Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Women of India Organic Festival a big hit in Mumbai

With over 300 women entrepreneurs, an organic festival in the city aims to empower women by increasing their revenue base, as well as educate consumers about benefits.

As the fast-paced life of the  city takes over our lives, many people have woken up to the damage easily available, mass grown food products can have on our health and living. From artificially sweetened fruits to pesticide-laden vegetables, health conscious Mumbaikars are fast moving towards organic food products, hoping to consume only chemical-free foodstuff.

And as we inch towards living life in a natural way with food, the city is hosting its very first organic festival. And while the pure-grown food is a draw enough, the highlight of the festival is its all-female entrepreneur line up. Established in 2015, Women of India Organic Festival is organised by the Union ministry of women & child development, giving an impetus to businesswomen and cultivators in the organic field.

APEDA and DoA organise outreach and buyer-seller meet

Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) in collaboration with Department of Agriculture (DoA), Nagaland organised an “outreach and buyer-seller meet” on March 19 at Acacia Hotel, Dimapur.

The programme focused on the unique qualities of NER products, mainly ginger, turmeric, Naga king chilli, rajma, (kholar) pineapple and kiwi fruit. Many buyers and exporters evinced interest in procuring the commodities as FPOs and entrepreneurs displayed their products and provided details about them.

Adviser (NAB) from APEDA, Dr. A.K. Yadav gave an overview of organic farming in the world,

Draft farm policy says predictability, APMC and land reforms, food security crucial

NEW DELHI: With the aim to double India’s farm exports to over $60 billion by 2022, the commerce department has circulated the Draft Agriculture Export Policy recommending a stable and predictable policy with limited state interference, reforms in APMC Act and streamlining of Mandi fee along with liberalisation of land leasing norms including contract farming.
“The proposed Agri Export Policy is framed with a focus on agri export oriented production, export promotion, better farmer realization and synchronization within government of India,” the department said in the draft released Monday.

Farm travels: As farmers become synonymous with protests and suicides…

The bleeding, blistered feet of farmers marching along the streets of Mumbai earlier this week are a grim reminder of the state the community is in. Identified with lush green fields, sprouting food for the entire nation, farmers today are synonymous more with suicides, protests and helpless faces in the event of droughts or rotting grain.

In a country that boasts of being an agrarian economy, farmers and their fields have paid the price of prosperity. In a rush to boost productivity, fields were inundated with chemicals, pesticides and genetically-modified crops in the garb of the Green Revolution, writes Lathika George in her book, Mother Earth, Sister Seed: Travels through India’s Farmlands. Travelling the breadth of the country to farms and villages in search of the “endearing images of bullock cart races in fallow fields or farmers flying kites after a harvest”, George questions why what was, and should be, the cycle of life has now become the cycle of death.

MGU: Start-up for organic farming launched

The dedicated start-up for students in organic farming was launched at Mahatma Gandhi University on Saturday.

Speaking on the occasion, S. Venkataraman, chief general manager, State Bank of India, underscored the key role the youth had to play in infusing fresh ideas and finding lasting solutions to the problems faced by the farming community. Studies showed the income levels of the farming community had to be doubled in the immediate future. This showed it was high time the youth reached out to farmers with new ideas, he said. Laying stress on the need for entrepreneurial interventions, he said the nation was looking up to them. Bankers would only be ready to support financially any viable project.

India celebrates Sikh Environment Day

On the eve of Sikh Environment Day, an organic farmer’s market was held here today. Hundreds of volunteers participated in the event. Farmers extended support to the cause and vowed to go natural to preserve the already burdened ecology due to the over-exploitation of natural resources.

Every year, the day is marked with environment friendly activities, plantation drives and promoting eco-friendly practices. The weekly organic market’s theme is ‘No more poison in my food’. It aims at creating raise awareness regarding organic farming and shunning plastics.

Champion of native virtues

TRICHY: To call Subramania Siva a native farmer would be an understatement for he infuses the native spirit in every planting activity he undertakes. Raising native breeds of cattle remains his major avocation, but he is also into cultivating and promoting traditional rice varieties as well as vegetables and fruits, all the organic way.

India’s urban go rural

Urban youth who willingly drop out of corporate rat race pursue this back-to-the-roots career. Quite often, it’s a joint decision with the spouse. This drives this sector, partially, but significantly.

Thanks to this urban-looking rural pursuit, India is getting increasingly dotted by numerous enterprises that are small in size but with long reach.

A slow but sure departure from the traditional, organic farming joins like-minded pursuits that hold special appeal to Indians, like Ayurveda and yoga.

From Leh to Kohima, get organic produce from across India in Mumbai

Making its way from the capital this year, the ‘Women of India Organic Festival’ will promote new women entrepreneurs and their produce from across the country.

Over 400 women entrepreneurs from Leh to Kanyakumari and Kohima to Kutch will come together to showcase goodies such as cereals, cosmetics, pulses, vegetables, fruits, organic ice cream, aromatherapy, fabrics, seeds, snacks and more at World Trade Centre in Cuffe Parade, Mumbai. An initiative by the Union Ministry for Women and Child Development, the festival encourages women entrepreneurs and their businesses with a platform to showcase themselves and organises a number of workshops and presentations on how they can improve their businesses, sell their produce at competitive rates, as well as operational tips on the process of certification, the products they sell and how they can be modified, new product ideas, to name a few.

They run the farm, they made the March

When the farmers’ march began in Nashik on March 6, at the forefront was 60-year old Rukmabai Bendkule from Dondegaon village in Dindori taluka, dancing robustly with a red flag in hand. Many thousands of other women farmers walked in the march to Mumbai, across 180 kilometres, some without  chappals in the harsh heat, some with children and grandchildren who could not be left behind.

Adivasi women farmers from Nashik, Palghar, Dahanu, Ahmednagar and other districts, along with women farmers from Marathwada and Vidarbha, were at the morcha in large numbers.  Adivasi women cultivators are almost always from families with very small landholdings, so most of them also work as agricultural labourers on others’ farms. By participating in the week-long march, all of them lost a fourth of their modest monthly income.

PM to inaugurate Krishi Unnati Mela at IARI on March 17

New Delhi, Mar 14 (UNI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate a three-day Krishi Unnati Mela at the Indian Agriculture Research Institute here on March 17.
The theme of the fair is ‘doubling farmer’s income by 2022’.
On the day, Mr Modi will launch the `Jaivik Kheti’ (organic farming) portal and lay the foundation stone for 25 Krishi Vigyan Kendras. Several hundred farmers will participate in the event, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh told mediapersons here on Wednesday.
The Prime Minister will confer the `Krishi Karman’ and `Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhaya Krishi Vigyan Protsahan’ awards on the occasion.

Sikkim Govt regulates sale of non-organic Ag & Horti commodities

Gangtok, Mar 13 (UNI) With a view to regulate sale of non-organic commodities in the Sikkim, the State government has finally issued a notification.
Additional Chief Secretary SC Gupta notified that after realizing the importance of supporting sustainable management practices in delivering long term benefits to communities, environment, economy and country, the State has taken up organic farming.

Initiatives in agriculture sector slowly bearing fruit in Goa

PANAJI: In his 2017 budget, chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had laid special focus on the agriculture sector. Rs 172 crore had been earmarked to target a 6 per cent growth rate in the sector.
Parrikar proposed a scheme to promote the commercial cultivation of mangoes.

The directorate of agriculture notified the scheme in mid-2017. Titled ‘Development of mango orchards on commercial lines 2017’, granted government aid of up to Rs 2 lakh per hectare to those maintaining mango plantations of local varieties of the fruit for commercial sale.

Jammu farmers sent on interstate exposure visit

JAMMU: Group of 88 farmers from different districts of Jammu Division was flagged off by Director Agriculture Jammu H. K. Razdan for an Exposure Visit outside the state from the Directorate of Agriculture, Krishi Bhawan, Jammu. The training programme is being organized by the Farmers Training Centre Jammu under Sub-Mission on Agriculture Extension (SMAE) of Centrally Sponsored Scheme: National Mission For Agriculture Extension Technology (NMAET-ATMA) w.e.f 12.03.2018 to 18.03.2018.

Razdan while interacting with the farmers on the occasion said that the programme has been organized for acquainting the farmers with modern techniques for Commercial Agriculture, emerging trends in organic farming and cultivation of different agricultural crops on scientific lines. He impressed upon the farmers to interact with the farm scientists, experts and extension functionaries to get up to date methodology in cultivation of crops on scientific lines.

He asked the farmers to enhance their technical skills in the field of Integrated Farming and to adopt the advanced technology for cultivation of cereal food crops, vegetables, Mushrooms and other agricultural crops after learning from such Trainings/Exposure Visit.

Young professionals start ‘Subaer’ to curb migration

DEHRADUN: In an initiative to stem migration from the hills, a group of young professionals hailing from the state initiated an organization, ‘Subaer,’ meaning dawn, on Monday. The organization aims to acquire deserted agricultural land from farmers in remote areas of the state and use it for organic farming and agri-based activities that will help generate employment.
The initiative was flagged off by agriculture minister Subodh Uniyal who said that the state requires more young brains to invest their energy and time in the state.
“In Uttarakhand, growth was mainly centred in plain districts and hill districts remained far behind. Most of the economic opportunities concentrated in plain areas of the state, leading to huge income inequalities across the hill and plain districts. We need to avert this lopsided development phenomenon,” Uniyal said.

Trump axes Obama-era rule on organic farming

New York, Mar 13 (AFP) The US Department of Agriculture announced today it is withdrawing a much delayed Obama-era rule that would have imposed more regulations on producers of organically raised livestock and poultry.

The department said it lacked the legal authority to enact the rule, published in the closing days of Barack Obama’s government. It was initially set to go into effect in March 2017.

But President Donald Trump’s administration first froze it along with all other new regulations, then delayed it twice, and has now called it off altogether.

The USDA said today the rule would also have increased costs for producers and consumers.

Governments should work for farmers’ betterment: Justice Chelameswar

GUNTUR: Calling upon the governments for initiating more farmer friendly policies, Supreme Court judge justice Jasti Chelameswar has said that farmers struggling to get remunerative prices will not do good to the nation.
He said that India is an agriculture dominant country and farmers should be treated with utmost respect.
Justice Chelameswar inaugurated an organic products centre and and a gausala at Raithu Nestham Foundation in Kornepadu village of Vatticherukuru mandal in Guntur district on Sunday.

Chennai family creates ‘Oxygen Chamber’ on terrace, harvests 300 bags of veggies!

Through this article, you will get to know more about two friends, Balasubramaniam and Natarajan, and their 15-year-old Chennai-based terrace garden—Indra Terrace Garden—which has become a benchmark for efficient and effective terrace gardening in Chennai.

Both the friends have an avid interest in gardening and farming, and were attracted to the concept of growing and nurturing plants.

Many years ago, the duo decided to grow their own food, as they didn’t find the quality of the vegetables available in the market satisfactory. They wanted to begin terrace gardening, to eat better quality food and to spread awareness regarding the terrace garden concept.

Thus, the seed for the Indra Terrace Garden idea was sown in their minds. Slowly but surely, the two friends went about realising their dream.

Rs 26,345 crore for agriculture, irrigation in Maharashtra

Maharashtra has allocated Rs 26,345.29 crore for the state’s farm sector in this year’s Budget. Work on all the major projects under agriculture and irrigation, which were launched in last three years, will continue along with new plans to channalise the farm produce for the benefit of farmers, the government said. The state Budget has accorded high priority to the agriculture and irrigation sector. Of the total Rs 26,345.29 crore, allocation for the agriculture sector is Rs 18,112.17 crore and irrigation (water resources) Rs 8,233.12 crore.

The flagship project “jalyukta shivar”, which has helped to make 11,454 drought-hit villages water-sufficient, got higher priority in the Budget. Special provision of Rs 1,500 crore has been made with a target to make 5,000 villages drought-free by the end of the year. It has been adequately backed with “farm ponds on demand”, which has caught the imagination of farmers, specially in small and marginal districts of Vidarbha and Marathawada region.

Nyishi community celebrates pre-agricultural festival

Itanagar : Arunachal Pradesh’s ethnic tribal group Nyishi community celebrated the 50th pre-agriculture festival known as Nyokum Yullo at its Yajuli town recently.

The Golden Jubilee Nyokum Yullo 2018 festival was attended by state’s Chief Minister Pema Khandu along with various elected leaders of Bhartiya Janta Party.

The event was mainly organised by the villagers of Talo.

The festival featured demonstrations of traditional hunting, fishing practice, Swla Dunam (traditional zip line) and other traditional sports.

This pre-agricultural festival is not only a celebration of appeasing for God’s blessing for bountiful harvest but it is also a festival of paying obeisance to Nyokum deity, the rain god for peace, harmony and fertility in the society.

Gives patients a healthy diet, doctor grows his own organic vegetables

A large percentage of pregnant women in India continue to fall prey to malnutrition and anaemia due to the lack of proper guidance regarding their diet. This is one of the primary reasons for the high maternal and infant mortality rate in the country.

However, one doctor in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu has been fighting to bring down the mortality rate along with malnutrition and anaemia in pregnant women for the past 12 years, and his method will amaze and impress you at the same time!

Retired teacher seeds organic farming in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: A retired school teacher in Odisha has turned an icon for millions of farmers in the country and abroad for his passion to collect native variety of paddy seeds and encouraging peasant communities to undertake organic farming, not only to save huge money spent on buying high-cost chemical fertilisers and pesticides but for keeping good health.

The 85-year-old teacher, Natabar Sarangi, so far collected over 647 varieties of paddy seeds from states like Odisha, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh.

Mr Sarangi’s tryst with native seeds collection began after his retirement in 1992 when he felt that the new agriculture practices followed since 1960s had dire effects on small farmers and the biodiversity of crops.

The Real Organic Project: Disgusted With the USDA, US Farmers Make Their Own Organic Label

The certified organic label is, easily, the most important label in the U.S. food regulation system.

Worth billions of dollars, the organic label is the only federally regulated food label that conveys any information about how that food was produced. Certified organic is the fastest-growing food segment—and the distinction can be profitable for farmers (and also costly and difficult to implement)—but that doesn’t mean everyone’s happy with it. A series of scandals and a lack of faith in the current iteration of the USDA, which oversees the organic program, has led a group of pioneering organic farmers to create their own label: the Real Organic Project.

In the past few years, the rules surrounding organic farming have taken a turn not to the liking of the sustainability-focused small-scale farmers who pushed the movement into being with the 1990 Farm Bill. For one, the USDA declared that soil-free farming methods can snag the coveted label despite objections from farmers who consider the Earth a fundamental component of organic farming. And more recently, the USDA torpedoed a previously-approved law that would have required basic animal welfare standards for organic livestock.

39,790 farmers switch over to organic farming in HP

Shimla, Mar 11 (UNI) The supply of fresh green off-season vegetables and nutrition-filled, juicy Apple and Pears of Himachal Pradesh to the entire North India got a healthy twist, as 39,790 farmers have switched over to organic farming.
Ryots of this hill state have achieved a major breakthrough as about 21,773 hectares arable lands were brought under the organic farming.
The state government, claiming it to be a Zero Budget Natural farming option, however, said it has provided Rs 25 crore budget for the next financial year

Himachal reap peas grown under zero budget natural farming

Shimla, March 11 (IANS) In a first, a Himachal Pradesh university has successfully undertaken the harvesting of peas planted under the zero budget natural farming, scientists said on Sunday.

The first picking of the peas was undertaken last week at the farms of Dr Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan district, with encouraging results.

Based on the first harvest, the production was calculated to be around five quintals an acre.

The scientists are expecting up to three pickings from the crop.