Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals

ISAP Monthly E-newsletter, Volume 8, Issue:12 (SEP, 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 :-

In order to address the primary healthcare concerns of the people, medical camps were organized in Mai Kalan village of Khandar block of Sawai Madhopur district and Kushalpura village of Bonli block of Sawai Madhopur district with arrival of around 203 patients and 178 patients respectively for medical consultation. Medicines were distributed among the patients as per the diagnosis done by the doctor. Some of the problems reported by the patients were Fever, common cold, cough, stomach, blisters, knee pain etc.

Patients showing their problems and taking medical consultation from the Doctor

Medical vans for physically challenged patients and medicines being distributed to patients

To strengthen the mission of the OCPF-IFS Project, trainings were conducted to introduce interventions among the farmers which could help them in improvising their livelihood. ISAP team members along with the subject matter specialist on Apiculture practices visited the project areas to meet farmers in Anta and Kishanganj blocks of Baran district and shared the knowledge on honey bee keeping and how it can be beneficial to the farmers for getting higher revenue. Farmers were also trained about new technologies involved in growing agricultural crops and how to maintain livestock. Around 35 farmers participated in this training programme.

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

Training programme was also organized in Hindoli block of Bundi district of Rajasthan by the project team under establishment of functional FPO-level based seed delivery systems. Farmers were made aware about the benefits of seed production at the community level. This activity will be done on 5 acres of land in each block, the total being 10 acres for both the blocks in Bundi district. Crops like mustard, spinach, fenugreek, pea, carrot; onion and wheat were selected based on the recommendation of subject matter experts from ISAP and the consent of farmers.

Project experts giving training to the farmers on the benefits of community seed production work in Hindoli block

At present, three Agri-village resource centers (AVRC) under OCPF-IFS Project (Rajasthan) are in their completion stage. These AVRC’s are located in Kishanganj block of Baran district, Nainwa block of Bundi district and Bonli block of Sawai Madhopur district and aims to strengthen Farmer Producer Organization’s (FPO) business activities as well as value addition and market integration. In addition to this it will also help in tackling major human development issues in the project areas. The construction work in the remaining three blocks Anta (Baran), Hindoli(Bundi) and Khandar (Sawai Madhopur) is expected to start soon in the succeeding month.

AVRC under construction stage at Kishanganj and Nainwa block

AVRC under construction in Bonli block of Sawai Madhopur district

OCPF-AES Project, Karnataka

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

Monthly Activities :-

In September month two health camps were organized in Chittapur taluk and Gulbarga taluk of district Gulbarga. Periodic check up was done and medicines were distributed among the patients as per the ailment. Some of the problems reported by the patients were Fever, common cold, cough, stomach, blisters, knee-pain and etc. Participation of school children was the main attraction of the medical camp. They also carried out rallies in order to aware people about the need of maintaining proper health and hygiene and encourage more participation of people in these health camps.

Health Camp in Hebbal, Chittapur taluk, Gulbarga district

Health Camp in Aurad (B), Gulbarga taluk, Gulbarga district

Farmers Community training on Health, Hygiene and girl child’s education was carried this month for farm communities. The training was presided over by the Gram Panchayat president and was attended by school children along with their parents. Knowledge was shared by the experts on importance of use of pure drinking water and need of maintaining proper health and hygiene. Women empowerment was also focused during the training program and lectures were given on girl’s education, eradication of female feticide, nutritional aspect of pregnant woman and new mothers and other health aspects.

Farmers Community training on Health, Hygiene, Girls education and Woman empowerment in Hebbal, Chittapur taluk, Gulbarga district

Farmers Community training on Health, Hygiene, Girls education and Woman empowerment in Aurad (B), Gulbarga taluk, Gulbarga district

Farmers’ visits : Group visits by farmers were arranged during this month on the IFS units of lead farmers. Farmers visited High tech Watermelon, Lemon, Tomato, Papaya , Ginger and Pomegranate plantation plots. Farmers also visited the established vermi compost units , Bio gas setup and Dairy set up of the lead farmers. Farmers were also made to visit the farm pond and learn the benefits of having a pond farm in the field.

Farmers at lemon cultivation plot at Havnoor, Gulbarga taluk

Farmers at Vermi compost unit at Gudur, Afzalpur Taluk

Farmers at High tech watermelon cultivation plot at Gudur, Afzalpur Taluk

Farmers at High tech papaya cultivation plot at Halli, Basavklayan taluk

Farmers visit to Biogas setup at Hudgi, Basavkalyan taluk

Farmers at Farm pond at Halli, Basavklayan taluk

Apart from field visits and health camps, Exposure & cross learning visits were also made. A 16 member farmer’ team visited National Research Centre for Pomegranate (NRCP) Solapur and gained information regarding PoP on Pomegranate cultivation .Farmers also visited Goat center of Mr.. Patan, Lead Goat breeder at Solapur and Murra buffalo dairy unit at Solapur and inspected and learned about different breeds of Goats and practices involved in dairy unit setup.

Farmers visit to NRCP, Solapur

Farmers interacting with expert about PoP on Pomegranate cultivation

Farmers visit Goat center at Solapur

Farmers visit to Murra buffalo dairy unit at Solapur


Project SHARE II

Project SHARE II, is the second phase of SHARE project 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 and the concept of Model Village. During the course of the project, farmers will be mobilized to form FPOs, FIGs and the women from the farming households will be encouraged to form SHGs so as to channelize their income and savings.

Monthly Activities :-

Farmer’s mobilization meeting and registration process is in full swing in all the four states. The registered farmers will be grouped into FIG in the next stage. Meetings for SHG formation have also been initiated. SHGs will be formed among the women from the farming households.

Glimpses of the meetings conducted at Adilabad and Raichur districts

Glimpses of the meetings conducted at Varanasi and Gorakhpur districts


Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH)-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 has been given the responsibility to mobilize total 3000 small and marginal farmers in Haryana. The farmers will be organized under Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), consisting 1000 farmers in each FPO.

Monthly Activities :-

MIDH-Haryana has been implemented in Bhiwani, Sirsa, Jind and Kaithal districts, covering total 3000 farmers. All the blocks of the mentioned districts have been selected for the formation of FPOs. So far 125 FIGs have been formed, covering 2185 farmers. For formation of these groups about 209 farmer meetings have been conducted in which 3509 farmers participated. Share collection has also been started from the farmer members. For this, first farmers were made understand about the idea behind collection of share money. Till date Rs 154000 has been collected as share money. Opening of bank accounts of the FIGs is in process. Till date 11 bank accounts have been opened and for opening of rest of the accounts documents have been submitted. Training on Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs) like preparation of vermi compost, NADEP method, Nursery Preparation, Azolla cultivation, harvesting of tomato, harvesting of cabbage etc. using Audio Visual Aids are also going on. Till date around 59 trainings have been conducted in which total 865 farmers participated. Election for BoDs of the FPOs is ongoing at present. Till now have been elections in six working blocks completed.

Glimpse of BoD elections at Mehda village of Dadri block, Bhiwani

Glimpse of farmer meeting at Dhoka hariya village, Dadri, Bhiwani


Vegetable Initiative for Urban Clusters (VIUC)-Ajmer

The idea behind VIUC initiative is to enhance production and productivity of Horticulture crops. India is fortunate to be endowed with a variety of agro-climatic zones and has a tradition of growing a wide range of horticultural crops. Among the horticulture produce, vegetables have the largest share of production. Vegetables not only contribute to food basket of India but are also highly remunerative crops.

Monthly Activities :-

ISAP has identified Peesangan and Srinagar blocks for the project. So far 61 FIGs have been formed under the project. Out of the FIGs, 31 FIGs have been formed in Peesangan block while 30 FIGs have been formed in Sri Nagar block. So far around 109 farmer meetings have been conducted in which total 1454 farmers participated. Purpose of the meets is to inform the farmers about Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals (ISAP), idea behind the project and benefits of the project. Share collection has also been started from the farmer members.. Till date Rs 6400 has been collected as share money. Opening of bank accounts of the FIGs are in process. Documents have been submitted in the bank to open bank accounts. Training on Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs) like preparation of vermin compost, NADEP method, Nursery Preparation, Azolla cultivation, harvesting of tomato, harvesting of cabbage etc. using audio visual Aids are also going on. Till date around 19 trainings have been conducted in which total 203 farmers participated.

Glimpse of farmer meeting for opening of bank account at Danta village of Sri Nagar

Glimpse of farmer training using audio visual aid at Nala Pushkar village, Ajmer district


MP Special Project - Phase II

ISAP, as a resource institution, has got responsibility to mobilize eight thousand small and marginal farmers under eight Farmer Producer Organizations (FPO) (at the rate of one thousand farmers per FPO) in four districts of Madhya Pradesh by the name- Guna, Shivpuri, Sheopur and Hoshangabad.

Monthly Activities :-

MP Special Project Phase-II is a project assigned by SFAC to ISAP as Resource Institution to mobilize small and marginal farmers and form eight Farmer Producer Organizations in Guna, Shivpuri, Sheopur and Hoshangabad. For mobilization of farmers, for the project, ISAP has conducted various farmers meetings. Thorough meetings the project field staff, inform farmers about ISAP, SFAC, reason behind the project and benefits of the project to farmers. So far total 171 FIGs have been formed, under the project covering 3407 farmers. Share collection and bank account opening process have also been initiated. So far 20 bank accounts have been opened and a sum of Rs 56450 has been collected as share money from 684 farmers. First cyclic monitoring visit was conducted by SFAC in all the project blocks

Glimpse of monitoring visit at Leeldha village of Beerpur block of Sheopur district

Glimpse of monitoring visit at Simara village of Piparia Block, Hoshangabad


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, 14882 farmers have been enrolled so far under NDP-NFSM. So far, a total of 821 group meetings and 287 trainings have been conducted for the FPO members under this program. Demonstrations on tur crop have been taken up in all the three states (Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana). To carry out demonstrations ISAP gave micronutrients to the farmers. Trainings on Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs) are also going on. BoD meeting was conducted in all the five FPOs of Telangana. Third cyclic monitoring visit was also conducted at Karnataka.

Glimpse of the BOD meeting at Umri ,Talamadugu to discuss about value chain study and business plan of the FPO

Glimpse of the BOD meeting at Girnoor ,Talamadugu to discuss about value chain study and business plan of the FPO


Karnataka Special Project

Karnataka Special Project is an initiative of Govt. of Karnataka in association with SFAC and various project 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.

Monthly Activities :-

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. DPRs for all the districts have been approved by the State Horticulture Department. So far 494 Farmer Interest Groups have been formed in the project districts in which total 9880 farmers have been enrolled. 133 bank accounts of the FIGs also have been opened. Till date total 328 farmer meetings have been conducted in which the farmers were made aware about the resource institution and benefits one will enjoy by becoming a member of Farmer Producer Organization (FPO). Share money collection from the farmer members has also been started. So far Rs 18,22,200 has been collected as share money from 1693 project farmers. Training on Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs) like preparation of vermicompost, NADEP method, Nursery Preparation, Azolla cultivation, harvesting of tomato, harvesting of cabbage etc. using audio visual aids in local language are also going on. Till date around 14 trainings have been conducted. Collection of documents for FPO registration of 4 FPOs (Hassan, Bidar, Raichur and Gulbarga) has also been started.

Glimpse of farmer training at Rudarwadi village, Gulbarga on capacity building

Glimpse of farmer training program at Khajuri village, Gulbarga

MP Special Project - Phase I

ISAP with support from Department of Agriculture & Farmer Welfare, Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium has been promoting FPOs in four blocks of MP. The blocks are Gurh and Huzur in Rewa district, and Rampur Naikin and Majhauli in 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 been able to mobilize 3757 farmers under 4 FPOs.

Monthly Activities :-

In the month of September, farmer awareness campaign on cattle feed was conducted for FPO members of Gurh, Majhauli and Rampur Naikin block. Mr kamlesh, an employee of Rishi Pharma PVT. LTD., informed the farming about use of micro nutrient, calcium etc. as diet for improving milk yield. The FPOs are planning to start Animal Feed business and the awareness campaign is going to be great help for them.

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, Chhattisgarh, 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 each ISAP newsletter.

Success-story :-

Prafull a resident of Shivpuri, District in Madhya Pradesh is a graduate in Agricultural Sciences. He received the training of two months from (24.04.2015 to 22.06.2015) at ISAP’s Bhopal centre.

“I always wanted to start my own venture and the Training of two months under ACABC program provided me with the confidence to do so” quoted Prafull. In the initial stages Prafull faced a lot of problems like financial constraints, unavailability of space to start the venture but the willingness and determination always motivated him to overcome all these problems.

He started the venture with the initial self investment of around 20 lakhs and in a small space which he now has transformed into a food processing unit. Prafull did not get initial support from his family members and the people of his village, as there was a monopoly in the market and people believed that there was no scope for new business. Due to the lack of support from people, Prafull initially was unable to find laborers to support the venture but his constant effort helped him in solving the issue. Currently Prafull earns 25000 INR per month employing around 20 people who help him in various ways like marketing of the food materials, sellers which provide him with the raw materials and the people who work under him in his factory. Prafull sells the food materials at low prices to the poor people, he says “I feel an intense happiness in helping the poor people by providing them food products at low prices and I want to continue the same in future”. He covers 1-2 villages in the Shivpuri area and provides employment to around 20 people directly and indirectly. He is thankful to ACABC training program which is not only helping him in providing him a good source of income but also in providing employment to others.

ISAP wishes Mr. Prafull Maheshwari best of luck for all his future endeavors.

Prafull Maheshwari is available at –Contact No.: 8871191115 and email:

Prafull working in his food processing units


Science & Technology

“Text-to-speech” software (TTS): A software application to aid farmers

The Sandesh Pathak application, developed jointly by C-DAC Mumbai, IIT-Madras, IIIT Hyderabad, IIT Kharagpur, and C-DAC Thiruvananthapuram will enable SMS messages to be read out loud, for the benefit of farmers who may have difficulty in reading.

“It is usable by people who cannot read. A large population of farmers belongs to this category. So when they receive an SMS message either containing agriculture-related advice or some other thing, this app will read aloud the content,” says Pranaw Kumar, Senior Technical Officer, C-DAC, Mumbai who has been involved in developing this software.

The app which is available for download from the Appstore of the Mobile Seva Project of government of India, is an Indian language SMS Reader. It takes the received SMS message as input and reads it out aloud. It supports five Indian languages — Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, Gujarathi and Telugu. It also has options to select the language and speed of the voice as normal, slow, slower, fast and faster..

It uses the text-to-speech synthesis systems developed by the Indian Language TTS Consortium. To make it especially useful for farmers, “the TTS engines of all these languages have been tested on the agriculture domain-related texts and fine-tuned accordingly,” he says


Do you know

Life in Soil!

Soil was not an inert static material but a medium pulsating with life. There are more microbes in a teaspoon of soil than there are people on the earth. The top 6 to 8 inches of the root zone of a typical soil contains about 8 to 15 tons of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, earthworms, and arthropods. Soil microbiology is the study of organisms in soil, their functions, and how they affect soil properties. Soil microorganisms can be classified as bacteria, actinomycetes, fungi, algae and protozoa. Each of these groups has characteristics that define them and their functions in soil. Soil microorganisms exist in large numbers in the soil as long as there is a carbon source for energy and food resource. Up to 10 billion bacterial cells inhabit each gram of soil in and around plant roots, a region known as the rhizosphere. In 2011, a team detected more than 33,000 bacterial and archaeal species on sugar beet roots. Microbes can make nutrients and minerals in the soil available to plants, produce hormones that spur growth, stimulate the plant immune system and trigger or dampen stress responses. In general a more diverse soil microbiome results in fewer plant diseases and higher yield.


Prominent Contributors to Agriculture

Dr. Y. L. Neneis associated with solving the mystery of Khaira disease of rice and establishing that zinc deficiency leads to this disease. Dr. Nene, a PhD degree holder from University of Illinois, USA for his work on plant virus also solved the mystery of “wilt complex” of chickpea (gram) and developed multiple-disease resistance-screening techniques and disease-resistant varieties of pulses. He has communicated more than 500 scientific publications, including research and scientific articles, books “Fungicides in Plant Disease Control” and “The Pigeon pea”, and an excellent pictorial bulletin “Tomato Disorders: Identification Handbook”

Dr. Nene has received several awards/honors, notably being the International Rice Research Prize by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in 1967; Shri Om Prakash Bhasin Award in Science and Technology in 1992; the Indian Society of Pulses Research and Development (ISPRD) Award in 1994; ISPRD Gold Medal in 2001; Honorary Doctor of Science degree by GBPUA&T, Pantnagar in 1991; Prof. Y.L. Nene has been honoured with Prof. A.P. Misra Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award by Indian Psychopathological Society for the year 2008-09.

News Highlights

Maharashtra Bank launches soil and water health card for farmers

In a bid to help farmers increase soil productivity by appropriate use of fertilisers, Bank of Maharashtra has launched a soil and water health card which will help them ascertain the nutrient status of their farm lands.

“It will give farmers the level of nutrients available in their farm land so that they can administer correct dosage of fertilisers. This will help improve soil fertility and crop yield,” bank’s executive director RK Gupta told PTI.

The effort comes as lakhs of farmers in Maharashtra stare at a massive drought this year.

The state-focused lender is the only bank providing such facility and has already disbursed 500 cards in Bhigwan, Pune through Mahabank Agriculture Research and Rural Development Foundation.

The bank along with Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers is analysing soil samples at its Soil Testing Lab in Bhigwan.


Punjab scheme to boost sericulture in the state

The Department of Horticulture, Punjab, has proposed a new State Plan Scheme for Catalytic Development Programme during the current financial year to sustain the development of sericulture in the State.

According to Gurkanwal Singh, Director of Horticulture Department the state produces Bivoltine silk, with bivoltine silkworms producing better cocoons with high silk content and improved quality.

"The popular silk worm races are NB-4 D2x SH6 and its reciprocal. The agro climatic condition of some pockets of the state is very congenial and conducive for cultivation of mulberry silk. The component-wise funding of the proposed scheme would be met from the State and beneficiary share in different ratios ranging from 75:25 to 70:30 subject to final clearance of the scheme by the State Finance Department," he said, according to a Punjab Government release here.

Singh said that marginal and landless farmers can adopt silk farming and get good returns as mulberry leaves is all that they need to feed silk worms.

He further said that the main objective of the scheme is to bring horizontal and vertical growth in cocoon production, promote bivoltine sericulture and sericulture in the state and to harness the available natural resources -- waste/degraded land for development of viable and sustainable sericulture.

Tamil Nadu Agri University to develop indigenous BT cotton in collaboraton with CICR

Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR) entered into agreement for developing indigenous BT Cotton. In order to develop indigenous Bt cotton, TNAU has already developed a potent Bt gene and using this, cotton events resistant to the boll worms were generated, a University release said today.

TNAU in collaboration with CICR, Nagpur will further work on the development of indigenous Bt cotton, it said. Boll worm infestation was a serious problem causing enormous yield loss in cotton and farmers were forced to take up frequent insecticidal sprays and conventional breeding to develop boll worm resistant cotton was difficult due to non-availability of resistance source in cultivated cotton.

Government to adopt Gujarat-model of irrigation

Seeking to carry forward the Gujarat-model of irrigation reform in the country and to quickly complete the task of aquifer mapping to quantify available ground water resources, the Centre has constituted a seven-member committee to restructure the central water commission (CWC) and the central ground water board (CGWB) - the two key central bodies that manage water resources in India. The committee, headed by ex-planning commission member Mihir Shah, has been asked to submit its report in three months so that government can make a policy framework to utilize available water resources in the country in a better way.

The idea of restructuring both these central bodies is to optimally develop water resources in India so that all river basins and resources can be managed keeping in mind the increasing unpredictability of the monsoon and other climate factors. Decreasing per capita availability of water and the huge projected demand of this natural resources by 2050 are also triggers for such a move.

Whitefly attack: Rs 10 crore relief for cotton growers in Punjab

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today announced to give immediate compensation of Rs 10 crore to cotton growers whose crop was extensively damaged by whitefly attack. The compensation was announced to those growers who have uprooted their crop because of the pest attack. Badal was apprised in the meeting by the officials of revenue department that out of 11,780 acres area ploughed back by the farmers, 5,000 acres fell in Muktsar, 3,727 acres in Fazilka, 2,090 acres in Bathinda, 539 acres in Mansa, 398 acres in Faridkot and 26 acres in Barnala districts.

Referring to the damage caused to the standing cotton crops due to whitefly, the Chief Minister asked the revenue department to complete the entire 'Girdawari' (crop loss assessment) in these affected districts of the Malwa belt within next 10 days.

India to ship 10,000 tonnes of rice bran oil

India is expected to ship 10,000 tonne of rice bran oil this financial year after the Union Government eased restrictions on its bulk sale, giving a boost to small rice millers, an industry body said. Last year, the country exported about 2,000 tonnes of rice bran oil, according Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEA).

“Lifting of the government restriction is a great boost to the industry and will help small rice millers across the country. We expect to export 10,000 tonnes of rice bran oil during this financial year," according to B. V. Mehta, Executive Director, SEA. SEA is now looking at new export destination for shipping of rice bran oil, which fetches a premium over other edible oils, Mr. Mehta said. "There has been good demand from countries like Japan and Thailand. We will also start exploring new destinations like Australia, New Zealand, the US for exports of rice bran oil," he added. Earlier due to the restrictions, all output was absorbed in the domestic market, he said. Mr. Mehta said the country produces 155 million tonnes paddy and has a potential to produce 8.76 million tonnes of rice bran and 1.53 million tonnes of rice bran oil. India was the highest producer of rice bran oil with an output of 9.5 lakh tonnes in 2014-15, followed by China with two lakh tonnes and Japan 80,000 tonnes. India is expected to produce 9.97 lakh tonnes this year.

Spices Board to open signature outlets in foreign markets

The spices Board is gearing up to open premium retail outlets in key countries to sell the choicest spices and value-added products under brand names ‘Spices India’ and ‘Flavourit’ as a part of broadening its brand-building exercise beyond the nation’s boundaries.

The products will be sold through signature stalls set up in overseas market in partnership with private investors, says Spices Board Chairman A. Jayathilak.

It is expecting that those stalls would help the board to gain access to more international markets and further promote the popularity of Indian spices abroad.

Stating that the Board has chalked out a major expansion plan for the retail stores, Mr. Jayathilak said it had already set up a few signature stalls within India. “Apart from the domestic market, we now want to focus more in foreign markets,” he added. Flavourit Spice Trading Ltd. (FSTL), a Spices Board enterprise, has invited expression of interest (EoI) from prospective investors to take up franchises for ‘Spices India’ signature stalls in foreign markets.

Rs 2,200 crore disbursed as crop loan in Chhattisgarh

Crop loan of over Rs 2,200 has been disbursed in Chhattisgarh during the current kharif season by the apex bank of the state.

Chhattisgarh State Co-operative Bank has set a target of Rs 2,650 crore interest-free agriculture loans during the ongoing kharif season through its primary agriculture co-operative societies, its chairman Ashok Bajaj said. An amount of Rs 2,280 crore have been disbursed so far, which is around 86 per cent of the target, Bajaj said. The last date of loan distribution is September 30.

An amount of Rs 633 crore had been given away as loans to 2, 25,019 farmers in Raipur, Gariyaband, Balodabazar, Mahasamund and Dhamtari districts, the chairman said. Similarly, loan worth Rs 125.74 crore had been distributed to 50,297 farmers of Janjgir-Champa district in Bilaspur division, he said. Besides, about Rs 98 crore had been given away to 39, 218 farmers in Bilaspur district while Rs 47.47 crore distributed to 19, 959 farmers in Ambikapur district, he added.

Government may soon waive Tea Board permit for tea cultivation

The Tea Act is being amended now. The government is examining the need for doing away with the need for obtaining permit from Tea Board to start cultivation of tea," Additional Secretary, Commerce Ministry, R Rashmi said today.

He said this is being done keeping in mind the need for raising productivity, which is one of the key challenges the tea sector is facing. Some problems would still remain however, particularly in West Bengal, he told reporters on the sidelines of AGM of Tea Research Association (TRA) here.

The Ministry has been asking the West Bengal government to relax certain restrictions relating to land for facilitating tea cultivation, he said adding that the state government have not responded to the proposal as of yet. In West Bengal, tea cannot be cultivated on all types of land, he said.

Regarding exports, Rashmi said the exporters are being urged to come up with a strategy. "The government will offer help if required", he said. Asking the exporters to focus on quality, he said the Tea Board would come up with notifications on maximum residue limit (MRL) for some new chemicals.


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Wishing you all a Great Month ahead! - ISAP Team

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