Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Land art festival highlights farmers plight through crop coffins

NAGPUR: About 50 students, farmers, artists and visitors lie daily on coffins that have been grown using mustard crops and leafy vegetables at a farm in Paradsinga. The participatory mass performance symbolizes ‘death of profession’ of farmers who lost their agricultural lands for the ‘special economic zones’.

The village, which is about 60 kilometres away from Nagpur, is hosting the country’s first Land Art Festival. Started a week back, the festival ‘Gram Dhara Chitra Utsav’ is witnessing the participation of artists from all over the country, who are adopting unique ways to highlight contemporary farming issues.

Sikkim became Indias first fully organic state in 2016

2016 turned out to be a great year for Sikkim as it became Indias first fully organic state besides being adjudged the cleanest state, overall best in education and tourist destination while the famed Kanchenjunga National Park was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land were gradually converted to certified organic land by implementing practices and principles as per guidelines laid down in National Programme for Organic Production.

Organic farming turns fate of barren land

Located adjacent to a patch of rocky terrain at Kummarigudem of Kazipet mandal under the Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC) limits in Telangana , the four-and-a-half acre of land was considered to be barren land till the last four years ago…

Thanks to These 5 Rural Communities, Traditional Indian Plant Varieties Are Making a Comeback

Since time immemorial, symbiotic understanding and knowledge of traditional crops has beenhanded down from one generation to the next in many farming communities in India. In recent times, scientific research has also corroborated the fact that the diversityof indigenous plantvarieties can offer a home-grown solution to challenges brought by climate change, particularly as modern agriculture relies on a very limited number of crops and varieties.

Meet the Engineer Who Chucked His Well-Paying Career to Help Beggars Become Farmers

An engineer by profession, Ganpat Krishna Yadav could have held on to a lucrative job. Instead, he chose to set up an organic farm in Jaipur with the focused intention of providing employment opportunities to beggars.

Eco-warriors to the rescue

The Hindu TEAM METROPLUS speaks to green activists whove led some of Indias most inspiring campaigns this year (full details at the link given below)

US Organic standards will exclude next generation of GMOs

WASHINGTON, D.C. The US National Organic Standards Board voted unanimously on Friday to update U.S. organic standards to exclude ingredients derived from next generation genetic engineering and gene editing.

This recommendation to the US Department of Agricultures National Organic Program will ensure that ingredients derived from new genetic engineering techniques, including synthetic biology, will not be allowed in the production or final product of foods and beverages that are certified organic. Synthetic biology is a new set of genetic engineering techniques that include using synthetic DNA to re-engineer organisms to produce substances they would not normally produce or to edit DNA so as to silence the expression of certain traits.

Helping TN farmers set up their own organic manure factory for just Rs 800

Most farmers tend to have a basic knowledge of fertilisers, like nitrogen and phosphorus, which are essential for plant growth. They are also aware of the fact that cow dung contains nitrogen. Then why is it that many farmers look for costly solutions rather than use the abundant cow dung they have in their farms as manure? Fortunately, one farmer did think of this.

Four years ago, with a little documentation help from the MYRADA Krishi Vigyan Kendra in Gobichettipalayam, Erode district (Tamil Nadu), Indias farming fraternity recognised farmer G. R. Sakthivels efforts in successfully using cattle refuse to create liquid manure to feed his crops. This feat is by no means ordinary and did not happen overnight. A staunch advocate of the organic movement, Sakthivel had always wanted to utilise the resources around him efficiently and he wasnt going to leave out cattle refuse, which was there aplenty in all farms.

Farmers’ Day Celebrated

Tirunelveli Social Service Society, which has been promoting organic farming practices among agriculturists for over 45 years to ensure sustained income to the farmers without affecting the environment and soil, celebrated Farmers Day on Thursday.

The daylong event highlighted the importance of millets, herbal plants, traditional food items and cost-free farming practices for the benefit of a few hundred farmers who had come from various parts of the district.

Renowned organic farmers Antonysamy and Gomathinayagam, who have mastered organic farming practices to register excellent yield while conserving water, explained in detail the advantages of natural farming. Organic farmers Rathnathai and Joseph shared their experiences.

Chefs garden in the kitchen

By Chef Rana Dominic Gomes

BENGALURU: I started my career at the age of 18 as an apprentice and have been in this profession for almost 25 years now. My family has been in this profession for generations and hence creativity in the space of food, runs in the family.
I always enjoy learning new things, be it new dishes, new styles of garnishing, new cuisines, learning about new cultures and so on.

The society has grown increasingly conscious about health care. I found from my own experience that people have started understanding the need of organic farming. It has become a trend now.

Thats when I started thinking about what I can make exclusively with organic vegetables. I always wished of having a vegetable garden near to my kitchen so that I can pluck from them and directly put them in frying pan. Interestingly, from my travel experience, I found that there are places in India where people do the same. This gave me an idea of making a special dish which I named it as Chefs Garden.

FARM North East launched to promote organic farming in Miao

Miao:Seva Kendra Arunachal East (SKAE), a registered NGO, in collaboration with Caritas India launched the second phase of Facilitating Agricultural Regeneration Measures (FARM) in North East India on 16 December at Balinong village under Kharsang circle of Changlang District, Arunachal Pradesh.

To promote and facilitate organic farming in North East India particularly in Arunachal Pradesh, SKAE the Social Service wing of the Diocese of Miao launched its second phase of FARM North East for 15 villages of Changlang District at the Balinong Community Hall.

Farm to kitchen: organic vegetables in high demand

In a huge, well ventilated hall, about half a dozen women are busy sorting out vegetables that reached there a few hours ago.

From the leafy variety to carrots and broad beans, these vegetables are being segregated and weighed. Once the weighing is complete, the vegetables are put in a bamboo basket and covered with a gunny bag so that they do not dry before reaching the buyers.

The Deccan Development Society (DDS), an NGO working in this village, initiated the process of growing organic vegetable in April this year. Under the label Sangam Organics, the NGO has tied up with farmers to supply organic vegetables to about 100 consumers residing at Zaheerabad for a service charge.

Himachal Governor urges farmers to adopt organic farming

Palampur:Governor Acharya Devvrat urged the farmers to adopt zero budget natural farming so that Himachal Pradesh can emerge as a organic state in near future like Sikkim which had been declared as the first organic state of the country.

The Governor was speaking at a seminar on organic farming organized by CSK, Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University, Palampur at Karsog in Mandi district.

He said that it was the need of the hour to promote and adopt organic farming which was possible only when every farmer starts rearing domestic cows. He said that one cow could be helpful in farming 30 acres of land and added that it would improve fertility of the soil, producing maximum yield by using minimum water and getting remunerative price of their product.

58-year-old green warrior takes battle to your backyard

Bengaluru: With our farm produce blighted by excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, the trend of organic farming is gradually catching up, with people trying it out in their kitchen gardens and backyards.

“But this mere backyard practice can bring about a big or real change only if it is made into a movement,” observed 58-year-old H.R. Jayaram, a lawyer-turned agriculturist and the brain behind The Green Path Foundation.

Back to the roots

The concept of hobby farming is now catching up this story is highly inspirational to people, who are aspiring to eat clean and live by the countryside, away from the clutter of the city and closer to nature. More than taking up farming as a hobby, the lessons learnt in managing the farm are eye openers.

Sikkim Set to Celebrate Sikkim Organic Day

A meeting of the Apex Committee was chaired by Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Agriculture Production Commissioner S.C. Gupta has set up the tone for celebrations of Sikkim Organic Day on January 18 next year.

As declared by the Sikkim government, January 18 is to be celebrated as Organic Day each year to commemorate the achievements made in organic sector. It may be recalled that a year earlier, a month long celebrations marking Sikkim Organic Festival 2016 was organized January 18 that hosted PM Modi, various dignitaries and several other delegates.

India will be hard-pressed to find another Anupam Mishra

In November, after a very cogent public speech on Indias rivers, he was completely exhausted and in pain. But that he came anyway showed his dedication.

I need to go and pay respect to the people fighting for Indias rivers insisted the weak Gandhian, barely able to walk, on November 28. In his speech at the India Rivers Weeks inaugural ceremony onthat day, Anupam Mishra,with his characteristically wry humour, askedwhetherchanging stones and electric poles at the ghatswas all that the government had to offer to rejuvenate the Ganga.He said that no amount of faith or funds wouldhelp the river unless we understoodwhere the river was getting its fresh and polluted waters from.

Organic farming brings prosperity to women farmers in MP

Practices of organic farming introduced by Professional Assistance for Development Action (Pradan), an NGO, in Paraswada block of Madhya Pradeshs Balaghat district in 2009 have started paying dividends, bringing happiness and prosperity in the lives of women farmers in this area.

Years of chemical use and heavy dependence on monsoon for irrigation had adversely affected the environmental health of the area, thus resulting in lower productivity.

Pradan, which works with countrys rural poor, engages with disadvantaged communities to help them emerge from poverty and lead a life of dignity by promoting self-help groups, developing locally relevant economic activities, and mobilizing finances from government schemes.

How organic farming helped optimize productivity in Goa

A septuagenarian farmer from Usgalimol, Pirla in the Quepem Taluka of Goa, has successful demonstrated that organic farming can be economically viable if carried out with dedication and devotion.

Vithal Ramchandra Khandeparkar, 72, has transformed 15 acres of once barren land into a productive farmland by simply following the principles of organic farming and not using any pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified crops, antibiotics or growth hormones.

Centre to pay farmers to go 100% organic and GMO-free

Is India on its way to becoming an entirely organic nation? Just over two years ago, in September 2014, the Indian Government launched their revolutionary Rastriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (National Agriculture Development Program) as a way to encourage organic farming, and decrease dependence on chemical agents.In January 2015, the state of Sikkim was declared as the countrys first 100 percent organic state. Sikkim produces 800,000 tons of organic produce thats free of harmful pesticides, chemical fertilizers and toxic GMOs accounting for roughly 65 percent of Indias total organic produce yields.

Organic Farming Revives Saline Fields In TN

A holistic method of organic farming has reversed the harm reached to Nemmeli village due to high-intensity, high-inputs agriculture. It has also helped in pushing back soil salinity

The coconut trees on the fringes of clean green pond sway in the cool wind. The silence is broken by the noisy ducks that wade around in the water. Right above the pond is a small hut where hens peep out.

R Thilakar, a farmer who owns the land in Nemmeli village of Sirkazhi taluk in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu, has been practising integrated organic farming for eight years. Green revolution poisoned our farm, he says, We lost our paddy, and the soil lost its richness too.

It was then that Thilakar and a few other farmers approached Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems (CIKS), which has been promoting organic farming for 17 years. Thilakar became a member of Sirkazhi Organic Farmers Association (SOFA) later.

Kochi Going Organic

KOCHI:Considering the fact that the success of Haritha Keralam Mission will depend on how far the programme reaches out to the people, the civic administrators across the district have decided to ensure more participation of the Kudumbasree units. Thus making women the torch-bearers of development.

The prestigious Haritha Keralam project was launched across the state for a clean and green Kerala through waste management, organic farming and conservation of water resources. Most of the Kudumbasree units are already engaged in organic farming in their respective areas.

Reaping profits the organic way

Vijayawada: Farming has been decreasing in the state due to abnormally increased investment. Farmers are thinking that it is a burden on the families. But one farmer has proved that agriculture is profitable and it generates employment to the agriculture workers. Yarkareddy Venkata Reddy has proved that agriculture is not a burden and it will profitable to the farmers.

Venkata Reddy has been cultivating different types of vegetables and fruits in his land at Nunna in Vijayawada rural mandal near Vijayawada. He has cultivated Teisel gourd (Kakarakaya) on his farm and got a profit of around Rs.1.90 lakh after deducting the investment and agriculture workers charges.

Mumbai residents convert terrace into garden, grow 15 kinds of veggies, herbs organically

Adding to the growing list of environment-conscious citizens are residents of a Bandra society, who have embraced organic farming and converted their buildings terrace into a garden.

Since last December, Piya Reddy and four residents of Monisha society in Bandra stared organic farming using their own compost which the society creates by recycling wet waste. Their endeavour is now supported by rest of the society members.

The building terrace holds a variety of vegetables, ranging from chillies to tomatoes and herbs such parsley and celery. There are around 55 baskets of 15 different vegetables on the terrace, said Reddy.

Other vegetables and herbs such as brinjal, Romanian spinach, mint, lime, basil , rosemary and curry leaves are part of the terrace garden.

Growing Organic Products Isnt the Problem, Selling Them Is

While the country debates the governments decision to import pulses, Dr Narasimhan, a senior physician who has been a farmerfor 60 years, is a worried man. He is an avid organicfarmer and also trains others in organic cultivation techniques. His worry is that organic products are not being marketed at a good price.

Compared to a decade ago, today every village across the country knows the importance of organic agriculture. But the problem lies in selling the produce, not in the inputs or methods, he said.