Archive for the ‘News’ Category

MP has largest area in India under organic farming

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh is the only state in the country where organic farming is being done over 1.48 lakh hectares, the largest in the country, MP cooperative minister (independent charge) Vishwas Sarang said on Thursday.

“Organic farming is being done in 1.48 lakh hectares area, which is the largest in the country,” Sarang said, inaugurating a seminar at the Indian Institute of Soil Science (IISS) here.

Super crop millet and organic farming get a boost from these start-ups

India is celebrating 2018 as the Year of Millets. While the health benefits of millets are well known, this crop is beneficial even for the farmers. The water-retentive nature of the crop and easy growth, coupled with high nutrition value makes millet a super crop.

Millet consumption has witnessed a steep decline in the past decades with a decrease in production from 40 to 20 percent since the Green Revolution. However, today with more people realising the health and lifestyle benefits associated with millets, there is an increased global demand for this crop.

And spearheading this crop revolution are startups and entrepreneurs who believe that organic farming and millet cultivation is the last hope to produce food without destroying the environment.

Haven in the hills: Two sisters set up an organic resort to help the local community

Kanika and Kushika Sharma set up Dyo – the Organic Village Resort in Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, in 2015, and are bringing luxury and nature on to the same table by encouraging locals to adopt organic farming methods

The temperatures rising across India, and were closing in on the season when families want to retreat to the hills to beat the heat. Be it Mussoorie or Srinagar, hill stations are perennially crowded.

Time perhaps to make your way to Mukteshwar, in the serene Kumaon hills and just 51 km away from Nainital. Here, sisters Kanika Sharma, 31, and Kushika Sharma, 29, have set up the perfect getaway that combines a luxurious lifestyle with organic food and promises to recharge you completely.

Pumpkin Tales: Where organic farming meets gourmet cooking

Ive never made a pineapple pie before, squeals Chef Dana Ewart excitedly, holding out the still-warm pastry topped with perfectly ripe, golden-yellow fruit. She sets it down on the table and slices through the flaky, buttery layers. Theres a caramelised edge where the juice has run under the pie, she says, taking an appreciative bite. Mmm… roasted pineapple. It so unctuous.

In Chennai for a couple of months to work with Pumpkin Tales, Ewart has dived into everyday city life with her trademark enthusiasm, whether shes milking cows in Mamallapuram, wrestling crabs at Kasimedu fish market or learning about local greens at Koyambedu. And thats just in her spare time.

For the rest of the day, shes been studying sourdough, trying to crack a recipe for the bread that works in Chennais humidity. And baking pies. Lots and lots of pies.

MSP hike is good, execution is key

Agriculture has not been doing well. In the latest Economic Survey, it has been pointed out that the estimated growth rate of agriculture is only 2.1 per cent for the year 2017-18. Agriculture is the biggest source of livelihood and employment in this country. As it was expected, the government did focus on rural and agriculture sector in this budget.

Agriculture is a state subject in India and the role of the Central government is limited. Given this constraint, this years budget has put significant focus on the rural sector. In a major move, finance minister Arun Jaitley has increased the Minimum support Price (MSP) to 1.5 times the cost of production of the eligible crops.

This is a good move but its effectiveness will only be maximised if procurements are made in an unbiased and comprehensive manner. Mr Jaitley proposed setting up supporting institutions to make farmers aware about possible price movements in the agricultural markets. This is a good move and can help farmers cope with high price volatilities associated with the farm sector.

Tea farmer in India leads charge for organic, evades the charge of elephants

In the biggest tea-growing region in India, the hazards alone range from red spider mites to herds of wild elephants.

Grower Tenzing Bodosa, a native of Assam, fights the former and unusually invites the latter.

From the large Bodo tribe and widely known by his first name, Tenzing stands beside the vermilion flames of a brick oven that provides the heat for a drying contraption erected in his backyard.

Tenzing Bodosa is a tea grower and a staunch practitioner of organic farming. He stands in his small tea estate beside the nature preserve he has cultivated.

Furkan Latif Khan/NPR

Here, tea leaves plucked from Tenzing’s small estate are fermented, dried and sorted.Next comes packaging and marketing,” he says with the same wide smile that adorns his tea label.

Tenzing is a marketer’s dream. He exudes a passion for tea, gratitude toward his supporters, and an affability that attracts guidance. Visitors from as far away as Europe have turned up at his door, helping him learn social media and new farming methods.

Kerala women script success story in organic farming

Two paddy harvests later, Samruddhi, a joint liability group (JLG) of Kudumbasree in Malayinkeezhu panchayat that has scripted a success story, has stretched its wings to set up an organic fertiliser and compost business.

Started by four women Sathi K., Anila Kumari, Manju Chandra, and Priya R. the JLG has been into paddy farming, and vegetable, plantain, and flower cultivation on nearly two acres of land. On the strength of their yields from the land, the four women joined hands with Aswathy, another Kudumbasree member, to set up a micro-enterprise that produces organic fertilizers, pesticides, and compost.

Despite initial hiccups, it has been good going for the JLG, so much so that they have returned an initial bank loan of ₹2 lakh, and been given a fresh loan for the same amount. We have had no losses, though all the cultivation is done organically, Ms. Sathi says.

National conference on doubling farmers income from Feb 8

JAMMU, Feb 4: Society for Integrated Development of Agriculture, Veterinary and Ecological Science (SIDAVES) & SKUAST-Jammu are going to organize a national conference on theme Innovative technological interventions for doubling the farmers income.
Deliberations in the three-day conference from February 8 to 10 will be held by more than 400 distinguished scientists and policy makers from different parts of India, having specialization in the field of agriculture, veterinary and ecological sciences.

W Bengal govt mulls large-scale organic farming in Bankura

Kolkata: In a significant stride towards extension of organic farming with planned focus on cost minimisation, the state government will soon take up large scale production of organic crops including vegetables in Bankura district.

A five-member expert team from Bengaluru and Hyderabad has already provided training to 100 farmers from Dalpur at Chatna block in Bankura. These trained farmers will now train their counterparts in organic farming.

Changes to EU organic regulation triggers grow local research for feed

A new EU-funded project has been launched to help organic pig and poultry farms achieve the goal of 100 percent use of local organic feed.

Research partners from 11 countries throughout Europe visited the Organic Research Centre in Berkshire recently to launch the project.

The project called ‘OK-Net EcoFeed’ was largely triggered by the potential end of an EU derogation, which currently allows the use of 5% non-organic protein feed for pork and poultry.

One important element of organic farming is that animals are fed with feed produced at or near the farm, however, this is difficult to achieve in large parts of Europe.

Patanjali aims to increase farmers’ income tenfold

Guwahati (Assam) : Patanjali is moving forward with an aim to increase the income of farmers tenfold, said company CEO Acharya Balkrishna on Saturday.

Speaking at Advantage Assam-Global Investors Summit’18 in Guwahati, Balkrishna said, “Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a target of doubling the income of farmers, if businessmen and industrialists take a pledge to not let waste products of farmers then their income can be increased by ten times within three to four years.”

CSE hails Punjab for ban on 20 pesticides

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has welcomed a move by the Punjab government to ban with immediate effect the sale of 20 pesticides (insecticides) which are harmful to humans and environment.

1,099 clusters to provide pesticide-free vegetables

Kerala Minister for Agriculture V.S. Anil Kumar informed the Assembly on Wednesday that 1,099 clusters would be formed in the Agriculture Department to make available pesticide-free organic vegetables and fruits. In addition to the 118 eco-shops functioning in the State, another 317 would be set up by the department.

Centre sanctions Rs 1,500 cr for organic farming in Uttarakhand

Dehradun, The Centre has sanctioned Rs 1,500 crore for three years to promote organic farming in Uttarakhand.

The amount was sanctioned by Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh when Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat met him in New Delhi yesterday, an official release here said.

This is in keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modis vision of developing Uttarakhand as an organic state which he spelt out during his visit to Kedarnath last year, it said.

FM looks to make farm incomes grow as he launches Operation Green initiative

It was expected Finance Minister Arun Jaitley would present a populist Budget this year given that it is this governments last full Budget before the General Elections in 2019.

As expected, support for agriculture infrastructure has been increased with the total outlay for institutional credit for Indian agriculture proposed at Rs 10 lakh crore, up from Rs 8.4 lakh crore last year.

It is good see the government focusing on e-NAM (electronic National Agriculture Market). It is important for farmers to get market prices and access to markets. It is good to see them push the agri sector to connect with food parks, said Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Aarin Capital.

Budget 2018: Why Record Harvests, Govt Spending Not Enough For Farmers

Indian farms produced record harvests in 2017, and the governments agricultural budget rose 111% over four years to 2017-18. Yet, prices crashed, 8,007 farmers committed suicide in 2015, unpaid agricultural loans rose 20% between 2016 and 2017, and 600 million Indians who depend on agriculture are struggling to get by.

Agriculture is the governments top priority, finance minister Arun Jaitley said on January 15, 2018, admitting that farmers were not getting the right price for their produce. That is an acknowledgment that record harvests and government spending are not significantly improving Indias agricultural crisis.

Organic farming: Ukhand to set up 10,000 clusters, plans 2 laws

The Uttarakhand government would develop nearly 10,000 organic clusters in the mountain region even as a move is on to legalise organic farming, Uttarakhand Agriculture Minister Subodh Uniyal said Thursday.

The Centre has agreed in principle to allocate a budget of Rs 1500 crore to develop 10,000 organic clusters in the state. It is one of several steps initiated by the Centre to realise Prime Minister Narendra Modis vision to develop Uttarakhand as an organic state so that local farmers income could be doubled by 2022, Uniyal said.

Organic Manipur brand launched

IMPHAL: Conveying that organic stores/outlets will be opened in Bishnupur, Thoubal and Imphal East districts in the first week of February this year, Horticulture and Soil Conservation Minister Th Shyamkumar stated today that machines to authenticate organic products will be also made available at the stores.
He was speaking as the chief guest at the brand launching ceremony of Organic Manipur organized by RK Fortune Developers Private Limited under the aegis of Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA), Department of Horticulture and Soil Conservation and Department of Agriculture at Sangai Hall, Imphal Hotel.

HP CM launches Zero Budget Natural Farming project

Dharamshala, (PTI) Exuding confidence that farmers of his state would adopt organic farming, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur today launched Zero Budget Natural Farming project.

While launching the project at Chaudhary Sarvan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalay in Palampur, Thakur lauded the efforts of Sikkim for taking the lead in organic farming.

Small farmers go big with organic farming

Small and marginal farmers, who cant afford costly agricultural inputs, are turning a new leaf by going organic because of lower costs and higher margins, data from the first impact study of the Modi governments Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) shows.

Among key findings, the study shows the programme launched in 2015 has seen 6,211 organic clusters come up in 25 states, comprising 2.25 lakh farmers. About 52.3% of them are small. The main motivating factor was lower costs. The south zone had highest share of small farmers at 89.1%. In all zones except central, small farmers accounted for than more than half the registered members. The study analysed 690 clusters in 25 states.

MPEDA and Swiss company tie up develop organic aqua farming

MARGAO: In a first-of-its-kind tie-up in India’s marine sector, COOP Cooperative, one of Switzerland’s biggest retail and wholesale companies, is partnering with Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) to develop export-oriented organic aqua farming in India to cater to the growing demand for organic seafood products across the globe.

To start with a pilot project will be started in Kerala to produce organic black tiger shrimp in about 1000 hectares. Later it will be extended to Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal and other states.

Minister, BAU experts discuss organic farming in Bihar

BHAGALPUR: To give fillip to natural farming and boost the agricultural yield, an ambitious ‘Organic Farming Corridor’ has been mooted by CM Nitish Kumar and state agriculture ministry Prem Kumar. The corridor will be created from Buxar to Bhagalpur along the Ganga and cover 25,000 acres of farmlands in the first phase.
The organic farming produce will be sold through special marketing cooperatives. Steps are also being contemplated for capacity building of the interested farmers. Technical knowhow and proper training will be imparted to the farmers by agri experts and scientists.

Celebration of ethnic delicacies and forgotten recipes

The Sattvik Traditional Food Festival, a three-day fest, is one of Ahmedabads most popular food festivals. Launched in 2004, the yearly festival is held in December and brings forgotten traditional recipes, lesser-known grains, vegetables and minor millets from underdeveloped areas to the urban populace.

People anxiously wait for the winter, so that they soak in the unalloyed spirit of this food festival and gorge on vegetarian fare which is often not commonly found in the city!

The festival has been organised for the past 15 years by SRISTI (Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions) a voluntary development organisation.

Industrial agriculture is making a land grab in the name of ‘climate smart agriculture’.

‘Climate smart agriculture’ has become the buzz phrase at high level international policy discussions. But now there is a struggle over its definition. Is it the latest manifestation for corporate social responsibility or the title of a manifesto for real, grassroots led, change, ask Peter Newell, Jennifer Clapp and Zoe Brent

The urgency derives from the fact that the food and agriculture sector is both a major contributor to climate change and especially vulnerable to its worst impacts.

Experts urge for toxin-free environment

NAGPUR: Ill-effects of using products that generate toxic waste and pollution of Nag River were the main topics taken up at the two-day workshop on ‘Toxin-free lifestyle’ organized by the Jeevit Nadi, Pune, and Ecological Society, Nagpur, recently.
The panel of experts included eco sanitation expert and ecologist Niranjan Upasana, interior designer turned ecologist and Jeevitnadi Shailaja Deshpande, ayurveda practitioner Sheetal Chopade, former director of All India Radio and founder of Giripremi Ushaprabha Page and former IT engineer-turned-ecologist and organic grower Prachi Mahurkar.