Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals

ISAP Monthly E-Newsletter, Volume 11, Issue:1 (January, 2018)

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-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:-

Dr. Suresh Sharma ,the Seed Certification Inspector visited the Seed Processing Unit at AVRC-Kishanganj in M/s Chambal Kisan Producer Co. Ltd., Kishanganj, Baran (Raj.)

On 15th January, Dr. Suresh Sharma the Seed Certification Inspector visited the Seed Processing Unit of AVRC-Kishanganj in M/s Chambal Kisan Producer Co. Ltd., Kishanganj block, Baran district (Raj.). He inspected the smooth working of Seed Processing Unit for successful cleaning and grading operations and also working of machines for packaging of seeds and their storage.



Visit of Dr. Suresh Sharma (the Seed Certification Inspector) at AVRC-Kishanganj in M/s Chambal Kisan Producer Co. Ltd., Kishanganj, Baran (Raj.)



Plantation of new variety of Mustard seeds named Pusa Mustard-30 by farmers of Bonli FPO:
A new Mustard seeds variety (Pusa Mustard-30) developed and recommended by IARI for its health benefits is grown by farmers of Bonli Farmer Producer Co. Ltd. at Bonli, Rajasthan. The Oil Extraction Mill is also under commissioning in the AVRC-Bonli, so that mustard oil can be extracted after the seeds are directly received from the farmers of Bonli. It has an erucic acid content of less than 2% of total fatty acids which becomes advantageous over the present varieties of normal mustard oil (with 45% erucic acid), which makes the mustard oil beneficial with less risk of cardiac diseases and other health benefits. Pusa Mustard-30 also offers high crop yields.

Cultivation of Pusa Mustard-30 by farmers of Bonli Farmer Producer Co. Ltd. at Bonli (Raj.)


Visit of Ms Nitika Sharma from NSDC, Delhi at AVRC-Ratadia, Block Anta, Baran (Raj.)
Ms Nitika Sharma from NSDC, Delhi visited to observe the framers training going on successfully under RPL training program at AVRC-Ratadia, Block Anta of District. Baran. She observed the facilities that are provided to the farmers during the training process. Also, she inspected the functioning of the AVRC-Ratadia with their Dal Mill unit in the AVRC to observe the processing and packaging being carried out.

Visit of Dr. Suresh Sharma, the Seed Certification Inspector, to AVRC-Kishanganj in M/s Chambal Kisan Producer Co. Ltd., Kishanganj, Baran (Raj.)


Two medical healthcare camps were held at AVRC-Ratadia (Anta block, Distt Baran) and at AVRC-Bonli and AVRC-Khandar (Distt Sawai Madhopur)
On 22nd and 27th January, two medical camps were held by Dr. Krashn Murari Gaur at AVRC-Ratadia, Block Anta, District Baran (Raj.). In both the medical camps held on 22nd and 27th January, the numbers of patients visited, underwent check-up and treatments were 48 and 52, respectively.

Also, medical healthcare camps were held at AVRC-Bonli and AVRC-Khandar of District Sawai Madhopur, where the numbers of patients visited, underwent check-up and treatments were 70 and 90, respectively. Such types of medical healthcare camps helped battle diseases and infections that are very common in winters. The patients were checked for fever, cold and cough, skin diseases, stomach diseases and many other symptoms of suffering from various diseases which are the cause for inflammations and make the body vulnerable to illness. Other than these, the routine check-ups for blood pressure, blood sugar level, blood sample testing and variation in weights were also carried out.

Patients observed at the two medical camps held at AVRC-Ratadia, Anta block, District Baran (Raj.)


SFAC-sponsored Projects

ISAP has been delegated the responsibility of setting up 54 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 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)

Participation in Organic and Millet International Fair

On 19th to 21st January the Organic and Millet International Trade Fair was conducted in Bangalore in which our two FPO’s got the opportunity to display their products in the Fair. Parisapremi Horticulture Farmers Producer Company and Shodha Farmers Producer Company were the two who displayed their organic grown produce in the exhibition.



Participation of FPOs at International Organic and Millet Trade Fair


The purpose of the Trade Fair was to bring the Organic producer and buyer under one roof. The FPO’s also got an opportunity to interact with the consumers and bull buyers for the forward linkages. One of the FPO, parisapremi had also sold organic Pomegranate and Figs during three days trade Fair. It was the good opportunity for the FPO’s to market their produce.


Strengthening the Farmers Interest Group [FIG]
In month of January, Farmers Interest Group under KSP-2 FPO’s was given regular meeting. The purpose of those meeting was to aware farmers about the various farmers scheme which individual and small farmers group can avail. Apart from this the training the role of the farmers in the FPO and how FIG can aggregate and sell their produce to the local market. These FIG meeting are kept in record at the FIG level, in the FIG register and farmers are given instruction to conduct these meeting at the FIG level regularly.

Farmers Interest Group Meeting conducted at Bijapur Block


The 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:-

Ner FPO Adopted Alternative Livelihood Source

Ner Farmer Producer Company, Ner block in Yavatmal district, Maharashtra, have found an alternate livelihood source. They have linked up with the largest manufactures of mushroom, Bharat Mushroom Unit in Amravati, Maharashtra. Along with mushroom production they also teach and train people about earning while learning. The FPO has started producing and selling the mushroom crop. The mushroom seed, training on culture and purchase of the produce was taken care by the Bharat Mushroom Unit itself, while Capacity building of farmers was done by Ner Farmer Producer Company. There was involvement of around 50 farmers in the Capacity building training; out of them, 10 farmers adopted this practice.

These farmers were provided with 15 × 15 room along with spawn bags for growing mushroom by the Unit. The 3 main stages of mushroom growing cycle are:
Stage 1: Mixing & Inoculation - where the substrate ingredients and mushroom spawn are mixed and bagged.
Stage 2: Incubation - where the grow bags are left in a warm and dark place for the spawn to germinate and grow throughout the bag.
Stage 3: Fruiting - where the colonized bag is exposed to fresh air, humidity and a little light which causes the mushrooms to fruit.

After 30 days (1 growing cycle of mushroom), they obtained 15 kg of harvest which is purchased back by the Mushroom Unit @ INR 800/kg. The farmers are earning good money and became more confident of adopting this alternate income source. Thus, such alternate livelihood can enhance farmer’s capabilities and their income both now and in the future

Dhayanewar Fakeerji Dabale, Farmer in Ner block cultivates mushroom, a lucrative source of income


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

Priyadarshi Ashok Kumar: An Entrepreneur’s Journey

Name: Priyadarshi Ashok Kumar
Age: 45 years
Fathers Name: Late Banarsh Priyadarshi
Mothers Name: Muni Devi
Business: Agricultural seeds, Fertilizer and Pesticides Shop
Turnover: 50 Lakh

Priyadarshi Ashok Kumar is an Agriculture graduate and has 6 years experience in marketing. He was very satisfied with his job. “I used to travel to different places and gained knowledge from there. But, suddenly one day I realized that there is no saving in this job.” This realization made second thought in his mind and he started to think about his future. Then, he thought it is better to have his own business rather than to depend on others.

He left the job and started planning for starting a new venture. As he was from Agricultural background his holding over the subject was strong, so he thought of doing something in this field. It was during these days when he came to know about “ISAP” from one of his friends. He took the training from ISAP, Bokharo, and it built a confidence in him to start an enterprise of his own. He learnt about the different businesses through which he could start his entrepreneurial journey.

After taking the training, he opened a wholesale and retail shop of agricultural seeds input, fertilizer and pesticides in Ranchi, the capital state of Jharkhand. Due to his contacts from his previous job he was able to capture the market. According to him money is not the concern for starting the business. The primary thing is the comprehensive knowledge about the field in which you want to start your entrepreneurial journey. “Knowledge can generate money. It is just like that if you have complete information of your sector you can connect the supplier with the customer and get profit for delivering these services.”



“In my experience, I have seen that honesty and consistency is necessary for developing a business of your own. Many other seeds input shops, just to make meagre profit they sell adulterated stuffs and thus they do not survive in the field too long.”

“The farmers are the source of our income. Without the farmers, there is no existence for us. So, our primary motto should be the profit of farmers. If farmers earn profit then automatically we also earn profit.”

Keeping farmers on his first priority for selling the good agricultural seeds, fertilizer and pesticides, he also provides free consultancy services to farmers. At present, 400 farmers are connected both directly and indirectly with him.

Starting with a merger amount of INR 50,000/-, currently his business has a turnover of about INR 50 Lakh with 2 employees working under him.



Skill Development

Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals has implemented many national-level and state-level government programs as well as programs for corporate companies to facilitate the employment of BPL youth, thus improving their employability and creating a cadre of agri-preneurs. Through the various initiatives, ISAP trains many of the candidates throughout the year to facilitate their placement. The table below shows the status of the ongoing projects.

S.No.

Project/Funder

Training Target

Total Trained

Total Placed

1.

IDRF-Skill Program

300

358

247

2.

John Deere "Hunar"

720

559

171

3.

CNH-Skill Program

160

162

40

4.

IEX "Hunar"

175

185

78

5.

RPL-PMKVY

5000

1130

6.

CASE construction

90

30

TOTAL

6,445

2,424

536

 


‘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.

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 we have trained total 618 candidates. Out of 618 candidates, 468 candidates have been successfully placed. Training of 50 candidates are in process at Bhopal training centre.


“Hunar” Skills Training Program on IFS



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 was started on 8th January, 2018, at Dharwad (Karnataka), with the strength of 80 candidates. The classes and trainings have been successfully completed. Till now 23 candidates have been given placement and remaining are in process.


Classes and trainings on operation of Case Backhoe Loader at Dharwad, Karnataka


RPL Skill Training Program – PMKVY

Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals (ISAP) in association with Agriculture Skill Sector Council of India (ASCI) is organizing Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and skill training program in the domain of pulse cultivation under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY). The target is to train 5,000 farmers in the six regions of Rajasthan, namely Anta, Kishanganj, Hindoli, Nainwa, Bonli and Khandar.

The main objective of the training is to acknowledge the skills farmers already possess and appreciate the same under RPL in PMKVY. Moreover, making them aware about the modern scientific cultivation techniques that can help in increasing the production as well as enhance the quality of the produce. Apart from the main domain training, the trainees are imparted with the knowledge of current market demands and cashless mode of transaction. The project aims to create the registry of skilled workforce in agriculture sector and assess the gaps that are needed to be bridged for existing workforces in the agriculture industry.

A batch of 50 farmers is trained for consecutive 2 days followed by an assessment test on the third day. Farmers are provided with a certificate and monetary reward on successfully clearing the assessment test.

Monthly Activities:-

RPL skill training program was inaugurated on 9th August, 2017. 2,900 candidates in 75 batches are trained till now in 6 different regions of Rajasthan, namely, Anta, Hindoli, Kishanganj, Bonli, khandar and Nainwa. Total 2,111 candidates cleared the test in 62 batches. Results for rest of the batches are awaited. On 4th January, 2018, Mr. Verendra Singh Chandrawat, Assessor at TS Private Limited, distributed RPL Training Certificates to Batch no. 1 in Block Kishanganj and on 24th January, 2018, Mr. Devkinandan Sharma, AAO at Dept. of Agriculture, distributed RPL Training Certificates to Batch nos. 2, 4 and 6 in Block Anta of District Baran (Raj.).


Certificates distributed by Mr. Verendra Singh Chandrawat (left) and Mr. Devkinandan Sharma (right) to successfully trained candidates under RPL skill training program of PMKVY at Kishanganj and Anta blocks

Candidates trained under RPL skill training program of PMKVY in the regions of Rajasthan


Science & Technology:

“Solar Smart Tree” set up under Smart City Mission, it provides Wi-Fi facility, monitors air quality




With a view to tapping solar energy, the Thoothukudi Corporation has set up a ‘solar smart tree’ which will also facilitate a Wi-Fi hot spot and monitor air quality on the premises.

After Coimbatore, Thoothukudi has become the second corporation to implement this Rs. 3.5-lakh project, according to Commissioner and Special Officer Alby John Varghese. It will be commissioned on Friday.

Thoothukudi is one of the 100 cities and towns selected by the Ministry of Urban Development under Smart City Mission. The ‘smart tree’ has a panel to tap solar energy and it can power six LED lights with a 12 hour backup. A small lawn with a stone bench in a shaded place has been planned around the ‘smart tree’ for visitors.

According to Dr. Varghese, it is a concept that will help the civic body to conserve energy even while operating public utilities in a cost-effective manner. Initially, visitors can utilise free Wi-Fi facility for half-an-hour. Modalities on tariff are being worked out for subsequent usage.

A concept popular abroad, this facility had been set up in Pune, Mumbai and Nashik under the Smart City Mission. To replicate this model on a bigger scale across the town, the Corporation had planned to rope in advertisers, Dr. Varghese said.

Source: thehindu



Prominent Contributors to Agriculture:


Subhash Palekar (Born on: 1 July, 1949) Subhash Palekar, an Indian agricultural scientist, farmer and author, was born on 1949 in a small village named Belora of the Vidarbha region, Maharashtra, India. He practised “Zero Budget Natural Farming”. He conducted many workshops all over India and also wrote many books about “Zero Budget Natural Farming”. During college life, when he was working in tribal areas, he had studied the nature system in the forests. He realized that the forest does not require humans and human assistance for its existence and growth. Also, the forests have a vast variety of fruit bearing trees, which feed the forest inhabitants in surplus. Therefore, he embarked on a research on the natural growth of forest trees to fully understand the phenomenon. During 1986-88 he studied forest vegetation. He studied the natural system and verified those natural processes of the forest in his farm for 6 years, in the period between 1989 and 1995. There were about 154 research projects during these 6 years of his research work. After 6 years of verified research work, he put together a technique which he named as “Zero Budget Natural Farming”; he actively distributed the study material to farmers throughout India by means of continuous workshops, seminars, his multilingual books in Marathi, Hindi, English, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil languages and by those of thousands of models farms established throughout India.

Since 1996-98, he was involved in an editorial team in Bali Raja a renowned Marathi Agricultural Magazine in Pune, Maharashtra, but for enhancing the speed of the movement, he resigned in 1998. He wrote 20 books in Marathi, 4 books in English and 3 books in Hindi. All the books in Marathi were translated in all Indian languages. Now, his movement has attracted the attention of media, politicians and thinkers towards the real problems of the farmers and rural economy. Now they too believed that “Zero Budget Natural Farming” is the only alternative answer to stop the crisis of poor vegetation growth on farm. Also, they believed that the most suitable method of farming to eradicate the use of pesticides and chemicals in food is to adopt Zero Budget Natural Farming. More than 30 million farmers throughout India are now practice Zero Budget Natural Farming. He was awarded India's fourth highest civilian award the Padma Shri in 2016. On 14th June, 2017, Sri. Subhash Palekar has been appointed as advisor to the State of Andhra Pradesh for Zero Budget Farming with the aim of encouraging natural farming. The advisor role is equivalent to cabinet rank.

Source: wikipedia


Do you know?


Image result for breadfruit

Echinacea is a herbaceous flowering plant in the daisy family. The Echinacea genus has nine species, which are commonly called coneflowers that is native to areas east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States. It is also grown in western States, as well as in Canada and Europe. Several species of the Echinacea plant are used to make medicine from its leaves, flower, and root. Echinacea was used in traditional herbal remedies by the Great Plains Indian tribes. Later, settlers followed the Indians' example and began using Echinacea for medicinal purposes as well. For a time, echinacea enjoyed official status as a result of being listed in the US National Formulary from 1916–1950. However, use of echinacea fell out of favor in the United States with the discovery of antibiotics. But now, people are becoming interested in echinacea again because some antibiotics don't work as well as they used to against certain bacteria.

Echinacea is widely used to fight infections, especially the common cold, the flu, and other upper respiratory infections. Some people take echinacea at the first sign of a cold, hoping they will be able to keep the cold from developing. Other people take echinacea after cold symptoms have started, hoping they can make symptoms less severe.

Echinacea is also used against many other infections including urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, herpes, HIV/AIDS, human papilloma virus (HPV), bloodstream infections (septicemia), tonsillitis, streptococcus infections, syphilis, typhoid, malaria, ear infection, swine flu, warts, and nose and throat infections called diphtheria.

Other uses include anxiety, low white blood cell count, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, acid indigestion, pain, dizziness, rattlesnake bites, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and improving exercise performance. Sometimes people apply echinacea to their skin to treat boils, gum disease, abscesses, skin wounds, ulcers, burns, eczema, psoriasis, sun-related skin damage, herpes simplex, yeast infections, bee stings, snake and mosquito bites, and hemorrhoids. Echinacea is also used as an injection to treat vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections (UTIs). Commercially available echinacea products come in many forms including tablets, juice, and tea.


Source: wikipedia

 

News Highlights

How Israel is bringing new technology for the Indian farmer

India and Israel are set to jointly develop new crop varieties and share post harvest technologies following the success of the 10-year-old Indo-Israeli Agriculture Project (IIAP) whose accomplishments include growing cherry tomatoes in Haryana, rejuvenating mango orchards in Maharashtra and demonstrating to Indian farmers the effectiveness of state-of-the-art irrigation technologies.

For a country like Israel where 60% of the area is desert, exporting high-value farm produce like mangoes and avocados is a matter of pride, whereas for India, among the largest food producers globally, the challenge is to counter the effects of erratic rainfall, raise productivity and use water efficiently.

So, it was with the objective of sharing best practices and technical knowledge from Israel that the agriculture cooperation project was launched in 2008. The implementing partners for the project are the National Horticulture Mission (NHM) under the agriculture ministry, MASHAV, Israel’s agency for international development cooperation, and Indian state governments which help set up centres of excellence as per their local needs.

“Our goal is to help the Indian farmer by exposing them to new technologies tailored to their local needs,” said Dan Alluf, counsellor of science and agriculture at MASHAV, Delhi.

“There is a lot of focus on drip irrigation and how to design better farms by using canopy management and use of improved irrigation and fertigation technologies,” Alluf said, adding, “Each centre showcases a range of greenhouses to farmers depending on their needs and capabilities. A unique focus is to teach farmers the language of irrigation - when to irrigate and by how much - to increase water use efficiency.”

So far, 20 centres of excellence are functioning in different states and five more will be operational by next month. Notable among these are centres for vegetables in Karnal, Haryana, for mangoes in Dapoli and for citrus fruits in Nagpur, both in Maharashtra, and one for pomegranates in Bassi, Rajasthan.

Read more at: livemint

Agriculture to be focus area of annual budget, says Prakash Pant

The Trivendra Singh Rawat-led BJP government will spare a substantial portion of its next annual budget for farming and allied services to check forced migration from the hills of Uttarakhand, finance minister Prakash Pant said on Saturday.

“We will spare a sizeable portion of the (2018-19) annual budget for agriculture and allied services. The step is in keeping with our party’s aim to double the income of farmers by 2022 so that forced migration from the hills can be checked,” Pant told Hindustan Times.

Another thrust area would be infrastructure building, for which a substantial portion of the budget would also be allocated. “However, the annual budget won’t have much allocation for the tertiary, or service sector. In fact, as a policy, we are discouraging that (tertiary) sector,” Pant said. “The step is being taken because all developing states focus on primary and secondary sectors, and discourage tertiary sector.”

The government plans to make a sizeable budgetary allocation for agriculture and allied services because the state is known for its agri-pastoral economy. “Horticulture is also one of the main economic activities,” Pant said, adding along with farm and horticulture sectors, budgetary allocations would be made for allied services such as animal husbandry, bee keeping and pisciculture.

“We are focusing on agriculture and allied services because more budgetary allocation will not only help boost income of farmers but will also help create employment opportunities for them.”

Read more at: hindustantimes


Agriculture to be given boost in Budget

In the run-up to 2018-19 Budget, the main theme of discussions by economists, officials and political leaders alike seems to be on one critical area of the economy, and that is agriculture and the need to improve rural incomes.

The focus on agricultural and rural growth has been given an impetus by recent state elections where farmers’ distress had caused voter swings away from entrenched political parties. For instance, the BJP found less support in rural areas where farmers facing a crisis looked towards other parties like the Congress. In addition, the past year has seen a series of farmers’ protests being organised in many parts of the country, in response to low food prices that have led to continuing farmers’ suicides.

Read more at: uniindia

India and Southeast Asian nations commit to climate smart agriculture

Mr. Radha Mohan Singh was bringing to a close the fourth ministerial meeting between India and the ASEAN union of Southeast Asian countries. The meeting, which focused on agriculture and forestry, concluded with a commitment on both sides to prioritise projects that take early action on climate change.

A joint statement after the summit stated: “we underscore the importance of addressing climate change as it negatively impacts food security and look forward to cooperation…to promote enhanced resilience of natural systems, and improve the adaptive capacities of people to cope with environmental hazards”.

The partnership has already been successful with closer cooperation on vital areas, such as food security, fisheries, and forestry helping to increase prosperity across the region. However, full implementation of the group’s Plan of Action was seen as necessary to achieve the next Sustainable Development Goals and the UN’s Zero Hunger Challenge.

In particular, the group of leading nations in the region highlighted the importance of agroforestry to increase people’s quality of life and to share developments in genetics which will improve crop yields.

They also brought attention to the need for “young and women farmers to learn and develop more efficient farming practices and management skills through information sharing”.

The new Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dato Lim Jock Hoi, recently stated that “the immediate tasks for ASEAN would be to prepare people for the new technological age, and to ensure the region advances towards inclusive growth and sustainable development.”

The 10 members of the ASEAN union are Singapore, Myanmar, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia.

Read more at: climateactionprogramme

Allocate 30% of agriculture outlay to women farmers

The Survey has recommended earmarking 30 per cent of Budget allocation for agriculture to women farmers as more and more men are migrating to urban areas for employment, leaving the former to tend the farms.

“Globally, there is empirical evidence that women have a decisive role in ensuring food security and preserving local agro-bio-diversity,” the Survey said.

As per Census 2011, out of total female main workers, 55 per cent were agricultural labourers and 24 per cent were cultivators.

However, only 12.8 per cent of the operational holdings were owned by women, which reflect the gender disparity in ownership of landholdings in agriculture, it said. Welcoming the move, Kavitha Kuruganti of Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch, said “lack of recognition and identity itself had been a major problem.

Read more at: thehindubusinessline

Budget for agriculture research likely to go up 15% in 2018-19

The government is likely to increase the budget allocation for farm education, research and extension by up to 15% to around Rs. 8,000 crore in 2018-19 fiscal as focus will on making rapid strides in doubling farmers' income, people in the know said.

The union budget for 2018-19 will be presented on 1 February. "There has been a minimum 10% annual increase in the budget allocation for agri-education, research and extension purpose in last few years. We hope 15% higher budget allocation would be made available for the DARE (Department of Agricultural Research and Education) for the next financial year," the people in the know said.

The funds will used on priority areas with an aim to address the country's key farm sector problem and make rapid strides in the direction of doubling farmers' income through use of technology and innovation, the people familiar with the matter added. In the next fiscal, DARE is planning to focus on using technology and agri-innovations in particularly 150 backward districts and build capacity of farmers in tribal areas.

It is also bio-fortification.

For 2017-18 fiscal, the government had initially made an allocation of Rs. 6,800 crore for DARE that functions under the agriculture ministry. Additional funds has considering initiating programmes on use of sensors in agriculture, build and transfer post-harvest technology, use of animal cloning for commercial application, genome editing in select crops and also been sanctioned through supplementary demand, taking the total budget to around Rs. 7,000 crore for agri-research and extension activities for this year. Already, 90% of the budget allocation released till third quarter of 2017-18 fiscal has been spent by the DARE, the rest will be done in the remaining period.

Read more at: livemint

Comprehensive policy to promote agriculture exports on anvil

The commerce ministry is working on a comprehensive policy covering issues such as logistics to promote export of agri commodities like tea, coffee, fruits and vegetables, a senior official said.

India is one of biggest producers and exporters of agri commodities, and still holds huge potential to increase shipments.

"So, the possibility of value addition and moving up in the global value chain is immense. All important elements such as logistics, certification and traceability of items would be part of the new policy," the official said.

It is important to have proper infrastructure to promote exports.

This move would help serve the government's objective to double farmers' income and increasing exports.

The ministry has started the process of identifying factors such as where maximum import demand is, areas that can be looked at, India's contribution to, and steps required to promote exports.

The official said they are also studying global markets and trying to understand where the potential is.

Another elements which would become part of the policy include ways to ensure quality of products and monitoring the value chain.

Agri-products account for over 10 per cent of the country’s total exports.

India mainly exports tea, coffee, rice, cereals, tobacco, spices, cashew, oil meals, fruits & vegetables and marine products. In November 2017, out of 13 agri-commodities, being tracked by the commerce ministry, only two – fruits & vegetables and tobacco – reported negative export growth.

Read more at: moneycontrol

Sugar production expected to jump to 261 lakh tonnes

In the current sugar season 2017-18, India is expected to produce 261 lakh tonnes of sugar, the second advance estimate of Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) has said. Earlier in the first advance estimate, the sugar body had estimated the sugar production for the season was at 251 lakh tonnes. The estimated sugar production in the current sugar season is significantly higher than the 203 lakh tonnes production in the sugar season 2016-17.

In order to prepare the second advance estimate, ISMA has procured the satellite images of sugarcane area harvested and remaining cane area unharvested in the fields across the country in the second week of January 2018. On the basis of these images of balance area, trend of yields and sugar recoveries achieved till now as also expected yield/sugar recovery in the balance period of sugar season, ISMA has revised its sugar production estimates.

Read more at: ruralmarketing

India looks for more private capital in farms to boost incomes

India is considering simpler regulations to attract more corporate investment in agriculture as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to keep his promise to double farmers’ income by 2022, an adviser to the government said.

Asia’s third-largest economy, more than half the country’s population depend on farming for their livelihood, should relax rules for companies investing in contract farming, transport, marketing, warehouses and food processing, said Ramesh Chand, member of the government think tank National Institution for Transforming India, also called NITI Aayog. India’s farms should become outsourcing hubs for global supermarket chains, he said, noting he expects an announcement on the policy in the 1 February budget.

Read more at: livemint

Rabi crops to gain as cold wave slated to continue for two days

The rain spell on Tuesday over the northern plains leading to drop in temperatures and cold weather conditions would benefit standing rabi crop, especially wheat, gram and mustard, said scientists and traders.

The weather office has forecast cold wave conditions to continue over Punjab, Haryana, west UP and north Rajasthan for the next two days. It has also said that under the influence of the rain-bearing weather system called western disturbance, rainfall would cover northern plains.

Read more at: economictimes

Budget 2018: Time for promoting sustainable agriculture with focus on improving productivity of major crops

“Transform, Energise and Clean” or TEC India was the agenda of the 2017-18 Union Budget. The budget included many “wishes” and also identified ten “distinct themes to foster the broad agenda”. The very first theme is doubling farmers’ income in five years. Specific interventions were outlined for this theme: a) Agricultural credit increased to Rs 10 lakh crore, b) corpus of Rs 40,000 crore for NABARD’s Long Term Irrigation Fund, c) Rs 5,000 crore to micro irrigation, d) a budget provision of Rs 9,000 crore for crop insurance—Fasal Bima Yojana—to increase coverage of cropped area from 30 per cent to 40 per cent and take it to 50 per cent in 2018-19, e) Rs 8,000 crore for infrastructure development fund for dairy.

Read more at: downtoearth

Quote

“Our deep respect for the land and its harvest is the legacy of generations of farmers who put food on our tables, preserved our landscape, and inspired us with a powerful work ethic.” – James H. Douglas Jr.


Wishing you all a Great Month ahead! - ISAP Team

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