Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals

ISAP Monthly E-newsletter, Volume 8, Issue:14 (Nov, 2015)

INDEX

- ISAP Activities

-Prominent Contributors to 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 :-

November being a start of Rabi season, field team was primarily busy in assisting project farmers in setting up of crop demonstrations. This season, demos have been set up for wheat, mustard, tomato and potato crops. Under IFS, 36 units of Azolla and 40 units of Vermi-compost have also been set up under the project area. A delegation of OCPF officials from Morocco also visited the project area to review the project progress during November 27-Dec 1, 2015.

This month witnessed the inauguration of 2 Agri-Village Resource Centres (AVRCs) at Bonli (Distt Sawai Madhopur) and Kishanganj (Distt Baran). Each AVRC is comprised of FPO office, warehouse, processing unit, a farm-mechanization centre, plant nursery, computer education centre, primary health care unit and a women skill development centre. Land has also been identified for AVRC at Khandar (Distt Sawai Madhopur). A total of 6 AVRC have been planned in OCPF-IFS project (one AVRC in each block).

On HRD front, training of women SHG workers was conducted on manufacturing washing powder at village Kishanganj Distt. Baran (Raj.) on 27 Nov 2015. A total of 22 women members participated in this program. Objective of organizing such trainings is to educate and facilitate women SHGs in the project area to help them undertaking less capital intensive business activities.

Inauguration of AVRC, Bonli by OCPF team

Glimpses of Women SHG training on washing powder making



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 November month, need assessment of identified farmers was done for IFS activities. Resource base of individual farmers were scrutinized and potential components of IFS were added to their portfolios, which should lead to enhancement of their income. After this exercise, a training of lead farmers was organized on different IFS components at regional Office of ISAP in Gulbarga. During this program, Dr. S.A Patil, Chairman, ISAP also interacted with the farmers about the problems faced by them and suggested possible measures to help solving their problems.

Dr. S.A Patil interacting with the IFS lead farmers


In November month, two exposure visits were conducted. A group of 20 farmers from Gulbarga area were taken to Krishimela, Bangalore which was held on 19th Nov to 22nd Nov 2015. Another group of 15 farmers from Bidar area were taken to the Krishimela at KVK, Baramati district, Maharashtra on 6th & 7th Nov 2015.

Farmers exposure visit to Krishimela, Bangalore

Farmers exposure visit to Krishimela at KVK, Maharashtra


November month also witnessed inauguration of Computer Education Center at Agri Village Resource Centers in Halbarga village, Bhalki taluk, Bidar district. This AVRC is being run by Jai Kisan Souharda Multipurpose Cooperative Society. This center was inaugurated by Shree Bhagwant Khuba, MP Bidar and Shree Eswar Khandre, MLA, Bhalki taluk, Bidar. The participants at the centre were explained the objective of having computer center at village level by ISAP and how the village youth, children, women and other community members can be benefitted through this center.

Inauguration of Computer Education Center by Shree Bhagwant Khuba , MP Bidar

Inauguration of Computer Education Center by the Shree Eswar Khandre, MLA, Bhalki taluk, Bidar


 

Project SHARE II

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 :-

So far 248 FIGs and 15 SHGs have been formed in the project area. Out of the total, 19 FIGs have been formed in Uttar Pradesh, 53 FIGs in Telangana, 45 Figs in Karnataka and 131 FIGs in Maharashtra. Opening of the bank accounts of the FIGs and SHGs are also in process.

Glimpses of the FIG formation and farmers meeting at Jalna block, Jalna and Baragaon block, Varanasi respectively

Glimpses of the FIG formation and farmers meeting at Jalna block, Jalna and Baragaon block, Varanasi respectively

 

FPO Promotion under various govt schemes

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, 4 FPOs have been registered and 15 FPOs (planned to be formed under NFSM) are under the process of registration. 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 Karnataka (KSP project), Rajasthan (VIUC-Ajmer project); Elections are over for three FPOs in Haryana, eight FPOs in Karnataka and one FPO in Rajasthan. 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). Also, help of scientists from local KVKs is taken for conducting training programs for the farmers. In November, farmers of the proposed FPO in Bazarhatnoor block were taken on exposure visit to the farm of Lakkam Narayana, a local progressive farmer, to gain knowledge on cotton farming. 3 FPOs in MP have started animal feed business (retailing of mineral mixtures and calcium powder) in November. The FPOs have been promoted under MP Special project-1. Farmers of FPO-Paithan block, formed under NFSM-Aurangabad project, have planned for collective marketing of cotton. For this they are doing aggregation of cotton produce from the growers and storing it for offseason sale.

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.

Glimpse of the purchase and sale of cotton under NFSM- Aurangabad project

Glimpse of the BoD elections under VIUC project Ajmer

Glimpse of the field Visit of cotton farm in FPO- Bazarhatnoor

 

NABARD Project

ISAP has been delegated to set up 100 Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) by NABARD under ‘NABARD SHG Bank Linkage Program’ in Mandalgarh, district Bhilwara (Rajasthan). Each SHG formed under this program should be provided training on saving, inter-loaning, and other enterprising aspects. Scope of work also includes credit linkage of the groups with the banks.

Monthly Activities :-

A PIMC (Project Implementation and Monitoring Committee) meeting of the Project “NABARD SHG Bank linkage programme” was held on 2nd November, 2015 in the Mandalgarh Block of Bhilwara District in Rajasthan. The main objective of PIMC was to assess the progress of the project from time to time and suggest ways to further improve the project activities so that project can be successful. The meeting at Mandalgarh was attended by Mr. Shiv Kumar Gupta (DDM Bhilwara Rajasthan), Mr. Kuldeep Bramhbhatt (Branch Manager GSS Mandalgarh), Mr. Praveen Rav (Branch Manager GSS Barundini), Mr. Karn Singh Shaktawat (Branch Manager GSS Dhamaniya), Mr. Prem Shankar Sharma (Branch Manager GSS Thalkalan), Mr. B.S.Choudhary (Project Manager, ISAP), Mr. Narendra Kumar Singh (SHGs Coordinator, ISAP), Mr. Yogendra Kanawat (SHGs Worker, ISAP), Mr. Padam Kumar Jain (SHG Worker, ISAP). Women from 6 SHGs also participated in this meeting.

In the meeting women were encouraged to engage themselves in income generation activities like making of washing powder and Papad. They were also told about the importance of saving a part of their monthly income and the benefits related to it in the future. Women were also given awareness on the different schemes of bank which includes dairy loan and goat rearing loan that could benefit women in supporting their livelihood. Inter loaning in groups and credit linkage of the groups with the banks were also a part of the discussion.

PIMC meeting at Mandalgarh


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 (Punjab) :-

“Entrepreneurs are made not born”, the success story of Vikramjeet Singh reflects the fact. An Agri graduate from Punjab University, Vikramjeet is the creator of his own success. “It was indeed a difficult path for me, but my passion towards doing something on my own helped me in achieving my goal” says Vikramjeet.

After his graduation Vikramjeet was unable to find job opportunities for himself, which lead to disappointment and frustration in his life. One day one of his friends advised him to enquire about the training provided to people under ACABC scheme. After some research Vikramjeet joined the training of two months from 19 Dec 2014 to 18 Feb 2015 at ISAP Amritsar centre.

“During the training I learnt quite a lot of things in agricultural area that provided me with the confidence to start my own venture after the completion of the training” says Vikramjeet. He started his venture with Seed cultivation of Basmati Rice.

Belonging to a middle class family, it was very difficult for him to arrange finance for the venture. He was not very sure that he would be able to go through all the formalities related to interest linked to loan so he did not approach banks for loan. He says “I tried to manage investment on my own, most of the family and friends were against my wishes of starting my own venture, they wanted me to look for a good job in nearby areas, but there were few of my friends who supported me with finance”. He started seed cultivation with initial investment of around 1.5 Lakh. After sometime his efforts helped in gaining a good profit and he diversified his business to cultivation of vegetables like cauliflower and Spinach. He currently earns 8000-10000 INR per month and employs 6 farmers under him.

“I like helping people, so I provide the knowledge of the vegetable and seed cultivation to farmers who come to me” says Vikramjeet. The business is going quite good and he is happy that he chose the two months ACABC program. The program not only helped him in achieving his goals in life but is also benefiting a lot of people who are related to him. The story of Vikarmjeet is a good example which depicts that passion and determination to achieve goals can do wonders for people.

ISAP wishes good luck to Vikramjeet.

Vikramjeet Singh can be contacted at: Mobile no: 8054500027, Email: Vikrambrar.02@gmail.com

Vikramjeet doing seed and vegetable cultivation

 

Science & Technology

Pashu Poshan

NDDB has developed an android based software that can be used on phones as well as tablets. With the help of this software balanced ration is formulated while optimizing the cost considering animal profile, i.e. cattle or buffalo, age, milk production, milk fat, and feeding regime etc. and milk producers are advised to adjust the quantity of locally available feed ingredients offered to their animals along with mineral mixture.

The Apps developed for the above can be downloaded from the URL: Download App

dairyknowledge.in

 

Do you know

Trees’ Facts

• An acre of trees can remove about 13 tons of dust and gases every year from the surrounding environment.
• The single oldest living thing on Earth is a tree.
• The rings on a cross-section of a cut tree can indicate the tree's age but also provides a history of weather conditions. A thin ring indicates a dry year while a thick ring indicates a wet year.
• An average, large healthy tree could have about 2,000 leaves.

Oklahoma4h.okstate.edu


Prominent Contributors to Agriculture

K.C Mehta (1892-1950)Professor Karam Chand Mehta, obtained his PhD (1922) and ScD (1941) from University of Cambridge, UK specializing in plant pathology. He served as the Professor of Botany (1923) and Principal (1945), Agra College, Agra and Dean, Faculty of Science, Agra University (1944).

Dr K.C Mehta made a detailed and systematic investigation on cereal rusts from 1922 to 1950.He discovered the disease cycle of cereal rusts in India. He investigated the effect of temperature on the viability of uredospores of rust fungi attacking wheat, namely the black, brown and yellow rusts. These rust fungi were being killed owing to the high temperature in the plains. To investigate their sources, he established laboratories at Agra and Simla to work all round the year in both warm and cooler climates. He proved that the rust fungi spores were blown by the wind from the hills to the plains, and they could be controlled by eradication of “out of season” wheat and barley plants in the hills by replacement of oats, which is not infected by these rusts..

Insaindia.org

News Highlights

Punjab Agricultural University inks deal with Maharashtra seeds corporation

Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today signed an agreement with the Maharashtra State Seeds Corporation Limited (MSSCL) for the seed production of its (PAU) own developed maize hybrid PMH -1. Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice Chancellor of PAU and A B Unhale, Managing Director of MSSCL signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) at Akola in Maharashtra.

"Under this pact, PAU has offered MSSCL the seed production programme of maize hybrid PMH-1 in Andhra Pradesh during Rabi season 2015-16 for supplying seed to the farmers of Punjab during Kharif 2016," he said. Being the first seed production programme of this hybrid in Andhra Pradesh (AP), the PAU would provide necessary technical guidance to the seed growers at crucial growth stages of the crop by deputing its technical personnel to AP from time to time, he said.

Meanwhile, Unhale said, "MSSCL is a Maharashtra government organisation that produces nearly 10 lakh quintals of seed of different crops for various organisations." He observed that MSSCL was keen to have more such partnerships with PAU for the benefit of the farmers. MSSCL would organize the maize hybrid PMH-1 seed production programme for and on behalf of PAU, at farms of selected seed growers, in Andhra Pradesh under contract with it, he added.

economictimes


Cotton Growers Federation Expects Bumper Crop This Year

A bumper cotton crop is expected in the state this year which is likely to bring cheers to growers in the Vidarbha region too, Maharashtra State Cotton Growers Co-operative Federation chairman N P Hirani has said.

Cotton prices have ruled firm as the new season opened with steady flows of raw cotton. Vidarbha has the largest area under cotton cultivation in the state and the cash crop has an influence on its rural farm economy in a big way. This year, the yield is expected to be between 350 and 380 lakh quintals against 300 lakh quintals last season, Hirani said. Last week, private traders started purchases and have already collected about 1.5 lakh quintals at rates fluctuating between Rs 4,150 and Rs 4,450 a quintal, way above the central government-fixed minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 4,100.

The Maharashtra State Cotton Growers Co-operative Federation has decided to open procurement centres from November 15. However, an official announcement on this is likely only on November 9 or post Diwali, after the federation's board meeting in Mumbai, Hirani said.

Interestingly, the cotton prices in the coming days would largely depend on China. If the neighbouring country opens up for imports, Indian cotton growers can expect a good demand and consequently higher rates through exports. There is a two per cent incentive of exports. But China exports are not a certainty because of economic slowdown there, sources in cotton industry said. China built a huge inventory couple of years back by purchasing from all over the world. Hopefully, that stock may have exhausted.

"Cotton is generally not stored for more than two years. So, there is possibility of opening of imports this year," said Hirani. However, otherwise, he is sceptical about the sustainability of the current high rates.

"We expect supplies to jump up after November 15, triggering a slide in rates. At that juncture, the federation will be ready to intervene and start purchases at its centres to ensure that private traders do not exploit farmers and prices do not slip below the MSP," the former NCP MLC said.

economictimes


IRRI developing smart rice varieties that withstand climate change effects

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) says among the rice varieties being developed are those designed to withstand climate stress, thus contributing to improved productivity and the quest to reduce poverty as well.

Dr. Abdelbagi Ismail, principal scientist, plant physiologist and overall project leader for the Stress Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia (STRASA) project said the problems related to dry and wet seasons have become more severe because of climate change, which causes more intense typhoons to hit the tropics, makes the sea level rise and pushes salinity to seep further inland.

"We have to make sure that we have varieties that can adapt to the adversities. And that is why IRRI started developing varieties that can survive in drought-affected areas, salt-affected areas and flood-affected areas," Ismail added.Aside from IRRI, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) is also pushing a comprehensive food security program that would strengthen Asean's capacity to feed its population, which is comprised mainly of rice eaters.

Ismail said that, because the Philippines is their host country and most of their activities are in the Philippines, all the materials that they developed in the project are tested in the Philippines, with a variety released for submergence tolerance called Submarino. Drought resistance is very important for the Philippines and drought-tolerant seeds are now included in the seed system of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

"The good thing about these seeds is that they mature in a shorter period of time, allowing the farmers to grow another crop. So they can have two crops per year instead of one. And usually that potentially doubles the productivity," he claimed. Developing varieties that combine traits like drought tolerance, flood tolerance and saline tolerance is what they are currently doing, Ismail said.

Interaksyon


New high-yield arhar variety could solve pulses shortage

As the country grapples with recurring increase in pulses price, scientists at the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) have come up with a solution to address the shortage in the commodity.

Scientists at Kanpur-based Indian Institute of Pulses Research (IIPR), an affiliate organisation of ICAR, have developed an arhar (tur) variety, which has the potential to give much higher yield - almost double - compared to existing variants.

The average yield of existing pulses varieties in the country is 9-10 quintals a hectare, but the new variety developed by IIPR scientists has the potential to give 20 quintals.The central government, along with ICAR, is extensively promoting this variety - IPA-203 - in the northern and central regions of the country, where it wants to push pulses cultivation by encouraging farmers to shift from wheat and rice. "We are trying to popularise this new seed variety through our network of 150 seed stations, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Agriculture Universities and also National Seed Corporation," N P Singh, director of IIPR, told Business Standard.

The pulses variety took a long time to get commercialised as a lot of changes were made in properties. Arhar (tur) is mostly grown in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, while it is consumed almost in all parts of the country.Although the existing varieties are mostly short-duration ones, where the crop gets ready in four to six months, the newly developed takes a longer time to germinate, almost nine to 10 months.

In others words, the new variety of pulses developed by scientists will take two seasons to mature. "We had tried to develop high-yielding short-duration pulses varieties, but it has not been very successful in north India because of pest and nilgai attack," said Singh.He said short-duration pulses varieties have not been found to be very successful in the northern parts of the country mainly due to attack by 'maruca vitrata' pest and also the nilgai menace.

In Maharashtra and Karnataka, 60 per cent of the arhar varieties sown are of short-to-medium duration, as the chance of pest attack is less in those parts. To popularise the crop in the northern belt, varieties which are not susceptible to pests is a must.

"In the long-duration arhar variety which we have developed, the possibility of the crop regenerating from the stub, after an attack by nilgai is more and, hence, the loss to the farmer is less," Singh said.

business-standard

India, Brazil team up for raising cattle, buffalo yields

India and Brazil today agreed to engage in collaborative projects for raising productivity of cattle and buffaloes in a meeting between agriculture ministers of the two countries here today.

In a meeting between Indian Agriculture Minister RadhaMohan Singh and his Brazilian counterpart Katia Abreu, the two countries discussed the areas where they can cooperate for their mutual benefits.

"Both the countries now intend to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and EMBRAPA for taking up collaborative projects in the field of productivity improvement of cattle and buffaloes," an official release said.

The collaboration would be through exchange of advanced breeding technology, knowledge sharing and exchange of genetic material for mutual benefits, it said.

The NDDB is an apex policy making body for dairy development in India, while EMBRAPA is a Brazilian public agricultural research corporation. The two countries already have an MoU for furthering mutual cooperation in the area of agriculture, animal husbandry and other allied activities.

economictimes


ICRISAT, IIT Bombay launches free online agriculture course

The National Virtual Academy for Indian Agriculture will launch an online course on diseases of horticultural crops and their management in collaboration with the International Crops Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad, and the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

The two month free online course, which begins on November 30 and concludes on January 29, 2016, is an initiative by a team of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in agriculture and educators from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and its partners together with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay.

"Complementing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream of a Digital India where - Quality Education reaches the most inaccessible corners driven by Digital Learning, we are excited to see the launch of MOOCs (Part-II) in India, which offers high quality learning opportunities for students across the country," said Dr David Bergvinson, Director General, ICRISAT.

"The course materials have been methodically planned and prepared by highly experienced team of educators and professors in the agricultural field, who have devoted their time and effort to educate the Indian masses on sustainable agriculture practices," said Dr Sumanth kumar, Scientist - ICT for Development, ICRISAT.

timesofindia


Govt finalises ‘simpler and easy-to-settle’ farm insurance policy

The Modi government is finalising a new farm insurance policy with lower premiums and simpler norms for prompt payments, a move aimed at finding a more lasting solution for increasing climate shocks such as droughts. Hoping to ameliorate a farm crisis and quell criticism that it is paying more attention to industrialisation, the whole point of a new farm insurance policy is to make it “simpler and easy to settle”, an official said, requesting anonymity.

Less than a quarter of India’s farmers insure their crops under three state-bankrolled polices, which are cumbersome and archaic. A back-to-back drought in half the country this summer has shrunk farm incomes and stoked a rural crisis, posing a political challenge for the government.

Farm insurance and compensation has been a complicated process that often relies on estimates of crop losses in a cluster of villages, rather than individual farms. Doles often go to absentee landlords, rather than sharecroppers and farm tenants. “All these aspects are being looked into,” the official said.

Under the draft proposal, premium is aimed to be brought down to 3% from the current levels between 3.5% and 8%. The insurance scheme will be tied to agro-climatic and land conditions – such as hilly, rain-fed and irrigated – that determine farm output, rather than just crop value.

For certain vulnerable categories of farmers, the government will propose to cap the premium at a certain level. The Modi government’s proposal, which will come up for the Cabinet’s approval, may require certain categories of farmers who take farm loans – and are thus ‘risk-taking’ – to compulsorily buy insurance, the official said.

As droughts or untimely rains become frequent, farm incomes have little protection in a country where agriculture supports half of the population. Many farmers exposed to risks commit suicide.“The objective is to make it hassle-free. If it’s not hassle-free, it will not be popular, as has been the case so far,” an official said.

An inter-ministerial panel – which includes the home, finance and farm ministries – is steering the proposal. It recently reviewed the draft scheme and will meet again shortly, the official said.The NDA government aims to make agricultural insurance in India universal and popular, which will automatically take care of losses in farm income without the need for laborious, clumsy state interventions that often don’t work.

hindustantimes


Co-operatives to buy paddy from farmers in West Bengal

Co-operatives will buy paddy from farmers on the back of Rs 400 crore bank guarantee offered by the West Bengal government. This was indicated by the state agriculture minister Purnendu Basu at the 5th Agro Protech 2015 on Thursday.

Basu said "Co-operatives will buy paddy from farmers on the back of Rs 400 crore bank guarantee offered by the state government. We are offering a price of Rs 1425 per quintal in krishi mandis to counter distress sale of paddy". West Bengal is the largest rice producing state in the country.

Arup Roy, the state agricultural marketing minister informed that the state agriculture is dominated by small and marginal farmers. He elaborated about innovative state government initiatives like "Amar fasal, Amar Gari" & "Amar fasal, Amar Gola" which has been introduced to support better agri marketing initiatives and storage facilities for agri produce. While the state government of West Bengal is actively seeking to award remunerative prices to the farmers, it is also working towards ensuring fair price for consumers Mr. Roy informed.

Krishnendu Narayan Choudhury, minister of Food Processing Industries & Horticulture said that in view of the fact that there has been an increasing trend of conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural use, due to increasing population pressure, there needs to be a review of the existing Land ceiling Act. He added that extensive usage of chemical fertilizers has adversely affected soil health and organic farming can be a plausible way out in West Bengal.

economictimes


Maharashtra government to provide energy efficient agri pumps by 2019

Maharashtra government plans to replace all 40 lakh agriculture pumps presently in the state with the energy-efficient ones in next four years. The energy efficient pumps would not only reduce power bills of farmers, but also provide respite to the state exchequer, bringing down the subsidy amount by at least Rs 4,000 crore each year, Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule said.

The state government provides electricity for agriculture pumps at a rate of Rs 85 paise per unit and gives a subsidy of Rs 8,000 crore annually for it.

"Though we provide electricity to farmers at a subsidised rate, farmers do not pay their bills regularly. The pending dues towards such bills amount to Rs 11,000 crore," Bawankule said. The minister said he has suggested that energy efficient agriculture pumps be imported, which will help reduce power consumption by at least 30 per cent.

Bawankule claimed that Maharashtra State Power Generation Company and Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company have sufficient funds. They also have the option of borrowing money from other agencies, if the agriculture department does not have sufficient funds for the scheme, he said. Each pump will cost around Rs 30,000, he said. "We will not burden the farmers with the cost of these pumps. They will be provided these pumps free of cost, so there is no possibility of them opposing the scheme," he said.

One of the features of these pumps will be that it will have a trigger installed in it and if a farmer tries to fetch more water than the pump's capacity, the trigger will immediately conk off, thereby reducing chances of a blast in the transformer, the minister said.

economictimes


Quote

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