Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Organic farming pact inked

Imphal: The Pherzwal District Agro Producers’ Development Society, representing organic farmers, signed a memorandum of understanding with MSTC Ltd, a central government enterprise, in the presence of horticulture and soil conservation minister Th. Shyamkumar at his office here on Friday.

V.L. Keivom, representing the Pherzawl farmers, and Soukat Das, the Guwahati branch manager of MSTC Ltd, signed the memorandum.

Shyamkumar said as a follow-up programme of the ginger festival-cum-business summit held on April 20 at Parbung in Pherzawl district, the department and its Manipur Organic Mission Agency (Moma) has come up with the initiative for the farmers as they were searching for a market place.

Mumbai apartment recycles 8000 kg of waste, grows its own organic food!

Any housing complex is like an organism. There is an intake of energy, consumption of energy, and of course, like any other organism, waste generation.

Matoshree Pearl in Mahim, Mumbai, is one such high-rise housing society with 22 floors and 65 apartments. And the waste it generates is so efficiently managed that it is turned into organic fruits and vegetables by the residents.

In three months, Matoshree Pearl has gone from an ordinary housing society to an entirely green housing society, with a self-sustaining waste management programme which recycles kitchen waste into organic compost.

Tilling and growing food can be spiritually uplifting

Pune-based Amrita Chaudhury, 44, of Offerings Farms left a steady job in the information technology industry in the US to start cultivating organic produce in India in 2008.

Today, the farm, spread over 16 acres in Somurdi village, around 45km from Pune, supplies 20 customers in Pune, Goa, Mumbai and Gurugram—including restaurants and retailers such as Godrej Nature’s Basket, Gourmet Delight, and Zama Organics.

Showing the way, Barnala village farmers turn to organic farming

Barnala, Kothe Wahegurupura village of Barnala district is witnessing an organic revolution with many farmers from the village taking an initiative to end the excessive use of fertilisers and pesticides.

The village has around 60 families of farmers and a majority of them have turned to organic farming.

While providing information, Amrit Singh, a farmer from the village, said almost 90 per cent of the farmers from the village were sowing wheat crop organically and the move was not only help the soil improve but also proved to be financially beneficial for them.

Winners of Grow Ahead’s 2018 Scholarship Announced

Portland, Oregon based crowdfunding platform, Grow Ahead, has announced the 2018 winners of their Agroecology and Regenerative Organic Agriculture Scholarship.

The Agroecology and Regenerative Organic Agriculture scholarship provides women farmers from Africa, Asia, or Latin America with the opportunity to gain further knowledge and experiences to support their farming communities through climate-resilient agroecology projects.

Grow Ahead raises resources for farmer-led agroecology projects by collaborating with local, organic, and fair trade farmer cooperatives around the world. The projects include farmer-to-farmer trainings, scholarships, climate change resilience loans, and tree plantings.

From a marginal farmer to pioneer of cooperative group

Amritsar, Farming may not be the first choice for a number of youth in the state who cite numerous instances of losses and debt-ridden farmers ending lives, but the story of Gurbinder Singh of Sarchur village, near Fathegarh Churian, has made people, especially those associated with him, believe that determination and hard work is all what a farmer needs to achieve success.

An Army man, Gurbinder Singh Bajwa (45), left his job in 1997 to pursue his dream to be an agriculturist. In the following two decades, he has set himself as a successful farmer and established a cooperative group of farmers.

Around two years ago, he floated a farming cooperative group to pass on the knowledge about organic farming. Farmers from villages of Batala and Quadian are associated with his cooperative.

HP govt to promote organic farming

Shimla, (PTI) The Himachal Pradesh government has decided to promote organic farming in a big way and plans to adopt an integrated approach for promoting organic and zero budget natural farming system, an official spokesperson said.

At present, 39,790 farmers ave already switched over to organic farming ensuring production of healthy food grains, free from harmful chemical ingredients.

Organic farm produce sees 38% rise in 2016-17: APEDA

According to the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority’s report, there is a 38% increase in total certified organic produce in 2016-17 compared to 2013-14.

The organic farming concept is gaining ground rapidly in India.

Hampapuram farm draws multiple visitors

Hampapuram (Anantapur): The 125-acre lush green organic vegetable and horticulture integrated farm with dairying and sheep rearing at Hampapuram village in Raptadu mandal in the district is a model organic farm and an educational centre for farmers to have exposure on farm mechanisation, organic farming, marketing and exporting of produce.

 

The government has recognised the model farm as an agri-tourism destination. As per the government scheme, agri-tourism farms are to be promoted with the help of model farmers, who would be willing to develop their farms with greenery, horticulture plantations and guest rooms for visiting tourists. The idea is to promote rural tourism and celebrate rural festivals.

Farmer couple in Periyapatna cultivates 15 varieties of ladies finger

Mysuru: Organic farming is no longer just a buzzword that inspires those living in cities to leave their highly lucrative and conventional, ‘Nine to five’ jobs and return to the roots, and till the soil to reap the dividends of their labour. Tucked away in a small village in Periyapatna taluk, a farmer couple has successfully managed to cultivate 15 different varieties of ladies finger using organic means.

With the help of the city-based NGO Sahaja Samrudha, farmer couple Shankar and Roopa have managed to harvest a rich yield of ladies finger crop – all 15 varieties are of Indian origin – on their half acre plot in Hittnehebbagilu village in Periyapatna taluk. The NGO had organised Field Day on May 17 to encourage farmers to grow indigenous varieties of vegetables.

Demand for healthy food boosts India’s organic exports

NEW DELHI — Exports of organic products from India have risen over 20 percent in the fiscal just ended owing to the “growing global appetite for healthy food” that is free from chemical and pesticide residues. This is also a leg-up for the government’s plans to expand the area under eco-friendly and sustainable farming, stakeholders say.

As per the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, India exported organic products worth Rs. 30 billion (over $440 million) in 2017-18, from Rs. 24.77 billion in 2016-17.

Boost to honeybee farming

Bhubaneswar: Honey parlours selling organic products made from organic honey are set to be opened across the state.

The Odisha Khadi and Village Industries Board will start the parlours to boost honey production and encourage honeybee farmers. The board, in association with the horticulture department, has made an action plan to create 100 honeybee farmers in each block of every district. Focus will be on roping in women entrepreneurs in the process.

Tradition, innovation to fore at national paddy fest

RICHY: Farmers exchanged traditional paddy varieties, shared their experiences and discussed the necessity to conserve and cultivate traditional paddy varieties at the 12th National Paddy Festival which commenced in Tiruvarur district on Monday.
Addressing hundreds of farmers from across the country who are attending the two-day festival, Nabard chief general manager Padhma Raghunathan said that the bank has been encouraging not just organic cultivation but innovative ideas from farmers. The need of the hour was to take cultivation of traditional paddy varieties to neighbouring states also.

Sikkim IAS officer sets example, ploughs field to inspire youth in organic farming!

A majority of the young men who work in and around my building as daily wage labourers and house-help are from agricultural households. They have all chosen to come to cities from their villages in search of lucrative opportunities. While some of them have managed to find them, others find themselves living under extremely dire conditions in the cities.

In a bid to attract and encourage these youngsters to take up farming once again, Dr A B Karki, the District Collector of Sikkim’s West District, led a team of officials and staff in ploughing the fields and also planted seasonal vegetables and fruits in a fallow piece of government land.

Staff hit farms to help organic goal

Gangtok: About 700 Sikkim government employees in West district sacrificed their holiday and voluntarily took to the fields on Sunday, ploughing land and planting vegetables to express their support to the state’s organic mission.

The farming drive was in held in different government offices with vacant lands. Armed with assorted farming tools, including oxen-driven ploughs, the employees got down to “practice, preach and promote organic farming”, the theme of the day-long campaign.

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.