Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals

ISAP Monthly E-newsletter, Volume 8, Issue:15 (Dec, 2015)

Wishing you happiness and success in life for this 2016 New Year


- ISAP Activities

-Prominent Contributors to Agriculture

- Science & Technology

- News Highlights


ISAP, the parent body of IAP, which also started as an electronic group in 2001 and achieved the following highlights since then:
  • ISAP group and page on Facebook and linkedin cater to more than 100,000 professionals on a daily basis with thousands of posts every month and answers to huge no of queries and interactions generated through these platforms.
  • Reached 1500 Villages, 49 blocks, 27 districts in 15 States
  • Touched and transformed the lives of 5 lakh Indian farming families
  • Provided Entrepreneurship Development training to 3396 agri-graduates and incubated 1059 successful ventures
  • Trained 6611 BPL rural youth on vocational skills and helped them gain meaningful livelihoods.
  • Certified 467 agri-graduates under India Crop Certified Adviser Program
  • Satisfactorily answered more than 5 lakh farmer queries through our Kisan Call Centres (KCC) in Bhopal (MP) and Gulbarga (Karnataka)
  • Successfully established two 100 bedded rural hospitals in West Bengal
  • Successfully running multi-seater health helpline in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh)
  • Set up 36 water treatment plants for village drinking water supply schemes in various states
  • Successfully running Community Radio Station "Kissan Vani Sironj" in District vidisha (M.P)
  • Created more than 100 farmer producer companies owned by @100,000 farmers across India

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ISAP Activities

OCPF-IFS Project, Rajasthan

ISAP has initiated OCPF-IFS project in the districts of Baran, Bundi and Sawai Madhopur (Rajasthan). Main objective of this program is to strengthen food and nutrition security and to improve livelihood of small and marginal farmers of Southeastern Rajasthan. Program is also aimed at building effective and cost efficient collaboration between producers, industry, governments, civil society organizations and other stakeholders for commodity based development. A total of 9600 farmers will directly be benefitted with this program.

Monthly Activities :-

With the onset of Rabi season, farmers were assisted in getting their soil tested, provided quality inputs and training on proven cropping techniques for select crops. On International World Soil Health Day, project farmers were distributed Soil Health and Nutrient Advisory cards and educated on nutrient management. In current rabi season, demos have been set up mustard, wheat and onion. Also, seed production is planned in around 30 acres.

Under IFS component, farmers have shown active interest in apiary. A practical orientation program was conducted for interested farmers on Dec 28th, 2015 in Anta block of District Baran. Nearly 32 farmers participated in this program.

In December month, 2 medical camps were organized. One medical camp was organized in Chaan Village, Khandhar block of Sawai Madhopur. Nearly 173 patients benefitted from this program. Another camp was organized in Bonli block of Sawai Madhopur. Around 126 patients benefitted from this camp. Common problems diagnosed and given treatment in these camps include fever, cold, cough and knee pain etc.

Patients showing their problems and taking medical consultation from the Doctor

Patients being brought to the medical camps by medical vans

Patients being diagnosed and and medicines being distributed among the patients

Patients getting their name registered during the medical campaign

Apiculture expert from our project team explaining farmers the method and benefits of honey bee practices

Farmers listening and asking questions from the experts on their queries on the honey bee keeping practices.

Farmers of Anta and Kishanganj block attending the programme at Krishi Vigyan Kendra(Anta)

Soil Health Cards being distributed among the farmers of Khandar block of Sawai Madhopur district

OCPF-AES Project, Karnataka

In phase I, OCPF-AES project was started as Soil health improvement and yield enhancement program. In span of four years, project got culminated into institutionalization of project farmers into “Producer organizations” (FPOs) and integration of these FPOs into the existing market value chain. In 1st phase, ISAP has formed total seven (7) Farmer Producer Organizations in districts of Gulbarga, Bidar and Raichur. In phase II, emphasis is largely on making these FPOs sustainable through market integration, infrastructure support and convergence with various schemes

Monthly Activities :-

In December month, a health camp was organized in Sastapur block , Basavkalyan taluk in Bidar district under OCPF-AES Project. Mr. Kapre, Vice President of Sastapur FPO was also present during the health camp. The health camps witnessed equal participation of people from all age groups. Besides this, a farmer’s community training program was also organized in which the children and farmers were explained about importance of health and hygiene.

This month, two pre-and post harvest training were also organized in Ankalga and Diksanga village of Afzalpur taluk . In total, 60 farmers participated in these two training programmes. Similarly, 2 trainings in Raichur taluk and 3 trainings in Chittapur taluks were also organized. These 5 trainings witnessed participation of 150 farmers.

In order to demonstrate IFS interventions of OCPF-AES Project, ISAP participated in Krishi Mela at UAS, KVK, Bidar. Also, innovative techniques of water conservation like pit method, chowk-madi method were displayed in this mela. During the Krishi Mela, Dr. S.A. Patil explained effectiveness of these techniques of moisture conservation, which helped farmers in mitigating the drought risks.

A field day was organized on IFS based organic farming and red gram crop in the Kon Melkunda village, Bhalki block, District Bidar. Honourable Vice Chancellor of UAS, Raichur Dr. Salimath, officials of KVK and Departments of Agriculture were present in this program. The motive was to educate farmers on proven cropping practices in red gram along with IFS farming. Another field day on red gram was organized in Hudgi village of Humnabad taluk in Bidar district in the month of December. Main Emphasis in this program was on drought mitigation techniques. Dr.S.A. Patil and Dr. S.A. Salimath,Vice Chancellor, UAS,Raichur were also present in this program.

Glimpses of the medical campaign organized in Sastapur block of Basavkalyan taluk in Bidar district

Pre and post harvest training conducted in Ankalaga and Diksanga village of Afzalpur taluk

Images of the farmers training organized in Chittapur block

Dr.S.A.Patil interacting with the farmers during Krishi Mela in Bidar

Images of the field day on grren garm organized in Bhalki and Humnabad taluks of Bidar district


SFAC sponsored projects

Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals (ISAP) has been delegated the responsibility for setting up 47 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) by Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC). ISAP has to set up these FPOs in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Telangana. Each FPO will be comprised of 1000 farmers. Objectives of the project are:
• Strengthening the farmers’ competence through training programs, exposure visits and demonstration of best agricultural and allied practices.
• Increasing marketing opportunities for output marketing, via collective action and increasing linkage of the producer groups to fair and remunerative markets.
• Providing input, information and modern technological services pertaining agriculture and allied activities, by developing community based sustainable agribusiness models.

Monthly Activities :-

Under these programs, 5 FPOs have been registered. 14 FPOs, planned to be formed under NFSM, are under the process of registration. Likewise 3 FPOs in Haryana and 6 FPO in Karnataka are in the process of registration under MIDH and KSP project respectively. Continuous meetings are being conducted for the project farmers to improve their knowledge about the intervention. Elections of Board of Director for FPOs are currently ongoing in MP (MP Special Project-2), Karnataka (KSP project) and Rajasthan (VIUC-Ajmer project). Each FPO consists of 50 Farmer Interest Groups (FIGs). The FIGs are encouraged to do shares collection from their farmer members.

Trainings are being given to the project farmers using Audio Visual Aids, on Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs). Help of scientists from local KVKs are also taken for conducting training programs for the farmers. A farmers’ field school was organized, in 1st December, in Kalaburgi district of Karnataka in which experts from KVK addressed queries of the FPO farmers

1Farmer Field School in Kalaburgi, attended by KVK Scientists

Farmers from FPO in Ajmer district of Rajasthan went on an exposure visit to KVK of the district. The exposure visit was sponsored by the Sate Horticulture Dept.-Rajasthan, in which the farmers were oriented about package of practices of major horticulture crops of the area in Rabi season. A team from Dept. of Horticulture-Haryana visited FPOs formed by ISAP in last week of Dec’15, to monitor progress of the work. The team conducted meetings with FIG members and checked FPO records in this regard.

Meeting of State Horticulture Dept.-Haryana with FPO members


Rajasthan Rural Livelihoods Project (RRLP)

Rajasthan Rural Livelihoods Project (RRLP) aims to improve living standards of the poor and marginalized groups in selected districts of Rajasthan; FPOs are planned to be formed in this regard. Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals (ISAP), as one of the project implementing agencies, has got the responsibility to strengthen existing farm-based livelihoods in the project districts of Udaipur, Churu and Jhalawar.

Monthly Activities :-

Vegetable seed kits were distribution, to RRLP-Udaipur project farmers in December’15. The seed kits (seeds with fertilizers) of total worth 1.25 lakh were received from Tribal Area Development Authority, free of cost, as part of convergence of RRLP with other Govt. schemes. A function was organized for the said activity on 23rd Dec’15; Local MLA and RRLP officials attended the function.

RRLP-Jhalawar project farmers participated in a local event, visited by the Chief Minister-Rajasthan, on 23rd Dec’15. ISAP put a stall on in this occasion, wherein banners were displayed about activities of ISAP under RRLP.

A project monitoring team visited KSP project sites in November’15. The team was accompanied by the Karnataka State Horticulture Dept. Staff and ISAP field staff.

Vegetable kit distribution function-Udaipur

CM visiting the stall organized by ISAP in Jhalawar


Project SHARE

This is the second phase of Project SHARE i.e. Sustainable Harvest Agriculture Resources and Environment. It aims to create change agents among farmers of corn, cotton and vegetable crop farming and also includes the concept of Integrated Farming Systems (IFS) and the concept of Model Village. This project is being implemented in the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh. During the course of the project, 45,000 farmers will be mobilized to form 45 FPOs and the women from the farming households will be encouraged to form SHGs so as to channelize their income and savings.

Monthly Activities :-

SHARE II project is in mobilization phase. So far, 384 Farmer Interest Groups have been set up under the project. A total of 131 FIGs has been formed in Maharashtra, 145 in Karnataka, 71 in Telangana and 37 in Uttar Pradesh. Each FIG is comprised of 15-20 farmers. This season, some crop demonstrations have also been set up in select areas. In UP, demos have been set up for wheat, Telangana & Karnataka for Bengal Gram (Chickpea), and in Maharashtra. These crops were selected after consultation with respective state KVKs officials. Sowing of the crop for demonstration has been started in all the project areas.

Snapshots of Bengal Gram and Wheat sowing in demo plots at Nandipet block and Chiraigaon block of Nizamabad and Varanasi respectively

Snapshots of FIG formation at Anjangaon block and Badnapur block of Amravati and Jalna district respectively

Agri-clinic Agri-business Program –

ISAP is running Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP) in 12 states under the aegis of MANAGE. This training is provided to unemployed agriculture and allied sector graduates. After training, ISAP provides active hand-holding support to these trained agripreneurs for the setting up their own business venture. ISAP has so far trained 4635 agri-preneurs in Assam, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, J&K, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. Out of these 4635, around 1675 agripreneurs have established their independent business successfully. We share one such success story with our readers in each ISAP newsletter.

Success Story (Uttarakhand) :-

“There are no secrets to success; it is the result of determination, hard work and learning from failure”. The story of Prem Singh Rawat exemplifies the statement. Prem Singh, started dairy farming after passing the inter school examination. “It was indeed a difficult task for me to arrange finances for the work as I belonged to a lower middle class family but somehow I managed the finances and started dairy farming with self investment of 3 lakhs “says Prem Singh. Although he was very sure about gaining a good source of income from the work, the dairy farming did not proved to be much successful. “I was feeling very frustrated and demotivated and was not able to decide what to do next” says Prem Singh. One of his friends suggested him to join the ACABC training of two months. He got pretty convinced with the likely benefits of joining this program, as narrated to him by his peers. After some research Prem Singh joined the ACABC Training at ISAP Dehradun Centre from 31.08.15 to 29.10.15.

“The training helped me in various ways and I gained a lot of information regarding the new techniques that can help in improvement of the dairy farming” adds Prem Singh. Currently the business is going good and he earns a monthly income of INR 15000/-. He also provides advisories and tips to other farmers who practice dairy farming in his village. “ACABC training helped me in identifying the gaps and loopholes which prevented my business to grow initially, now I know the ways through which I can ensure the growth of my business in future” adds Prem Singh. He has applied for loan in bank as he wants to expand his venture. ACABC training helped him in gaining enough confidence to overcome the obstacles which will come in his way to become a successful Agripreneur. “I learned from my failure and was determined to gain success, I will never look back again as now I have enough motivation to look forward and create a better tomorrow” says Prem Singh.

ISAP wishes good luck to Prem Singh.

Vikramjeet Singh can be contacted at: Mobile no: 8057266437

Prem Singh practicing Dairy farming


Science & Technology

Crop Insurance and Agri market app

The ministry of agriculture & farmers welfare has launched crop insurance and agri market mobile app for farmers.

Crop Insurance app will help farmers not only to find out complete details about insurance cover available in their area but also to calculate the insurance premium for notified crops, coverage amount and loan amount in case of a loaned farmer. Agri Market Mobile app will help farmers to get market prices of crops in the mandi within 50 km radius of the device and other mandis in the country. The Crop Insurance mobile app can be used to find out complete details about cover available but also to calculate the insurance premium for notified crops based on area, coverage amount and loan amount in case of a loanee farmer. It can also be used to get details of normal sum insured, extended sum insured, premium details and subsidy information of any notified crop in any notified area.

Agri Market Mobile App has been developed with an aim to keep them abreast with crop prices around them. Agri Market Mobile App can be used to get the market price of crops in the markets within 50 km of the device’s location. This app automatically captures the location of person using mobile GPS and fetches the market prices of crops in those markets which fall within the range of 50 km. There is another option to get price of any market and any crop in case person does not want to use GPS location. The prevailing prices are fetched from the Agmarknet portal.


Do you know


Tea originated in southwestern China, where it was used as a medicinal drink.[6] It was popularized as a recreational drink during the Chinese Tang dynasty, and tea drinking spread to other East Asian countries. Portuguese priests and merchants introduced it to the West during the 16th century. During the 17th century, drinking tea became fashionable among Britons, who started large-scale production and commercialization of the plant in India. Tea is the second most consumed beverage on Earth after water.

Prominent Contributors to Agriculture

Pierre-Marie-Alexis Millardet (13 December 1838 – 15 December 1902) was a French botanist and mycologist born in Montmirey-la-Ville.

He was a student at the Universities of Heidelberg and Freiberg, and later became a professor of botany at the Universities of Strasbourg (1869), Nancy (1872), and Bordeaux (1876).

Millardet is chiefly remembered for his work dealing with plant pests. In the 1860s the vineyards of France were infested by the destructive Phylloxera, an aphid-like pest inadvertently introduced to Europe from the United States. Millardet and fellow botanist controlled the infestation by using American grape vines that were resistant to Phylloxera as grafting stock.

He was also responsible for protecting grape vineyards from downy mildew fungus (Plasmopara viticola). He accomplished this feat by implementing a fungicide consisting of hydrated lime, copper sulfate and water, a mixture that was to become known as the "Bordeaux mixture". It was the first fungicide to be used worldwide, and is still used today.

News Highlights

Take action against farmers for crop residue burning: NGT

The National Green Tribunal on Thursday directed state governments to take coercive and punitive action against persistent defaulters of crop residue burning and asked them to withdraw the assistance provided to those farmers.

“In case of persistent defaulters of crop residue burning an appropriate coercive and punitive action could be taken by the state government concerned including launching of prosecution...,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar said.

The green panel said that the five north Indian states — Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi — which have issued notification prohibiting agriculture crop residue burning shall ensure that these notifications are enforced rigorously and proper action is taken against the defaulters.

“Where on the one hand state governments are directed to provide incentives for farmers for not burning agriculture residue in the open and on the other hand they are required to take into consideration passing of such direction, including withdrawal of assistance provided to the farmers if they persist with the defaults,” the bench said.

It directed that the National Policy of Management of Crop Residue, 2014 prepared by the union Ministry of Agriculture shall in conjunction with the action plan prepared by the states shall be implemented without any default and delay.

The tribunal said small land owners having less than two acres of land will have to pay Rs. 2500, medium land owners holding over two acres and less than five acres will have to pay Rs. 5,000 and those owning over five acres will have to pay Rs. 15,000 per incident of crop burning towards environment compensation.

The panel asked state governments to provide machinery free of cost to the farmers having less than two acres of land, to farmers having medium land owners at a cost of Rs. 5,000 and for the large land holding farmers at Rs. 15,000.

42 mega food parks worth Rs 2,000 crore to be set up in the country: Harsimrat Kaur Badal

Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said 42 mega food parks worth Rs 2,000 crore will be set in the entire country, out of which five have already been established.

Union Minister said that these Food Parks will be having all facilities like Production, Processing Plant, Cold Store, Collection centre & Transports, besides this it will also facilitate the farmers by providing value for their hard work."One Mega Food Park provides employment to 30 thousand persons directly and will provide benefit indirectly to more than 1 lakh persons," she said.

Harsimrat said with the efforts of Dy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, Centre has given its approval for making fuel (ethanol) from maize. This will expand the area under maize crop and farmers will also get value for their crops, she said.Addressing the conference, G S Kalkat Chairman Punjab State Farmers Commission expressed concern about the degradation of quality of subsoil water table and urging the farmers to cultivate fruits, flowers and vegetables and also said that to facilitate farmers to meet with marketing needs a collection centre should be established in each district of the state.


Subsidised toor dhal reaches small towns

The Cooperative Department has extended the sale of toor dhal to rural areas of the district.It has so far been selling the cereal in 14 stores in the city.The special sale by the State government began on November 1 to stabilise the spiralling price of toor dhal. The price of the dhal had reached all time high in the retail market in October and November.One kg of toor dhal was sold at Rs.220 in the retail market then. K.C.

Ravichandran, Joint Registrar, Cooperatives, Tiruchi, told The Hindu that the sale of toor dhal had received good response from the people in Tiruchi city. In order to take the benefits to the people of rural areas, the sale had been extended. Toor dhal was now available in 12 cooperative stores in rural areas including Manaparai, Thuraiyur, Lalgudi, Mannachanallur, Musiri and Thuvakudi. It was sold at Rs.110 a kg in the cooperative stores. Customers could get half a kg and a quarter kg pockets.

He said 50 tonnes of tool dhal had been sold in Tiruchi since the start of special sale. The cooperative stores sold one tonnes a day on an average. With the extension of sale in rural areas, it was expected that the department would require 1.5 tonnes a day.


Electronic agriculture market will cover 250 mandis by next September

The electronic national agriculture market will cover 250 mandis (wholesale markets) by next September, ensuring free movement of farm produce from one market area to another, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said. This would give producers access across markets, save them from levies charged by multiple mandis and ensure commodities to consumers at reasonable prices.

"The government has drawn a time-bound programme for developing the agriculture market. The national e-platform developed for this propose will cover 250 mandis by September 2016 and, by March 2018, a total 585 mandis will have the system," Singh said while briefing members of a Parliamentary Consultative Committee.

The government is actively working to bring changes to the agriculture marketing system in the interests of farmers and consumers, he said. The Centre has urged states to introduce an e-market platform within their territories so that farmers will be able to sell their produce in any of the mandis.


Centre contemplating launch of insurance scheme for farmers

The Centre is contemplating bringing in a viable insurance scheme for farmers given that the agriculture sector is facing a lot of challenges due to recurrent droughts, floods and other weather-related changes, Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh said on Thursday.

Speaking at a national dialogue on ‘Innovative Extension System for Farmers Empowerment and Welfare’ here, Mr. Singh said: “India is having a pluralistic extension system which is dominated by the public extension system which has two approaches: field extension pursued by the development departments and frontline extension pursued by the ICAR and agricultural universities through Krishi Vigyan Kendras. Our focus is on strengthening both these arms of extension.”

The Minister said the government policies of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi SinchaiYojana, the Soil Health Card Scheme, the Paramparagat Krishi VikasYojana and the proposed National Agricultural Market Scheme will revolutionise agriculture in the years to come.

Mr. Singh said besides food security, nutritional security has been a concern and this has to be dealt with appropriately. “At present, one third of global production is lost or wasted annually which is enough to feed two billion people for a year. Most food loss takes place in post-production, harvesting, transportation and storage. This is a huge loss on account of economy, environmental and societal significance. Around 800 million people in the world suffer from hunger and under-nutrition remains widespread with some two billion people lacking essential nutrients like iron, zinc and vitamin A,” he added.

Mr. Singh said according to a U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organisation estimate, world food production must rise 60 per cent to keep pace with the demographic change. Whereas the International Panel on Climate Change predicts that crop yields may decline by 10-20 per cent by 2050.

“As the holdings are getting smaller, the farmers need models which could ensure food security as well as regular flow of income from their land…all these issues are the main concerns of extension for future,” he added.


Govt to import 10K tonnes of pulses to check prices

The government has decided to import 10,000 tonnes of pulses for buffer stock and extend zero import duty on chickpeas and masoor till September 2016 as part of its steps to boost local supply and check prices.

The government will soon float tenders for 5,000 tonnes each of tur and urad dals.These decisions were taken at a high-level committee meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, that reviewed prices of pulses and other essential commodities. Earlier this week, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved creation of a buffer stock of pulses by procuring 1.5 lakh tonnes at market price and the stock would be used to check spurts in retail rates.

"It was observed that prices of most essential commodities are under control and even pulses and onions have been showing a declining trend. With coming of fresh Kharif crops, prices are likely to further moderate", an official statement said.

The Cabinet Secretary asked agencies like FCI, NAFED and SFAC to step up procurement of tur and urad dals to build the buffer stock. "To further supplement and augment the buffer stock, it was also decided to start import of pulses and to float tenders for 5,000 tonnes of tur dal and another 5,000 tonnes for urad dal", the statement said.

The Cabinet Secretary asked agencies like FCI, NAFED and SFAC to step up procurement of tur and urad dals to build the buffer stock. "To further supplement and augment the buffer stock, it was also decided to start import of pulses and to float tenders for 5,000 tonnes of tur dal and another 5,000 tonnes for urad dal", the statement said.


Soil health cards to be given under nationwide drive

Soil health cards will be given to farmers under a nationwide drive, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while underlining the government's commitment to make the soil healthier.

The government's soil health card is an endeavour to improve the health of the soil and provide guidance to farmers on soil-related issues, he said. In February, Modi had launched the soil health card scheme in Suratgarh, Rajasthan with an aim of checking deteriorating soil quality and increase farm productivity.

Under the scheme, soil health cards are proposed given to all 14.5 crore farmers in the country in the next three years. The cards will carry crop-wise recommendation of fertilisers required for farm lands, thereby helping farmers in identifying health of soil and judiciously use soil nutrients.

The government has set a target to collect 102.61 lakh samples in the 2015-16 fiscal. Till last month, it has able to collect over 55 lakh samples, of which 31.43 lakh samples have been tested and 26.53 lakh soil health cards have been issued, as per the Agriculture Ministry's data.

As per the operational guidelines of the scheme, samples are to samples are to be collected and tested in a grid of 2.5 hectare in irrigated areas and 10 hectare in rainfed areas.


Urea production to rise 7% to record 24 million tonne this year

Urea production is expected to rise by 7 per cent to a record 24 million tonnes this fiscal and help reduce the country's import dependence, Fertiliser Minister Ananth Kumar said today.

Addressing the Fertiliser Association of India (FAI) annual conference, he said the Department of Fertilisers is working with the Finance Ministry to clear the Rs 40,000 crore subsidy arrears to the manufacturers. Kumar also highlighted that the fertiliser sector is growing at a very high rate of 18.6 per cent. "Urea production is to be higher this year at 240 lakh tonnes against 225 lakh tonnes last year," Kumar said.

Urea is a controlled fertiliser and is sold at a fixed selling price of Rs 5,360 per tonne. The difference between cost of production and selling price is paid as subsidy to manufacturers.

Annual domestic demand of urea is estimated at 30 million tonnes, while the production is stagnant at about 22 million tonnes. The rest is met through imports.The government is reviving several closed urea plants to boost domestic production and cut imports.

Kumar had said yesterday that the country would soon become an urea surplus state from a deficit state and start exporting it. FAI expects that subsidy arrears could reach Rs 45,000 crore by end of this fiscal if no additional fund is being provided.

About Rs 72,000 crore was allotted in the budget but the funds have almost exhausted.


Cotton farmers to get direct subsidy in bank accounts

In a landmark change in the way it administers minimum support prices (MSPs) for crops, the central government is set to begin direct transfer of cash into farmers’ accounts, instead of physical procurement of cotton from wholesale markets.

The Centre is now introducing a ‘Direct Payment Deficiency System (DPDS)’ under which the difference between selling price and MSP would be borne by it. The amount of the price difference would be transferred from the ministry of textiles to the respective state governments for distribution.

“DPDS is currently being worked out on a pilot basis in Hinganghat, Wardha district of Maharasthra. On successful completion, we will be rolling it out in other talukas , districts and states. Hopefully, the scheme will be rolled out through the country this season,” said Kavita Gupta, textile commissioner in the central ministry, while announcing the 74th plenary meeting here of the International Cotton Advisory Committee.

There is currently a lot of expense on procurement, handling, transportation, warehousing and sales of procured cotton. The government compensates the loss incurred by the procurement agencies. "Instead of passing though all such channels, direct transfer would bring efficiency and transparency in MSP operations. Also, it will save a whole lot of expenses incurred by the government in the process,” said Gupta.

CCI, along with The Maharashtra State Co-operative Cotton Growers Marketing Federation, procured 2.3 million bales worth Rs 3,556 crore of cotton in the state last year. Along with procurement, CCI sold cotton through e-auctions.

For availing of the new service, farmers would have to present proof of cotton sold at Agriculture Produce Market Committee yards, plus other papers such as ownership document, yield estimation and other details. On giving these in at local talukas and government inspectors, the difference between actual price and MSP is to be transferred to a farmer's account directly, within two weeks.

The ministry estimates output in India to decline this year to 36.5 million bales, as compared to 38 mn last year. This is due to a fall in sowing area to 11.76 mn hectares, from 13.08 mn last year. The yield is actually estimated to rise significantly this year, to 527.49 kg a ha from 493.77 kg last year, on sowing of higher yielding seed. Gupta said the government had introduced a 'revolutionary technology', used abroad.


Farming isn’t just a way to make a living ……’s a way of life - Anonymous

Wishing you all a Great Month ahead! - ISAP Team

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