Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals

ISAP Monthly E-Newsletter, Volume 10, Issue:8 (August, 2017)

INDEX

- ISAP Activities

Success Story (Agriclinic-Agribusiness Program)

Science & Technology

Prominent Contributors to Agriculture

Do you know

- News Highlights

ISAP FILE

ISAP, the parent body of IAP, which also started as an electronic group in 2001, achieved the following highlights since then:
  • ISAP has set-up 150 FPOs and is in the process of developing 100 more FPOs in the States of Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Telangana.
  • ISAP web page has been liked and followed by more than 195,500 numbers of people. Indian Agriculture Professional (IAP), a part of ISAP, has also crossed more than 189,000 professional members following the page in the network
  • Reached 1,500 villages, 250 blocks, 100 Districts in 18 States
  • Touched and transformed lives of 5 lakhs Indian farming families
  • Provided Entrepreneurship Development training to 5,600 agri-graduates and incubated 2,150 successful ventures
  • Trained 10,000 BPL rural youth on vocational skills and helped them gain meaningful livelihoods
  • Satisfactorily answered more than 6 lakhs farmer queries through Kisan Call Centres (KCC) in Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) 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" in Sironj, District Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh)

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ISAP Activities

OCPF-AES Project, Karnataka


In phase I, the OCPF-AES project started as a soil health improvement and yield enhancement program. In a span of 4 years, the project culminated into institutionalization of project farmers into Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) and integration of these FPOs into the existing market value chain. In the first phase, ISAP formed seven FPOs in the 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 Update:-

FPOs promoted under OCPF-AES project are now concentrating on business activities for Women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) associated with them. A Paper Plate Production Unit has been set-up at Rudrawadi village, Aland Taluka in District Gulbarga. Responsibility of running this unit has been delegated to ‘Annadani Self-Help Group’. Also, a Sanitary Napkin Manufacturing Unit was set-up in Aland. This unit was set-up in Rudrwadi village at Aland block in District Gulbarga. Responsibility of running this unit has been delegated to ‘Nandini Self-Help Group’. Members of these SHGs have been provided adequate training to run these units on sustainable basis.

Rest of the FPOs promoted under OCPF-AES project are also seeing lot of potential in above businesses and planning to set-up similar units. Representatives of these FPOs have visited these units and interacted with concerned SHGs and ISAP experts.

A Paper Plate Production Unit at Rudrawadi village, Aland taluka (Kalburgi, Karnataka)

BoDs meeting with Annadani SHGs at Rudrawadi village, Aland taluka (Kalburgi, Karnataka)


OCPF-IFS Project, Rajasthan

ISAP is working with the small and marginalized farmers in Baran, Bundi and Sawai Madhopur districts of Rajasthan through the OCPF-IFS project. Key interventions are being made to increase the productivity of field crops, vegetables and fruits through implementation of advanced crop production technologies, integrated farming practices, resource conservation like watershed harvesting management and generating in-farm resources like vermi-compost and bio-pesticides.

Efforts are being made to strengthen the FPOs through building linkages to marketing and value chain stakeholders. Agri Village Resource Centers (AVRCs) have been established in all six operational blocks of the project to provide a common platform for the FPOs to run the enterprises. These FPOs have been provided with tractors, farm machinery, warehouse, shade net house for nursery, vermi-compost pit, medical dispensary, children’s play zone, and a large platform for drying and winnowing of farmers’ produce.

Monthly Update:-

FPO in Kishanganj has prepared nursery of papaya saplings, this year. In the FPO of Kishanganj, 3,000 papaya seedlings are being raised in the nursery shade net to protect them from harsh weather change till they are ready to be planted on fields of member farmers.

The papaya seedlings being raised in the nursery shade net at Kishanganj FPO, Baran (Rajasthan)


The BODs meeting in the FPO at AVRC-Kishanganj village, Baran district, Rajasthan

The BODs meeting was organized on 1st August, 2017 at AVRC Kishanganj, District Baran (Rajasthan). The points of agenda being: 1. farmers Share collection; 2. Business Plan for seed production in protective Nursery shade nets in the FPO; and 3. implementation of farm machineries on arrival of Rabi cropping season.

The BODs meeting in the FPO at Kishanganj, District Baran (Rajasthan)


Installation of Seed Processing Unit at AVRC-Kishanganj

A new Seed Processing Unit was installed at AVRC of Kishanganj. This Seed Processing Unit will process and segregate the seeds quality-wise. The AVRC will sell these seeds at low cost to the farmers. This unit will help the farmers to get good production of crops on their fields in future.

Seed Processing Unit at AVRC of Kishanganj, District-Baran, Rajasthan


Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) trainings under the Pradham Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) at AVRC of Ratadia village, Block Anta, Baran (Rajasthan)

Farmers in the project regions are being trained on advancements in agriculture under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) trainings under PMKVY in Distt Baran. In August, 2-days training was organized at AVRC of Ratadia village, Block Anta, District Baran (Rajasthan) during 24th to 26th August, 2017. The training was provided to 46 farmers in the region. Primary objectives of this training program were as follows:

1. Skill development of farmers on pulses cultivation;
2. Increase yield and quality of produce;
3. Value addition & marketing.

Training PMKVY – RPL at AVRC of Ratadia village, Block Anta, District Baran (Rajasthan)

RPL skill training program


Also, a Mini-Daal Processing Unit has been commissioned at the AVRC of Ratadia village in Anta block of District Baran.

Daal Mill AVRC Ratadia village, Block Anta, District Baran (Rajasthan)


SFAC-sponsored Projects

ISAP has been delegated the responsibility of setting up 54 FPOs by Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC). ISAP have to set-up these FPOs in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Telangana. Each FPO comprised of 1,000 farmers.

Objectives of the project are:

• Strengthening the farmers’ competence through training programs, exposure visits and demonstration of the best agricultural and allied practices.
• Increasing the marketing opportunities for output marketing via collective action and increasing linkage of the producer groups to fair and remunerative markets.
• Providing input, information and modern technological services pertaining to agriculture and allied activities by developing community-based sustainable agribusiness models.

Monthly Activities: (Karnataka)

Exposure Visit of FPOs to Erode

In the month of August, the directors and CEOs from the four FPOs (Hospet, Koppal, Khustagi and Gadag) were taken to visit the Erode Precision Farm Producer Company Ltd. (EPFPCL), Erode district, Tamil Nadu. It was a day exposure visit by the groups. The purpose of the visit was to make FPOs’ directors to understand the ground reality and challenges that the FPOs face while carrying out different business activities. EPFPCL is involved in very diverse business activities, which includes selling of petroleum products, input (seed, pesticides and fertilizers) business & retailing agri-produce through “Unnatham Uzavar Angadi” (FPC Bazaar). This FPC is also running a Groundnut Oil Extraction Unit.

A visit of directors to the Erode Precision Farm Producer Company Ltd., Erode, Tamil Nadu

Groundnut Oil Extraction Unit and Groundnut Cake Making Unit, the Erode Precision Farmers Producer Company Ltd., Erode, Tamil Nadu


Exposure Visit of FPOs to Virtual Agro Farm Producer Company Ltd., Narayangoan, Pune:

On 29th August, the directors and CEOs of the three FPOs (Yadgir, Aland and Humnabad) from Karnataka visited Virtual Agro Farm Producer Company Ltd. (VAFPCL) at Narayangaon, Pune (Maharashtra). VAFPCL is involved in both input and output business. Directors of VAFPCL shared their wisdom and technical know-how with visiting FPOs.

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An exposure visit to Virtual Agro Farm Producer Company Ltd., Narayangoan, Pune


 

Business plan training to the directors at the FPOs level for Karkala FPOs:

In the month of August, Business plan training was held for CEO and BoDs of Karkala FPO. The business plan training was conducted to explain the directors about the final business plan made for their company by ISAP. The complete exercise is conducted by simplifying the complex business plan and presenting them on charts.

Business plan training given to the directors of the Karkala FPOs


Project SHARE

This is the second phase of the Project Sustainable Harvest Agriculture Resources and Environment (SHARE).

The project will augment yields of 30,000 farmers across eight districts of Maharashtra (Amravati, Akola, Nagpur, Wardha, Yavatmal, Washim, Jalna and Aurangabad) and three districts of Telangana (Nizamabad, Asifabad and Adilabad). This is being done sustainably through input–output management, capacity building of the farmers, imparting best package of practices through creation of demonstrations/model plots, creating water harvesting structures, facilitating market linkages and aggregating them into sustainable FPOs engaged in profitable agribusiness operations. The project will also impart trainings to the lead farmers on following IFS through promotion of livestock rearing, raising of horticultural crops and vermi-composting. The project will engage 30,000 farmers from 30 blocks and about 400 villages from the respective States of Maharashtra and Telangana, which will be mobilized into 30 new FPOs. The project will also create 600 women SHGs engaging over 6,000 rural women and imparting skill development trainings for engaging them in small-scale business enterprises.

Monthly Activities:-

In August month, major activities carried out under Project SHARE include Farmers Trainings, Integrated Farming System (IFS) Training, IFS Cross-Learning Visits and setting up of crop demonstrations.

IFS Cross-Learning Visit at Akola and Washim, Maharashtra


Farmers Training and IFS Training was completed in Maharashtra and Telengana. Recently, farmers in Telangana were provided training on pest management of rice, turmeric, maize and bean. Also, select group of enterprising farmers were provided IFS training with special focus on goat farming and mango orchard plantation.

IFS training on goatery and mango plantation at Bazarkothur village (Nandipet, Telangana)

Farmers training on pest management at Mukpal (Balkonda, Telangana)


In Maharashtra, farmers were provided training on cultivation of various Kharif crops. Also, farmers were provided training on IFS components. Also, IFS Cross-Learning Visits are being conducted in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra.

Various crop demos have been set-up under the program. Technical team regularly monitors these demos and advise demo farmers on Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) and other technical aspects.

Also, one more FPO got registered in the month of August at Vidarbha region of Maharashtra and total tally of registered FPOs under the Project SHARE reached 24.

Drip irrigation and mulching on cotton at Vidarbha, Maharashtra

IFS training at Washim, Maharashtra


Agri-Clinic Agri-Business Program

ISAP is running an Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP) in 12 states under the aegis of MANAGE. Under this program, training is provided to unemployed agriculture and allied sector graduates. After the training, ISAP provides active hand-holding support to these trained agripreneurs for setting up their own business ventures. ISAP has so far trained 4,400 agripreneurs in Assam, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. Out of these 4,400 agripreneurs, around 1,454 agripreneurs have successfully established their independent business. We share one such success story with our readers in each ISAP’s Newsletter.

A Success Story

Name: Muktarul Hoque
Age: 20 years
Father’s name: Abdur Rahaman
Mother’s name: Rahela Khatun
Address: Barpeta, Guwahati
Business: Poultry farm


Muktarul Hoque belongs from very small village in Malda. He lives with three brothers and his parents. His father is a small farmer owning only 2 acres of land. He did his higher secondary from government school in Mathurapur in 2015. He wanted to study agriculture, but due to the financial crisis he was unable to further continue his studies. He supported his father in farming but he could help him to a very less extent. So, then he started a small poultry farm in the 1 bigha (0.3305785 acre) of his land. He had no knowledge about it, but somehow he was able to maintain the poultry farm. Then, in 2015 from his cousin brother he came to know about ISAP. He took the training from ISAP where he got the opportunity to study and get training on entrepreneurship. He says, “All the basic information about how to start my business and maintain it, I got the knowledge from ISAP.”

Muktarul Hoque’s poultry farm in Malda



With training and continuous help from ISAP he was able to expand his farm capacity from 1,000 to 2,500 poultry birds. He also earned a tractor which he used for the purpose of hiring services, but managing it was a very big problem for him. From ISAP he also learnt how to hire and maintain the tractor.

“Initially it was difficult to do the business. The chicks used to get sick and I was unable to understand the reason behind it. I didn’t know how to deal with these situations. ISAP helped me in this, I kept contact with them and they used to guide me through any situation.”

It has only been 1 year since he expanded his poultry farm with the help of ISAP, and currently, he earns more than 30,000 per month from it. His three brothers help him in maintain the poultry farm.


Muktarul Hoque (Left) with his family of three brothers and parents


He is now in a position where he can pursue his dreams of studying further. At present, he is searching for colleges for Agriculture, as he believes he could be of more help to his father if he gets better knowledge on Agriculture.


‘Hunar’ Skills Training Program and IFS - John Deere

ISAP and Global Communities has initiated the Hunar Skills Program in Dharwad region, Karnataka; Bhopal region, Madhya Pradesh; and Nagpur/Akola region, Maharashtra. This programme is funded by John Deere, India. The main objective of this program is to provide training on operations and maintenance of tractors and combines, as means to improve livelihoods and increase qualified labour force in remote markets. Each training course is for 45 days, including 30 days of classroom training and 15 days of practical training. Classroom training includes both theory and practical with machinery and equipment. The training is free of cost for the trainees and a full residential training program with lodging and boarding arrangements. In particular, the program aims to provide skills training to 720 individuals. Apart from this, the program also aims to improve agricultural productivity by introducing Integrated Farming Systems (IFS) in rural Indian markets by providing training on IFS to 1,350 farmers.

Monthly Activities:-

“Hunar” Skills Training Programs were inaugurated on 1st March, 2016 at Akola (Maharashtra), on April, 2016 at Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), and on 4th May, 2016 at Dharwad (Karnataka). Till now, 530 candidates have been trained at all the three locations. Also, training of a new batch in Tractor Operator and Mechanic domain started on 8th August, 2017 at Dharwad (Karnataka) with the strength of 29 candidates.


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“Hunar” Skills Training Program



IEX - Hunar Training Program

ISAP has initiated Hunar Training Program in ‘Solar Energy Technician’ at Samastipur district of Bihar, funded by ‘India Energy Exchange’. The main objective of the program is to prepare the youth for improved livelihoods by making them skilled and employable in the Solar Energy sector. There is a gap of trained Solar Energy Technicians in Bihar and this project will be focusing on bridging that gap. The goal of this program is to increase access to livelihood and income among the unemployed youth through skill development. In particular, the program aims to provide skills training to 175 people. Each training course is for 60 days, including 45 days of classroom training and 15 days of practical training. Classroom training includes both theory and practical with machinery and equipment. The training is free of cost for the trainees and a non-residential training program.

Monthly Activities:-

So far, training of six batches has been completed under IEX-Hunar Program till now and a total 185 candidates have been trained in Solar Energy Technician domain. Out of these trainees, 103 trainees have been successfully placed/self-employed. The placement of other candidates is in process.


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IEX - Hunar Training Program at Samastipur, Bihar


Hunar Skill and IFS Training Program: CASE New Holland

ISAP has initiated the Hunar Skill Training Program funded by CASE New Holland in the three rural regions of Dharwad and Hasan (Karnataka) and Jaipur (Rajasthan). The main objective of this program is to provide training on operation of Case Backhoe Loader, as means to improve the livelihoods and increase the qualified labor forces in remote markets. The training course is of 60 days duration, which includes 45 days of classroom training and 15 days of practical training. Classroom training includes both theory and practical on machinery and equipment. It is a non-residential training program and completely free-of-cost for the trainees. In particular, the program aims to provide skills training to 60 individuals. Apart from this, the program also aims to improve the agricultural productivity by introducing Integrated Farming System (IFS) and by promoting innovative techniques during trainings of 900 farmers on IFS, thus catering to the demands of Indian markets.

Monthly Activities:-

A new batch on “CASE Operation” domain at Dharwad (Karnataka) was started on August 8th, 2017 with the strength of 30 candidates.


Training on operation of Case Backhoe Loader at Dharwad, Karnataka



Science & Technology:

Eco-Friendly Technique Spins Super-Strong Artificial Spider Silk


Chemists and material science researchers have been intensely interested in spider silk for several decades. It really is one of nature's miracle substances with certain strains of spider silk having greater tensile strength than steel. A team from the University of Cambridge collaborated on the research, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The fibers designed by the Cambridge team were spun from a soupy material called “hydrogel”, which, depending on the chemical recipe that comprised of up to 98 percent water. The remaining 2 percent is made up of silica and cellulose — both natural materials. By manipulating specific chemical interactions, scientists could pull long single fibers out of the hydrogel, held together in tight molecular structures known as “cucurbiturils”. These individual fibers are thinner than a human hair, but can be "braided" into thicker fibers. A single supramolecular fiber is around 6 micrometers in diameter. Human hair is around 80 micrometers in diameter, and spider silk is around five micrometers. In making a braided material a combined multiple fiber strands — say from 10 to 100 were taken.

All industrial textiles use yarns or braids of some sort, but the recipe for synthetic spider silk has several benefits being all natural. The most immediate advantage to this approach is the fibers self-assemble at room temperature, held together by a "supramolecular host–guest chemistry", which allows manufacturers to avoid dealing with toxic substances or working in extreme heat. This new process can be used to make traditional textiles, but also so-called "technical textiles" that are much tougher than your average pair of jeans. For instance, the fibers can be woven into shrapnel-resistant military clothing, sailcloth for boats, or lightweight fabrics for parachutes and hot-air balloons. The fibers also have potential biomedical applications. Since the fiber is made from natural, biodegradable material — silica and cellulose — it’s fully biocompatible. There are numerous opportunities for exploitation in biomedical applications where energy absorption is critical, such as devices for back or spine injuries. By altering the chemistry and introducing tiny amounts of other materials these fibers can also be used for sensing applications and health monitoring.

Source: livescience



Prominent Contributors to Agriculture:

Prof. M.S. Swaminathan

Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan (born on: 7 August 1925) is an Indian geneticist and international administrator, renowned for his leading role in India's Green Revolution a program under which high-yield varieties of wheat and rice seedlings were planted in the fields of poor farmers. Swaminathan is known as “Indian Father of Green Revolution” for his leadership and success in introducing and further developing high-yielding varieties of wheat in India. He is the founder and chairman of the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation. His stated vision is to rid the world of hunger and poverty. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in 1952. His work presented a new concept of the species relationships within the tuber-bearing Solanum. Swaminathan is an advocate of moving India to sustainable development, especially using environmentally sustainable agriculture, sustainable food security and the preservation of biodiversity, which he calls an "evergreen revolution." From 1972 to 1979 he was director general of the ICAR, New Delhi. From 1979 to 1980, he was Principal Secretary in Ministry of Agriculture. He served as Director General of the IRRI (1982–88) and became president of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in 1988. He was honored with Padma Bhushan in 1972 and with Padma Vibhushan in 1989. In 1986, Albert Einstein World Award of Science as a recognition for his contributions to plant genetics and his influence on international agricultural development. His recently published book is 50 Years of Green Revolution (An Anthology of Research Papers). The research and development of green revolution of wheat and rice at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, was led by the author along with his team of students and co-workers. He has published over 100 papers on green revolution and the ever-green revolution which is a refinement of the former. From 2002 to 2005, he was co-chairman with Pedro Sanchezof the UN Millennium Task Force on Hunger, a comprehensive global action plan for fighting poverty, disease and environmental degradation in developing countries. From 2004 to 2014, he has been Chairman of National Commission on Farmers. His Cambridge college, Fitzwilliam, made him an Honorary Fellow in 2014. Over 68 students have done their PhD thesis work under his guidance.

Source: Thefamouspeople


Do you know

Romanesco broccoli:

Image result for breadfruit

Romanesco broccoli, also known as Roman cauliflower or Broccolo Romanesco is an edible flower bud of the species Brassica oleracea. First documented in Italy, it is chartreuse in color. Romanesco has a striking appearance because its form is a natural approximation of a fractal. When compared to a traditional cauliflower, its texture as a vegetable is far crunchier, and its flavor is not as assertive, being delicate and nutty. The pattern is only an approximate fractal since the pattern eventually terminates when the feature size becomes sufficiently small. The number of spirals on the head of Romanesco broccoli is a Fibonacci number. Planting romanesco broccoli is a great way of providing variety in your family’s diet. Nutritionally, romanesco is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, dietary fibres, and carotenoids.


Source: wikipedia

 

News Highlights

Indian scientist to head global body of solar energy experts

A group of international solar energy experts, innovators and environmental activists have come together to form an international body - the International Solar Innovations Council - headed by Indian solar scientist Santi Pada Gon Chaudhuri as its global body chairman. This new international organisation that has its head office at Helsinki in Finland, has been founded to address the energy access problems of the world's poor by coming up with new innovative solar power solutions.

Chaudhuri has been a prominent Indian solar energy expert who is best known for developing various solar energy modules, like the micro solar dome, canal top solar panels and various other Indian solar energy innovations. Chaudhuri said that the council will mainly concentrate on developing solar energy in Asian and African countries in an innovative way, with special focus on India as one of the main target countries. "The council will be mainly supported by multinational energy companies, having commitment towards social development and emission reduction. The council will also access climate fund," he said.

The council will shortly have regional offices in south-east Asia, South America and Africa. "Young entrepreneurs will get opportunity to develop pro-poor solar energy products through the Council Programme. India is expected to get a lot of benefits from the Council. I am looking forward to see the presence of council activities in India and other Asian and African countries," he said.

Innovations combining improved sanitation and solar energy, cleaner biomass cook stoves equipped with small fans and solar panels and innovations related to the integration of agricultural and solar power production will be among the focus areas for the council.

Read more at: timesofindia

Government imposes stock limit on mills to check sugar prices

The government has imposed stock limits on sugar mills for the next two months to keep prices under control during the festival season, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said today.

Sugar production in India, the world's second largest producer, is estimated to decline to around 21 million tonnes (mt) in 2016-17 season ending September from 25 mt in the previous year. Sugar demand is estimated at 24-25 mt annually.

"We have imposed stock limits on sugar mills for the month of September and October to keep prices under control," Paswan tweeted. The minister said that the stock limit for September has been kept at 21 per cent of the total sugar available with the mills during entire 2016-17 marketing year (October–September).

The stock limit for October will be 8 per cent of the total sugar availability during the current marketing year, the minister said. The stock limits have been imposed to prevent artificial hoarding of sugar by mills during the festival season.

Sugar prices are ruling at more than Rs 40 per kg in the retail market while branded sugar is available at Rs 50 per kg. The government last month had increased import duty on sugar to 50 per cent, up from 40 per cent, to restrict cheap inward shipments and maintain domestic prices.

Read more at: economictimes


Australia delegation explores agri-partnership with India

A 25-member business delegation from Australia is on a visit to India for exploring long-term partnership in agriculture and food sector. The delegation today participated in a conference 'Australia India Food Dialogue' organised here by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade).

"Australia is an ideal long-term partner for India to help improve the quality, safety, availability and nutritional value of Indian food production," said Gregory Harvey, Trade Commissioner, Australian Trade & Investment Commission.

He said the Australian agri-business sector has the R&D capacity, experience and technical knowledge to help Indian food industry in improving supply chain productivity and meet the challenges of shifting consumption patterns. The conference, which saw participation from the representatives of the Indian agri-business and food industry, showcased Australian capabilities as a supplier of high- quality food as well as its services, expertise and technologies in agri-business and food.

The Australian agri-business & food delegation is a part of the 150-member business delegation, which is currently in India as part of the Australia Business Week in India 2017.

Read more at: economictimes

Gobindobhog rice gets geographical indication status

Gobindobhog rice, a speciality from Burdwan district of West Bengal, has got the geographical indication (GI) status. The state government had applied for GI status for Gobindobhog rice on August 24, 2015. The region of Burdwan (now divided into the districts of east and west Burdwan) is known as the rice bowl of Bengal. As a result of getting the GI tag, as the certification is also called, rice from other regions or rice of other varieties cannot be branded as ‘Gobindobhog’. the marketability of the rice would be strengthened, for the local, national and international markets, government officials said.

This variety of rice is primarily cultivated in east Burdwan district - in the southern basin of the Damodar river in the Raina 1, Raina 2 and Khandaghosh blocks. Gobindobhog was cultivated in an area of 35 hectares last year. Of this, 20 hectares were spread over f Raina 1 and Raina 2 blocks.

The south Damodar belt has been the traditional area of Gobindobhog rice cultivation. The rice has several advantages. It is cultivated late and therefore not much affected by rains. It is less prone to pests as well. The productivity per area is high and farmers get better prices for Gobindobhog rice.

Read more at: economictimes

30 per cent of funds in agriculture schemes being earmarked for women: Government

At least 30 per cent of the fund allocated in the budget for agri schemes is being earmarked for women as part of efforts to bring them into mainstream agriculture, Union Minister Radha Mohan Singh said today.

The ministry is trying to ensure that women become part of the mainstream agriculture and contribute to farm productivity and production as well as in doubling the income of their families, the agriculture minister said.

He said women should reap benefit of every penny spent in the farm sector.

Singh was speaking at an event, themed 'Securing Rights of Women Farmers: Developing a Roadmap for Action', organised here by the National Women Commission in association with UN Women and Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch (MAKAAM).

He also highlighted measures taken to bring women into the mainstream agricultural, including "earmarking at least 30 per cent of the budget allocation for women beneficiary in all ongoing schemes/programmes and development activities".

The government has initiated women centric activities to ensure that benefits of various beneficiary-oriented schemes reach them.

The ministry is focusing on women self-help groups (SHGs) and to connect them to micro-credit. It also decided to celebrate October 15 of every year as Women Farmer's Day.

Singh said female labourers are facing several inequalities and they work much longer hours than men and are paid lesser than their male counterparts.

The minister said women play multi-dimensional roles in agriculture—from sowing, harvesting, applying fertilisers, irrigation, plant protection to weeding, storing etc.

Singh said women are active in other agriculture related activities like cattle management, fodder collection, poultry, beekeeping, mushroom farming, pig farming and goat rearing.

According to the NSSO (National Sample Survey Office) survey, a decline in both male and female labour force in agriculture has been observed in the last three decades. However, there has been a greater decline in the number of male labour force employed in the agri-sector as compared to female workforce.

The decline in the number of women is significantly lower than the men and "this can be easily called the feminisation of agriculture", the statement said. Singh said rural women's contribution to the Indian economy is vital.

According to NSSO report, women lead almost 18 per cent agricultural households and there is not a single area of agriculture in which they are not involved. As much as 80 per cent financially independent women are engaged in farm-related activities. Out of them, 33 per cent work as agricultural labourers and 48 per cent as self-employed farmers.


Read more at: economictimes

Bill Gates Invests In A Startup That Grows Meat In A Lab, Trying To Solve The World Food Crisis

Bill Gates has joined forced with Cargill Inc, one of the world’s largest agriculture corporations, and other major business, to invest in technology that endeavours to develop meat from self-producing animal cells.

Memphis Meats produces beef chicken, and duck meat directly from grown animal cells, completely bypassing the need to raise and slaughter poultry and cattle. The startup recently raised $17 million in funding from investors like Cargill, the world’s richest man Gates, and billionaire Richard Branson.

“I’m thrilled to have invested in Memphis Meats,” Branson said in an email in response to questions from Bloomberg News. “I believe that in 30 years or so we will no longer need to kill any animals and that all meat will either be clean or plant-based, taste the same and also be much healthier for everyone.”

The move is a response to increasing demand for meat that is organic, and more sustainable than current systems, as well as doesn’t involve cruelty to animals “The world loves to eat meat, and it is core to many of our cultures and traditions,” co-founder and CEO of Memphis Meats Uma Valeti said in the statement. “The way conventional meat is produced today creates challenges for the environment, animal welfare and human health. These are problems that everyone wants to solve.”

Memphis Meats has so far raised a total of $22 million in funding.

Read more at: indiatimes

Quote

"Meaningful agricultural research cuts across value chains and should extend all the way from high yields to processing." - Lusike Wasilwa


Wishing you all a Great Month ahead! - ISAP Team

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ISAP| B-1/B-1, Mohan Cooperative Industrial Estate, Mathura Road| New Delhi – 44