Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Nepal calls for organic farming technology to double production

MAHOTTARI — Nepal Minister for Agriculture, Shailendra Sah, has called for tapping into the organic agricultural technology for the development of the agricultural sector.

During a visit to the Nigaul Cow Gaushala Management Office at Gaushala municipality on Monday, Minister Sah said the province’s dependence was based on agriculture and stressed there were no alternatives to organic farming for maximum production in less time.

The Minister also expressed his commitment for an all-out effort to make the office a model in the country.

Scheme succour for NE small tea growers

GUWAHATI: Small tea growers in the non-traditional areas of the Northeast now have reasons to cheer!

The Union ministry of commerce and industry has approved the modalities and guidelines of the “Tea Development and Promotion Scheme” for implementation during the Medium Term Framework (2017-18 to 2019-2020) that has a special package for small tea growers in the region.

The package is applicable for Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura (non-traditional areas), Sikkim, North Cachar Hills district (Dima Hasao) and Karbi Anglong district of Assam.

Farmers urged to adopt organic farming, shun use of pesticides

Hoshiarpur, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla was the Chief Guest in the ‘Kisan Goshthi’ organised at Krishi Vigyan Kendra Bahowal. Addressing the farmers he said Modi govt has made several efforts to increase the income of the farmers of the country. The farmers were being encouraged to cultivate using latest techniques.

He urged the farmers to increase their income through the processing of agro products and increase their productivity by adopting modern methods like bee keeping. Asking them to adopt new farming techniques he also encouraged the farmers for lesser use of fertilizers and promoted the organic farming.

Tamil Nadu panchayat school attracts kids by teaching organic farming

TRICHY: Veering away from traditional methods of marketing to ensure 100% admission, a panchayat union middle school (PUMS) in Perambalur district is reaching out on foot and attracting parents and students with the organic farming methods practised at the school.The PUMS in Kothavasal recently concluded a pan-village survey to identify children of appropriate age for school admission and subsequently enrolled 17 children in the hamlet by explaining to them the organic farming practised at the school with student participation.Panchayat school attracts kids by teaching organic farming.As the new academic year is about to begin, private schools are employing several marketing strategies including sending bulk messages to random mobile users apart from advertisements in local television channels to score admissions.

Rural time bomb that is ticking away – by Yashwant Sinha

The foot-march of over 35,000 farmers from Nashik to Mumbai in March this year attracted a lot of national attention and succeeded in highlighting the problems of the farmers. The numerous suicides by farmers earlier or the killing of six farmers in police firing in Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh in June last year did not attract as much attention. Nor did the farmers’ agitations in other parts of the country like Rajasthan, western Uttar Pradesh or by the Tamil Nadu farmers in Delhi. My own agitation with the farmers in Akola in Maharashtra or Narshingpur in Madhya Pradesh created a local splash but failed to make news at the national level. But these agitations and movements did succeed in sending the message that something is seriously wrong with agriculture in our country.

Organic farming gathers steam in the Sundarbans

Faced with longer and hotter summers, many farmers in the Sundarbans have embraced organic farming with local crop varieties that are better adapted to a changing climate

Umapati Sarkar, a progressive farmer in the Sundarbans in West Bengal who travels extensively to promote organic farming among the people, has many stories of his journeys. Sarkar, who is now in his sixties, has noticed that the climate has been changing in the Sundarbans, with shorter springs, and longer and hotter summers. Farmers have to change their farming practices to adapt and survive, he says.

Celphos for termites kills the ban

Chandigarh: Aluminum phosphide (brand name Celphos), an agricultural pesticide implicated in many suicides, is forest department’s recommended tablet for termite control under the Greening Chandigarh action plan. Local horticulturist Rahul Mahajan has reminded the UT agriculture director via a letter that this bug killer is banned for public use.

Smart kitchen garden to promote organic farming in Kerala

KOCHI: Teaming up with the government to promote organic farming in the state, the Vegetable and Fruits’ Promotion Council Keralam (VFPCK) has come up with ‘Grow Your Own Food’ (GYOF) initiative  The plan is to encourage more and more people to cultivate pesticide free, nutritious and healthy food on their rooftop by setting a Smart Kitchen Garden.

The Smart Kitchen Garden, the first of its kind initiative in Kerala, will have its maiden launch in the city.  Later, it is likely to be expanded statewide. The VFPCK has already inked a pact with WRENCH Solutions to distribute seedlings to benefit those who have a desire to cultivate crops.The ‘Smart Kitchen Garden’ will have ‘grow bags’ with coir pith and composts are used instead of soil. According to the promoters of the programme, these grow bags are effective than the common grow bags available in the market.

MP leads in organic cotton production: Bisen

Madhya Pradesh Minister for Farmer Welfare and Agriculture Development Gaurishankar Bisen said that Madhya Pradesh in one of the leading States in the country in organic cotton production. Madhya Pradesh produces one quarter of the total world’s organic cotton.

“Therefore, there is a need for better marketing arrangement for organic cotton being produced in the State at national and international level”, Bisen said while addressing the convention on Organic Cotton held at Academy of Administration on Tuesday.

Ban toxic insecticides: Maharashtra farm body to Centre

Nagpur (Maharashtra), May 8 (IANS) A prominent farm body on Tuesday urged the Centre to immediately accept the Maharashtra government’s plea to ban poisonous insecticides which have killed more than 60 farmers here so far.

Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission (VNSSM) chairman Kishore Tiwari said that following a series of farmers’ deaths due to toxic insecticides, the state government had submitted a proposal to the Centre seeking a ban on such chemicals.

Global Kokan Mango Fest, concludes in Mumbai

The Global Kokan Mango Festival, a week-long event that concluded at Nehru Science Centre, Worli, Mumbai, on May 8, 2018, made the largest platform available for the buyers in Mumbai and direct farmers from Maharashtra’s Konkan region, besides creating an open and straight market for organic mango farmers, producer companies and farmer co-operative associations from across the region.
It was organised by Kokan Bhumi Pratisthan, Nehru Science Centre and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Government of India, in association with Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB) and Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

Supreme Court rejects Monsanto plea on seed patent order

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay a 2 May Delhi high court order which held that plant varieties and seeds cannot be patented under Indian law by companies like Monsanto Inc., and that royalties on genetically modified (GM) technology would be decided by a specialized agency of the agriculture ministry.

As a result, the patent held by Monsanto, through its Indian arm Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech Ltd (MMBL) over its Bollgard-II Bt cotton seed technology, a GM variant which resists the bollworm pest, was decreed to be unenforceable in India.

Monsanto’s appeal challenging the Delhi high court order was brought before a bench headed by Justice Rohinton F. Nariman who sought the response of seed companies over the issue.

Truefarm Foods to venture into global market with their organic food products

After a success of their organic food products in India, Truefarm Foods is looking to venture into the global market says F&B News.  The move is to be initiated in June 2018. “We have fared very well since its inception. A lot of consumers are buying our products and the feedback has been really good,” Ravi Jakhar, the company’s founder, told F&B News.

“We will also expand to international markets starting from this June. Products will be sold through global tie-ups with top online retailers, such as Amazon, as well as through physical stores via distribution channels,” said Jakhar to the publication. “We would be investing $10 million in the next two years. Being totally funded by the four founders of Truefarm, we will gather more investment in the coming two years, which will be used to for more production and developing more organic products.”

Nitish opens up e-wallet for organic farmers in Bihar

Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, at a function organized by the state Agriculture Department in Patna on Saturday, electronically transferred Rs. 6,000 in advance in the ‘e-wallets’ of 20,173 farmers from four districts in Bihar for a total of over Rs. 12 crore.

Life on the slow track

Venkat Iyer gave up a high-paying IT job to become a farmer. Today, he’s happier, but Mansi Taneja finds out it was not an easy transition

From a stressful life to a carefree one, from the city’s concrete jungle to nature’s open spaces, from zipping around in cars to taking public transport, and from pollution to clean air, Moong Over Microchips is the journey of an IT professional who dared to leave behind the trappings of a plush city life, including a six figure salary, and found his calling as a farmer in a peaceful rural setting.

The book traces Venkat Iyer’s dilemma of leaving his job in India’s financial capital after 15 stressful years of being bogged down by the hustle-bustle of the city and his professional life. “I felt alienated by this rat race and also felt isolated in my attempt to give it all up and try to eke out a simple existence by farming,” he writes.

IIT-Madras prof shares his idea of zero investment organic farming in India

In 1960s, during the period of green revolution, farmers in India were exposed to high yield variety of seeds (HYV), pesticides and fertilizers in order to maintain the food security in the country.

Although the rising demand for food was met, soil fertility was degraded to an extent that farmlands turned completely barren.

Despite that, the continuous and large usage of pesticides till date for meeting the high demand for food has led to another practice of spraying vegetables and fruits with chemicals for quick and unnatural growth.

However, people have slowly started to understand the ill effects of such fruits, vegetables and grains on the body. People are turning towards organic products.

Since the organic products market is at a nascent stage right now in India, people have a lot of questions regarding it.

To get answers to many such queries and to know more about organic farming, India Today Education went all the way to IIT-Madras for an exclusive chat with Professor Kamakoti Veezhinathan who is growing 55 variety of traditional rice in his very own organic farm in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu.

When Bhivpuri took a U-turn

How marginal farmers were weaned back through appropriate technology in Raigad

Bhivpuri is a tiny hamlet nestled in the interiors of Karjat in Raigad district of Maharashtra. It is 18 km from Karjat station, and around 100 km from the district headquarters at Alibag. Primarily made up of tribal Dhangars, Mahadev Koli, Katkari, and Thakur households and a few Maratha residents, all of whom are either marginal or landless farmers, Bhivpuri is faced with the problem of limited fertile land for agriculture, in spite of ample rains during the monsoon.

Organic India introduces wide range of products in Oman

Muscat – With an aim to have healthy lifestyle through the good old tea, Organic India introduced a range of products in Oman at the Passage to India restaurant on Tuesday.

A wide range of products including 11 varieties of tea, organic honey, organic ghee (clarified butter), virgin coconut oil as well as food supplements such as wheatgrass, moringa and psyllium husk were showcased. In the coming months, a variety of organic spices, pulses, rice and oils will also be made available in the Oman market.

Organic India’s founder on organic product popularity and why they don’t advertise on TV

Organic products have become the latest trend. According to a recent report by Assocham-EY titled, ‘The Indian Organic Market: A new paradigm in agriculture, the market size for Indian organic packaged food is expected to cross Rs 871 m by 2021 from Rs 533 m in 2016, on the back of expanding urban population base, rising health concerns, growing consumer spending on food products and deterioration of food quality.

One of the major players in the Indian organic market is the brand Organic India which sells organic herbal and ayurvedic health products. The brand has experienced rapid growth and has achieved loyalty among consumers over the years.

So much that the company’s revenue in 2016-17 stood at Rs 350 crore and it is currently looking at a turnover of over Rs 500 crore by end of fiscal 2020.

The Drum spoke with Abhinandan Dhoke, chief executive officer of Organic India to find out about its marketing strategy in India.

Tamil Nadu a forerunner in organic farming yet lacking in policy, feel experts

CHENNAI:  For three decades, awareness about organic farming and the importance of consuming products produced through organic farming has been gaining momentum in Tamil Nadu with experts such as the late Nammazhvar working overtime across the State. However, the awareness has been created mostly by activists rather than by intervention of the government.

So far, only States like Sikkim, Kerala, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Nagaland, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have declared their own organic farming policy while many others on the process to implement organic farming vigorously.

Global Kokan Mango Festival 2018 kick starts Mumbai

Kokan Bhumi Pratisthan, Nehru Science Centre, and Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Govt. of India in association with Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB), and Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) are hosting the Global Kokan Mango Festival 2018 from May 2-8, 2018, at Nehru Science Centre, Worli in Mumbai. This platform will be an open market hosting organic mango farmers from Konkan region, producer companies, and farmer co-operative associations from across the region.

Why the industrial food chain need not be India’s destiny

In my first piece about the debate between industrial food chain and peasant food web, I had listed the four components for a grassroots food web revolution to take place: No use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides; diversity in seed banks; small landholdings by farmers and growers; and proximity to end consumer markets (urban centres).

If we examine these factors, we can see why India could be an epicentre for this food revolution. Let me start with the third and fourth factors. Farmers today barely get 25-30% of the consumer price, especially for horticultural products like fruits and vegetables.

Shortening the supply chain and bringing farmers closer to customers mean that the end markets are closer to production. Another advantage of proximity is greater understanding of seasonal consumer demand, and flexibility in production for the farmers. This is also related to farm size, a counter-intuitive idea, compared to current received wisdom that we need to increase farm holdings. Smaller holdings that are closer to urban centres can result in significant benefits for farmers, but only if they are part of a complete new food system.

Eight terrifying things we found about pesticide regulation and use in India

In 2017, more than 50 farmers in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Telangana died while spraying pesticides in their fields. Most of them were cotton cultivators and many had used monocrotophos-based pesticides.

Monocrotophos is an organophosphate, a class of pesticide composed of organic compounds that contain phosphorus. Classified as highly hazardous by the World Health Organisation, it is banned in several countries. India restricts its use only for food crops.

Left her corporate job to pursue organic farming & help farmers

“Despite primary agricultural produce being essential for the livelihood of every person, it doesn’t yield profits for the farmer. Why does this happen?” questions Vishala, a chartered accountant with the determination to repair the condition of the farming sector.

Vishala (AKA Vishalakshi Padmanabhan) had been working in the corporate sector for four years before she decided to take a different path – one which aligns her work with her passion. She identified that the agricultural sector of our country needed an overhaul – a system which uplifts the farmers and benefits the consumers as well.

Kerala cops transform barren patch of land, now grow over 40 vegetables!

Three months ago, if one happened to pass by the police station in Ambalavayal, a small village in Wayanad, Kerala, he or she wouldn’t have possibly believed that plants could be grown in the barren and miniscule plot of land measuring 0.4 acres, which adjoins the station compound.

However, the police force of this sylvan village has not only achieved the impossible but have also used organic methods to grow and nurture the crops, and have been doing a great job at that!