Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Quit banking career to create a broker-free market for farmers

Prateek Sharma was born to a family of farmers in a village close to Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He started farming at the age of 10 along with his family but moved to Bhopal after class 8 for higher education. A few years later, Prateek the boy from a small village, was appointed as a chief manager of Kotak Mahindra Bank.

After 10 years of banking, he earned a good pay and had a comfortable life. He even married Prateeksha, who also worked at Kotak.

Revenue from organic farming business growing in India

Indian Council for Research in International Economic Relations (ICRIER) has conducted a study on organic farming which gives an overview of growth of organic food production and processing industry in India.

The study has sample of over sixty eight companies and the revenue generation prospect study came with very potential outcomes. It says that 63 companies in study, which makes 85.33 per cent of total population, had witnessed growth in revenue terms in previous two years.

Centre urges NE farmers to go organic

SHILLONG: Union minister Parshottam Rupalaon Wednesday urged farmers of the North East to replicate the Sikkim model and engage in organic farming, assuring the region of all possible support in this regard.
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare said that the Centre has made efforts to encourage farmers of the region to take up organic farming practices.
Organic farming will help increase the income of the farmers, make agriculture more innovative besides boosting the overall production of the country, Rupala said.

J&K Agri Dept organises Sankalp-Se-Siddhi

UDHAMPUR: Agriculture Department on Wednesday organised a programme on New India Manthan: Sankalp Se Siddhi at Conference Hall, DC Complex.

MLA Udhampur, Pawan Gupta, MLA Chenani, Dina Nath Bhagat, ADDC, Arvind Sharma, Chief Agricultural Officer, Naresh Kumar Dubey besides various district officers were present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, the legislators stressed on the importance of the comprehensive strategy adopted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in bringing the visionary idea into reality by the year 2022.

Phek farmers in Nagaland pledge to double income by 2022

Dimapur, August 30 (EMN): Farmers in Phek district have pledged to double their income by 2022 and make India a clean, poverty free, corruption free, terrorism free, communism free, casteism free developed and prosperous nation.
The farmers made this pledge during a programme organised by Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Phek, ICAR-NRC on Mithun in Porba village under Phek district on August 30 where the Rajya Sabha MP KG Kenye was the chief guest.
New India Manthan: Sankalp se Siddhi, is a programme envisaged by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to emphasise the importance of the farmers to change the face of agriculture. The programme was launched to commemorate the Quit India Movement.

Organic state is the goal: Kerala CM

Jaivam 2017, a campaign for organic farming being taken up by Mahatma Gandhi University (MGU), was formally launched by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said his government would strive to make the State a hundred per cent organic State. Projects such as Haritha Keralam initiated by the government and Jaivam launched by the university would become meaningful only when the youth took such programmes forward, he said.

While a large number of people in the State were still dependent on agriculture, unhealthy trends such as commercialisation, which would result in degeneration of soil, was creeping into the sector. Switching to organic farming was one way such tendencies could be challenged successfully, he said. The State should emerge as an area where health food was produced.

ONGC to support organic farming in Telangana

Oil and natural gas corporation limited (ONGC) has said that it is committed to enable organic farming in the country in line with the prime ministers goal of doubling farmers income by 2022 and reducing the carbon footprint.

The ONGC board has approved extending Rs 4 crore financial support to Ekalavya Foundation for construction of admin block, hostels for the students and other amenities at the foundations sprawling 100 acre land in Gingurti , Tandur Mandal.

ONGC, director (HR), DD Misra said Research and Training centre of Ekalavya Foundation, popularly known as ECOART, is in Gingurti village, Vikarabad Mandal in Telangana. This mandal is one of the most backward region in the region inhabited by SCs and STs.

Maharashtras tribal farmers revive traditional crops

Rahibai Soma Popere of Kombhalne village in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra is highly knowledgeable about agro-biodiversity, conservation of landraces, innovative techniques in paddy cultivation and the like. Her insight is based on experience, and hence when, she speaks in her earthy Mahadeo Koli tribal dialect, even experts listen intently.

The 54-year-old farmer has the distinction of conserving and multiplying 48 indigenous landraces of 17 different crops including paddy, hyacinth bean, millets, pulses and oil seeds.

The tribal households traditionally had a backyard garden that had multiple, multilayered and multipurpose indigenous trees, plants, herbs, and shrubs. The produce from this small garden was sufficient to meet the dietary and nutrition needs of a family for an entire year, Sanjay Patil of BAIF Development Research Foundation, a Pune-based NGO working among tribes in 16 states of India, told VillageSquare.in.

Call to recapture farming culture

Onam Organic Mela, organised by Jaiva Jeevitham, the CPI(M)-steered organic farming commune, and featuring organic farm produce for the festive season, was opened by Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran at Rajendra Maidan, Kochi on Friday.

Organic vegetable produce, rice, and eggs are sold at the mela.

Besides, self-help groups and cooperatives have set up 30 stalls to make available almost everything needed for the season.

Keen to live off the grid? This couple from Karnataka shows the way

Living amid nature, growing your own food and enjoying a life of leisure most urban dwellers dream of a life like this. But a couple from Karnataka is living the dream.

Not far from the city of Mysuru, in Halasuru village of Kote Taluka in Karnataka, Anjali Rudraraju and Kabir Cariappa have created their own little slice of paradise Yarroway Farm.

Anjali, a management graduate from Hyderabad, did her masters course in New York and worked in thefinancialservices sector for almost a decade.Her tryst with the corporate world ended up driving her closer to nature.

This journey wasnt really veering off course for Kabir, a second generation farmer who grew up on an organic farm and was homeschooled by his parents. He sees a farm as a living entity, and regards the work involved as fun; all it requires is patience and concentration.

Farmers need to focus on organic farming: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday made an appeal to bring focus on organic farming and allied sectors in order to empower farmers and increase their income.
“Farming is not just about growing wheat, mustard, pulses. Farmers’ income can be increased if focus is given on allied sectors along with the organic farming,” Modi said while addressing an event organised by Bharatiya Agri Industries Foundation (BAIF) in Pune through video conferencing.

TN Agri Dept to raise organic farm clusters

The Tamil Nadu Agriculture Department has proposed to raise 100% organic farm clusters in three villages in the district to create awareness among the farmers about organic farming and organic certification process.

Giving details of the scheme at a programme organised here recently, S. S. Shaiek Abdullah, Assistant Director of seed certification, said the clusters would come up in 50 acres each in Peraiyur in Kamuthi, Muthuvijayapuram in Mudukulathur and Mummudisathan in Nainarkoil blocks. Five farmers have come forward to raise organic crops by following the stipulated procedures and under the direct supervision of the department officials, he said adding the farmers were given the option of selecting the crops. Officials after periodically inspecting the farms and checking the records would issue organic certificates to the farmers, he added. These farmers were among the 40 farmers who participated in the awareness programme, organised by the Agriculture Technology Marketing Agency (ATMA) in coordination with the Tamil Nadu Organic Certification Department at DARE (Dharani Agro Research and Rural Empowerment) Foundations organic farm at Ettivayal, near here.

Reprogramming life through organic farming

KOCHI:It is the success story of a 40-year old techie quitting his well-paying job to pursue his passion to become an organic farmer. Ajey Mepparambath, an NIT Jamshedpur graduate hailing from north Beypore, made the bold, green transition, setting an example to many. How did it all happen? As a software engineer working with corporate firms, my life felt so miserable many a time facing a lot of pressure to meet targets, he says. Even after 17 years in my career, there was nothing to enjoy in life and I felt so disconnected with nature. Then I realised I was spending life for a system I did not agree with.

The turning point came during a visit to his home town. While on vacation, I experienced the wonderful life of farmers. I realised they were so connected with nature, enjoying life more than any white-collar employee, he says, explaining his decision to quit his job. Gradually, farming become a passion. Looking back, Ajey says it was a tough choice as he was a newcomer.

Organic farming huge opportunities: Niti Ayog CEO

India has a huge potential for consumption of organic products and attempts should be made by progressive farmers to promote it, said NITI Ayog chief executive officer Amitabh Kant on Wednesday.

Some should become great organic farmers. India need couple of success stories. If farmers get better unit realisation value, many will emulate it. Sikkim has done outstanding work in the field of organic farming. I even found that Kiwi (fruit) from Arunachal Pradesh was of better quality than that in New Zealand, he said in an event marked to release of a report on organic farming.

As per the study conducted by the International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture in eight cities in India, there is huge market for organic food. There are opportunities for organic farming business.

Adopt organic farming methods: Union Agri Min

Varanasi, Aug 27 (PTI) Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh encouraged farmers to use soil health cards and adopt integrated and organic farming methods to double their income by 2022.

Singh today inaugurated the “New India Manthan – Sankalp se Sidhhi” progamme, which was jointly organised by NDAUAT, Faizabad Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Varanasi; ICAR-ATARI, Kanpur and Banaras Hindu University (BHU) here at the Swantantrata Bhavan.

What sub-Sahara can learn from Indias Green revolution: the good and the bad

Sub-Saharan Africa has huge potential to become a global food basket, but it is far from being realised. The region is estimated to have 60% of the globally available and unexploited arable land yet it remains food deficient.

Even when arable land is cultivated, hurdles such as limited irrigation, small sized farms, lack of fertiliser and modern agro-technology has kept productivity low. Currently, Africas shortfall in agricultural output is met by food imports that are expected to grow from USD$35 billion in 2015 to approximately USD$110 billion in 2025.

Low productivity and increasing food demand due to a 3% per year population growth rate requires that food production be increased by 60% over the next 15 years.

Indias Green Revolution could be a useful model if adapted to African conditions. Half a century ago the country too had an underdeveloped agriculture sector. In the mid 1960s and early 1970s, the it faced serious food shortages. And then severe famines in 1965-1966 in eastern India compelled the country to look to food aid.

The severity of the crisis gave birth to a new approach to agriculture. Known as the Green Revolution, the policy involved improvements in technology combined with state led initiatives to support farmers. Less than 10 years later India was self-sufficient in cereals.

Though imperfect, the Green Revolution model offers important lessons for countries in the sub Saharan region. It underscores the importance of government support for agriculture as well as investment in technology such as irrigation, mechanisation and inputs to improve yields. Sub-Saharan Africa could learn from the Indian experience.

Plan to develop farming system

As part of doubling farmers income by 2022 under the New India Movement introduced by the Union government, a seven-point development plan for farmers in Ernakulum district will be declared on Thursday at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI).

The plan is meant for developing the entire farming system in the district and to improve the income of the farmers. Areas such as infrastructure facilities for agriculture, fish culture, dairying, organic farming, e-marketing, value addition, food processing, quality seeds and institutional loans will be covered in the plan, says a press release here.

3rd Edition of Women of India Organic Festival at Dilli Haat, INA

New Delhi: In the coming weeks New Delhis Dilli Haat will be the hub of Indias most varied offerings of organic products ranging from food, wellness, personal care, home improvement, kitchen composters and solar products. Organized on an annual basis by the Union Ministry of Women & Child Development since 2015, the Women of India Organic Festival 2017, celebrates and promotes women entrepreneurs and farmers in the organic field from across India. Participants from the remotest parts of the country will have the opportunity to travel and stay in Delhi entirely free of cost for the entire duration of the exhibition, while selling their unique merchandise to the people of Delhi and surrounding areas.

Organic exports face testing times from redundant norms

New Delhi, Exporters of organic products face a tough time getting their products tested in the country as the presence of multiple export control bodies has narrowed the choice of laboratories for them and also increased costs due to multiple-testing requirements, according to a recent study by a Delhi-based think tank.

While there are 112 laboratories accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) that are also approved by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), less than one-fifth are approved by export control bodies such as the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority(APEDA), Export Inspection Council, BIS and Tea Board, a report by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) on organic farming in India pointed out.

Need to follow APEDA standards for organic produce: Kant

New Delhi: Optimistic that organic farming is set to expand in India, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant today suggested that quality standards set by export promotion body APEDA should be followed for organic products to push deeper into global as well as domestic markets.

He said the existing wholesale mandi system poses a “serious challenge” for marketing organic produce and therefore, a separate organic market with direct consumer access model is the need of the hour.

Battling century’s worst drought, India’s farmers revive traditional grains

THIRUTHURAIPOONDI, India (Reuters) – For Nel Jayaraman, the realisation that hybrid seeds, chemical fertilisers and pesticides were making farmers more vulnerable to extreme weather came slowly.

In fields near the town of Thiruthuraipoondi in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, Jayaraman saw yields falling and farmers’ debt rising as their reliance on modern seeds and pesticides grew, even as the rains became increasingly fickle.

Fifteen years ago, Jayaraman gave up both, returning to traditional varieties and organic farming methods that had become nearly extinct in the Cauvery river delta region where his family had lived for generations.

Since then, he has revived about 150 indigenous varieties of rice, and become an evangelist for traditional seeds and organic farming, which he sees as key to combating the impacts of climate change and protecting harvests and farmers’ incomes.

Delhi women going organic

In the coming weeks, New Delhi’s Dilli Haat will be the hub of India’s most varied offerings of organic products ranging from food, wellness, personal care, home improvement, kitchen composters and solar products. Organized on an annual basis by the Union Ministry of Women & Child Development since 2015, the ‘Women of India Organic Festival 2017’, celebrates and promotes women entrepreneurs and farmers in the organic field from across India. Participants from the remotest parts of the country will have the opportunity to travel and stay in Delhi free of cost for the entire duration of the exhibition, while selling their unique merchandise to the people of Delhi and surrounding areas.

Waste – a fresh perspective

Daily Dump was started in 2006, their vision was to constantly re-imagine the relationship with the earth, with each other and with the urban spaces. Essentially, they are in the mindset changing business – mindsets about waste, about marginal livelihoods, about whose job it is to take care of waste, about how we can harm less, etc.

Daily Dump is a design led company where we use design to help imagine alternative scenarios that can help change behaviour. They are mindful of looking at whole systems and understand that the context of India has its own challenges. And the objective is to reduce waste, improve material recovery, enable better livelihoods and to do this through the voluntary collective action of urban citizens.

Daily Dump is a design led brand – a pioneer in designing and building products and services for decentralized waste management in homes, communities, offices and public spaces. The range of segregation products, composters, books, services and more, reflect its mission to enable everyone to harm less.

How you can get rid of pesticides the organic way

An average of about 200,000 people die from the toxic exposure to pesticides every year across the world, according to a UN report issued early this year. With lax regulations and safeguards in the developing world, it is obvious they contribute most to the tally.

The pesticide industry in India is worth over Rs 5000 crores and produces over 90,000 metric tonnes. The agriculture sector uses most of this with the products applied most liberally to crops like rice, wheat, maize, chillies, cotton and soya bean.

How One Japanese Farmer Changed Modern Agriculture

Masanobu Fukuoka was a Japanese farmer and philosopher who spearheaded natural farming, and began what is widely acknowledged as a revolution in the history of conventional agricultural practices.

He is considered to be one of the five giant personalities who inspired the organic farming movement along with Rudolf Steiner from Austria, Lady Eve Balfour from the United Kingdom and J.I. Rodale from the United States.

Fukuoka is celebrated for pioneering shizen nōhō, which translates to natural farming, where you give up conventional practices like tilling, weeding, pruning and the use of fertilisers or pesticides.