Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Zero budget farming could meet countrys 2050 food requirement

CHENNAI: India’s population would touch 162 crore by 2050 and the country’s food grain requirement would be 50 crore tonnes. Agricultural production has to be doubled from the existing quantity and zero budget spiritual farming could be a step in that direction, said renowned agriculturalist Subash Palekar on Friday.
In zero budget farming, farmers are discouraged to buy market products like chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Living in a fruit forest

Ponvelimadom, home of local temple priest at Marankulangara, stands in a clearing amid streaming greenery.

For the past one decade, its resident Kishorekumar N. (Kesavanpotty), priest-cum-farmer, is on a mission to transform his 1.5-acre property into a fruit forest. Peanut butter tree with ripe fruits, blossoming miracle fruit plant, Apple, Orange, Longan and Malay Apple to local varieties of Jackfruit, Kumars backyard is brimming with healthy and nutrient-rich bunch of foreign and local fruit-bearing species. He has so far planted fruit trees of as many as 55 species and counting.

I have a dream and it is to create a forest full of fruit-bearing plants and trees in my backyard, Mr. Kumar told The Hindu, as he roams between the rows of plants after returning from his family temple performing daily morning rituals.

Market in Chennai area helps organic farmers

Chennai: Despite the sky-rocketing popularity of organic farming and the benefits it brings, the farmer community continues to be sidelined when it comes to fixing prices, so to say.

In this juncture, a non-profit organisation named Organic Farmers Market (OFM) has come up with the idea of setting up a modern day sandhai at Mahalingapuram at Kodambakkam in the city.

The market that was started on 12 November is put up every Sunday from 10 am to 1 pm, and sells only organic items.

Mehbubnagar collector takes initiative in organic farming

Ronald Rose, Collector of Mehbubnagar, is a man with a vision. At a time where there is increasing concern over the pesticide residue in agricultural produce, Ronald is striving hard to promote organic farming. Hes also working on implementing a drinking water scheme in parched villages and promoting digital learning in schools.

I am doing my bit to bring a positive impact. I believe it is very important to have peoples participation on this quest for development. They need to be empowered and thats true development.

AIFPA to organise a National Workshop on ‘Challenges and Opportunities in Production and Marketing of Organic Foods’ on Jan 19

New Delhi, December 29, (Scoop News Bureau)-All India Food Processors Association (AIFPA) is organizing a National Workshop on Challenges and Opportunities in the Production & Marketing of Organic Foods on January 19th , 2018 in Jammu with the collaboration with Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
In a statement, AIFPA said Jammu and Kashmir is one of the hilly States having lot of potential for organic farming and organic food processing.
The state was growing organic foods till 1960 or earlier years and is now again returning to organic farming. Organic farming has huge potential to generate jobs in Jammu and Kashmir during the course of next few years. Organic farming and processing will lead to wealth accumulation and generate exports for the country and add to the economy of the State, said the statement.

2018 will be natural farming year: AP CM

Vijayawada, Dec 31 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced the year 2018 as “natural farming year” and reiterated that the government’s commitment to encourage organic farming in the state.
Inaugurating the training programme for the farmers on the natural farming, being organised by the farmers empowerment corporation with the association of eminent organic farming scientist and Padmasri recipient Subhash Palekar in the Bible Mission ground, near here, in Guntur district, the Chief Minister said that he had christened the year 2018 as natural farming year. He said that he was striving to make the state as natural farming state and as part of this, farmers were being trained on natural farming at the training centre, which would last till January 8, 201

Corporatisation of food

The World Food India conference in Delhi in November informed us as much about the urban bias in development in India as about the disregard for public health and natural agriculture.

PepsiCo Leads ₹68,000 Crore plans for Food Sector read one media headline during the conference. Hundreds of corporations vend food, indiscriminate consumption of which creates digestive disorders, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.

Set to relaunch organic winter food court

Amritsar, December 31: The Dilbir Foundation, a city-based NGO, is all set to reintroduce its organic winter food court at Sunday and Wednesday markets.

An organic market was held on Sunday at the District Shopping Complex, Ranjit Avenue. Farmers in such markets sell their fresh farm products, like vegetables, fruits, milk, grain, and pulses. The market is open from 11 am to 4 pm. Initially, it was scheduled only for Sundays but owing to good response, Wednesday was also added to its schedule. Visitors appreciate the organic stuff in the city.

Farming super heroine of TN

Chennai: In the recent times, farming, which is one of the oldest professions in India, is affected due to adverse conditions like lack of water, industrialisation and insufficient relief. But, many are working towards bringing back the glory days of Indian agriculture. One such organisation is Indian Super Heroes (ISH) which works towards propagating agriculture, garnering attention of urban clan and helping farmers in the process.

Founded by Divya Shetty, an activist based out of Coimbatore, the main aim of ISH is to help farmers get the right price for their produce.

In this day and age, a lot of middle-men involve themselves between farmers and end consumers. Though I dont object it, these middle-men always become the deciding authority right from fixing the price for both the parties to deciding when to sell. In most of cases, they end up being paid higher than the farmers itself which is bad as the latter are the ones who toiled hard for the produce, she said.

Teen farmer succumbs to pesticide poisoning in TN

Trichy: With four farmers in Perambalur and one in Ariyalur districts reportedly succumbing to the medical ailments caused after spraying pesticides in BT cotton fields recently, an 18-year-old farmer belonging to Venganur village in Ariyalur district became the most recent casualty.
Though the teenage farmer was hospitalised, a day later, he succumbed to the ailments at Thanjavur government medical college hospital on Sunday morning.
Police sources identified the deceased as Loganathan, 18, son of Palanisamy hailed from Angiyanoor village near Venganur in Ariyalur district. The 18-year-old on Saturday evening was said to be spraying pesticide for well grown cotton fields of his father’s.

Organic farming a must to control pollution: Experts

Nagpur: Organic farming is catching up in rural areas of Vidarbha as anganwadi workers, students and self-help groups exhibited their knowledge about locally available nutritional and medicinal plants grown by using organic methods. The exhibition was part of Ranbhaji Mahotsav organized by Nutritional Society of India (NSI) in association with Sadhana Sanskruti Mission at Jeevan Vikas Vidyalaya, Umred, on Sunday.

NSI convener AN Radha said, “Proper farming methodology has become a must in today’s time of high pollution. We conducted six orientation programmes for anganwadi workers and public awareness programmes to educate people about the health benefits of locally available plants.”
Prakash Itankar, associate professor of the department of pharmaceuticals of Nagpur University said, “Our aim is to promote healthy food habits among people and provide healthy, chemical-free food on their tables. Organic farming is easy and can be done by anybody.”

Want to learn how to scale up farming

Ben Raja and Raj Kancham left the corporate life, aggregated 2,500 acres under the Farm Again brand, and are using a direct procurement/sale strategy, technology intervention and a unique pricing model to grow their business.

Ice cream brand Ben & Jerrys changed the way the US consumed the frozen dessert because of the way they took on the big names in the industry. The David versus Goliath story resonated well with the American audience.

In India, we have Ben and Raj taking on the conventional wisdom of farming.

They have – over the last five years – converted 2,500 acres of land into organic farms and have created traceability of the product to the very farm the produce was picked out of.

So the next time you buy watermelons, onions or tomatoes at a Reliance Retail, Big Bazaar or More, you can scan a code on the vegetable bag. The map will point you to a farm managed by Farm Again, the company founded by Ben Raja and supported by his close friend and associate Raj Kancham.

Date with dry-land farming

Young Keralite Ibrahim Shafeel has transformed patches of the arid Virudhunagar district into little oases of greenery replete with native vegetables and exotic Arabian date palms

The ochre soil glows a fiery red in the bright morning sun and rows of palm trees cast skimpy shadows on the barren landscape. Dry ponds, vast expanse of seemai karuvelam thickets, parched earth and a hot dusty storm greet us as we enter the interiors of the drought-prone Virudhunagar District. And in the middle of the arid region is the Veerachozhan village where an organic farm is surprisingly/ green and lush. In contrast to the sepia-toned surroundings, the facade of the farm is lined with leafy murungai trees and behind it is a neatly laid tract of inter-crops like ladies finger, brinjal, spinach, tomatoes and pulses. Flocks of country chicken wander around, pecking at insects on crop shoots and a herd of buffaloes graze quietly in a corner.

Himachal community not only tackled crop failure, but raised a bumper crop!

Climate change is affecting farmers across the globe and leading to massive crop failures. However, heres an example of how a community in rural Himachal Pradesh has not just tackled climate change head-on but used traditional skills combined with modern technology to reap huge profits from crop diversification and switched to alternate crops in line with changed climatic patterns in the region.

The residents of Dhamoon and neighbouring villages in Shimla district have efficiently demonstrated how farmers can grow crops under controlled conditions, and adapt to climate change and erratic precipitation.

Uttarakhand to roll out Organic Agriculture Act in Jan

DEHRADUN: Come new year, and Uttrakhand will have its own Organic Agriculture Act making it the second state in India, after Sikkim, to have its own Act. It will be a major leap in transforming Uttarakhand into a fully organic state of the country and the Act will lay thrust on cultivating indigenous organic products.
State government sources said that the Uttarakhand Organic Agriculture Act has been modeled on the one implemented by Sikkim, the first fully organic state in the country that has implemented organic practices on around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land.
Director of Uttarakhand Organic Commodity Board (UOCB), Vinay Kumar, said, Our focus is on organizing unorganized organic sector of Uttarakhand which has very high potential for buyers of national and international markets. The Act will regulate the private agencies, NGOs, etc. engaged in export, trade and processing of organic agricultural produce. Also, the entire process of organic certification for the farmers would become extremely easy with the induction of Organic Act.

Karnataka organic brands to hit the market

Certification and branding expected to help weed out fake organic farm produts

People can now look forward to certified organic produce that will be promoted under the brand names Siri and Shreshta in the State.

This is a bid to ensure quality and authenticity of the produce, which will be certified by the Karnataka State Organic Certification Agency (KSOCA), which was established for the purpose and duly accredited as per the National Programme for Organic Productions, Government of India.

The certification and branding will help filter fake organic produce from the market. H.A. Suresh, assistant director of KSOCA, told The Hindu on the sidelines of the Millet Mela here on Wednesday that as per the new norms of the food safety regulator, organic produce should also sport a common logo which was unveiled recently. The produce will be branded and marketed by the organic federation constituted on the lines of the Karnataka Milk Federation, he said.

Enabavi banishes chemicals for rich organic rewards

Switching to organic farming, a Telengana village has turned its arid lands into lush green farms, overcoming the scourge of farmer suicides and health problems in the process, and increasing household earnings

There was a time when Enabavi was just another impoverished village in the arid plains of Warangal in Telengana, full of frustrated farmers, some of whom committed suicide to escape indebtedness and penury. But the tiny village of 52 households refused to give up and banded together to change their fate.

Agroforestry boosts rice and biodiversity in India

WEST BENGAL, India For the tough, weather-beaten farmers in the rural heartland of West Bengal, agroforestry is an age-old tradition that even finds mention in their folklore.

In the remote village of Bhattadighi, a group of women farmers observes a unique ritual, known as Paakh Pakhali or welcoming birds, in which they fill an earthen urn with water and top it with mango leaves and green coconut. Placed under a freshly planted neem tree sapling, it symbolizes the goddess of farming, Bhumi Lakshmi, whose mythical mount is a barn owl. The holy site is adorned with facsimiles of owls, painted storks, herons, egrets and other birds, all painted on white terracotta plates.

Mann Uyir to bridge gap between farmers and buyers

COIMBATORE: A passionate team of professors and students from Kumaraguru College of Technology launched a mobile app, ‘Mann Uyir’, on Tuesday to help farmers directly contact with potential buyers. The team has been working on the app for the past one year.
Though it was a learning experience, they had to overcome several hurdles to take the technology to farmers.

“When we met farmers, the main problem they faced was lack of profitable marketing options to sell their produce,” said Professor Ramalatha Marimuthu, head of the team.

This made the team to include a portal in the app which would put farmers in direct contact with potential buyers. “Our main aim was to remove middlemen,” she said. The team said farmers in the district found it hard to gather information related to their locality.

FSSAI launches logo to help buyers identify organic food

To set certain standards, The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has introduced the Jaivik Bharat logo to help customers identify authentic organic food

Even as the Indian market is flooded with organic foods, which appear to be the glowing, new health trend, the question of how genuine these products are continues to worry buyers. To set certain standards, The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has introduced the Jaivik Bharat logo to help customers identify authentic organic food.

Farming standards that need to be met

  • Conversion of land (chemical pesticide and herbicide-free) for organic farming must.
  • All inputs to the farm should be natural.
  • No genetically modified inputs or irradiation technology should be used.
  • Integrity of all processes (physical, biological, mechanical) must be maintained at all times.
  • No contamination from nearby farms or other means must be present.
  • Sustainable practices must be followed in the farm.

Karnataka farmers rediscover organic native paddy

A good number of farmers in the Malnad areas of Hassan district are cultivating native varieties of paddy, thanks to the encouragement by the Department of Agriculture promoting organic farming.

Nearly 700 farmers have been growing native paddy varieties and are happy with the earnings. As they are certified organic growers, their produce is attracting demand.

Among the varieties are Rajamudi considered good for diabetics, Navara with medicinal value, Ghamsala a scented variety, Rathna Choodi, Netti Bilakki, Holesalu Chippuga, Kempakki (red rice), and Kappu Akki (black rice) are the native varieties of paddy.

Farmer sets example in organic farming for drought-hit Bundelkhand

Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh is considered as the backward region in agriculture owing to uncertainty of monsoon. The region is facing crisis due to drought for a long time. Despite all these problems, the farmer Chitranjan Chourasia of village Niwari has set an example for other farmers by performing excellently in organic farming.

Chitranjan Chourasia, on suggestions from the Farmers Welfare and Agriculture Development established a unit at his agriculture field to manufacture vermi compost with the help of subsidy amount and started animal husbandry. He received amazing result in the agriculture yield from the organic fertilizer, not only the input cost of the crop has come down but the fertility of the soil increased. Chitranjan now is earning Rs. 10 to 15 thousand per month from the sale of 200 quintal fertiliser. Moreover, he is getting 25 to 30 litre milk daily from the cows and buffaloes. After the domestic use, Chitranjan is also selling the remaining milk in the market. Beside this, he is also growing organic vegetables and the demand of his organic vegetables is always there in the nearby areas of his village.

Students develop model organic farm

It was a dream cherished for the National Service Scheme volunteers at the Mar Thoma College in Thiruvalla to reap the harvest of their three months toil to organically cultivate vegetables in a 1.25-acre leased land adjoining the college campus on Tuesday.

The vegetable harvest at the students farmland was launched by none other than Kerala Water Resources Minister Mathew T. Thomas.

The 150-strong team of NSS volunteers at the college led by their teachers, Maneesh Jacob, Reetha Jacob, and Josmin P. Jose, have leased out the vacant land for vegetable farming from a private party a few months ago.

Union Govt may help organic farmers tie up with etailers

NEW DELHI: The agriculture ministry is discussing a proposal to help organic farmers organisations tie up with e-commerce companies with state government help, according to a senior official.
In the absence of a dedicated marketing channel in the country for certified organic farm produce cultivation of which is thinly distributed across the country the proposal is seen boosting farmers income and helping firms like Amazon, BigBasket and Grofers maintain steady supply of thesefood items.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been stressing on the need to increase acreage under organic farming in order to empower farmers and help boost their returns. At present, only 2.25 million hectares is underorganic farming, compared with the governments target of covering 14 million hectares by 2025.

School auctions organic produce to encourage farming

KOCHI: There have been several initiatives to promote organic farming at schools, but these projects often fall short when it comes to sustainability. Naipunnya Public School, Thrikkakara, has figured a way to overcome this crisis.
Here, the school auctions produce of its terrace farming among teachers and reinvest the earning back into farming.