Archive for the ‘News’ Category

How you can get rid of pesticides the organic way

An average of about 200,000 people die from the toxic exposure to pesticides every year across the world, according to a UN report issued early this year. With lax regulations and safeguards in the developing world, it is obvious they contribute most to the tally.

The pesticide industry in India is worth over Rs 5000 crores and produces over 90,000 metric tonnes. The agriculture sector uses most of this with the products applied most liberally to crops like rice, wheat, maize, chillies, cotton and soya bean.

How One Japanese Farmer Changed Modern Agriculture

Masanobu Fukuoka was a Japanese farmer and philosopher who spearheaded natural farming, and began what is widely acknowledged as a revolution in the history of conventional agricultural practices.

He is considered to be one of the five giant personalities who inspired the organic farming movement along with Rudolf Steiner from Austria, Lady Eve Balfour from the United Kingdom and J.I. Rodale from the United States.

Fukuoka is celebrated for pioneering shizen nōhō, which translates to natural farming, where you give up conventional practices like tilling, weeding, pruning and the use of fertilisers or pesticides.

How to globalise the Indian farmer

Indias agricultural exports have risen to $25 billion to take a share of 9% of its total exportsfrom 7.1% in 2010-11. Today, a marginal farmer from Heran, a village in Punjab, finds markets in the UK for his produce of baby corn. India ranks second in fruits and vegetables production in the world. Its exports of cereals, spices, fruits and vegetables in 2016 stood at $11.4 billion, accounting for 3.5% of global exports. India enjoys the second-largest arable land size after the US and is home to 14 agri-zones, offering a range of climates and soil conditions conducive to agri produce diversification that can address world markets successfully.

Agriculture: On the cusp of self-sufficiency

Bengaluru, August 14:Since Independence, Indias food grain production has registered an over a five-fold increase, to around 273 million tonnes in 2016-17. The country has largely attained self-sufficiency as it transformed itself from a status of ship-to-mouth to an exporter over the past 70 years.

Despite this progress, the agriculture sector faces major challenges as yields stagnate amidst dwindling average size of landholdings and the vagaries of climate change.

Food should be produced through organic farming: Kamal Haasan

Talking about the importance of organic farming at an event in Chennai, actor Kamal Haasan has said that food should be produced using this mode of farming.

He said that there was a basic logic regarding genetically modified crops which people usually forget. “We modify the corn crop to kill the insect which feeds on it for nutrients. How long would that toxic substance take to kill us? If we try to speed up nature’s work, we’ll only be behaving foolishly”, Haasan claimed.

Organic veggies not as organic as you think

KAU study detects new-generation insecticides and fungicides in organic fruits and vegetables

Here is an alert for health conscious people who go in search of organic fruits and vegetables.

New generation insecticides and fungicides have been detected in fruits and vegetables labelled organic is the latest concern in food safety, according to a report published by Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) recently.

They are often sold at higher prices in separate counter in hypermarkets, it noted.

The report from the Pesticide Residue Research & Analytical Laboratory (PRRAL) under the KAU contains categorised test results of vegetables, fruits, spices and condiments sampled from public markets, including hypermarkets across the State, during the period from April to June 2017.

Nitish: use cow dung for organic farming

Patna, (The Bihar Post/IBNS): Bihar chief minister Nitsh Kumar has announced to take care of unclaimed animals found loitering on the streets and has asked the authorities to take necessary steps in this direction.

My government has now decided to take care of unclaimed animals and protect them, the chief minister told a function in Patna on Monday.

He said the unclaimed animals found roaming on the streets would be kept in the cowsheds adding he had issued necessary instructions to the Patna district magistrate in this regard.

According to him, cow dung and urine of the bovines will be used in organic farming.

Another pesticide disaster looms, farmers panicky

Bathinda: Yet to recover from the massive cotton crop loss they suffered in 2015, farmers in Malwa may be in for another jolt as they discover that many of them have already treated their fresh crop to a cocktail of spurious pesticides.

The realisation is only dawning upon them now. As many as 24 out of 34 samples of fertilisers and pesticides collected by the Agriculture Department have failed, forcing the government to stop the sale of the products of several firms.

The cotton crop had failed miserably in 2015, following which a pesticide scam worth Rs 1,700 crore was unearthed.

Organic farmer awarded as Kerala Youth Icon

Rajesh Krishnan is sowing seeds of change in a little village by a stream in Thrissilerry in the misty hills of Wayanad. The biotechnologist-turned-farmer is in a hurry when we meet up at the Thanal office in Jawahar Nagar. It is the paddy transplanting season and so I am returning to Wayanad tonight itself, says Rajesh. He was in Thiruvananthapuram, his home town, to receive the second Kerala youth icon awards given away to six achievers in different fields by the Kerala government. Thirty-eight-year-old Rajesh won the award for integrated, organic cultivation of traditional paddy seeds such as the reddish Thondi, white Mullankaima, fragrant Gandakashala and Veliyan, and for saving native seeds from extinction.

Waterman of India launches Krishna River Conservation

VIJAYAWADA:Waterman of India Rajendra Singh has launched Krishna River Conservation Tour from Hamsaladeevi in Krishna district to Bijapur in Karnataka. The tour kick-started at Durga Ghat in the city here on Wednesday. Noted urban planning expert and professor Vikram Soni, former minister Vadde Sobhanadreeswara Rao and others also participated in the march and inspected the river bed.

Green Fellows to help in corporation campaigns

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Thanal, an environmental NGO, has launched a Zero-Waste Fellowship Programme. The ‘Green Fellows’ trained under the programme will work as volunteers in the green campaigns of the corporation.

The fellowship is aimed at moulding resource persons to promote zero-waste initiatives in association with government agencies. In the technical session, the Green Fellows will be provided training in implementation of the concept of zero waste. Academic sessions will include classes on campaign management, communication and presentation skills.

Goa to setup floriculture estates

Porvorim: Agriculture minister Vijai Sardesai told the house on Monday that the government will set up floriculture estates in Goa. “Floriculture estates are non-polluting and less power extensive,” said Sardesai during ‘Question Hour’. Floriculture, Sardesai said, is part of a comprehensive agriculture policy being prepared.

Responding to a question tabled by Sanguem MLA Prasad Gaonkar, Sardesai said that at Talegaon in Pune land measuring 1,700ha has been brought under floriculture and that Dutch roses are exported to Netherlands and other European nations. “Such an exercise can also be taken up in Goa,” he said.

Chhattisgarh to start ambulance service for cows

The Chhattisgarh government will begin an ambulance service for cows, chief minister Raman Singh said, joining a number of BJP-ruled states to put a stronger focus on protection of the animal that is considered sacred by Hindus.

The service will be started in ten districts in the next few months, Singh said, addressing a programme organised by the states commission for protection of cows at Pandit Ravi Shankar University on Sunday.

How 40,000 organic T-shirts are bridging Andhra & Europe

When social entrepreneursAneel Kumar Ambavaram and Sarat Gidda from Andhra Pradesh came together, little did they know that theircollaboration would positively affect50 farmers from Warangal. Today, the duo stand tall in theirfully organic village Enabavi in Andhra Pradesh that has successfully sold 40,000 organic t-shirts.

Aneel and Sarat have founded the Grameena Vikas Kendram Society for Rural Development(GVKSRD) that procures cotton produce from local farmers and processes it in Tiruppur. Their initiative is encouraging 3,000 cotton farmers across the state to adapt to organic farming, says The Hindu. The founders started their project by roping in 50 farmersfrom Kothavalasa and Chinatalapadutwo neighbouringvillages in Vizianagaram district. Along with few experts in organic farming, they are touring the nearby villages, educating and offering jobs to the villagers.

Organic farming? learn from a Nagapattinam youth

NAGAPATTINAM:While Facebook page creators are adept at coming up with memes for every occasion, V Santhosh (24) in Nagapattinam is using his pages to create memes on agriculture and organic farming. As his memes teach how to grow organic crops, thousands of youth and agriculture activists are now followers of the page. Santhoshs Learn Agriculture and Azvar pages educate his followers in crop cultivation and prevention of insect attacks.

Organic Farmer in Kerala growing 100 plant species on an acre

A one-acre food forest of abundance that contains 20 different species of fruit trees, 8 different spice plants, more than 20 different species of vegetables and more than 50 different medicinal plants. Everywhere you looked from the ground right up to the top of the tallest trees there was greenery and new plant growth everywhere.

Ajith Kumar began practicing and experimenting with organic farming 25 years ago learning many lessons the hard way. He managed to produce more than enough food for him and his wife but still felt his small farm could be improved. Then two years ago he heard about Subash Palekars zero-budget farming and attended one of his training courses.

Bihar Agriculture Roadmap ready by Aug end

Bihar Agriculture Minister Dr Prem Kumar today said the final shape to third Agriculture Roadmap would be given by the end of next month. After assuming the charge of state Agriculture Minister, Dr Kumar told newspersons here that the first priority of his department would be to give final shape to the third agriculture roadmap, which would be effective till 2022.

He said under the third agriculture roadmap, special focus had been given to organic farming by developing organic corridor.

Himachal promoting organic farming in a big way

Shimla, Jul 30 (PTI) A Rs 321 crore project is under implementation in Himachal for diversification of agricultural activities under which the farmers are being motivated to adopt organic farming and grow cash crops, an official said.

The project, being implemented in five districts of the State, has yielded good results and a large number of farmers have come forward to switch over to organic farming and go for off season cash crops cultivation as the state emerges as a front runner in organic farming, an official spokesman here said.

Nearly 22,000 hectare has been brought under organic farming and40,000 farmers have got themselves registered under the scheme.

Uttarakhand to pass Organic Farming Act

Uttarakhand would be the focus state in the upcoming World Food India 2017. A road show to promote the mega event to be held in November was organised in Dehradun on Friday.

The roadshow was organised by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), Government of India, in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), to invite Uttarakhand based industrialists to participate in World Food India 2017.

Speaking on the occasion, the Additional Chief Secretary, Uttarakhand, Dr Ranbir Singh said that the State has taken up many reforms like marketing of processed food, rules for contract farming and setting up private Mandis. These measures are expected to double the income of farmers, he opined.

Dr Singh said that the State Government would soon bring an organic farming act to promote organic farming in the state.

Quit His Job to Become a Plant Doctor

Dr. K R Hullunache Gowda, who was given an honorary doctorate by Jeeva Theological Open University, Chennai, for his work in farming, belongs to Srinivaspura village of Kolar district of Karnataka. Back in the 90s he finished his post-graduation in Sericulture and started his career as a lecturer in Chikaballapur University.

However,Dr. Gowda could see how Kolar, which was once famous for its mulberry, mango and vegetable plantation, was facing drought and shortage of rainfall year after year,resulting in huge losses for farmers.

The bore wells, the only source of irrigation,had all stopped working. The farmers had to shift from agriculture to some other sources of livelihood. Most of them started working as daily wage labourers and had to travel to Bangalore and nearby industrial areas every day for a living. He then decided to leave his job and find out the reasons behind the farmers problems and possible solutions.

Medical experts write to Narendra Modi against GM mustard crop

New Delhi: Members of Indias medical fraternity on Thursday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reject the environmental release application for the genetically modified (GM) mustard crop, saying that the country should not be forced to face the risks and dangers associated with the crop.

GM mustard is a danger for cultivators, agricultural workers as well as consumers. On the other hand, there are no good reasons that can be seen so far as to why this GM mustard is needed, or what kind of benefits it will offer. There is absolutely no evidence about this. It is unclear why the country should be taking this dangerous step of allowing GM mustard to be cultivated in India, Dr. Vallabhbhai Kathiria, former Union minister of state for health and family welfare and chairman of Gauseva and Gauchar Vikas Board of the Gujarat government, said in a letter to the Prime Minister on Thursday.

Gujarat govt raises voice against GM mustard

New Delhi, July 28:

Genetically-modified (GM) mustard appears to be creating a rift within the ruling BJP.

An arm of the Gujarat government, also led by the BJP, has written to the Prime Minister, seeking a halt to a possible environmental release of the controversial transgenic crop.

This GM mustard happens to be a herbicide-tolerant GMO developed with nearly ₹100 crore of our taxpayers funds.

Very often, it is being argued that since it is a public sector product, India should allow it, forgetting that what is inherently unsafe (created through transgenic technology) is bound to be unsafe whether it is from the public sector or private sector, said the letter by Vallabhbhai Kathiria, Chairman of the Gauseva & Gauchar Vikas Board.

Leaders Treat Environment Like Indian Gods, Do Puja And Aarti, Pay Lip Service

By Mukta Patil

Jairam Ramesh, 63, has been a member of the Rajya Sabha since 2004 and held several portfolios, including rural development and drinking water and sanitation, during the second term of the UPA regime from 2009-14. But he is best-known, and still remembered, for his stint as environment minister.

He now says it was a role he was least prepared for. Till I became the minister, I was like any other Indian liking hill stations, liking forests and wild animals, but that was that. It was not an over-riding passion for me. So in May 2009, to my shock, to my surprise, and to my dismay, I was made minister for environment, and I thought main kahaan phas gaya hoon? (where have I got stuck), because all my life I had done finance, planning, industry, commerce, power.

IFFCO signs MoU with Sikkim govt

IFFCO signed a MoU with Government of Sikkim on Monday with an aim to explore business opportunities in organic value chain. In the new company named SIKKIM-IFFCO, IFFCO will hold majority stake of 51% equity and the Govt of Sikkim will hold 49%.

Earlier in April this year, IFFCO MD Dr US Awasthi had during his Farmers Connect Campaign in Gangtok said IFFCO is set to enter the world of organic fertilizer in a big way by resolving to form a new joint venture with the Government of Sikkim. It was fulfillment of the promise he made to the state, said sources from IFFCO.

Interacting with assembled farmers and cooperators in Gangtok last April on the occasion of Golden Jubilee Awasthi had said, We have always promoted the balanced use of fertilizers. Sikkim is a fully organic state so its a good platform for organic fertilizers and plant growth promoters.

Patanjali, Uttarakhand govt to promote organic farming

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali Ayurved and Uttarakhand government have decided to collaborate to promote organic farming, tourism and producing medicinal herbal plants in the state.

At a meeting, Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and Baba Ramdev explored the opportunities to work together in areas including establishing herbal villages, promoting consumption of cereals, and setting up a large cowshed in the state.