Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals

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ISAP Monthly E-newsletter, Volume 8, Issue:6 (MAR, 2015)


Index

- ISAP Activities

- Who’s who in Agriculture?

- Science & Technology

- News Highlights


ISAP File

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 :-

In OCPF-IFS project, work on construction of Agri-Village Resource Centres (AVRCs) and water structures is in full swing. Total six AVRCs will be constructed under this program. Each AVRC will be comprised of Input store, warehouse, processing unit, farm mechanization centre, plant nursery, computer education centre, women skill development centre, child recreation center and a primary health care service centre. Farm Machinery Centers are partially became functional on these locations. Representatives of Producer Organizations in all the six locations were provided six 42 hp tractors of New Holland. In addition to above, site selection has been done for water harvesting structures at 8 locations. Total 12 water-structures will be created under the program.

On demonstration front, a total of 118 demos have been set up for vegetables, 15 demos of moong and 9 demos of Tuberose have been set up. Prior to this, demo farmers are provided training on good agriculture practices (GAPs).

Under various IFS components, some project farmers, who were involved in dairy & livestock farming, were assisted in undertaking Azolla farming. Azolla is a floating fern, which resembles algae and is grown in shallow water bodies.   This is a wonderful plant with high protein content, which can be used as an ideal feed for cattle, fish, pigs and poultry. Availability of green fodder is a big challenge in Rajasthan. Therefore, this proposition worked out well in OCPF-IFS project area. Now, farmers are quite excited about cultivation of this plant. Some project farmers participated in an exhibition with this product in Kisan mela organized by ATMA, Bundi. ATMA department also acknowledged this effort. Top three ranking in the exhibition were secured by Azolla units from Village Theekarda of Hindoli block, which were set up under OCPF-IFS project. Sh Shankar Lal Saini ranked first, Sh Narayan Saini second and Dhanna Lal Saini got third position.  Also, under IFS, some project farmers are provided edible cactus. A total of 6000 saplings are provided to the farmers. These saplings of edible cactus are grown on farm boundaries and can be used as fodder for the livestock.

Farmers Meeting with ATMA- BTM officer in Gangapur Block (Distt -Aurangabad) Farmer training on pheromone traps under  Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Construction of AVRC under Progress at Kishanganj, Distt Baran

Tractor being handed over to representative of Producer Organization in Anta, Distt Baran

BoDs meeting at Huzur block Training through Audio Visual Aid on NADP at Rampur block

Demonstration of vegetable (Lady finger) set up in Village Nagda Ki Jhopdi, Anta block, Distt Baran

Azolla unit set up at Village Theekarda, Block Hindoli, Distt Bundi

 

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 :-

In March month, all eleven Custom Hiring Service Centres (CHSC) became functional. Out of 11, six CHSCs are set up in Distt Bidar, four in Gulbarga and one in Yadgir. These CHSCs are being run by Farmer Producer Organizations at respective locations. CHSCs in Awarad (Distt Gulbarga) and Dornalli (Distt Yadgir) were inaugurated by Honorable Agriculture Minister of Karnataka, Sh Krishna Byregowda. The custom hiring centres will give farm machinery on rental basis to farmers who cannot afford to purchase high-end agricultural machinery and equipment. These centres will play a pivotal role in introducing high technology agriculture machinery to even ordinary farmers with the objective to boost crop production and improve quality of agriculture operations.

Also in March month, 70 potential farmers were selected for Integrated Farming System (IFS). Concerted efforts have been made by the field team for identifying the IFS components for the selected farmers. Out of these 70 farmers, 90% of them are dry land farmers. Besides goat rearing, dairy, poultry etc, other proposed IFS components for farmers with scarce water resources include high-density banana, high-tech vegetable cultivation, and pendal type vegetable cultivation. Many rounds of brainstorming sessions along with experts and meetings with farmers have been conducted for the above purpose. Two such meeting were held on Mar 12th and 13th, 2015 at Gulbarga and Bidar. These meetings were conducted under the guidance of Dr SA Patil (Ex-Chairman, Karnataka Krishi Mission). Sh Girish Hebba, Chief Manager, Pragathi Krishna Grameena Bank, Chittapur informed the farmers about various banking schemes for the IFS components. Also, Sh Ratikanth, a Financial Counselor, educated farmers on financial aspects of IFS.  Dr Ravi Deshmukh, an eminent scientist of KVK Bidar educated farmers on various aspects of IFS.

Also, two health camps were organized in March month. These Health camps were organized  for farmer community at Jai Kisan Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Halbarga, Bhalki Taluk and Negilayogi Aland Farmers Federation, Tadkal, Aland Taluk, Gulbarga District on 15th and 30th of March 2015 respectively. These health camps were organized with the support of Indian Society of Healthcare Professionals (ISHP). It was noted in the health camps that, 70-80% patients were female. Women in these remote rural areas general do not have access to basic medical facilities. Therefore, response of women participants was quite good. To address the problem of accessibility to medical services in these regions, primary health care service centers will be opened at each Agri Village Resource Centre (AVRC). AVRC is infra-structural support provided to each FPO under OCPF-AES Project, Karnataka.

 

Farmers Meeting with ATMA- BTM officer in Gangapur Block (Distt -Aurangabad) Farmer training on pheromone traps under  Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Sh Krishna Byregowda, Honorable Agriculture Minister inspecting the harvester at CHSC, Awarad, Distt Bidar

Sh Krishna Byregowda, Honorable Agriculture Minister addressing the beneficiary farmers at CHSC, Awarad, Distt Bidar

BoDs meeting at Huzur block Training through Audio Visual Aid on NADP at Rampur block

IFS Meeting held at Bidar KVK

IFS Meeting held at ISAP office at Gulbarga

Farmers Meeting with ATMA- BTM officer in Gangapur Block (Distt -Aurangabad) Farmer training on pheromone traps under  Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Health camp organized at Primary Health Care Centre of AVRC, Tadkal

Health camp organized at Primary Health Care Centre of AVRC, Halbarga

 

FPO Promotion under Nation Food Security Mission (NFSM)

National Food Security Mission (NFSM) is a Central Scheme of GOI aims towards increasing production and productivity of cereals, pulses and commercial crops on a sustainable basis so as to ensure food security of the country. National Demonstration Project (NDP) is an initiative under National Food Security Mission, that aims is to bridge the yield gap in respect of these crops through dissemination of improved technologies and farm management practices. Under NDP of NFSM Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals has got the responsibility to promote Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs). ISAP has to mobilize 5000 farmers each in three states namely Karnataka, Maharashtra and Telangana, and form FPOs. As per the plan, 15 FPOs, each consists of 1000 farmers, are in formation state in the mentioned states.

Monthly Activities :-

Against a target of mobilizing 15000 farmers, 13912 farmers have been enrolled so far under NDP-NFSM.  So far, a total of 543 group meetings and 137 trainings have been conducted for the FPO members under this program. Election of FPO Board of Directors has been completed for all 15 FPOs to be formed in all the three states under NDP-NFSM. The entire focus now is on registration of FPOs. The FPOs will be registered under companies Act.

In the month of March’15 three exposure visits were conducted for the FPO members; one in each of  the states, i.e. Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana. Exposure Visit of Farmers from Bazarhatnoor block of Adilabad district on 20.03.2015 to Farm Machinery Exhibition at Hyderabad Agriculture University was incredible. The visit was sponsored by Krishi Vignan Kedram, Adilabad. The BOD members of all the FPOs from Aurangabad, formed under NFSM project,   went for exposure visit on 9th march, 2015 to  Pune FPOs, by the name “ Narayangad Agro Producer Company Ltd” and “Satwajibaba Agro Producer Company Ltd”. Both the Pune based FPOs are being promoted by ISAP. The FPOs are dealing in collective production and marketing of vegetables, and agricultural input business. Exposure visit, of NFSM farmers from Raichur block, to Hospet village was conducted on March. The farmers visited bengal gram fields in the villages to understand advance farming techniques.

Farmers Meeting with ATMA- BTM officer in Gangapur Block (Distt -Aurangabad) Farmer training on pheromone traps under  Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Meeting of one of the newly elected BODs at Raichur Karnataka

Glimpse of exposure visit of project farmers from Bazarhatnoor to Hyderabad Agriculture university

 

MP Special Project

ISAP with support from Department of Agriculture, Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium has been promoting FPOs in four blocks of MP. The blocks are Gurh and Huzur blocks of Rewa district, and  Rampur Naikin and Majhauli blocks of Sidhi district. ISAP had been given the target of mobilizing 4000 small and marginal farmers for the project and organize 1000 farmers under every FPO. The MP team of ISAP, so far, has able to mobilize 3665 farmers under 4 FPOs.  

Monthly Activities :-

The team has been conducting regular sensitization programs like village meeting, video show etc. for better understanding of the objects of the project by the community members. Legal formalities of the FPOs have been initiated to make them legal entities. BODs have already been elected in all the four FPOs in democratic manner and all the four FPOs have got their name approved by Registrar of Companies. Approved Name of the FPOs are: “Vindhya Vikas Kisan Producer Company Limited” of Hujoor block of Rewa District, “Bhairav Kisan Nath Farm Producer Company Limited” of Gurh block of Rewa district,  “Sonanchal Kisan Producer Company Limited” of Rampur Naikin block of Sidhi district and “Majhauli Kisan Producer Company Limited” of Majhauli block of Sidhi district. The FPOs have also applied to ROC for getting them registered under Producer Companies Act.

In the month of March’15 third cyclic monitoring visit was performed by Synergy team (the third party monitoring agency recruited by SFAC) to monitor the activities going on in the field and output of the project.

 

Mobile van at Tadkal HRD at Basavkalyan

Glimpse of Interaction among  Synergy team and  BODs of Rampur Naikin FPO

Interaction of farmers of Jai Shiv shakti Kisan Samuh, Paikiniya with Synergy team

 

Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH)-UP and Haryana

Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for the holistic growth of the horticulture sector covering fruits, vegetables, root and tuber crops, mushrooms, spices, flowers, aromatic plants, coconut, cashew, cocoa and bamboo. For the vary purpose, ISAP as a resource institution is given the responsibility to mobilize total 5000 small and marginal farmers; 3000 farmers in Haryana and 2000 farmers in Uttar Pradesh. The farmers will be organized under Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), consisting 1000 farmers in each FPO.

Monthly Activities :-

MIDH-UP, has been implemented in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts, covering 1000 farmer in each of them. Two blocks have been selected in each district for the formation of the FPOs. The blocks indentified are Morana and Jansath in  Muzaffarnagar, and  Thanabhawan and Kairana Shamli districts. A Baseline Survey has been completed in the blocks and ISAP has submitted a Detailed Project Report to the SFAC based on the survey findings. Major vegetables and fruits identified in these areas are cucurbits, potato, musk melon and mango. Posts the baseline survey now, mobilization of the farmers is under process. In the month of March’15, 5 FIGs have been formed and 2 FIG are under formation process in Muzaffarnagar. For mobilizing these farmers activities like- village meetings, video shows and one-to-one interaction with the farmers are being conducted. Total 4 farmers meetings were conducted so far in Muzaffarnagar in which about 61 farmers participated. Glimpses of farmers meetings are given below:

BoDs meeting at Huzur block Training through Audio Visual Aid on NADP at Rampur block

Farmers Meeting at Mirjatila Village, Morna Block

Farmers Meeting at Mirjatila Village, Morna Block
BoDs meeting at Huzur block Training through Audio Visual Aid on NADP at Rampur block
Farmers Meeting at Sukartal Village, Morna Block Farmers Meeting at Sukartal Village, Morna Block

BoDs meeting at Huzur block

So far 5 FIGs have been formed in Sirsa district of Haryana under MIDH. Total tree farmer meetings were organized in Sirsa and Bhiwani district of Haryana, in this regard, in which about 51 farmers participated. In these meetings, the farmers were informed about the project, role of SFAC and ISAP etc. They were also motivated for growing fruits and vegetables.

Farmer meeting at one of the villages in Sirsa district

 

 

Karnataka Special Project

Karnataka Special Project is an initiative of Govt. of Karnataka in association with SFAC and various project funding as well as implementing agencies. Under the project, ISAP has to form 15 Farmer Producer Organizations in 11 districts of Karnataka. The districts are- Gadag, Ballary, Koppal, Bidar, Raichur, Yadgir, Gulbarga, Hassan, Kodagu, Dharwad and Haveri.

A Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the project is in the process of development. The report is based on findings of a baseline survey performed in the project blocks in the month of March’15. Mobilization of the farmers has been started under the project, and so far 44 Farmer Interest Groups have been formed in different districts.


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 3250 agri-preneurs in Assam, Chattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, J&K, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. Some of the agripreneurs have established their independent business successfully. We share one such success story with our readers in ISAP newsletters.

Success- story (Rajasthan)

Mr Suresh Kumar Jat is a young agriculture graduate with dream of doing something big in his life. Mr Suresh hails from a remote village Jaichandpura of distt Jaipur. With a modest farming background, Mr Suresh had no exposure of the business world. He then decided to start something in agriculture sector, which has been the only source of ‘bread and butter’ for his family for many years. He was little hesitant about starting business for obvious reasons. Then, he came to know from his peers about ‘Agriclinic & Agribusiness Centre’ (ACABC) of ISAP at Shri Ganganagar. He immediately enrolled himself for 2-months residential training program of ACABC at ISAP EDP training centre in Shri Ganganagar and successfully completed his training in June 2014. During this training, he learned entrepreneurial aspects, which were initially stopping him for doing business.  Soon after, he started vegetable production & marketing unit with investment of INR 2 lakh. He advises farmers of surrounding 4 villages on production and marketing aspect. His annual income was slightly higher than one lakh in the first year. In long term, he plans to aggregate vegetables and scale his marketing business in coming years. ISAP wishes Mr Suresh luck for his future endeavors.      

Mr Suresh Kumar at his vegetable production unit

 

Science & Technology

FARMERS EYE DRONES FOR THE FUTURE

Even though humans have been farming for thousands of years, there’s always a new trick to learn or a new technology to try. In modern times, these tricks often come attached to small flying aircraft, a fact evidenced by the continued and growing presence of drones at agricultural expositions. Successful drone use might lead to better yields in the future, with an emphasis on the future: while the FAA just proposed new drone rules, it’ll likely be 18 months to two years before they come into effect. That's 18 months until farmers can fly drones in a legally unambiguous way.

Drones can do more for farming than just photographing crops. Sugar alternative giant Stevia considered flying drones with lights over its crops at night to spur extra growth. And a student contest in Maryland last summer considered drone designs to protect corn from insect predators, including a design that landed on corn stalks and picked grubs off of it with mechanical arms.

Popsci.com

Do you know

Kiwifruit

Say kiwifruit, and you say New Zealand. The origin of kiwifruit however is more than 10,000 kilometers away: China. The fact that you can enjoy a tasty, healthy kiwifruit today is thanks to a remarkable New Zealand teacher, talented market gardeners and entrepreneurial growers.  1904 is the year in which it all began. Isabel Fraser, a teacher in Wanganui in New Zealand, returned from a trip to China with the black seeds of the Actinidia deliciosa. Market gardener Alexander Allison planted these. In 1905 the first kiwifruit grew in New Zealand soil, still called Chinese gooseberries at the time.

zesperi.eu

 

Who’s who in Agriculture?

http://www.thehindu.com/multimedia/dynamic/00176/05tvtnk02_ZeroBudge_176270e.jpgSubhash Palekar is an Indian agriculturist who practised and wrote many books about Zero Budget Spiritual Farming. Subhash Palekar was born in 1949 in a small village Belora in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra in India, and he has an agricultural background. He practised Zero Budget Natural Farmin and didn't use any chemical pesticides to cultivate. He conducted many workshops all over India. During 1986-88 he studied the forest vegetation. He found that, there is a self developing, self nourishing and totally self-reliant natural system in the forest, by which all the vegetation and ecosystem is existed without any human existence. He studied that natural system and verified those natural processes of the forest on his farm for six year, since 1989 to1995. There were about 154 research projects during this six year’s of research work. After six years of verified research work, he got the package of technique about “Zero Budget Natural Farming”; Which he is now providing to the farmers throughout India by means of continuous workshops, seminars, his books in Marathi, Hindi, English, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil languages and by those of thousands of models farms established throughout India. Wikipedia.org

 

News Highlights

Maharashtra promises aid to farmers

With unseasonal rains hitting the farmers of Maharashtra hard over the last weekend, the State government has assured quick damage assessment and aid disbursal.
“We are already in the process of disbursing aid to farmers affected by drought and recent hailstorms; 90 lakh farmers will benefit from it. We have already disbursed aid to 50 lakh farmers,” Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told reporters here on Monday.
On the recent unseasonal rain, he said Yavatmal was the worst-affected district. “According to preliminary assessment, a total area of 17,000 hectares has been damaged due to these rains. Three persons died after being hit by lightning on Sunday.”
The government will give Rs. 5,000 crore in direct aid to farmers hit by drought, hailstorm and unseasonal rain.
The unseasonal rains are likely to add a burden of Rs. 1,000 crore on the state exchequer.

Thehindu.com

 

Forget Washington apples, here's Modi from Italy

Ten months after the Modi wave swept the country, and later maintained its crest during state polls in Maharashtra and Jharkhand, another Modi is making its presence felt at the wholesale market in Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), Vashi – an apple variety from Italy.
Moments after the third consignment of the fruit arrived at the APMC market, it was sold in no time. Last year, apples under this brand had arrived at Vashi only once, and there were hardly any buyers who could remember selling the commodity.
"Modi name is helping the brand in gain popularity," said a trader, adding that the apples are genuinely better than other imported products. "They are juicy and tastier."

According to Ramesh Shah, a trader at the APMC market, "An 18 to 20-kg basket of Modi apple is commanding a price between Rs 2400 and Rs2600, while the other imported apples are available at a maximum Rs2200 for the similar quantity."

seeandsaynews.in

 

Mango exports likely to take a hit

The unseasonal rains and winds might cast its shadow on mango exports this season as farmers say continued rains will delay the harvest.

Rain, thundershowers and hailstorms are being reported from various parts of the state and the Indian Meteorological Department has predicted more such rains in the next 24 hours.

The states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka and others have been experiencing heavy rains due to the presence of a westerly disturbance coupled with formation of a cyclonic disturbance near Rajasthan. IMD reports said Pune and its surrounding regions had received 44 mm of rains since Saturday. IMD has forecast rain and thundershowers and occasional hailstorms in Marathwada, Vidarbha and other parts of the state.
Indianexpress.com

 

India, Iran push to boost bilateral trade

Bilateral trade between India and Iran will receive a fillip with the signing of a preferential trade agreement, the head of the Trade Promotion Organisation of Iran said Saturday.
Valiollah Afkhami Rad made the remarks in a meeting with visiting senior Indian commerce ministry official Rajani Ranjan Rashmi here, IRNA reported.
During the meeting, the Iranian official expressed dissatisfaction over the present volume of trade between Iran and India.
He further urged the Indian official to lower tariffs for Iranian exporters to allow them easier access to the market there for their saffron, pistachio, dates, kiwi fruit, apple and pomegranate products.
Business-standard.com

 

Government to give subsidy to traders to export potatoes

The state government will buy potatoes directly from farmers and also extend subsidy to traders selling the vegetable outside the state. 
This was decided at a recent meeting of the task force on vegetable prices presided by chief minister Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna. "We have decided that the government will buy 50,000 MT of potato from farmers. We are also extending a Rs 10 crore subsidy to traders to help them shoulder the cost of transporting potatoes on rail wagons outside the state," the chief minister said. The government aims to facilitate sending 2 lakh MT of potato outside the state immediately.
Officials said more than 95% space in cold storages has been reserved for farmers to store potatoes. The government has nominally increased the price of storing potatoes in cold storages by 14 paisa and 16 paisa respectively in South and North Bengal. Thus, the price of storing a kilogram of potatoes in cold storages will be Rs 1.34 in South Bengal and Rs 1.36 in North Bengal. 

Timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Kerala Agricultural Varsity Develops Seedless Cucumber

Paving the way for a fillip in ‘polyhouse’ cucumber cultivation, the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) has developed a seedless hybrid cucumber variety, ideal for polyhouse cultivation.
This is the first such hybrid developed by a public sector research team in South India, according to reports on Friday.
At present, multinationals have monopolised in ‘parthenocarpic’ variety of cucumber hybrids used in poly house farming which have the ability of producing fruits without pollination.
Farmers have to depend now on corporate sector for such variety of hybrids, and they have to pay in the range of Rs 5 to 7 per seed. The development of parthenocarpic hybrid by KAU offers availability of indigenously developed hybrid seeds to Kerala farmers.
Field tests in university farms have proved that a 10-cent polyhouse can yield five tons of fruits in three months. Dark green fruits, weighing 220 gm with a length of 24 cm and 15 cm width, can be stored up to one week at room temperature without any loss in quality.

Indianexpress.com

Budget 2015: Service tax relief to storage services for fruits, vegetables

The government has given exemption from service tax to certain pre-cold storage services for fruits and vegetables, a move aimed at promoting food processing sector and checking price rise of perishable items.

"The tax exemption is being extended to certain pre-cold storage services in relation to fruits and vegetables so as to incentivise value addition in this crucial sector," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in the Budget.

The Budget document elaborated that exemption would be on services by way of pre-conditioning, pre-cooling, ripening, waxing, retail packing and labelling of fruits and vegetables.
The government also clarified that service tax exemption to transportation of 'food stuff' by rail, vessels or road, will be limited to foodgrains including rice and pulses, flours, milk and salt.
The document added that transportation of agricultural produce is separately exempted, which would be continued.
Economictimes.indiatimes.com

 

Funds to be doubled for Krishi Bhagya Scheme

Minister for Agriculture, Krishna Byregowda hinted that the government would double the funds for Krishi Bhagya Scheme to reach the farmers in hobli level from next year.
Mr. Byregowda interacting with the farmers after inspecting the storage tank built under the scheme here in Kapnoor village in Kalaburagi on Tuesday, he said that the Krishi Bhagya Scheme had been implemented in 107 taluk to construct 6000 storage tanks in the state.
Adding that the Krishi Bhagya scheme resulted in a success, the government would enhance the funds for Krishi Bhagya schemes to reach more than 20,000 beneficiaries in the state .At present the government earmarked Rs.500 crore for the project. The government had released Rs.20 crore for the Krishi Bhagya scheme to Kalaburagi district in I st Phase, he added.
Mr. Byregowda said that the state government has extended subsidies to beneficiaries for constructing storage water tanks to conserve rain water for utilisation during rain deficit.
In the scheme, he said, around 90 percent subsidy was given to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes beneficiaries and 80 per cent to the general category beneficiaries.
Thehindu.com

 

Karnataka urged to phase out tobacco farming

Enhance VAT on tobacco products to discourage its use, urged CM

In the run-up to the State Budget, the Anti-Tobacco Forum in Mysuru has urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to initiate measures to phase out tobacco farming and enhance VAT on tobacco products to discourage its use.
Tobacco is one of the major commercial crops cultivated in the district, but India is also a signatory to the UN Framework Convention on Tobacco Control according to which it is obligatory to phase out its cultivation by 2020.
The forum said the Chief Minister should take a cue from the Union Budget, which increased tax on tobacco products and further increase VAT. Forum convenor Vasanthkumar Mysoremath told The Hindu that hundreds of crores spent on healthcare can be saved by reducing tobacco consumption and the revenue thus saved could be channelised to rehabilitate farmers who shift to alternative crops.
Thehindu.com

Quote

“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all.” 

- Wendell  Berry

Wishing you all a Great Month ahead!
ISAP Team


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