Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals

ISAP Monthly E-Newsletter, Volume 9, Issue:7 (July, 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-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 effective and cost-efficient collaboration between producers, industry, governments, civil society organizations and other stakeholders for commodity-based development. A total of 9600 farmers will directly be benefitted with this program.

Monthly Activities :-

Under Integrated Farming System (IFS), 11 farmers of Baran, Bundi and Sawai Madhopur were provided both technical and material support for starting poultry units. These farmers were provided 880 chicks of Pratapdhan variety. Objective of IFS is to generate additional source of income for the project farmers and to reduce their dependence on conventional cropping system.

Under seed production programs, Farmer Producer Organizations are being trained on business and technical aspects of seed production. For technical training, more than 350 demonstrations (demos) have been laid in kharif season in 361.7 acres. These demos have been set up for Soybean (JS 335), Green Gram (SML 668), Black gram (Neelam), Dhaincha (Green Gold) and Paddy (Pusa 1121). So far, 3 FPOs have been registered under the project. In July month, FPOs in Kishanganj (Distt Baran) and Hindoli (Distt Bundi) got their Certificate of Incorporation (CIN). Each of these FPOs has 1600 member farmers

For rain water harvesting, 5 more farm ponds have been constructed this month. 3 farm ponds were constructed in Bonli block of Sawai Madhopur district and 1 in Hindoli and 1 in Nainwa block of Bundi district.

IFS farmers with their poultry birds in (Anta) Baran and (Bonli) Sawai Madhopur districts

Farm ponds in Khirakadi and Lakhanpur villages of Sawai Madhopur district

Farmers of Anta block of Baran district with seed received for crop demonstration

OCPF-IFS Project, Karnataka

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 Activities :-

Sowing in demonstration plots has started. This season, a total of 144 demos have been set up under the OCPF-AES project. Sowing in these demos was carried out with seed cum fertilizer drill machines to maintain proper spacing and ensure uniform application of fertilizers. These large scale demos were visited by Dr. S.A. Patil from OCPF. Dr. Patil interacted with demo farmers and educated them on different pulse production technologies such as pit method, chowk madi method, use of hydrogel and dibbling methods etc.

In this month, a health camp was organized in Rudrawadi village of Aland taluka in district Gulbarga. More than 150 patients from the village area visited the health camp to discuss their health problems with the doctor, Dr. Mahesh Bhalke. Patients received free consultation and medicines during this medical campaign.

A meeting of the Karnataka Maha Society was held at ISAP’s regional office in Gulbarga this month. Different topics discussed during the meeting include agribusiness activities of all the 7 FPOs, establishment of a large scale goat research centre and possibility of starting micro-financing facilities through FPOs.

Sowing operations being done by seed cum fertilizer drill machine

A field team member inspecting the demonstration.

Health camp in Rudrawadi village of Aland taluka in Gulbarga district

Karnataka Maha Farmers Society meeting at the Gulbarga regional office

Large scale demo plot visit made by Dr. S.A.Patil


SFAC sponsored projects

Indian 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.

In July, nearly 30 BoDs of 3 FPOs from Sirsa, Jind and Bhiwani were taken to Poshtik Aahar Producer Company Limited (PAPCL) on exposure visit to Hissar. Mr Prashant Sharma, MD, PAPCL interacted with BoDs and explained to them effective functioning mechanism of FPO. He also explained to them various government schemes, challenges and opportunities for FPOs. PACPL deals in organic products and retails its products to end-consumers through retail outlets in Hissar. Dr DK Sharma, a scientist from CCSHAU also addressed the farmers and provided to them information about various facilities available for farmers in the university.

Board members of Sirsa Farmers Producer Company Limited also called for a meeting in July to discuss business plans. This FPO is planning to set up a sorting and grading unit for Kinnow (citrus mandarin fruit).

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Glimpse of exposure visit of BODs to PAPACL, Hisar

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Glimpses of Board members meeting of Sirsa Farmers Producer Company Limited

Project SHARE II:

This is the second phase of Project SHARE i.e. Sustainable Harvest Agriculture Resources and Environment. It aims to create change agents among farmers of corn, cotton and vegetable crop farming and also includes the concept of Integrated Farming Systems (IFS) and the concept of a model village. This project is being implemented in the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.

During the course of the project, 45,000 farmers will be mobilized to form 45 FPOs and women from the farming households will be encouraged to form SHGs so as to channelize their income and savings.

Monthly Activities:-

Mobilization of farmers has been completed in the states of Karnataka, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh. In Maharashtra, mobilization process is in its last phase and will be completed by the end of August. Documents for 15 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) have been submitted to the Registrar of Companies. A total of 45 FPOs will be set up in phase II. Farmers are now being provided training on institution-building (record keeping, FPO registration process, by-laws etc). These farmers are also being provided training on good agriculture practices. This season, 56 crop demonstrations have been set up on Soybean, Paddy, Red gram and Cotton.

Glimpses of the trainings of lead farmers by Mr. Preetam Singh, agriculture expert

NABARD SHG Linkage Project:-

Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) are promoted by NABARD in four states viz. Rajasthan, Karnataka, Punjab and Haryana. The main objective of the FPOs is to enhance production, productivity and profitability of agriculturists, especially small farmers in the country. The participant farmers will be given necessary support to identify appropriate crops relevant to their context, provide access to modern technology through community based processes, and provide access to forward linkages with regard to technology for enhanced productivity, value addition of feasible products and market tie ups.

Monthly Activities:-

An exposure visit was conducted for the members of Shree Dev Mahila Kisan Producer Company Limited (FPO) on 27th July, 2016. BODs and other group members of the FPO were taken to the Maitri Mahila Dairy & Agriculture Producer Company Limited (MMDAPCL) in Duni, Tonk. The main objective of the exposure visit was to enable members to interact with and learn from people working at the Company. They also got an opportunity to view practical examples of successful integration of sustainable practices in dairy farming and agricultural practices. Ms Mira Devi (BOD of Maitri Mahila Dairy & Agriculture Producer Company Limited) briefed them about the ongoing business activities of their company. She informed the members about the inclusion of more women members in the FPOs so as to take advantage of economy of scale. She briefed the FPO members regarding the different loan schemes available and their repayment methods. The exposure visit also helped the members in getting information on dairy farming, animal husbandry, vaccination of animals, diseases and balanced ration to help improving quality and yield. FPO members also got an opportunity to visit a dairy farm which is being run by MMDAPCL.

Glimpses of the Exposure Visit

Skill Training Program for Tractor Operator and Mechanic – New Holland

ISAP has initiated the Skill training Program in Tractor Operator and Mechanic in Maharashtra and Karnataka, funded by New Holland India. The main Objective of the program is to prepare rural youth for improved livelihoods by making them skilled and employable in the domains of Farm Mechanization Sector. There is a gap of trained tractor operators and tractor mechanics in rural areas of India, and this project will be focusing towards 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 160 people. Each training course is for 70 days, including 40 days of classroom training and 30 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 is a non-residential training program.

Monthly Activities:-

Currently, this program is being implemented in Gulbarga (Karnataka) and Nagpur (Maharashtra). The first batch was started in Gulbarga on April 11, 2016 and 17 trainees successfully completed this training on June 20th, 2016. All 17 students got placement after this training. Another centre for this training was inaugurated in Nagpur, Maharashtra on May 10th, 2016. A batch of 25 people undertook this program in Maharashtra. Training of first batch in Maharashtra was completed on July 23rd, 2016. Now, placement of these trainees is under process.

Glimpses of inaguration of training program at Nagpur

‘Hunar’Skills Training Program and IFS - John Deere

ISAP and Global Communities has initiated the Hunar Skills program in Dharwad, Karnataka; Bhopal region, Madhya Pradesh; Nagpur/Akola region, Maharashtra - funded by John Deere India. The main objective of this program is to provide training on operations and maintenance of tractors and combines, as a means to improve livelihoods and increase qualified labor 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 is a full residential training program with lodging and boarding arrangement. In particular, the program aims to provide skills training to 720 people. 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 for 1,350 farmers.

Monthly Activities:-

“Hunar” Skills Program was inaugurated on March 1st, 2016 at Akola, Maharashtra, and at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh on April, 2016, and on 4th May, in Dharwad district of Karnataka. Till now 125 candidates have been trained at all the three locations.

As part of the series of guest lectures, a special session was organized at Dharwad centre, where Mr. Krishna Bhyregowda, Agriculture Minister-Karnataka shared his experiences. He also shared his ideas about the potential growth and opportunities in the agriculture sector, and encouraged the students to make optimum use of this skill training program.

Glimpses of practical and classroom training in Dharwad, Karnataka

Glimpses of guest lecture by the Agriculture Minister Mr. Krishna Bhyregowda

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:-

““If you have faith in yourself, you can achieve anything you want from your life”, says Deepa. Deepa belongs to a poor family and she finished her Intermediate Degree with much difficulty. Deepa comes from a family where girls’ education does not hold much importance, and a girl’s only duty after growing up remains maintaining the household and raising children. Deepa was a good student in school. She wanted to complete her graduation but due to financial constraints she was not able to do so. “After completing my Intermediate Class, my family wanted me to marry but I insisted on working on my own before I marry”, says Deepa. Deepa was not very sure what to do so she started helping her father in his work. One day while talking to her friends, she heard of ACABC training held at various centers.” “I was not sure if I would get selected in the program as I was a fresh Intermediate student with little experience and knowledge”, adds Deepa. After some insistence from her friends, she enrolled herself and got selected for the program at ISAP Raipur center. “I got to learn a variety of things at the program and the belief I had in myself encouraged me to do something with the information after I finish the program” , says Deepa. After completing the course, she applied for a loan in a bank to start fish farming. “After getting the loan from the bank, I started fish farming with an initial investment of 3.37 Lakhs. This venture was not very successful initially but I did not give up and faith in myself motivated me to keep going”, says Deepa. Currently, Deepa earns 7000-8000 INR per month and is grateful to the ACABC training. She is also able to benefit around 25 farmers through providing them information regarding modern ways of fish farming. “I am glad I joined the program, which not only helped me, but with the information I gained I am also able to benefit the people in my village”, says Deepa.

ISAP wishes Deepa luck for her future endeavors!

Deepa can be contacted at

Phone: 7587180774


Deepa at the fish pond

Science & Technology

SENSAGRI: Drone Based Agricultural Technology to be employed in Agriculture in India

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) through the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) has formulated a collaborative research project entitled “SENSAGRI: SENsor based Smart AGRIculture” involving six partner Institutes (Agriculture & IT) to be funded by Information Technology Research Academy (ITRA), Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY), Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT), Govt. of India and ICAR.

The major objective is to develop indigenous prototype for drone based crop and soil health monitoring system using hyperspectral remote sensing (HRS) sensors. This technology could also be integrated with satellite-based technologies for large scale applications

Drone technology based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has ability for smooth scouting over farm fields, gathering precise information and transmitting the data on real time basis. This capability could be used for the benefit of farming sector at regional/local scale for assessing land and crop health; extent, type and severity of damage besides issuing forewarning, post-event management and settlement of compensation under crop insurance schemes.


 Do You Know

Irrigation in Egypt and Mesopotamia

The first successful efforts to control the flow of water were made in Mesopotamia and Egypt, where the remains of the prehistoric irrigation works still exist. In ancient Egypt, the construction of canals was a major endeavor of the pharaohs and their servants, beginning in Scorpio's time. One of the first duties of provincial governors was the digging and repair of canals, which were used to flood large tracts of land while the Nile was flowing high. The land was checkerboarded with small basins, defined by a system of dikes . Problems regarding the uncertainty of the flow of the Nile were recognized. During very high flows, the dikes were washed away and villages flooded, drowning thousands. During low flows, the land did not receive water, and no crops could grow. In many places where fields were too high to receive water from the canals, water was drawn from the canals or the Nile directly by a swape or a shaduf.

Source: waterencyclopedia

Prominent Contributors to Agriculture

Professor Baldev Singh Dhillon is an internationally renowned agricultural scientist and at present he is working as the Vice Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University in India. Earlier he worked as Assistant Director General at ICAR, Director of NBPGR (ICAR), Director of Research at Punjab Agricultural University and Guru Nanak Dev University. He worked at University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany from 1976–78, 1988–90 and 2007–11, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, Mexico in 1993-94 and University of Birmingham, UK in 1989, in Maize Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology.

Professor Dhillon was born in Amritsar in 1947. He is known for scientific breakthroughs in maize breeding. Professor Dhillon did his B.Sc in Agriculture from Khalsa College, Amritsar; Post graduation M.Sc. from Punjab Agricultural University and Doctorate from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi. He has published 340 research publications and many books.

Source: wikipedia


News Highlights

Dabur, DRDO unit tie up for high altitude medicinal plants

Leading Ayurvedic FMCG firm Dabur has tied up with DRDO to promote sustainable cultivation of high-altitude medicinal plants in Ladakh
Dabur India has signed a pact with DRDO's unit Defense Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR), Leh, under which both organisations will educate farmers and help enhance livelihood opportunities in the cold desert area.
DIHAR Director Bhuvanesh Kumar said: "The first step towards the goal of implementing conservation & environmental development benefits in Leh-Ladakh will be a baseline survey of the area for cultivation of highly endangered medicinal plant species."

Source: economictimes

ICRISAT and NIAB, UK join hands to develop cereals that use nitrogen efficiently for higher yields

A team of researchers from India and the United Kingdom have come together to develop new cereal crop varieties that use nitrogen efficiently that in turn will reduce greenhouse emissions and make farming more profitable and sustainable. The partnership will explore natural variations of cereals and basic
research in model plants to deliver new varieties of cereals with enhanced nitrogen use efficiency.
With funding of £10 million (GBP) through the Newton Bhabha Fund, UK; Biotechnology and Biological Research Council (BBSRC), UK; and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of the Government of India, four new Virtual Joint Centers in Agricultural Nitrogen will be created. These are delivered in partnership with BBSRC, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the DBT. The Centers comprise of multiple research organisations in India and the UK, with each center receiving a co-investment approximately £2.5M.

Source: economictimes

Government fixes potato MEP at USD 360/tonne

The government imposed minimum export price (MEP) of USD 360 per tonne on potato to increase domestic availability and cool prices.
"Export of potatoes is permitted subject to MEP of USD 360 per tonne,” Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.
Although India was the world's second largest potato producer at 48 million tonnes in 2014-15, its exports were less than 1 per cent of the output
India exported 1.80 lakh tonnes of potatoes in 2015-16 fiscal, which was lower than 3.05 lakh tonnes in the previous year. The production of the commodity stood at 480 lakh tonnes in 2014-15

Source: economictimes

Nudging India out from water stress through plasticulture

Sustainability of agriculture is under stress due to depleting natural resources and increasing carbon footprint. There is a need for the government to mandate farmers to use microirrigation and plasticulture techniques for all the water guzzling crops. This has the potential to nudge India from water stressed zone by improving per capita availability to more than 1,750 cubic meters (m3) from current 1,588 m3.
Plasticulture, which implies using plastics in agricultural across the production and post-harvest value chain, could be an answer to this rallying cry. It improves farm productivity, optimises the input resources and reduces the overall farming cost.
Based on the water consumption in agriculture, as perTata Strategic Management Group (TSMG) analysis, the water savings from plasticulture adoption could improve the per capita availability of water by about 160 m3 from 1,545 m3 to approximately 1,705 m3, thereby significantly reducing water stress in the country.

Source: businessstandard

Indian agrochemicals market to reach $ 6.3 billion by FY20

Indian agrochemical industry, which is estimated at $ 4.4 billion in FY15, is expected to grow at 7.5 percent annually to reach $ 6.3 billion by FY20, with domestic demand growing at 6.5 percent per annum and export demand at 9 percent per annum, according to a report jointly presented by Tata Strategic Management Group (TSMG) and FICCI at the latter’s sixth National Conference on Agrochemicals 2016 in New Delhi.

As per the report, the industry is dominated by insecticides accounting for 60 percent of the overall demand, followed by fungicides and herbicides contributing 18 percent and 16 percent, respectively.

Source: businessstandard

Monsoon effect: Crop planting jumps 23.8 per cent in one week

Crop planting has jumped 23.8 % in the past one week, helped by heavy rains during the period, with the current overall planting stands 3.28% higher than last year at 692.98 lakh hectare, official data showed. The increase was largely seen in acreage of rice, pulses and coarse cereals.
Water levels in reservoirs have also risen significantly in the past month, providing more water for irrigation which is good news for farmers. As of July 21, the water available in the 91 important reservoirs was 54.419 billion cubic metres, which was higher than the 10-year average of 52.050 bcm, according to data from the Central Water Commission.

Source: economictimes

Haryana to launch loan scheme for vegetable, fruit growers

The Haryana government is set to launch a programme to provide loans to groups formed by vegetable and fruit growers to help them increase production as well as improve the storage, processing and marketing of their produce to generate better returns.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal has approved a proposal to this effect, an official spokesperson said on Tuesday. The scheme seeks to help farmers add value to their produce by processing them so that they get higher prices. It aims to provide financial assistance to create infrastructure for marketing, processing and storage of horticulture produce in the cooperative sector and finance for proper post-harvest operations.

Source: economictimes

Supercomputer to forecast monsoon with dynamical model

The Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Madhavan Rajeevan, said the dynamical model, being tested at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, (IITM) Pune for a decade was “ready for operational purposes next year.” A dynamical monsoon model works by simulating the weather on powerful computers and extrapolating it over particular timeframes.
Though this method is normally effective in forecasting weather over a few days, using it to forecast the annual monsoon over 3 or 4 months has proved difficult.
The IMD relies on an ensemble model, a statistical technique that uses an average of six meteorological values correlated to the monsoon such as sea surface temperatures in the Pacific, and North Atlantic sea level pressure. These values are derived from century-old meteorological data linked to the historical performance of the monsoon.

Source: thehindu

Punjab empanels 5 firms to set up polyhouses to boost vegetable cultivation under controlled atmosphere

To encourage cultivation of vegetables under controlled atmosphere, Punjab government has empanelled five firms to assist farmers to set up polyhouses and polynet houses in their fields. The state government will provide subsidy on the greenhouse structures erected by these firms. The empanelled firms include Earth Agro Structures, Farming Solutions, M.F. Agro & Export, Poly Agro Engineers and E.P.C. Industries Ltd. Nasik.
A government spokesperson said that the state government has established the Centre of Excellence for Vegetables at Kartarpur where training to farmers in the latest techniques in protected cultivation is imparted throughout the year. Besides, horticulture development officers in each district have been sensitising farmers about the techniques of protected cultivation of vegetables. Hybrid vegetable seedlings are also being provided to farmers at district level, the spokesperson said.

Source: economictimes

22 states/UTs implementing Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana

As many as 22 States and Union Territories are in the process of implementing the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), a scheme launched by the Centre recently, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said in Lok Sabha today.
So far, 21 states and 1 UT have completed the tendering process for selection of insurance companies for implementing PMFBY and restructured weather based crop insurance scheme during kharif 2016 season. Tendering in Jammu and Kashmir is underway," he said.
Out of these 22 states and UTs, 19 states and UTs have already issued the notification for implementation of the scheme in Kharif 2016

Source: economictimes


“Agriculture is the noblest of all alchemy; for it turns earth, and even manure, into gold, conferring upon its cultivator the additional reward of health.”-Thomas Jefferson

Wishing you all a Great Month ahead! - ISAP Team

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