Archive for the ‘News’ Category

C&A Foundation sowed the seeds of organic cotton farming for farmers to reap rich results

India is the largest producer, and accounts for 56 percent of the world’s organic cotton. However the irony is, only one percent of India’s cotton is organic.

With agriculture and farming going the sustainable way, farmers are now trying to adopt indigenous methods to make organic farming feasible and profitable. The same goes for organic cotton as well.

“Cotton is not only one of the most widely grown crops in the world, but, it is also one of the most input intensive; consuming huge amount of pesticides, herbicides and water,” explains Anita Chester, Head of Sustainable Raw Materials, C&A Foundation.

Organic farming policy in Odisha

BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to make farming climate resilient, reduce farmers’ risks and enhance their income, the State Government has come up with Odisha Organic Farming Policy-2018.

“The policy has been framed to promote organic farming and provide market for the products,” said a notification of the Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Department. Agriculture department officials said as per the policy, the Government has planned to cover two lakh hectares of land under organic farming through a combination of activities on agriculture, horticulture, forest and pasture land within a period of five years. In order to achieve the target, a pattern of assistance has been proposed under which, financial aid upto Rs 10 lakh can be provided for 50 acres of land for organic farming.

On Organic Farming

Primitive but ecologically symbiotic farming practised by mankind since ages before the arrival of conventional agriculture is now largely influencing the environmentalists with its quotient of coexistence. That is what progressed the concept of modern organic farming. Organic farming is the cultivation of land and producing crops while maintaining the health of the soil by using available organic animal and plant waste and other biological materials in synergy with beneficial microorganisms for releasing nutrients to the crops.

SC agrees to hear plea on banning 85 pesticides

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to examine a plea seeking ban on nearly 85 pesticides that are being used in India on the grounds that they pose health hazard.

A bench of Justices Arun Misra and Vineet Saran issued notices to the Centre and other authorities concerned on the plea which also sought empowering state governments to take decisions at their level for prohibition and restriction related to pesticides.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioners, said that these pesticides have been banned in other countries but in India they are being allowed to be used which could pose serious health hazards to farmers.

The petition filed by Kavita Kuruganti said that deadly pesticides are still used at a time when there is much evidence of the success of ecological agriculture practices like organic farming in terms of profitability for farmers as well as productivity of the crops.

Scientist and farmers interact on organic farming in Kohima

The 3 Naga Hills Battalion Assam Rifles under the aegis of Headquarter Inspector General Assam Rifles (North) today organised first ever lecture cum interactive session on organic farming between young scientist and farmers of Kohima and nearby villages. Peihauding Reunim, Botanist and his team of 12 members has taken a lecture on organic farming to soil Management, cultivation of crops, Post-Harvest Management & Marketing.

Yes to ‘Desi Khaad’, No to Pesticides

Ramesh Ganeriwal’s farm in Gharoh village on a rainwashed road off Dharamshala on Pathankot highway is what dreams are made of. The labour of one man’s love for all things organic, this farm–approached by a rickety hanging bridge–has peaches, bananas, paddy and more, watered by natural streams.

He has opted for the local kuhl system of traditional irrigation system in Kangra valley where water, drawn by gravity from the streams, is shared by a group of farmers.

For these students, it’s about learning & educating

For B.K. Manjushree of Chikkabantanahalli, Jagalur taluk in Davangere, media reports on farmers’ suicides are unbearable to read. Pursuing a Bachelors degree in agriculture for three years now, she believes mechanised and modern agricultural practises would help in the agrarian crisis.

This is what she has been telling farmers at T.M. Hosuru. “Farming with unscientific methods could increase input costs and push farmers into debt traps,” Ms. Manjushree told The Hindu. She is among 90 seventh semester students of the College of Agriculture at VC Farm, Zonal Agricultural Research Station, on the outskirts of Mandya, gaining Rural Agricultural Work Experiences (RAWE) through the 90-day compulsory village stay programme across the district, since July 19.

Samaksham, a story from the soil

It is a campus many of us are familiar with – the MG University Campus. Neelathamara fame Kailash too had visited the campus twice during his college days but it was his role in  the upcoming Samaksham that gave him a very different perspective of the University, its working and the 100 acres of ground it stood on.  Incidentally, Samaksham is claimed to be the first full-length feature film that a University has produced in Kerala. The inspiration for the theme of the film came from the University grounds itself. Kailash explains, “Three years ago, MG University launched the Jaivam project, wherein the students with the help of the faculty grew organic vegetables at the campus. This was such a success that the model was later replicated in the houses under the Panchayat.”

While the initial idea was to make a documentary, it was later decided to convert it into a feature film. The proposal was put forward before the Education Ministry and it was approved with the only condition that the film should concentrate on organic farming. The faculty of the college Aju Narayanan and Calicut University faculty Anwar worked out a one-liner that was presented and approved by the Ministry.

Farmers’ Day promotes organic farming at Porba village

Phek: The Porbami Farmers Union (PFU) organised a Farmers’ Day at Panchayat Hall, Porba village on September 6.

The programme was graced by Sanuzo Nienu, Deputy Director of Agriculture as the chief guest. It was also attended by officials from Krishi Vigyan Kendra, SDAO, Pfutsero, NRLM, stated a press release.

Addressing the gathering, Sanuzo Nienu encouraged the farmers to take up organic cultivation practices for better health and higher income generation. He urged the farming community to increase the area under paddy cultivation and also to take up diversified farming.

Changed the face of rural Odisha with organic farming

The Mahabharata happened due to envy, says eminent Odia environmentalist Radhamohan to this writer at his home in Odisha. “Awards and recognition are a burden. It turns friends into enemies,” he says. It is with such upbringing that Sabarmatee got from her father that she has been working for the last 28 years to develop a forest using organic farming, without any promotion.

It started as an experiment in 1988, when Sabarmatee, her father and other likeminded people wanted to rejuvenate barren land using organic farming. They zeroed in on wasteland in the interiors of Nayagarh district (earlier Puri). People from surrounding villages came, and one elderly person said: “You from cities don’t understand farming. It’s impossible to grow anything here.” The land was eroded, and the soil gravelly.

“We accepted the challenge and stayed committed to the cause. We call our journey Sambhav, from the impossible to the possible,” says Sabarmatee. What started on one acre of wasteland is now a sprawling 90-acre forest with three rainwater harvesting ponds, over 1,000 species of plants and 493 varieties of rice. Fondly called Tiki apa (Tiki means small and apa means elder sister), the irony of her name is evident when one juxtaposes her work and the humility with which she refers to herself as a volunteer at Sambhav.

Lakhs through organic mango farming

We all love mangoes and if it’s an organic one then our love for the fruit also increase. Here is a story of young boy from north India who is earning lakhs through organic farming of mangoes.

A 23-year old civil engineer by profession and a resident of Meerut, Rohan Prakash always wanted to do something big in the agriculture sector and has even succeeded in doing it. Rohan is the lone certified organic mango cultivator in Uttar Pradesh and in the past three years, his farm produce has distinctly earned a name for itself in the organic markets of North India.

Rohan’s zeal for agriculture is entirely home-based maybe because his father and grandfather who were also engineers have been passionately doing farming since long. This young boy, however, took that inheritance a step forward by turning all agricultural processes on their farm totally organic.

Ashmeet Kapoor’s organic food venture is changing lives for the better

The power of organic produce seems to have caught up with every other person we meet today and believe us, as much as we love our pizzas, Kathi rolls and monster shakes, the need of the hour is a switch from all the refined and adulterated eating habits to a more balanced and organic one.

Use of green manure and natural pest control is the only way for us to get past the imminent threat that chemically produced foods pose to mankind.

Grain Stories helps farmers go organic, offers better price on produce

Bengaluru-based company aims to educate farmers about the benefits of organic farming; wants to bring organic produce to every household.

For 35-year-old Uma Prasad, organic farming is not something new. Her family has been into the farming business for generations now in Chikkaballapur near Bengaluru.

But the farmer suicides due to their inability to repay their debt, was something difficult to digest for Uma.

She says her father and grandfather, who were into organic farming, had not taken any loan from moneylenders or banks. Their lands were fertile, and even when there was no rain, the land had enough moisture to hold water, making it easy to grow a variety of crops.

Punjab has failed to promote organic farming: Expert

Chandigarh: Punjab has failed miserably to promote organic farming the way it should have been promoted, said Chairman of the Punjab State Farmers and Farm Workers Commission Ajay Vir Jakhar here on Friday.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a seminar on “Role of agrochemicals for sustainable agriculture enhancing farmers’ productivity sustainably”.

Nature Bio Foods Ltd secures equity funding from Rabobank

LT Foods Ltd., an emerging Global Food Company with focus on Specialty Rice – Basmati, Organic Food and Rice based Convenience products announced that its Board of Directors at a meeting held on August 31, 2018 approved the infusion of equity capital by Rabobank’s India Agri Business Fund II Ltd. into NBFL, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company. This facilitates investment of up to Rs.140 crore in the global organic foods business in one or multiple stages, subject to concerned parties meeting predefined conditions in the joint agreement.

India’s emerging vegetable basket asks for Chinese investment

Jharkhand, one of India’s emerging vegetable baskets is seeking Chinese investment to set up food processing units to control post-harvest loss and generate more jobs.

“We met senior ministers of China’s government on Tuesday and invited them to invest in setting up food processing plants in the state,” Raghubar Das, Chief Minister of Jharkhand who is leading a delegation of ministers and senior officials from his state to China said.

Jharkhand farmers visit Israel to learn new farming techniques

Drip irrigation, plastic mulching, multiple crops and good income – Gandura Oraon had everything going for him. What he did not have was a passport. But when he did have one and travelled for the first time outside India, Oraon has returned overwhelmed by the scale and technological perfection to which farming has been taken in a country smaller than Jharkhand.

Oraon was part of the first-ever batch of 26 farmers (one each from all the 24 districts and three from Ranchi) from Jharkhand to have gone to Israel for a four-day visit, beginning August 26, to learn the best practices in drip irrigation and other technologies that make farming a profitable business done with virtual pin-point accuracy.

Kerala floods: after immense devastation, farmers see a glimmer of hope

The rains in Kerala over the second half of August wreaked havoc, causing mass-scale destruction. While the damage to life and property are the immediate consequences, we must also take stock of the damage that the floods have done to agricultural soil.

Kerala is known to produce large quantities of coconut, banana, cashew nut and paddy, along with spices like pepper, turmeric and cardamom and areca nut, among other things.

The agricultural department is now spreading awareness among the farming community to ensure that they make use of the soil for irrigation. It is also a great time to start organic farming.

Madurai couple add value to agriculture

The small shop selling organic products on Sixth Main Road in Gomathipuram is a gross understatement of what it is. Its deceptive nature does not reveal that it is the epicentre of a movement to provide ‘poison-free’ food for the public and get remunerative prices for farmers with a win-win formula. The man sits on the floor while his wife prefers a stool.

The couple – Kavitha Senthil Kumar and K.S. Senthil Kumar – operate a series of farm-to-dining table initiatives, without any financial support from outside, to realise a dream of making agriculture a meaningful and profitable venture for rural people.

Many opting for organic farming in TS

Wanaparthy: In recent years, rural Telangana has witnessed a spurt in organic farming, largely influenced by Subhash Palekar’s integrated farming approach.

NRIs, software employees, retired professionals and traditional farmers have been actively opting for organic farming. Praveen Kumar Reddy is one such person who left his software job in Bengaluru to return to his roots to become a full-time farmer, cultivating organic paddy, millets and fruits in his 15-acres-land at his native place, Pebbair.

Kenya could learn from India’s experience with organic farming & health

By Bitange Ndemo

I recently read an article by Annie Gowen in the Washington Post titled “An Indian state banned pesticides. Tourism and wildlife flourished. Will others follow?” and it got me thinking.

But what really caught my eye was one paragraph:

But with the indiscriminate use of pesticides came a spike in cancer rates in industrial farming areas. Rivers became polluted and soil infertile. Sikkim’s leaders say they were driven to go all-organic by those concerns and because pesticide residue — including from some chemicals banned in other countries — was tainting fish, vegetables and rice.

The paragraph helps untangle what has been a puzzle in Kenya for several years now after the phenomenal increase in cancer cases.

Kachai gets its first market shed to promote organic products

Kachai (Manipur) [India] Sep 03 (ANI): Untouched by the Green Revolution, many parts of the northeastern region remain pure organic, where a very little amount of fertilizers and pesticides are used in agriculture.

Kachai, a village in Ukhrul district, known for its unique lemon, continues to be organic with limited use of chemical inputs

Natural wisdom can save agriculture

The man who launched zero budget natural farming (ZBNF) in India, 69-year-old Subhash Palekar from Belora village in Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region, has taken up the cause of spreading the concept as a viable and healthy alternative in agriculture.

Palekar, who was awarded the Padma Shri, shed the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides and switched to ZBNF on his 40-acre farm 18 years ago after intensive research.

Herb pillows and floral waters: India Organic Fair 2018 in Chennai

Learn what goes into real organic produce as you shop at the first edition of India Organic Fair 2018

From organic food to organic fashion, we have seen them all. At a time when the term ‘organic’ has become commonplace, have you ever stopped to think what it actually means? “We all know it’s clean, healthy… but do we know what goes into it?” asks Sheela Balaji, of city-based NGO, Aim For Seva (AFS). To answer this question, and to help people understand the vast scope of what is possible with organic farming, AFS, along with its store Spirit of The Earth, is all set to host the India Organic Fair 2018 from September 7-11 in Chennai.

Juhi’s Twitter take on Organic Sikkim

Recently, actor Juhi Chawla took to her Twitter to share a factful video about the state. She wrote, “India’s very first organic state Sikkim earlier announced the ban of pesticides to flourish it’s tourism! Results are for the world to see.