leave behind the trappings of a plush city life, including a six figure salary, and found his calling as a farmer in a peaceful rural setting.

The book traces Venkat Iyer’s dilemma of leaving his job in India’s financial capital after 15 stressful years of being bogged down by the hustle-bustle of the city and his professional life. “I felt alienated by this rat race and also felt isolated in my attempt to give it all up and try to eke out a simple existence by farming,” he writes.