Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals

ISAP Monthly E-Newsletter, Volume 9, Issue:8 (August , 2016)


- 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, 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 a huge number of queries and interactions generated through these platforms.
  • Reached 1500 villages, 49 blocks, 27 districts in 15 states
  • Touched and transformed 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 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" in Sironj,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-AES Project

In phase I, OCPF-AES project was started as soil health improvement and yield enhancement program. In a span of four years, the project got culminated into institutionalization of project farmers into “Farmer 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 Update :-

In ​the month of August, three trainings were conducted on Integrated Farming System (IFS). These trainings were held in Afzalpur, Aland and Chittapur taluka of Gulbarga. Nearly 52 farmers attended these programs. Farmers were educated on different components of IFS. Objective of introducing IFS is to reduce the dependence of farmers on conventional system of farming by enhancing livelihood opportunities for them. Also, 3 exposure visits were conducted in Bidar to educate farmers on IFS. Total 31 farmers were taken to IFS demos in Bhalki block of Bidar. Different components covered in these visits include goatery, poultry, horticulture production and apiculture. Farmers also got chance to learn from the lead farmers already practicing IFS.

Under IFS, a group of 13 farmers interested in organic farming, were provided training on making of matka pesticide at Agri-village Resource Centre (AVRC) in Sastapur Village (Basavkalyan taluka, Distt Bidar). Matka pesticide is made with indigenous technique and as effective as chemical pesticide.

Also, 4 health camps were organized in ​the month of August. 2 camps were organized in Bidar (Basavkalyan and Bidar taluka) and 2 camps in Gulbarga (Aland and Gulbarga taluka). Dr Manjunath attended the patients in these camps. Nearly 700 patients benefitted from these camps. Patients were mainly attended for problems of fever, body pain, headache, skin related problems and eye related problems. Patients were provided free medicines in these camps.

Also, 54 farmers were taken on exposure visit to Bengaluru for attending Agritech Expo -2016. Farmers learnt about the concept of aggregation, storage, packaging and market linkage of the produce during this expo. In this expo, farmers also visited the exhibition, where modern agricultural equipments were displayed.

Images of training of IFS farmers in Chittapur and Gulbarga taluka of Gulbarga district.

Images of group visits conducted in Bhalki and Bidar taluk in Bidar district

Health camp conducted in Gulbarga taluka of Gulbarga district

Health camp conducted in Basavkalyan taluk of Gulbarga district

Farmers at Agritec-Expo(Bangalore) during Exposure visit

Matka pesticide training in Hulsoor village of Basavkalyan taluk of Bidar district

OCPF-IFS Project, Rajasthan

ISAP has initiated the OCPF-IFS project in the districts of Baran, Bundi and Sawai Madhopur (Rajasthan). The main objective of this program is to strengthen food and nutrition security and to improve livelihood of small and marginal farmers of Southeastern Rajasthan. The program is also aimed at building ​efficient 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 Update :-

Under IFS, 120 farmers in the project areas were provided plant saplings of guava and lemon. A total of 2170 saplings of guava and 1575 saplings of lemons were provided to IFS farmers. A total of 600 saplings of lemons were given to farmers in Baran, 565 saplings in Bundi and 410 saplings in Sawai Madhopur. In similar fashion, 1370 guava saplings were distributed in Sawai Madhopur, 300 saplings in Baran and 600 saplings in Bundi. Farmers identified for IFS are being encouraged to undertake allied activities in order to get additional income with reduced dependence on conventional cropping system.

On the FPO front, one more company got registered in Khandar in this project. This company, ‘Khandar Agro Producer Company Limited’ has ​1​600 members. This company will deal in output aggregation and trading of green chilli, red chilli, tomato and brinjal.

Farmers, who were assisted in seed production of wheat, sold 62 quintals of seeds to FPOs. These farmers grew HD-2967 variety of seed. Beej India Producer Company Limited provided them desired technical support. These farmers earned 11% higher prices for their produce by selling their produce as seed.

Images of guava plants distribution among farmers

Lemon on Kagazi variety kept in nursery

Farmers getting their seeds weighed prior to selling it to the Farmer Producer Organization


SFAC sponsored projects

ndian Society of Agribusiness Professionals (ISAP) has been delegated the responsibility of setting up 54 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 to agriculture and allied activities, by developing community based sustainable agribusiness models.

Monthly Activities of SFAC sponsored projects:

Under these programs, 25 FPOs have been registered so far - 3 under MIDH-Haryana, 4 under MP Special project-1, 14 under Karnataka Special project (KSP), 2 under MP Special project-2 and 2 under VIUC- Ajmer. Now, the registered FPOs are being assisted for getting statutory clearances in order to start businesses of their interest.

Under Karnataka Special Project (KSP), 11 FPOs have secured input licences and started doing businesses. These FPOs have done cumulative business of more than INR 90 lakh in kharif season. This project is supported by State Horticulture Department, Karnataka. Two FPOs namely ‘Uluva Yogi Horticulture Farmers Producer Company Limited’, Belur (Distt Hassan) and ‘Yagachi Farmer Producer Company Limited’, Dharwad (Distt Dharwad) did cumulative business of more than 45,00,000/- only in potato seed business.

AGM of Pingaara Horticulture Farmers Producer Company Ltd on Aug 30, 2016. Shri. Ramanath Rai, Minister for Forest, Environment and Ecology graced the occasion with his presence

Fertilizer business undertaken by Karkala Horticulture Farmer Producer Company Limited (Udupi, D. Kannada)

Offices of Shree Bhagandeshwara Horticulture Farmer Producer Company Limited, Karike, Kodagu Distt (Karnataka)

Coconut trading started by Shree Bhagandeshwara Horticulture Farmer Producer Company Limited, Kodagu

Tarpaulin business undertaken by KAYAKA YOGI FPC DARAWAD

Project SHARE

This is the second phase of Project SHARE i.e. Sustainable Harvest Agriculture Resources and Environment. It aims to create change agents among farmers by opting recent technical and scientific interventions. It also promotes the farmers to get better market linkages of their produce
For this FPOs are being formed. It also includes the concept of Model Villages. 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 Update:-

FIGs and SHGs formation are in progress in Maharashtra. Total 65 crop demos ​have been laid in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Telengana and Karnataka. Lead farmers are being trained on proven cropping techniques including INM, IPM and ICM. Nearly 10 such trainings were provided in Uttar Pradesh. These trainings are in progress in other states. As on date, 2 FPOs have got registered and documents have been submitted for 26 more FPOs.

Training of FPO members in Chauri Chauri (Gorakhpur)

Paddy Crop Demo in Harua (Varanasi)

Agri-clinic Agri-business Program:-

ISAP is running an Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP) in 12 states under the aegis of MANAGE. This 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 4400 agripreneurs 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 businesses successfully. We share one such success story with our readers in each ISAP newsletter.

Success Story (Punjab)

‘’You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great’’ says Supinder Singh. Supinder Singh is an agricultural graduate from a poor family in Mahal village of Moga district in the state of Punjab. But in spite of the financial constraints, he wanted to start his own venture. He heard about the Agri-clinic and Agribusiness course conducted by MANAGE, Hyderabad from one of his friends who had attended this training program. He contacted the Nodal Officer of ISAP, Punjab from whom he got detailed information about this project. After getting fully convinced about the AC&ABC course structure and benefits of attending the same, he enrolled for this training programme on 21st Jan, 2016 and attended the two months duration training programme at ISAP, Amritsar centre. He completed this training on March 20th, 2016.

‘’After completion of the training programme, I decided to start a venture on vegetable and seed production, as I had thought about it during my college days but didn’t have the confidence to take it forward’’ says Supinder. He started his venture with an initial investment of Rs.2 lakhs. Participation in the training programme changed his approach entirely. Along with this venture, he also started providing extension services to the farmers of his village on seed production of crops cultivated in his village area. ’’I guide the farmers of neighboring villages in selection of best quality seeds and on following the right package of practices. This helps them in obtaining better yields and better profits for their crops",says Supinder​.​

Currently, Supinder earns around Rs.8,000 to 10,000 per month from his venture by producing good quality of seeds. Supinder provides consulting services to 80 farmers on an average each year from 3 villages Moga block in his district.

ISAP wishes Supinder all the best for his future endeavor.

Supinder can be contacted on 09855626233.

Supinder Singh at his farm

Science & Technology

City firm, CIRCOT develop country’s first Cotton Lint Opener

After two years of hard work, Precision Tooling Engineers (PET), with support from Central Institute for Research in Cotton Technology (CIRCOT), Mumbai, has developed India's first indigenous Cotton Lint Opener or CLO. This machine helps determine the basic quality parameters of cotton like the micronaire, staple length and the tensile strength.

Though CIRCOT has tested the efficiency of the new machine, it is yet to fix the CLO's market price. KG Bhatt, proprietor of PET, who is known for developing eight other small and big machines for ginning etc will start mass production only after CIRCOT fixes the cost. Bhatt is the recipient of a national award from Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Maharashtra and Karnataka state awards, and an international award from Spain.

"Opening up and cleaning of lint samples from densely packed bales is essential before samples can be used for fibre quality assessment using modern testing equipment. Generally, women are employed to open the lint manually, which is not just tedious but also unscientific. The possibility of incorrect valuation of micronaire is the biggest drawback. Sometimes, imported High Volume Instrument (HVI) is used to test cotton quality parameters, but it uses a 'trash analyser' machine to open the lint, which has the disadvantage of using a saw band, which may cut the cotton fibre," said Bhatt.



Angelica was used in Europe for hundreds of years as a cure for everything from the bubonic plague to indigestion. It is thought that adding it to a ritual bath will break spells and hexes and has often been used to ward off evil spirits in the home. Because it resembles celery in odor and appearance, angelica sometimes is known as wild celery. Alternative medicine practitioners say Angelica is a good herbal tea to take for colic, gas, indigestion, hepatitis, and heartburn. It is useful to add in remedies for afflictions of the respiratory system, as well as liver problems and digestive difficulties.



News Highlights

SAARC Agri Centre, ICRISAT ink pact to accelerate use of technology

A new partnership has been formed to build a network to accelerate use of technologies in agriculture across eight countries in South Asia.
This was announced at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation - SAARC Agriculture Centre (SAC) and the city-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) here.
ICRISAT and SAC will look for opportunities to carry out joint research in areas of mutual interest by sharing existing resources and results, as well as facilitate policy changes in National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) to speed up the process of varietal release and dissemination in the region, a release from ICRISAT said.
Under the collaboration, new and appropriate technologies will be adopted for maximising production and to increase sustained productivity in stress-pro .

Source: economictimes

Crop cover scheme to be Rs 18k-crore business

Out of almost nowhere, the government has created a new market of Rs 17,000-18,000 crore with its new crop insurance scheme. This segment will be almost twice the size of the fire insurance business of non-life companies, which includes premium from covering buildings, factories, houses and shops.

Until last year, crop insurance was a business that generated less than Rs 5,000 crore of premium and most of it was booked by the Agricultural Insurance Corporation.

The reashe reason for the change in fortunes is the new scheme — Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). In the earlier National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (NAIS), both premium and claims were capped for the insurer. This time, the government has freed the pricing. In exchange, insurers undertake to fully compensate the farmer for any loss. So while the government has an initial outgo in the form of a premium subsidy, it does not have to pay out anything even if there is widespread crop failure. Ear ..

Source: economictimes

Industry wants exemption of tea from GST ambit

tea industry wants exemption of tea from GST as it is a garden produce and coming within the purview of the definition of agriculture. The industry officials feel that in case full exemption of GST is not possible then the rate should be kept on par with the current tax rate of 5% -6%.
Tea cultivation, harvesting and manufacturing is primarily an agricultural activity. Tea has been defined as an agricultural produce within the definition of the Service Tax Rules. Further in the Further in the Draft Model GST Law "Agriculture" includes floriculture, horticulture, sericulture, the raising of crops, grass or garden produce and also grazing. Therefore tea being a garden produce should come within the definition of Agriculture.
A senior tea industry official said " It would be pertinent to note that tea is a labour intensive industry. The primary cost for a tea estate would be cost of labour aggregating around 60% of total cost. Hence, the benefit of input credit as envisaged in GST scenario is considerably low."

Source: economictimes

Foodgrain output up despite low rains

India's foodgrain production increased marginally to 252.22 million tonnes in the 2015-16 crop year (July-June), as per the fourth advance estimates, despite setback due to deficient rainfall and shortage of water in reservoirs.
Production of rice, wheat, coarse cereals, pulses, oilseeds, sugarcane, cotton and jute was lower due to erratic rainfall during the 2015 monsoon season.
As per the data given out by the Agriculture ministry, the total food grain production in production in the country has been higher than that in the last year. The total foodgrain production during 2015-16, is estimated at 252.22 million tonnes compared to 252.23 million tonnes as per the third advance estimate.
In 2014-15, total food grain production was 252.02 million tonnes and 2013-14 was 265.04 million tonnes. Rice production during 2015-16 is estimated at 104.32 million tonnes, compared to 103.36 million tonnes in the third advance estimate and 105.48 million tonn.

Source: economictimes

ICRISAT, IIMR, Karnataka govt to promote millets

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR) and the Karnataka Government will form a consortium along with other stakeholders to promote millets.
The consortium will work on product development and build a brand for Karnataka ragi (finger millet).
“There is a need to change the image of millets. Make them more modern and create a buzz around them. Developing appropriate consumer products is a key component to achieve this. They are highly nutritious and have health benefits, use less water and have high drought tolerance and increasing their market value benefits farmers,” David Bergvinson, Director-General of ICRISAT, has said.
At a workshop held here on Friday, representatives from these entities discussed the challenges that hindered the consumption of millets in the country. They felt that consumers did not view millets as a modern product.
“Awareness of health benefits is limited to niche markets. Lack of grading and standards of millets too is a challenge,” the stakeholders felt.
Millets suit well for the rain-fed areas and can withstand temperatures as high as 64 °C. The short-duration crop (60 days) consumes much less water than long duration crop such as wheat. For one, finger millet and pearl millet would require just 350 mm of water, sugarcane requires 2,100 mm and rice 1,250 mm.

Source: thehindubusinessline

Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh asks banks to ensure timely, easy crop loans

Stating that there should not be any delays in disbursement of crop loans, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh today asked banks to take measures to ease the approval process to provide loans on time to farmers.
He also asked the banks to provide "hassle-free" loan facility by standardising documents required and connecting it with Jhan Dhan, Aadhar and mobile banking.
The government has set an agricultural credit target for banks at Rs 9 lakh crore for the current fiscal, up from Rs 8.5 lakh crore in 2015-16.
It is also providing short-term loan of up to Rs 3 lakh for a period of one year at a subsidised interest rate of 7 per cent under its scheme. And additional subvention of 3 per cent is given for those farmers who repay on time.
"There should not be delay in disbursement of crop loan to farmers. Banks should fasten the approval process so that farmers get ride of private moneylenders," Singh said in his valedictory speech at a NABARD event here.

Source: economictimes

Rajasthan produces 800 tonnes date palms from first harvest

Rajasthan is estimated to have produced nearly 800 tonnes of date palm from the first harvest in 2015-16 and the yields are expected to rise significantly in the coming years.
In 2007-08, the state government had started date palm cultivation on a trial basis in 135 hectares of its own farmland in Jaisalmer and Bikaner and had imported around 21,294 tissue culture raised saplings from the UAE.
Later in 2008-09, the state government started promoting date palm farming on farmers' land in 12 districts -- Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Hanumangarh, Sri Ganganagar, Nagaur, Pali, Jalore, Jhunjhunu, Sirohi and Churu.

Source: economictimes

Empowering farmers: Maharashtra signals move to scrap APMC Act

Maharashtra government on Wednesday issued an ordinance amending the Agricultural Produce Market Committee Act, 1963, deregulating sale of vegetables and fruits.
Calling the decision as historic, Maharashtra's Additional Chief Secretary, Marketing, Sunil Porwal aid the objective was to ensure that the farmers get a fair price and the consumers get vegetables and fruits at a cheaper rate.
In April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the pilot of e-NAM, an e-trading platform for the National Agriculture Market. The Prime Minister had called the move a "turning point" for the country's agriculture sector that would allow the farmers to decide "when, where and at what price" they sell their produce.
Maharashtra government has asked the farmers to directly bring their produce for sale in Mumbai. Of the 307 APMCs in the state, 219 are operating, while some are closed due to holidays. The government has granted 148 Direct Marketing Licenses of which 91 are for fruits and vegetables.

Source: businesstoday

'Duty on imported apples can't be more than 50%'

Government has said there is no scope for India to increase the import duty on apples without further negotiations under the WTO regime.
Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government has received requests from several quarters including public representatives for increasing import duty on apples. "The present import duty rates for apples is 50 per cent, which is also the bound rate of duty agreed to in GATT/WTO (World Trade Organisation). As such there is no scope for further increase in tariff rates without further negotiations under the WTO regime," she said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha. In 2015-16, India's fruits imports aggregated at $621.19 million as against $644.34 million in the previous fiscal.
India's top five countries for imports during the last three years include Afghanistan, the US, Pakistan and China. Replying to a separate question, she said market access efforts for grapes have been made in the countries like, the US, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Vietnam. For mangoes, the efforts have been made in South Africa and Iran, she added.

Source: businesstoday


“Agriculture is our wisest pursuit because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth , good morals and happiness- Thomas Jefferson”

Wishing you all a Great Month ahead! - ISAP Team

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