Archive for the ‘News’ Category

7 Agriculture Apps to Support Digital Farming

India is going digital in every sector at a remarkable speed. The launch of ‘Digital India’ by the government has ensured that the process is accelerated. Considering the fact that the livelihoods of 58% of rural households still rely on agriculture, it was only a matter of time before agriculture too became digital.

In 2015, India had about 320 million people residing in rural areas using mobile phones. This makes the phones the easiest mode of communication and the best platform for the exchange of information. Taking leverage of this data, the government, as well as the private sector, introduced agriculture apps for the benefit of farmers, to provide them with education, knowledge and support.

Following are seven agriculture apps that can prove very beneficial to the farmers.

Going local, going sustainable

Tucked away in a quiet corner of a green neighbourhood in Jayanagar, one of Bangalore’s oldest localities, is Go Native – a farm-to-table restaurant and a retail store that has today become a household organic lifestyle brand name.

Step into the Go Native restaurant and store and you will find that the space is a paean to all things sustainable – from the earthy interior décor, to the eco-friendly lights made of banana fibre and cement dust, to the organic, local vegetarian meals it serves up, to even the curated set of products in its store that are made by local artisans. Indeed, the Go Native brand is very clearly a celebration of all things local and healthy.

New opportunities for farmers

A few decades ago, there was practically no organic food sector in India’s retail markets. Now it has developed and offers smallholder farmers important opportunities. Founded in 2010, Sahaja Samrudha Organic Producer Company in Bangalore specialises in the marketing and branding of organic vegetables and grain.

One of the main challenges India’s organic farmers face is that they are scattered and operate sporadically. They therefore struggle to market their products professionally. At the same time, demand for organically grown produce is growing, especially in urban areas such as Bangalore. Sahaja Organics builds a bridge between organic farmers and customers in the cities.

Organic jaggery toffees steal the show

Chandigarh, At the Magnificent Millets Festival and Dialogue, organised by NGO Kheti Virasat Mission, some 50 organic farmers from the region exhibited their produce for sale at the staff club and community centre, Panjab University, Sector 25, here.

While Umendra Dutt, executive director of the NGO, waxed eloquent on the benefits of growing millets, organic farming, sustainable agriculture and soil conservation, jaggery toffees by city’s homegrown company ‘Jaggic’ was a hit among the visitors.

The jaggery toffee comes in four different flavours – turmeric, ginger, lemongrass and saunf – priced at Rs 135 for 60 candies.

Sikkim CM urges farmers to boost organic produce

Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling Friday strongly encouraged farmers to increase production of organic foodgrain to cater to domestic needs. Sikkim, which was declared an organic state in 2016, is trying to achieve self-sufficiency within five years.

“We have set a target to make Sikkim self-reliance and self-sufficiency in foodgrains within five years for which our farmers must increase production of organic foodgrain to at least meet domestic demand,” Chamling said while addressing an organic day-cum-‘Krishi Unnati Mela’, reported news agency PTI.

To help achieve self-sufficiency in organic production, Chamling urged farmers to ensure that no land remains barren or fallow and even suggested terrace gardens and vertical gardens for farming purposes.

Millets in our midst

By Bhumika K

Organic and millets were our lifestyle mantras, be it in the kitchen or the bedroom

From your kitchen to your bathroom, to your clothes and make-up, from infant food to yoga energy bars, the world has been taken over by all things organic or millet. The health-conscious are driving a frenzied demand for back-to-roots simple food.

You had to be at the Organics & Millets 2019 International Trade Fair this past weekend in Bengaluru to get a pulse on the phenomenal amount of things that fall in this bracket. No wonder the city is known as the organic and millet capital of India. Karnataka was in fact the first State to formulate an Organic Farming Policy way back in 2004, revised in 2017. It was an event to bring together farmers, traders, suppliers, the B2B sector, and people like us– the all-important consumer!

Organic farming yet to bear fruit in Andaman & Nicobar

Port Blair: Despite concerted efforts by the UT administration to promote organic farming system of food production in the islands, majority of farmers are yet to adopt organic farming. Factors such shrinking agriculture land and consumption of agriculture land for commercial and tourism use are set to be the sticking points.

Speaking to EOI, the Director of Agriculture said that the Agriculture Department has been making concerted efforts for promoting organic cultivation to bring changes in the conventional agriculture. The effort towards organic has been a gradual process since many years. During 2003, the soil conservation-cum-demonstration farm at Sippighat was declared organic and renamed as ‘Organic Horticulture Farm’.

Cooperatives will play a crucial role in doubling farmers’ income by 2022: Singh

Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh has said that Vaikunth Mehta National Institute of Cooperative Management (VAMNICOM) is playing a vital role in the development of Indian cooperatives.

Speaking on the occasion of the Foundation Day of VAMNICOM in Pune, today, he said that agriculture plays an important role in Indian economy.

In view of this, the Modi government is stressing upon and working tirelessly towards the vision of “Culture of Agriculture” with an aim to double farmers’ income by 2022

Here’s how a water revolution is igniting among 15,000 farmers in Maharashtra!

Sambhaji Neharkar’s world lies in his village in Beed district of Maharashtra. For the farmer, life revolves around his crops, which in turn depend on nature for the water they need to grow.

But nature is not always bountiful. And when nature fails, the results can be very harsh. Back in 2014-15, the Marathwada region of Maharashtra was so parched, it was a struggle to arrange even a few litres of water for day-to-day use – never mind the tens of thousands needed to irrigate crops.

Organic farmers prove lemons in life can fetch you lakhs in profit

India is the largest producer of limes and lemons in the world with an estimated production of three million tonnes per annum.

All through the year, markets in India are flush with the fruit. Primarily cultivated in states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Bihar, the ideal time to plant them is during the monsoon season.

In contrast to other cash crops that require high input costs, farmers going organic can earn high returns on the lemon, and here are three of them who are showing the way forward:

For 20 years, an annual festival of millets showcases the ‘old crops’

On a late winter morning, about 300 women farmers gathered at an agricultural field at Arjun Naik Thanda, a lambada hamlet near here, to celebrate ‘old crops’ or millets. After a brief meeting, they joined a rally of ten bullock carts, decorated with traditional art.

With seed samples of over 20 varieties of millets in glass showcases displayed on either side of each cart, the convoy starts on a month-long tour of villages.

“We don’t buy seeds. We don’t buy any inputs. We source all off them among ourselves. We save our seeds not only for the subsequent season but for a couple of more seasons,” said Anjamma, a 60-year-old millet farmer.

With three national awards to her credit, Anjamma belongs to the seed bank team of Deccan Development Society (DDS), which is promoting an ecosystem for millet farming in the area.

Assam farmers take pledge to make Darrang green

MANGALDAI: “We have taken the pledge to continue our mission to initiate multi-cropping farming instead of the traditional single cropping and to make our fields evergreen throughout the year by adopting the organic cultivation besides concentrating on fish and duck farming, horticulture, piggery etc,” a group of eight progressive farmers of the district has taken this pledge while offering their heartfelt farewell to the outgoing Deputy Commissioner Ashok Kumar Barman on the very first day of the ‘Bhogali Bihu’ on Tuesday at his official bungalow.

“The agro-horticulture farmers of Darrang district are highly grateful to Darrang Deputy Commissioner Ashok Kumar Barman as since his joining in the district two years back has constantly been encouraging and inspiring the educated unemployed youths of the district to take up the path of agriculture farming only to make them self sufficient.

It is only because of the constructive advice and suggestions of the Deputy Commissioner that a good number of unemployed youth of the district instead of running after grade IV jobs, have dedicated their life in agriculture farming that too in organic way,” said a group of eight upcoming progressive farmers of the district while talking to media persons.

6th Women of India Organic Festival of WCD Ministry concludes

The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development aims to encourage Indian women entrepreneurs and farmers to connect with more buyers through organizing ‘Women of India Organic Festivals’ across the country. This was stated by Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Union Minister for Women and Child Development after visiting various stalls and Food Court on the concluding day of  6th ‘Women of India Organic Festival’  held at Leisure Valley, Sector-10, Chandigarh.

The Minister further said that through this festival, the Ministry also aims to educate people about its various initiatives and schemes relating to women and children development. The Women of India Organic Festival has been held annually in New Delhi since 2015 and has made its debut in Chandigarh this year to showcase the varied products of women farmers and entrepreneurs. She said that it would empower them through financial inclusion, while promoting organic farming in India.

Addressing the media, the WCD Minister stressed upon the need for promoting organic farming throughout the country for better, healthy and environment friendly lifestyle especially encouraging women farmers and entrepreneurs with a well-knit marketing infrastructure for organic farm products. She informed that the women entrepreneurs have got a very good response of the people during the festival. Visitors showed their keen interest to purchase various products exhibited in the festival.

Odisha entrepreneurs boost organic farming

PIPILI: After almost sixty years since the introduction of HYV seeds in various states of the country, Odisha has some catching up to do in terms of agricultural productivity. Prabodh Kumar Mohanty and Priyadarshan Routray from Pipili launched the I-Concept initiative in 2016 with a common mission to produce fresh and organic vegetable efficiently. The duo always believed in green revolution. After working for six months with the farmers, they realised that unless they demonstrate their ideas to the farmer, they won’t accept it.

Hence, it was decided that they will set up a demonstration field on organic farming in Kothabada, Dandamakundapur, Pipli, Puri. They named the demonstration unit as ‘Maa Mati’. Accordingly in November 2017, they first ventured into 2400 square feet land into organic farming by planting Brinjal, Chilly and leafy vegetables. In the initial stage, they were very curious to learn how the system worked and gradually learned more about it and started scaling up to other fields. They read articles and journals about the process of organic farming and its ingredients for manure and pesticides. Gradually the team started preparing organic manure and pesticides.

Inside India’s organics trade

New Delhi: In a bid to maintain good health, Manisha Bhardwaj, a software professional working in Noida, and her banker husband, Sakal Bhardwaj—both turning 40—have decided to bring some changes in their lifestyle and food habits. The couple has not only joined a gym to lose weight but has also completely switched to organic foods—ranging from organic fruits, vegetables, pluses to organic rice.

“Earlier, I was buying vegetables from a local vendor. But now, I order vegetables and fruits from websites that sell organic stuff,” said Manisha Bhardwaj. “In grocery stores too, my first preference is organic foods now,” she added.

Narayana Reddy, B’luru farmer who earned global praise for organic farming, passes away

L Narayana Reddy, a farmer from Varthur in Bengaluru, who made a name for himself for turning to organic farming, passed away on Monday morning. The 83-year-old farmer passed away due to natural causes, his family confirmed to TNM. He had held classes on organic farming at his farm in Doddaballapura in Bengaluru Rural district on Saturday and Sunday.

“Even on Saturday and Sunday, he was teaching students at the farm in spite of having cough and cold for a week. We are saddened to hear of his passing,” said Jagadish Reddy, the grandson of Narayana Reddy speaking to TNM.

Three-day 6th ‘Women of India Organic Festival’ inaugurated in Chandigarh

The three-day 6th ‘Women of India Organic Festival’ organised by The Ministry of Women and Child Development, Govt of India began today, at Leisure Valley, Sector-10, Chandigarh, to celebrate and promote women farmers and entrepreneurs in the organic sector from the remotest parts of India.

B.L. Sharma, Secretary, Women and Child Development, UT Chandigarh and  Anuradha Chagti,Joint Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Govt. of India inaugurated the 6th   edition of  “Women of India Organic Festival”. addressing the gathering after the inauguration Shri B.L Sharma stressed the need for adopting and strengthening the organic farming for healthy, wealthy and environment-friendly lifestyle through a well- knit suitable marketing infrastructure with the backing of government, public and private partnership promoting entrepreneurship among women.

Smt. Anuradha Chagti said that as many as 72 stalls of organic products are put up in the festival by women farmers and entrepreneurs besides 19 organic food stalls in the food court. She said that next such festival will be held at Hyderabad.

Organic farming in Goa to get boost through centrally sponsored clusters: Vijai Sardesai

Panaji, Jan 10: Agriculture minister Vijai Sardesai addressing a state level seminar on ‘The Agriculture Sector in Goa: Towards self sufficiency and sustainable development’, said that farm produce ‘Brand Goa’ be on line with ‘Whole Foods’ USA as it would provide much needed impetus to the sector.

“The centre has sanctioned 500 organic farming clusters to the state.

Karnataka mfrs laud NAFED’s move to market organic products online

Karnataka organic food product manufacturers see that if marketing via online platforms is introduced, it would give a big fillip to the sector. But certification and the dynamic regulation framework can further bring in the much-needed transparency to the e-commerce platform for trade.
The views have come in after the recent announcement by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India’s (NAFED) step to spur the marketing of organic products online.
Currently, most organic food product manufacturers, including 24 Mantra Organic, Pro Nature Organics, Phalada Organics, Mrittika Agro from Dakshina Kannada, Satwik Organics from Gadag and the Bengaluru-based Pristine Organics, sell their products via their own websites.

Italy to adopt Sikkim model of organic farming

Gangtok, Italy will be transformed into an “organic country” by adopting the farming policy of Sikkim, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling said quoting a communication received from Rome.

Speaking to media, Chamling read out a letter he received from the Italian government, citing the prestigious Future Policy Gold Award he had received at the United Nations FAO headquarters in Rome on October 15 last year for turning Sikkim into a “100% organic state”.

 

UP Women soaring to new heights by taking up organic farming

Lucknow: After making their presence felt in male-dominant jobs like police, army and games, women have now given their male counterparts a tough competition by taking up agriculture as their profession.

Women at the Dhanpatganj in Vikas Khand have skillfully mastered the art of developing ‘Vermicompost’ and are helping others in organic and disease-free farming.

They use natural composite in their farming instead of Chemical composite. One Gayatri from Bichchora village not only made herself financial empowered but also inspired several women coming from nearby villages including Samarthpur, Peepar, Korvam, Patna, Ramapur etc.

Naga farmer gets recognition for organic produce enterprise

Dimapur, Jan. 8: A farmer from Nagaland, Lanuakum Imchen, proprietor of ‘Cold Mountain,’ was awarded the 2018 Best India Organic farmer award for North and North East India on Dec. 28 at Hotel Hyatt Regency, in New Delhi. The award was presented by Krishna Raj, Union minister of state for Agriculture and Farmers welfare.
Imchen received the Best India Organic Farmer award for being actively involved in organic farming and contributing to the organic movement in the state and country. He has been promoting organic farming for the past five years. The award was given by Jaivik India Award and International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture.

Crave organic food? Govt to sell it cheap online

Fancy organic food? Want them cheaper than market rates? The government will enter the online organic food market and sell a range of products, on sites such as Amazon and Grofers, through its main food-trading agency, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed).

“We have just taken a decision last week after necessary processes. We are tying up with online platforms such as Amazon and Grofers,” Nafed managing director, Sanjeev Chadha, told HT.

Karnataka Govt to introduce millets in mid-day meals, Indira Canteens

Bengaluru: The Kumaraswamy government is mulling to introduce millets in the mid-day meals and Indira canteens in Karnataka in a bid to promote the crop.
Agriculture Minister Shivashankar Reddy said that the government has decided to speak to the multinational companies (MNCs) to include the same in their canteens.
“Rural areas consume millets and we need to push it among the urban population as well. We also want to increase its sale in urban areas. Hence, MNCs will also be requested to introduce millet meal once a day in their canteens,” Reddy said.

Walk promotes organic farming

Over a 1,000 people, including tribal farmers and cancer patients, took part in a walkathon at Shivaji Park on Sunday, seeking a ban on use of harmful chemicals in farming. The focus of the walkathon, which also celebrated ‘Kisan Diwas’, was to create awareness about the benefits of organic farming.

Called HOSH, the event was an initiative of the AmbaGopal Foundation started by hotelier Harish Shetty, in association with Tata Memorial Hospital. The participants walked from Shivaji Park to the Siddhivinayak temple in Prabhadevi.

Member of Parliament Rahul Shewale, who was also present at the event, pledged to make Maharashtra an organic State. “The organisers have sent me a memorandum to come up with a policy to make our State completely organic by supporting organic farmers like in Sikkim. I will see to it that a Bill is passed in the winter session of Parliament, and make sure that we use organic methods of farming and declare Maharashtra as an organic State,” Mr. Shewale said.