Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals

ISAP Monthly E-newsletter, Volume 9, Issue:1 (Jan, 2016)


- 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, 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 number 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 the OCPF-IFS project in the districts of Baran, Bundi and Sawai Madhopur (Rajasthan). The main objective of this program is to strengthen food and nutrition security and to improve livelihood of small and marginal farmers of Southeastern Rajasthan. The 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 :-

The month of January 2016 was very eventful and witnessed a lot of activities in the OCPF-IFS Project, Rajasthan.

A theoretical as well as practical training on apiculture was conducted for IFS farmers in Anta block, District Baran. Under this program, farmers were given training on different aspects of bee-keeping. This training was provided to the farmers, who had shown willingness to start apiary on their farms. Also, 4 awareness campaigns on apiculture practices were conducted in Hindoli and Nainwa blocks of Bundi district and Khandar block of Sawai Madhopur district. The aim of these campaigns was to encourage more farmers to undertake apiculture as allied activity along with their regular farming to help improve their incomes.

Also, 4 medical campaigns were conducted in January. A total of 589 community members benefitted from these camps. Patients were attended by Dr Murali Meena and Dr Mukesh Chandra. Patients were also distributed medicines free of cost.

For capacity building of project farmers, around 28 farmer field days (FFDs) and 2 trainings on seed production were organized. Field days are usually conducted on farm demonstration sites and farmers are educated on package of practices adopted in the demo farms. Also, farmers get an opportunity to learn from the peer farmers during the field days. In Sawai Madhopur, select farmers were given training on seed production. Farmers were provided thorough information on technical aspects of seed production.

Select farmers from Hindoli block of district Bundi were taken on a 2-day exposure visit to Ajmer. These farmers visited the National Research Centre on Spices and Seed (NRCSS), Krishi Vigyan Kendra (Ajmer) and Ajmeru Kisan Samradhi Producer Company Limited.

This month, construction work has also started for Agri-village Resource Centres(AVRC) at Hindoli block of Bundi district and Khandar blocks of Sawai Madhopur district. So far, 3 AVRCs have been constructed at Kishanganj (Baran), Bonli and Nainwa (Bundi). Each AVRC is comprised of an FPO office, an aggregation centre, a processing unit, farm mechanization centre, a plant nursery, a computer education centre, a Primary Health Care Unit, Women Skill Development Centre and Child Recreation Centre.

Farmers of Anta block( Baran district) attending training on bee-keeping (apiary)

Medical campaign organized in Nainwa block of Bundi district

Farmers visiting NRCSS(Ajmer) and Ajmeru Kisan Samradhi Producer Company Limited(Ajmer)

Excavation work in progress for construction of Agri-village resource centers in Khandar( Sawai Madhopur)and Hindoli(Bundi)

OCPF-AES Project, Karnataka

In phase I, OCPF-AES project was started as soil health improvement and yield enhancement program. In a span of four years, the project got culminated into institutionalization of project farmers into “Farmer 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 :-

Karnataka Farmers Maha Society (KFMS) conducted a meeting of its board members at ISAP’s office in Gulbarga. Various business plans were discussed during this meeting. KFMS is currently running a grocery mart in the name of ‘Kisan Fresh’ at Gulbarga and intends to start some more agri-ventures. KFMS is exploring business opportunity in the renewable energy sector and in this regard, board members held a meeting with officials of a company that deals in ‘solar pumps’. Major emphasis in this phase is on expansion of business activities by FPOs.

Select farmers from Raichur were taken to the Krishi Mela Raichur on an exposure visit. In this visit, farmers got an opportunity to learn new technologies. In this Krishi Mela, Dr S A Patil was invited as a guest speaker. Dr Patil shared with delegates the successful results of moisture conservation techniques employed in OCPF-AES project, Karnataka.

Harvesting of red gram is in full swing in the project area. Initial results of demo plots are quite encouraging. Field teams are busy in compiling the productivity results achieved with different technologies employed in demonstration farms.

Karnataka Farmers Maha Society Board Members discussing business plans during meeting

Board members in discussion with officials of a ‘solar pump’ manufacturing company

Farmers of Raichur district at the Krishi Mela and at Krishi Vigyan Kendra(Raichur)

Harvesting of red gram crop through combine harvester in Gonal village, Distt Raichur

Farmers cleaning the red gram grains after harvesting


FPO Promotion under various government schemes

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 to agriculture and allied activities, by developing community based sustainable agribusiness models.

Monthly Activities :-

Under these programs, 12 FPOs have been registered so far; 2 under MIDH-Haryana, 2 under NFSM-Raichur and 3 under NFSM-Aurangabad and 4 under MP Special project-1. 10 FPOs, planned to be formed under NFSM, are under the process of registration. Likewise 1 FPO in Haryana and 8 FPOs in Karnataka are in the process of registration under MIDH and KSP project respectively. Continuous meetings are being conducted with 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 member 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. 300 crop demonstrations have been set up for wheat crop in current Rabi season under MP Special Project-2. This crop demo program covers a total of eight FPOs and 300 acre farm land. Farmers are educated on proven cropping techniques like INM, IPM etc and provided partial support for nutrient management. Monitoring was conducted, for three FPOs formed under MP Special Project-1 in Rewa and Sidhi district, in the month of Jan’16, by third party monitoring agency appointed by SFAC.

Crop demonstration plot under MP Special Project-2

Registered FPOs have now been assisted for making business plans. These business plans are formulated in consultation with FPO Board members. Business activities are planned as per their interest and resources.

Orientation program on FPO business plan, for Humnabad FPO:

Farmers from two FPOs in Ajmer district of Rajasthan went on an exposure visit to KVK of the district. The exposure visit was sponsored by the Sate Horticulture Department, Rajasthan. The farmers were oriented about package of practices of major horticulture crops of the area grown in Rabi season.

Exposure visit of FPO farmers of Ajmer to KVK


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, and 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 :-

Total 20 trainings were conducted in Jhalawar district for 500 women farmers. The farmers were trained on package of practices of coriander and garlic crop grown in the project block during Rabi season. These trainings were conducted by ISAP technical experts in the presence of senior government officials from the Rajasthan Rural Livelihoods Project.

Farmers training in Jhalawar district

RRLP-Jhalawar project farmers participated in a local event, visited by the Chief Minister-Rajasthan, on 27th Jan’16. ISAP put a stall on this occasion, wherein banners were displayed about activities of ISAP under RRLP.

Visit by CM-Rajasthan to ISAP stall in Jhalawar district

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 of their own business ventures. 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 businesses successfully. We share one such success story with our readers in each ISAP newsletter.

Success Story (Uttarakhand) :-

“With a belief in yourself and willingness and determination to do the work, your dreams can become a reality”. This statement is best suited to the story of Jai Prakash, an M.Sc. graduate in Agriculture. “I had the willingness to learn and do something on my own since my school days”, says Jai Prakash. After completing his post graduation in agriculture from Meerut University, Jai Prakash started looking for jobs in the agricultural area. He was always interested in starting his own ventures and had a belief that one day he will own his business. “Managing funds in the initial phase was not that easy for me as I belong to a middle class family and my family was not in support of my idea of starting a venture” , adds Jai Prakash. “Somehow I arranged the funds and started a shop of fertilizers and pesticides. I was very happy to own a business but the idea did not work well and businesses went into loss” says Jai Prakash. “I then heard regarding the ACABC training from a friend, and I was hopeful that the training will help in upgrading my venture”, adds Jai Prakash. He joined the two-month residential training of ISAP at the Karnal Centre. The training helped in boosting his confidence level and currently he has annual turnover of around INR 13- 14 lakhs. Along with that Jai Prakash also provides free consultancy services to the farmers regarding use of pesticides and fertilizers. “I gain an intense satisfaction to know that my little help to farmers contributes in improving their livelihood conditions”, adds Jai Prakash. “I have learned that no matter what comes your way, the belief and determination to achieve something helps you in overcoming all the difficulties” says Jai Prakash. He is glad to have participated in the training program, as it helped him in achieving his dream of owning a business, says proud Jai Prakash. He wants to continue and improvise the same venture in future. ISAP wishes him luck for his future endeavors. Jai Prakash can be contacted at 9466768266


ISAP receives ‘Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Samman’ for innovative ICT application in Agriculture

ISAP bagged ‘Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Samman’ for its distinguished contribution in the field of ‘Innovation & Technology’ for the betterment of the society. This award was received by Sh Sunil Khairnar, Founder ISAP. Award was given by Sh Naveen Jindal and Smt Shallu Jindal during the award ceremony of the ‘Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Samman’ at Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi on Jan 14, 2016. ‘Rashriya Swayamsiddh Samman’ is a unique initiative of JSPL Foundation to identify, reward and recognize grassroot leaders and innovators for their exemplary courage, commitment and confidence that has enabled them to overcome adversities, making them a source of inspiration for many in India..

Sh Sunil Khairnar, Founder, ISAP and Sh Sudarshan Suryawanshi, CEO, ISAP receiving JSPL award

ISAP’s story on the

Impact Story of ISAP!

Prem Singh practicing Dairy farming

How This Organisation Became the Backbone of Thousands of Farmers in India :-

Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals has been helping farmers across the country through ICT. Read more about its fascinating work here.



Science & Technology


An App called PlantNet, a project initiated in 2009 provides a platform and tools to make it easier to share information about plants. The app is basically an image search engine to help one identify plants and flowers by just taking a picture with your smart phone.

Images are collected through PlantNet and users help identify what plants are what through a rating system and can add additional information to help support the network.

Their newest project, IdentiPlante, will allow people to use the database to quickly receive data about the plant they have taken a picture of. At the moment there’s no specific focus on edible flowers but it could certainly be used in the future to help create a specific database of wild herbs and plants.


Do you know


Humans have been harvesting eggs from domesticated fowl since 1400 B.C., if not before. Europeans began domesticating hens in 600 B.C. and Columbus carried the ancestors of today’s American chickens to the New World in 1493.

• The eggs we buy in the supermarket are unfertilized. This means the hen has not mated with a rooster to fertilize the egg and create a chick.

• To prevent the contents of the egg from sticking to the shell, a hen turns her eggs approximately 50 times per day.

Prominent Contributors to Agriculture

Dr. M. H. Marigowda is also known as Father of Horticulture in India. Dr Marigowda, a horticultural expert, had dedicated his life for the development of the field of Horticulture, as it would help in uplifting farmers and providing healthy food for the society as a whole. He had envisaged setting up of farms and farmer outlets in every district and taluk in the State, apart from measures to offer courses in horticulture at Lalbagh. In 1963, he became Director of Horticulture in Mysore. He was responsible for elevating the minor Department of Horticulture to a major Department. During his term, he took the Horticulture to the rural areas and to the common man. He set into implementation of a unique pattern of Horticulture development i.e., “4-Limbed Model of Horticulture”. To suit to this, he established the Horticulture Produce Co-operative Marketing Society and the Nurserymen’s Co-operative Society at Bangalore. He started as many as 357 farms and nurseries all over the state. His visualization of the farms and nurseries was in developing them as progeny orchards, nursery centers and places of demonstration of new crops and technology to the farmers. Through multifarious achievements and feats, the state of Karnataka became the “Horticultural State of India”, and Dr. Marigowda’s name became immortal in the annals of Horticulture development in Karnataka.

News Highlights

Farmers of Odisha go digital

With the decentralization of the paddy procurement scheme, the state agencies of Odisha have taken charge of carrying out procurement and avoiding the distressed sale of paddy in the state. While agencies like Marketing Federation of Odisha, National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India, Tribal Development Co-operative Corp. of Odisha Ltd and National Federation of Farmers’ Procurement, Processing and Retailing Cooperatives of India Ltd appointed officers to carry out the procedure, Odisha State Civil Supplies Corp. Ltd (OSCSC) engaged Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), a closer entity to the farmers, to procure the paddy from the latter. OSCSC was responsible for acquiring almost 95% of the total paddy produced in the state but a manual system of recording made the job problematic and complicated.

However, these problems were soon dealt with when an international development consultancy, IPE Global Pvt. Ltd, came up with an automation system to look into the functionalities of the paddy procurement centres (PPCs).

The Paddy Procurement Automation System (P-PAS) is integrated with the farmer registration software of the food supplies and consumer welfare department of the state government.

“With the ability to import the information about the individual farmers, this software has generated an online queue system for the sale of paddy. The farmers can get token slips from the software that mentions the entire schedule for the farmer to sell his paddy,” said Debabrata Mallick, management information systems and information technology expert, Odisha Modernising Economy, Government and Administration Programme of IPE Global. The software also records the quality and weight of the paddy and auto generates a vendor receipt for the farmers.

Centre urged to protect interest of fisherfolk

Kerala Fisheries Minister K Babu has urged the Centre to protect the interest of the fisher-folk while framing the National Fishing Policy.

“We have to bear in mind that the fisher-folk is the key stakeholder of the policy and they should be considered in all development activities and policies towards a Blue Economy,” the Minister said.

He was inaugurating the three-day international conference on “Towards a sustainable Blue Economy: Production, Strategies and Policies” organised by Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies here on Thursday.

The Minister’s remark assumes significance at a time when the fishing community raised complaints for not including them in various committees while framing the national fishing policy.

He pointed out that fishermen and coastal communities who are directly dependent on the Indian Ocean for their livelihood are certainly facing challenges with adverse consequences of income, fish supply, etc.

Ola M Johannessen of Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre, Norway, said that global warming is alarmingly affecting the Indian Ocean, which is the largest source of biological and physical phenomena.

Machine harvestable chickpea variety released in AP

The An Indian innovation could well solve an important problem the chickpea farmers are facing around the world, particularly, in the poor regions. Scientists at the Acharcha NG Ranga Agricultural University has developed a chickpea variety (NBeG 47) that can be harvested using a machine.

The scientists are now working on machine harvestable chickpea varieties suited for Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. “Imagine 2.25 tonnes of chickpea harvested in just 75 minutes! The process (including cutting and threshing) would normally take three long days. This is made possible due to the breeding of a taller chickpea variety that is able to be harvested by standard machinery,” International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics (Icrisat) said in a statement.

This model was demonstrated recently in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.

Maharashtra sugar mills shut early as drought trims cane supply

Sugar mills in Maharashtra, which typically operate over November to April, have started closing down earlier than usual as the first back-to-back drought in nearly three decades hit cane supplies.

Early closure of mills in the top sugar producing state indicates the country's total output and exports this year could come under pressure underpinning global prices of the sweetener that are trading near a four-month low. India is the world's No.2 sugar producer after Brazil

"Already 13 mills have closed operations due to cane shortage and most mills will stop crushing by end-March," said Sanjeev Babar, managing director of Maharashtra State Co-operative Sugar Factories Federation.

Usually mills crush for six months - November to April - before shutting for the monsoon and festival season that together last from June to October. But currently a lack of cane supply is hurting operations.

No need for importing fresh fruits/veggies: Agri Commissioner

India need not depend on import of fresh fruits and vegetables as the world's largest producer is self-sufficient in these items, a senior Agriculture Ministry official said today.

His views come in the wake of a latest report by Delhi- think tank ICRIER expressing concern about high import tariff on fruits and vegetables as one of the supply chain barriers impacting the consumption pattern in India.

The ICRIER report said fruits and vegetables like broccoli, carrots, bananas, pineapples, papaya, watermelon and green chillies attract 30 per cent import tariff, while garlic has 100 per cent import tariff.

It also noted that the daily intake of fruits and veggies remained lower than WHO recommended quantity of 400 grams per person despite India being the world's largest producer of these fresh items.

Asked if supply need to be increased through imports, Agriculture Commissioner SK Malhotra said, "We don't need to import fresh fruits and vegetables because we have achieved self-sufficiency."

Dr Harsh Vardhan urges farmers to adopt cultivation of improved varieties of medicinal and aromatic plants

The Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan, and Vice President, CSIR has urged the farmers and entrepreneurs engaged in cultivation, processing of medicinal and aromatic plants to adopt improved technologies and improved varieties for raising their income. Speaking at a Kisan Mela (farmers’ fair) organized at CSIR-Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants CSIR-CIMAP in Lucknow today, he said, this would also help in production of quality raw material demanded by user industries.

The Minister said that medicinal and aromatic plants are the valuable green wealth of the country. These should be sustainably used for creating livelihood opportunities of poor people residing in rural areas. He also said that there are immense possibilities for promotion of production of medicinal and aromatic plants and industries by startups.

Dr Harsh Vardhan called upon the scientists to develop improved technologies for conservation and cultivation of these plants keeping in view the changing climatic conditions and limited as well as diminishing agriculture resources. He said that farmers should be apprised regularly about the new developments being made in the research laboratories by organizing awareness meets, workshops and farmers fairs in different parts of the country.

Price Stabilisation Fund to be shifted to Consumer Affairs Ministry

Government will shift Rs 500-crore Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) to Consumer Affairs Ministry from Agriculture Ministry for effective control of price rise in essential commodities and provide relief to the consumers.

Last year, PSF was created with a corpus of Rs 500 crore under the Agriculture Ministry. The fund was to be used to support market interventions for managing prices of perishable agri-horticultural commodities by procuring directly from farmers and later supplying at reasonable rates to consumers.

"The purpose of PSF was to provide relief to consumers from price rise. So far, the fund has been used mostly with an aim to provide relief to farmers, who otherwise are covered under the minimum support price system. Hence, PSF is being shifted," according to sources.

An in-principle approval has already been given to move this fund to the Consumer Affairs Ministry, which faced difficulty in handling the pulses price issue last year in the absence of direct say in using the fund for timely market interventions, sources said.

YCMOU to build agro-tech incubator

The academic council of the Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU) on Thursday decided to construct a state-of-art agriculture technology incubator in the premises of the varsity headquarters.

It is a specific type of business incubator - a property-based venture which provides services to new technology-based firms. The aim of the incubators is to help farmers increase their chances of survival and generate wealth.

"The agro-technology incubators are affiliated with sources of research knowledge such as science and technology parks, or clusters of firms with R&D capacity. It will benefit farmers, industrialists and merchants based on agriculture by providing virtual platforms, agro portal, and technology for production," said Prakash Atkare, registrar of the university.

Centre sets up committee to fix Bt Cotton seed prices

9-member committee has a deadline of 31 March to decide on the MSP of genetically modified Bt cotton seeds

The government on Wednesday constituted a committee to execute its cotton price control order that will decide the price farmers pay to seed companies.

The move by the agriculture ministry came on a day when the Delhi high court adjourned the hearing of a plea by Mahyco Monsanto Biotech India Pvt. Ltd (MMBL), challenging the price control order, to 4 March.

The committee is slated to meet within a week or two to decide the maximum sale price (MSP) of cotton seeds, including royalty fees and dealers’ margins, said an official with the agriculture ministry who did not want to be named.

The nine-member committee has a deadline of 31 March to decide on the MSP of genetically modified Bt cotton seeds but a decision is expected earlier, the official added.

The agriculture ministry on 7 December issued a price control order to bring uniformity in Bt cotton seed prices, as several states such as Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have brought in price control orders. The other reason, according to the ministry, is to make Bt cotton seeds affordable.


It is obvious that the greatest and most important service that is required of our agriculture under existing conditions is an enlarged production of the staple food crops. - David F. Houston

Wishing you all a Great Month ahead! - ISAP Team

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