Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals

ISAP Monthly E-newsletter, Volume 8, Issue:9 (Jun, 2015)


- 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 :-

After completion of the previous cropping season, this month can be seen as warm up month for the upcoming Kharif crop season. For the Kharif season 2015, 240 demonstration farmers and 60 IFS farmers have been selected in the 3 blocks of the project area i.e. Kishanganj, Anta and Nainwa. Nursery for 1000 Gliciridia plants has also been prepared in 3 blocks of the project area.

8 demos(1 acre each) of green gram(Variety- Samrat from IIPR)  were carried out in Kishanganj, Hindoli and Nainwa Blocks.  Production level of of 450 kg per acre (11.25 q / ha) was achieved by Samrat in Kishanganj, as against 3.00 q / acre of SML 68 and 2.2 q / acre of Pusa Vishal. In other blocks, there was damage soon after planting and the crop yield was reduced due to low plant population.

In terms of training and capacity building programme, 8 farmer exposure visits were carried out in Sawaimadhopur region. Pre sowing training was organized on Direct Sown Rice (DSR) & Green fodder (Azolla, Napier Hybrid Grass, Edible Cactus) at Atal Seva Kendra Kishanganj Distt. Baran (Raj.) on 24 June 2015 with Dr. N R Koli Breeder Agriculture Research Centre Ummedganj Kota, Dr. R.L. Suwalka Associate Director Agriculture University Kota (Raj.) as resource persons  and participant strength of  39.

Celebration of Azolla Day in Mahaswari Bhawan, Bundi on 16 June 2015 was an important activity of the month with eminent resource persons -Dr. Kamalasan Pille, Azola Expert, Tamilnadu ; Dr. Bachchu Singh, Programme Coodinator, KVK Bundi; Dr. R.L. Suwalka, Associate Director, Agriculture University Kota; Mr. Jinendra Alloriya, DDM, NABARD Bundi; Dr. Ghanshyam Meena, Scientist KVK, Bundi and Dr. S Chandra, Director, ISAP.

Glimpses of Azolla day celebration on 16 Jun 2015
Left: Dr. Kamalasan Pille, Azolla Expert, Tamilnadu (Father of Azolla movement in India) along with Mr. Jinendra Alloriya, DDM, NABARD

The audience at the Azolla day is all smiles during the presentation on its cultivation as a feed and promise of increased milk flow

630 soil sample testing of soil properties and nutrient status i.e.  EC, pH, N, P K, S, Fe, Mn and Zn content in soil has been completed all the 6 blocks of the 3 districts.

Anicut survey in Nainwa block has been done and estimate of the layout plan has been completed as well.
Under AVRC component, construction work has been started at Gurjaniya village in Nainwa block and at present its foundation work is complete while in Bonli district 80% of AVRC construction is has been completed.

Glimpses of AVRC construction work in at Gurjaniya village in Nainwa block

Glimpses of AVRC construction work in Bonli block

OCPF-IFS 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 :-

As the sowing period is approaching, field team has got busy in assisting project farmers for soil testing, organizing pre-sowing trainings and setting up demonstration farms. So far, soil samples have been collected for 467 locations in Gulbarga, Bidar and Raichur districts. In current season, a total of 135 demonstrations have been planned, which includes 70 acres of large demos (10 acres each), 35 small scale demos (SSD) and 30 block demos of red gram. These demos will be set up with soyabean as intercrop.

Further, around 70 farmers have been selected for the year 2015-16, who will be supported under the project on various components of Integrated Farming System (IFS). The field team has done a deep scrutiny of existing resource of selected farmers to assess IFS need of these farmers.

On infra-strucutre front, till now 3 AVRCs are completed and construction work is in full swing for other 3 AVRCs i.e. Chittapur, Gudur and Ankalaga. Each AVRC is comprised of a FPO office, an aggregation centre, mini-processing unit, a farm mechanization unit, a plant nursery, a computer education unit, a women skill development unit and a primary healthcare unit.

On june 15, 2015, … FPO farmers got orientation on various aspects of farm mechanization centre. This orientation program was conducted by State government of Karnataka in Saunshi town of Kundgol taluk, Distt Dharwad. Farmers were given details about the farm implements available in Custom Hiring Service Centre (CHSC), rent and other services, which can be extended from CHSCs.

Glimpses of Jai Kisan Souhardha Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Halbarga, Bhalki taluk, Bidar district

Glimpses of Sri Basaveshwara Sourdha Multipurpose Cooperative Society Sastapur, Basavkalyan taluk, Bidar district

Glimpses of Sri Anaveerabadhreshwara Chittapur Farmers Society, Hebbal of Chittapur taluk, Gulbarga district

Glimpses of Krishi Yentra Dhare Abhiyana, Dharwad

Success Story

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 4400 agri-preneurs in Assam, Chattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, J&K, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. Out of these 4400, around 1454 agripreneurs have established their independent business successfully. We share one such success story with our readers in ISAP newsletters.

It is not the idea itself but the conviction to convert ideas into action and action into results what defines a true success story and Dhiraj Kumar Mahto is not an exception. After getting his diploma in aquaculture in 2011 and later joining 2 months (18th November 2011- 16th January 2012) training program under ACABC at ISAP-Bokaro, he started fish farming in 6 ponds and a small hatchery of fish fingerlings with an amount of INR 4.00 lakhs. Initially Dhiraj faced various problems like land related and pipeline issues, lack of government support and electricity problems. Overcoming all the hurdles he was finally able to start the business of - Fish Clinic with Fish Farming & Hatchery. Currently Dhiraj gains an income of INR 20,000 per month and his average annual turnover in past 2 years has been upto INR 9.00 lakhs. He has 4 employees working for him and his hatchery directly benefits the lives of 15000 farmers .His business covers 15 villages in Bokaro district and aims to enhance the lives of poor farmers. A poultry shed has been established at their home which helps the female farmers to do poultry production and earning INR 5000 – INR 6000 per month. ISAP wishes Dhiraj best of luck for all his future endeavors.

Dhiraj teaching Fish farming to farmers

Science & Technology

Vertical farm is made up by using artificial lighting in multi-levelled systems. Essentially, high-tech greenhouses are stacked on top of each other to form Vertical Farms. By offering locally grown food to local communities these Vertical Farms offer a fresher, cleaner, highly nutritious product grown at the doorway of the consumer.

Various advantages of cultivating food in multi-levelled systems within or around cities is the less transport requirement and therefore the decreased greenhouse gas emissions. Another important advantage is that no supplementary arable land is needed, which is by now scarce and depleted. Instead of having a long food chain from farm, to harvest, to processing, to transport, to retail etc.; Vertical Farms offer a two-step chain. The food is grown where it is sold.

Vertical Farming undoubtedly has the probable to turn out to be an important tool in the fight against malnutrition and nutritional deficiencies. It can provide highly nutritious fresh food with Vertical Farms to crisis areas and regions affected by natural disasters such as droughts, floods or hurricanes.

Do you know

According to United Nations Human Development Report only 32.8% of Indian women formally participate in the labor force, a rate that has remained steady since 2009 statistics. By comparison men constitute 81.1%. In rural India, the percentage of women who depend on agriculture for their livelihood is as high as 84%. Women make up about 33% of cultivators and about 47% percent of agricultural laborers. Women's participation rate in the agricultural sectors is about 47% in tea plantations, 46.84% in cotton cultivation, 45.43% growing oil seeds and 39.13% in vegetable production.

Prominent Contributors to Agriculture

Eat what you grow and grow what you eat’ is the motto of the Bengaluru-based Garden City Farmers Trust. Since its inception in 2011, the trust has been motivating citizens to convert all available space in their homes to green, edible patches. The trust was founded by B N Viswanath Kadur, 72, entomologist and former associate professor at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru. In the mid-90s when Kadur was returning to Bengaluru from Delhi, he noticed shimmering terraces from the window of the aircraft. This inspired him to espouse terrace farming to cool the city and to revive the traditional kitchen gardening heritage. The trust comprises three entomologists, while rest of the group is IT professionals. The trustees have terrace gardens where they grow organic vegetables. They also have a Facebook page called Organic Terrace gardening group.

News Highlights

India: Advanced equipment to boost grape production

From now on, farmers need not bother about pruning and can decide on the yield well in advance, as the Grapes Research Station at Anaimalaiyanpatti in Cumbum valley has got a microtome unit and stereo zoom microscope, an advanced equipment to identify cane maturity and formation of flowering in the buds, at a cost of INR 500,000 ($7,870 USD).

This equipment would provide bud forecasting technique for grape growers, said Grapes Research Station Head S. Parthiban.

Medjool dates launched in Indian market

Medjool dates, the variety of dates once reserved only for royalty, were launched in the Indian market recently at an event attended by importers, merchants and retailers..

According to the company, the move comes after a steady increase in the demand and consumption for Medjools in India over the last few years.

In fact, according to a market study conducted by research firm Net scribes, the market volume for Medjool dates grew from US$60 million in 2009-10 to US$ 118 million in 2014-15.

With expansion plans in store, the product will be made available across Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore by partnering with importers, merchants and retailers. The other key cities that will be targeted include Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Jaipur.

State Government initiative to make Arunachal an organic state

In a bid to make Arunachal Pradesh a hundred per cent organic state, the State government decided to launch “State Soil Health Mission”.

The programme envisages proper documentation of soil health and preparation of soil map besides, distribution of Soil Health Cards to farmers so that they are guided for scientific nutrient managements, Government Spokesperson Bamang Felix said.

The programme shall also check overuse of fertilizers and its adverse effect and help in increase of crop production through its sustainable soil management programme paving way for organic farming, he said.

Changing dietary preferences push demand for small grains

Change in dietary preferences, rapid urbanization, growing demand for processed foods and poor procurement price have scaled down production of small grains, especially pearl millet and shrunk the area under cultivation sharply in the district in the last decade.

But now, the same change in food habits, people growing more health conscious and realizing the importance of consuming nutritious food have increased the demand for small grains and thereby encouraged progressive farmers to start cultivating pearl millet.

Middle East puts breaks on Indian vegetable imports

Close on the heels of neighboring Kerala raising concerns about high level of pesticide content in vegetables grown in Tamil Nadu, many countries in the Middle East have put brakes on importing vegetables from the state..

Exporters said large quantity of vegetables and other perishable commodities like dairy products, sent from Trichy airport, was lying at airports in the Middle East as those countries have demanded a certificate for quality of the produce.

As plant quarantine division here which is the license authority not having any provision for providing a health certificate, the exporters are now facing a difficult situation. Many of them have stopped procuring vegetables and dairy products from farmers.

Forest Department to restore green cover in Coimbatore

The Forest Department is implementing a project to plant 2.20 lakh saplings in the district as part of ‘Massive Tree Planting’ campaign. It has joined hands with the Coimbatore Corporation and the Highways Department to identify suitable places along Tiruchi and Avanashi Roads.
District Forest Officer M. Senthil Kumar told The Hindu here on Tuesday that one of the main objectives of the initiative was to restore green cover that has been lost due to development projects such as road-widening.

In Coimbatore Forest Division, the sapling planting has been taken up in all the six Ranges of Coimbatore, Mettupalayam, Karamadai, Sirumugai, Periyanaickenpalayam and Booluvampatti, covering both urban as well as the rural district areas, the District Forest Officer said.

Andhra Pradesh mulls banana, mango boards

The State government of Andhra Pradesh is contemplating to set up Banana and Mango Boards, the latter with the help of the Central government.

Y.S. Prasad, Chief Executive Officer of Andhra Pradesh Food Processing Society (APFPS), said the State stood first in mango production in the country but when it comes to yield per acre, it was ranked fifth due to supply chain constraints, failure to adopt advanced farming technologies and poor quality of seeds. Banana crop also faced similar issues that affected its true potential.

The proposed Banana and Mango Boards would address these concerns and see that A.P reached the top in productivity of the respective crops.

Freaky weather threatens production in Kashmir

Freaky weather coupled with intermittent downpour in June has badly affected the agriculture and horticulture crops in Kashmir, with experts fearing decline in production and outbreak of diseases like scab, alternaria in apple crops.

Farmers community who are yet to recuperate from the devastating floods of September last year, are now facing another upheaval task as the production has dwindled with threat of outbreak of diseases.

The Kashmir’s apple crop which is mainstay of Horticulture sector is also reeling under the threat of decline in production and outbreak of diseases such as scab, alternaria.

Experts fear that if the cold conditions continued to remain prevalent, there is every likelihood that the production of apple will also decrease like almond crops.

Maharashtra to go for cloud seeding amid worries of scanty rainfall

Maharashtra, which ranks second in soybean and cotton production, is giving artificial rainfall another shot in an attempt to save crops, 13 years after a similar experiment failed. Amid worries that a dry spell may force re-sowing to take place, the state government has shortlisted a private agency for cloud seeding to generate artificial rainfall during August to October.

Cloud seeding is the process of dispersing substances in the air to stimulate precipitation. The government wants to ensure that kharif crops get at least one life-saving rainfall in those key months and is hoping that advances in artificial rainfall will help.

The state government has allocated Rs 27 crore for the project. A radar control station will be set up at Aurangabad. "Area within a radius of 250 kilometers can be covered from Aurangabad," said Khadse. KCMC, the private agency shortlisted for the project, has been asked to prepare for 200 hours of flying over three months starting from August.


“Farming is a profession of hope”

- Brian Brett

Wishing you all a Great Month ahead! - ISAP Team

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