Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Kerala cops transform barren patch of land, now grow over 40 vegetables!

Three months ago, if one happened to pass by the police station in Ambalavayal, a small village in Wayanad, Kerala, he or she wouldn’t have possibly believed that plants could be grown in the barren and miniscule plot of land measuring 0.4 acres, which adjoins the station compound.

However, the police force of this sylvan village has not only achieved the impossible but have also used organic methods to grow and nurture the crops, and have been doing a great job at that!

Startup incubated at IIT-M develops low-cost bio-fertilisers to boost organic farming

Agriculture is one of the most important sectors in India’s economy. Over 58 percent of rural households depend on agriculture as their principal means of livelihood. However, in the last decade despite technology disrupting most sectors, this industry is yet to see a massive transformation.

But, there has been a spike in interest from the startup community as far as the agritech sector goes. In 2017, agritech startups raised $53 million in 17 deals. This year, too, the sector saw a few startups like Agricx Lab, Agrostar, Agrowave, Agrowood, and others raise funds.

Anant Raheja, Co-founder of FIB-SOL Life Technologies, says: “In the agriculture sector, there is a huge diversity in terms of farming practices, crop types, weather conditions, and – most importantly – the unsaid policies of the region. A lot of business growth depends on the distribution channels and market fluctuations, which can seem completely out of anyone’s control.”

Conference to promote organic farming underway

Centre of World Solidarity (CWS), along with Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development (SPWD) and Welthungerhilfe, is organizing a two day conference on April 25 – 26 at HRDC, Ranchi, on the issues of increasing use of pesticides in crops and the related health hazards. The consumption of pesticide in Jharkhand has risen six folds in the past six years and in 2017 at least six indebted farmers committed suicide, said the organisers. Jharkhand Minister of Food and Supply Dept, Saryu Roy and other eminent persons of the State are expected to attend.

This two day conference called ‘Towards Organic Jharkhand’ starts from 11 AM – 4PM. The main aim of the conference is be to urge the Government of Jharkhand to restrict the use of lesser harmful pesticide and ban the chemicals that are in the Class1 of the WHO list. The organizers also appealed to the State to create awareness on the proper use of pesticides. The conference is followed by a fair at the Gossenor College Grounds, where ecological products obtained from one hundred small holder farmers are displayed from 4 – 8 PM on both the days.

Why you should go for organic food

Organic food is fast getting popular in India. Statistics portal Statista.com predicts that the market size of organic food across India in 2020 will be around $1.36 billion. The organic market size in 2014 was around $0.36 billion.

Wax-coated apples don’t keep doctor away

Jamshedpur: Stay away from apples that shine bright red or leafy vegetables that appear too green. Apples may be coated with wax and vegetables coloured artificially.

Celebrating Earth Day on Monday, a day after its April 22 date, the Centre for World Solidarity, a Trust based in Secunderabad, Telangana, with roots in Berlin-based Action for World Solidarity, organised an awareness session on healthy food at Jusco School Kadma

Engineer-turned farmer runs a certified organic mall in Pune with 11 others!

Dheeraj Pipada, 44, a farmer and engineering graduate from Aurangabad, is on the hunt for a sustainable economic model for organic produce, along with 11 other farmers.

Dheeraj and his group of farmers are currently running the store Rich n Fresh in Pune, which is the closest they have come to a sustainable model.

Dheeraj considers it to be the first organic produce mall in Maharashtra. It has been running for over four years and has a solid base of 1,200 products and over 1,400 customers.

Organic way to health

Sikkim is India’s first fully organic State. By this we mean, no use of chemical pesticides, fertilisers, or genetically modified crops. What started 14 years ago as a small change in a tiny region, has now become a great example for the entire nation to learn from. But can the entire country go organic?

India is home to some of the most fertile and productive farmland with more than 60 per cent of the land area being arable and 58 per cent of the rural population depending primarily on agriculture for livelihood. With such an enormous potential, promoting healthier and sustainable farming practices can transform the entire nation’s agronomical profile and, thereby, the nation’s health index.

How a simple bank converted an entire Kerala village into organic farmers!

With the active involvement of about 800 people in different farming activities for the past four years, about 25 unproductive fields in the village are now witnessing different types of greens sprouting from the ground.

Incredibly, the driving force behind this movement is a local bank in Parakkadavu that went the extra mile to motivate people in the region to take up organic farming methods, four years ago.

Through an organic farming programme, the Parakkadavu Service Co-operative Bank helped sow the seeds of organic farming in the minds of the people with the primary goal of helping them achieve self-sufficiency in producing unadulterated vegetables, paddy, fish, meat, eggs and milk.

Equip farmers with knowledge, insights and products: VP

New Delhi: The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu said that India must equip farmers with knowledge, insights and products. He was addressing the Valedictory Session of the One Day State Level Workshop on Biodiversity and Sustainable Agriculture for Doubling of Farmer’s Income” organized by the Government of Manipur and the Central Agricultural University, in Imphal, Manipur today. The Governor of Manipur, Dr. Najma Heptulla, the Chief Minister of Manipur, Shri N. Biren Singh, the Minister for Agriculture & Animal Husbandry, Shri V. Hankhanlian and others dignitaries were present on the occasion.

SGPC to expand organic food venture at shrines

Amritsar, Keen to serve chemical-free langar to devotees at the Golden Temple and other gurdwaras under its control, the SGPC has decided to expand its organic farming activities.

SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal said Rs 9.04 crore had been allocated in the current budget, adding that the area under cultivation of organically grown vegetables would be increased.

Etapalli farmers return to indigenous rice varieties

NAGPUR: Most farmers from Gadchiroli’s Etapalli block talk about huge diversity in rice, the major crop of the area, grown in the good old days. Indigenous varieties could withstand climate change and required little or no manure. But that was before many farmers were tricked into believing that genetically modified (GM) seeds sold by private companies would ensure better yield.

At least 99 pesticides should have been banned in India: Supreme Court

In an ongoing PIL that seeks Supreme Court’s directions for concrete action on harmful pesticides and their phasing out in India, in its last hearing a month ago, the Court directed the petitioners to make a representation to the “J S Sandhu Committee” within 15 days. The Court further ordered that ‘since the matter is of urgent nature, let the recommendations be finalised by the Committee expeditiously, preferably within 3 months, and if decision is taken to ban a particular pesticide, let it be implemented fifteen days thereafter’.

Trader anger hits streets as Sikkim on road to be first fully organic state

Prices are rising, vegetables are being seized and dumped, and traders are planning to move the High Court as Sikkim goes ahead with the second phase of its plan to become the first fully organic state in the country by banning the entry and sale of 26-odd non-organic horticultural and agricultural products.

The notification on banning the products came on March 10. On March 31, the government said it had set up a mechanism to check markets and seize non-organic products, as well as a committee to check price rise. On April 3, around 10 metric tonnes of vegetables were seized from Lal Bazar Market in Gangtok by officials, put in four trucks and dumped at a landfill near Rangpo, East Sikkim.

Mitti: A film that deals with farmer issues

Farmers are the backbone of our country and we all depend upon agriculture to meet the requirement of food. Though they feed the entire humanity, their lives are in danger of many issues.

According to statistics, every 30 minutes, a farmer commits suicide in our country. In an attempt to help farmers to overcome their issues, Hyderabad-based-award-winning-filmmaker Anshul Sinha made a film ‘Mitti-Back to the Roots’ which talks about 27 major issues of farmers and provide practical solutions.

India should adopt the peasant food web as a sustainable practice

Even as India witnesses persistent agricultural distress and farmer protests, there is a food revolution underway across the world. It is a true David (or more accurately, Davids) versus Goliath story, of what is called the peasant food web, taking on the industrial food chain. This revolution isn’t happening in any one place, but all across the world. Like most revolutions, it is a fight that is being fuelled by grassroots energy and activism. And this is why it is bound to succeed. In the coming years, India — completely by accident — could be one of the key theatres for this victory.

Wow! Rosesh of ‘Sarabhai’ fame is now busy farming in Bihar

Actor Rajesh Kumar, popularly known as Rosesh Sarabhai of the TV series Sarabhai vs Sarabhai no long starts his day by being stuck in a traffic jam on his way for a shoot in Mumbai. Instead, he now begins his day at sunrise by milking his cows in Barma, his native village in Bihar.

The 42-year-old actor has relocated himself to Barma for the last 6 months and is guiding the farmers there to adopt a “zero-budget spiritual farming” method that does not use chemicals and is completely organic. Rajesh has been farming on his 10-acre plot of land and growing vegetables, fruits and crops that he says are totally chemical free.

Patrons come togerther to learn organic farming

On the second day of Jimmy Memorial Sustainable Devlopment Week , a workshop was conducted on Organic farming at Jimmy McGilligan Centre for Sustainable Development. The organic agriculture expert Prem Joshi gave practical tips for making natural remedies with cow-urine and Neem as well as many leaves and locally available products.

He also taught ways for terrace gardening roof gardening balcony gardening He explained and demonstrated the process of using simple drip irrigation techniques ,making vermicomposting from food waste . Highlighting the increase of interest in Organic farming Joshi sees it as a huge potential of youths becoming entrepreneurs.

Stand against FSANZ Approval of ‘Golden Rice’

“We have long asserted that we don’t need GMOs which is intertwined with the used of toxic pesticides and herbicides. We have our own traditional rice varieties and sustainable ways of farming. We have also established and developed our diversified and integrated farms which is our source of nutritious food, pride and freedom.” explains Ramon Oliva, a MASIPAG organic farmer and community leader of SIKWAL-GMO, a local peasant alliance.

“The Stop Golden Rice! International Campaign Conference, 2018” was held in the Philippines. It is a collective initiative of the Stop Golden Rice! Network, an alliance of more than 30 organizations from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia with allies from China, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Delegates from health, subsistence and organic farmers, scientists, artists, consumers, women and children rights gathered to echo their united stand to resist the adoption of GMOs and Golden Rice.

US-based varsity to join hands with PJTSAU

Hyderabad: The US-based University of Florida evinced interest to join hands with Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) to start online certificate courses,  joint degree programmes, online certificate courses in Agriculture and GIS,  Agroecology, organic farming and the like.

The proposals have come up during a visit by K Ramesh Reddy, Graduate Research Professor, Soil and Water Sciences Department of the University of Florida to the PJTSAU.
According to a university press release, the visiting academician met with PJTSAU Vice-Chancellor Dr V Praveen Rao, Registrar Dr S Sudheer Kumar and other university officers and held discussions to enter a memorandum of understanding with PJTSAU.

Madurai restaurants add ‘waste’ to the Farm-to-Table trend

MADURAI: Even as the Farm-to-Table trend catches on globally, a group of restaurants in Madurai have found a way to take it a step further. The Farm-to-Table trend in restaurants looks to source ingredients locally, to ensure that consumption can be ecologically sustainable. But what about the waste generated at such commercial establishments?

That’s where the Madurai initiative comes in.As many as 30 hotels in the temple city — all members of the Madurai District Hotel Owners’ Association —  have recently joined hands with the Madurai Corporation to use the waste generated by the establishments in manufacturing organic manure.

The manure, in turn, is used to cultivate vegetables, organically, that are in turn used by the hotels. To this end an ‘Organic Enrichment Manure Factory in situ with Organic Farming’ has been set up over 5.5 acres of land at Masthanpatti in Madurai district.

Travels through India’s Farmlands

If your bearings have been urban, without much agricultural exposure, the title ‘Mother Earth, Sister Seed: Travels through India’s Farmlands’ is likely to evoke images of farms with a pair of bullocks or tractor ploughing the field, farmers and farm hands bent over sowing seeds, and so on. And sure, farms on plains are often like that.

But author Lathika George’s farm visits – described over 11 chapters, each dedicated to a different region in a different state spanning the north, south, east, west and even the north east of India – are an adventurous mix: a fishing village on the southern tip of India separated from Sri Lanka by a river, West Bengal’s Sundarbans where honey collectors risk their lives to procure the golden liquid, mountains of Sikkim plush with organic farming experiments, and so on.

Several places, like Auroville, that don’t get dedicated chapters, still see detailed coverage wherever relevant. In doing so, the book at once reminds us how special India is for its diversity, and exposes us to the diversity of farming methods that have evolved and been adapted as per climate, terrain and availability of water and other natural resources.

Seminar held on organic farming

Ludhiana, Punjab Agriculture Universty’s (PAU) Organic Farming Club, organized monthly training camp on Thursday. The camp was held under the aegis of the Directorate of Extension Education, PAU.

Dr CS Aulakh, director, School of Organic Farming, delved on preservation and handling of organic seeds. Dr Guriqbal Singh, senior pulse breeder, and Dr Rajinder Singh, senior vegetable scientist, explained about organic production of pulses, and seed production of vegetable crops.

5 things to keep in mind while venturing into organic food business in India

With the Indian organic food market anticipated to grow at a CAGR of over 25 percent in the next three years, there is tremendous scope and opportunity for venturing in the business of organic food and organic farming. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you plan to do so

Training Prog for SHGs organized

Jammu Tawi, Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Reasi of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology-Jammu (SKUAST-J), UK based NGO, Brooke India, Sahyog India and NABARD, Reasi organised one day long farmers training programme on “Agri-entrepreneurship development in rural areas” for Self Help Groups (SHGs) members here today at KVK, Reasi campus. Large number of farmers from different villages of Reasi district enthuastically participated in the programme.

Veg shortage: steps taken to promote organic farming in Sikkim

Gangtok, In the wake of shortage of vegetables in Sikkim, measures are being taken to promote organic farming post ban on sale and consumption of non-organic agricultural and horticultural items in the state from April one, an official said. “The vegetables shortage due to inadequate cultivation in Sikkim is a short-term problem as steps have been taken to boost organic farming after the ban on sale and consumption of non-organic agricultural and horticultural commodities,” Sikkim State Co-operative Supply and Marketing Federation Ltd, (SIMFED) Managing Director Pawan Awasthi said yesterday.