Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Agriculture polytechnics ushering in modern farming

Bukkarayasamudram (Anantapur): The five Agriculture Polytechnics in the district are proving to be a great boon to students opting for agriculture sector.

The five polytechnics are churning out many high-tech agriculturists every year. The students from agriculture background were being trained in modern methods of farming and being exposed to high-technology farming through exchange programmes and inter-district field visits.

The polytechnics are offering a two-year course in modern agriculture covering all aspects of disease and pest management, modern farming methods and mechanisation and organic farming.

The food on your plate: Is it safe? Is it organic?

Given the state of the environment today and the fact that each one of us is a consumer at some level, it has become almost imperative that our concerns grow beyond just our purchase and include the journey of the product before and after we use it.

The fear among people seems to be related to heavy metal contamination. Kiran R V, a resident of Rajajinagar, says the vegetables might have been grown using contaminated water, or using sewage as fertiliser, which might even be contaminated with industrial waste and heavy metals.

5th edition of ‘Women of India Organic Festival’ comes to Delhi

Organised on an annual basis by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development since 2015, the 5th edition of the ‘Women of India Organic Festival’ will be held from October 26 – November 4 at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA).

The timing for the 10 days festival (WOI Festival) will be from 10 am till 8 pm The festival which is going to celebrate and promote women entrepreneurs and farmers in the organic field from across India – will have producers and manufacturers of organic products from 28 Indian states.

Here’s how 5000 villages were transformed by one organization

Bismi is just one example amongst thousands of SHGs and income generation groups (IGGs) supported by Srinivasan Services Trust (SST), the social arm of TVS Motor Company and Sundaram Clayton, where they work with communities and governments in tandem to empower India’s rural poor through awareness, skills and training programs.

What had started out as an in-house tailoring outlet by Banu in 2010 soon paved the way for other women in the community to join hands. Today, Bismi has a workforce of 14 tailors – each one of whom is no longer financially dependent on their fathers or husbands.

Farmers may soon get 20% higher MSP on organic produce

The Indian government is considering bringing organic produce under the minimum support price (MSP) system. This is a great way to encourage pesticide-free farming in the country. It is important to mention that presently there is no support price for the organic produce, except in the state of Sikkim.

In a recent meeting, the Agriculture Ministry discussed offering 20 percent higher MSP for the organic farm produce, over non-organic or traditional ones. An official who was part of this discussion spoke of a detailed presentation on this subject by the Ministry.

Sikkim shortlisted for organic farming award in Rome

Gangtok: Sikkim has been shortlisted as finalist for the World Future Council award which would be presented in Rome later this month, Director COLABORA, Germany, Bernward Geier informed at  a seminar on ‘Ëxploring the opportunities and identification of areas of co-operation in organic dairy development in the State’ held at Krishi Bhavan in Tadong on Monday. This award is the highest recognition in the organic world.
Former agriculture minister of Germany Rebate Kuenast shared her experiences in the pratice of organic farming. She suggested that a policy of quality production rather than mass production be followed.

Jharkhand emerging as India’s vegetable basket

Jamshedpur/New Delhi: Chief minister Raghubar Das pitched Jharkhand as India’s emerging vegetable basket while calling for investments to set up food processing units during a global agriculture and food summit that the state is slated to host in November.

Addressing stakeholders in New Delhi, part of a series of road shows to promote Global Agriculture and Food Summit to be held in Ranchi between November 29 and 30, Das enumerated the state’s investment potential in food processing industries, horticulture, floriculture, dairy and fisheries.

Radha Mohan calls for Organic Farming Revolution

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh called upon farmers groups, NGOs and other stake holders to adopt organic farming in order to free the soil and environment from deadly chemicals. He asked them to usher in Organic Farming Revolution in the country.

Organic farming has the potential to provide livelihood to farmers and create employment opportunities for rural and urban people, he said while addressing Jaivik Krishi Sammelan organised by the National Centre of Organic Farming in Pandit Deen Dayal Dham, Mathura.

Assam-Norway tie-up on raising climate resilient plants

Guwahati : Norway Ambassador to India Nils Ragnar Kamsvag on Monday evening called on Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal at Circuit House and discussed with him about collaboration in the field of agriculture, pisciculture, horticulture, power and issues concerning the mutual interests of both Norway and Assam.

The Norwegian envoy told Chief Minister Sonowal about his country’s intensive research on raising climate resilient plant species to aid agricultural sector of his country. He expressed his keen interest in sharing the technology with Assam to help the latter to raise plant species to withstand adverse climatic conditions. They also discussed Norway-Assam’s mutual interests where investment is required for the benefits of the both the geographical entities.

Karnataka to host international trade fair to promote organic agriculture, millets farming

The Karnataka government will hold an international trade fair on organics and millets on January 18, 2019, in Bengaluru to promote them in a big way, a state minister said on Friday.

“The three-day fair will pitch Karnataka as the source of organic produce and millets, which are the next-generation smart foods,” said Agriculture Minister N.H. Shivashankara Reddy at a preview of the event here.

Natural farming vital for soil fertility: Himachal Guv

Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat on Sunday said Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) is the only way to maintain fertility of soil.

Addressing a farmer’s workshop at Gurukul in Kurukshetra in Haryana, Acharya Devvrat said as per the data of agricultural scientists, the land of major agricultural producing states was deteriorating which could only be restored through ZBNF.

“It was a matter of satisfaction that many states like Himachal, Arunachal, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka had started work on it,” he added.

W Bengal to impart organic farming training to inmates of Midnapore Correctional Home

Kolkata: The state Technical Education, Training and Skill Development department will impart training on organic farming to the inmates of Midnapore Central Correctional Home (MCCH), with the objective of making their integration into society easier and at the same time, equip them to be employable.

“The state Correctional Administration department will soon submit a formal proposal to us. I have already held talks with the minister of the concerned department. There is availability of space in the MCCH and we are already working on the modalities,” said Purnendu Basu, minister for Technical Education, Training and Skill Development.

Organic farming to be theme of Global Agro Summit

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das said that the Global Agriculture Summit scheduled to be organized on November 29 and 30 in Ranchi will be based on ‘Organic Farming’ theme. The CM, while holding a high-level meeting on the summit and preparations for State Foundation Day on November 15 here on Wednesday asked officials to make best arrangements for the summit.

He, on the occasion, instructed officials to invite best performing farmers in the field of organic farming. “They will share their experiences with others. Also, invite the farmers and agriculture ministers of those states that are doing well in cultivation. Invite agriculture experts and organize road shows in all the districts,” said the CM instructing officials.

Rs 25 crore for organic farming, says HP minister

UNA Himachal Pradesh Rural Development Minister Virender Kanwar on Tuesday said the state government was spending Rs 25 crore for the promotion of organic farming during the financial year.

Addressing farmers during a training workshop organised by the Agriculture Department on organic farming in Raipur Maidan panchayat of Bangana, the minister called upon farmers to diversify and cultivate oilseeds and pulses to enhance their farm income.

Manipur trying to achieve organic status

Manipur is trying to achieve the “organic status” by not using fertilizers while farming. As fertilizers are one of the factors that bring health hazard, the Agriculture minister of Manipur is on all out effort so that farmers stop using fertilizers.

Manipur Horticulture and Soil Conservation Minister, Thounaojam Shyamkumar appealed today to the farmers in Manipur to end the use of fertilizers so as to achieve “organic state status” for Manipur. He urged the farmers to stop using fertilizers for a healthier Manipur.

Chemical farming contributing to climate change: Vandana Shiva

Environmental activist Vandana Shiva on Monday highlighted the hazards of chemical farming, saying this has generated a lot of problems and is also contributing to climate change.

She also called for giving up chemical farming and suggested promoting organic farming to face the challenge.

Speaking at a session in the three-day global summit-cum-expo on science, spirituality and environment which concluded Monday at Abu Road in Sirohi, Shiva said some of the reasons for the climate change were plastic and chemical farming.

Thanesar adopted to promote organic farming

Kurukshetra, Kesni Anand Arora, Assistant Chief Secretary (ACS), Revenue, on Friday said the Thanesar block in the district would be developed as a model of organic farming.

After inaugurating a sale counter of organic produces at Sector 7, Arora said Thanesar was adopted on the directions of the chief minister to boost chemical-free farming.

Andhra’s push for zero budget natural farming inspires others

Use of chemical pesticides in India, including those that are banned in other countries, has been a matter of concern and a raging topic of discussion in the country. Addressing the issue, the Andhra Pradesh government has adopted a chemical-free approach with the concept of zero budget natural farming (ZBNF) and is now scaling it up to an unprecedented level to cover the entire state by 2024.

The push for ZBNF by the Andhra Pradesh government has inspired Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh to adopt it as well. Additionally, international agencies like the United Nations Environment (formerly UNEP) and others have expressed interest in supporting the natural farming practice in Andhra Pradesh. ZBNF is a farming practice or set of methods which involve natural farming without chemicals and no spending on purchased inputs.

Tapping the N-E’s organic farming potential

India’s North-East, comprising eight States, is largely unspoilt by modern agricultural practices, which involve heavy use of agro-chemicals and chemical fertilisers. For this precise reason, the region is a natural choice for promoting organic farming in the country. Sikkim, the first organic State in India, has already shown the way for the other States in the region.

According to the estimates available with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), as of 2017-18, nearly 90,500 hectares of land in the NE region is already under organic cultivation. Even though Sikkim accounts for more than three-fourths of this, other States such as Meghalaya and Assam have shown tremendous progress in embracing organic farming. As per the available statistics, another 77,600 hectares is the process of switching over to organic cultivation. The conversion process normally takes three years.

C&A Foundation sowed the seeds of organic cotton farming for farmers to reap rich results

India is the largest producer, and accounts for 56 percent of the world’s organic cotton. However the irony is, only one percent of India’s cotton is organic.

With agriculture and farming going the sustainable way, farmers are now trying to adopt indigenous methods to make organic farming feasible and profitable. The same goes for organic cotton as well.

“Cotton is not only one of the most widely grown crops in the world, but, it is also one of the most input intensive; consuming huge amount of pesticides, herbicides and water,” explains Anita Chester, Head of Sustainable Raw Materials, C&A Foundation.

Organic farming policy in Odisha

BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to make farming climate resilient, reduce farmers’ risks and enhance their income, the State Government has come up with Odisha Organic Farming Policy-2018.

“The policy has been framed to promote organic farming and provide market for the products,” said a notification of the Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Department. Agriculture department officials said as per the policy, the Government has planned to cover two lakh hectares of land under organic farming through a combination of activities on agriculture, horticulture, forest and pasture land within a period of five years. In order to achieve the target, a pattern of assistance has been proposed under which, financial aid upto Rs 10 lakh can be provided for 50 acres of land for organic farming.

On Organic Farming

Primitive but ecologically symbiotic farming practised by mankind since ages before the arrival of conventional agriculture is now largely influencing the environmentalists with its quotient of coexistence. That is what progressed the concept of modern organic farming. Organic farming is the cultivation of land and producing crops while maintaining the health of the soil by using available organic animal and plant waste and other biological materials in synergy with beneficial microorganisms for releasing nutrients to the crops.

SC agrees to hear plea on banning 85 pesticides

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to examine a plea seeking ban on nearly 85 pesticides that are being used in India on the grounds that they pose health hazard.

A bench of Justices Arun Misra and Vineet Saran issued notices to the Centre and other authorities concerned on the plea which also sought empowering state governments to take decisions at their level for prohibition and restriction related to pesticides.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioners, said that these pesticides have been banned in other countries but in India they are being allowed to be used which could pose serious health hazards to farmers.

The petition filed by Kavita Kuruganti said that deadly pesticides are still used at a time when there is much evidence of the success of ecological agriculture practices like organic farming in terms of profitability for farmers as well as productivity of the crops.

Scientist and farmers interact on organic farming in Kohima

The 3 Naga Hills Battalion Assam Rifles under the aegis of Headquarter Inspector General Assam Rifles (North) today organised first ever lecture cum interactive session on organic farming between young scientist and farmers of Kohima and nearby villages. Peihauding Reunim, Botanist and his team of 12 members has taken a lecture on organic farming to soil Management, cultivation of crops, Post-Harvest Management & Marketing.

Yes to ‘Desi Khaad’, No to Pesticides

Ramesh Ganeriwal’s farm in Gharoh village on a rainwashed road off Dharamshala on Pathankot highway is what dreams are made of. The labour of one man’s love for all things organic, this farm–approached by a rickety hanging bridge–has peaches, bananas, paddy and more, watered by natural streams.

He has opted for the local kuhl system of traditional irrigation system in Kangra valley where water, drawn by gravity from the streams, is shared by a group of farmers.