Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals

ISAP Monthly E-Newsletter, Volume 10, Issue:6 (June , 2017)


- ISAP Activities

Conferences & Exhibitions

Science & Technology

Prominent Contributors to Agriculture

Do you know

- News Highlights


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 175,500 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 5,000 agri-graduates and incubated 1,783 successful ventures
  • Trained 10,000 BPL rural youth on vocational skills and helped them gain meaningful livelihoods
  • Satisfactorily answered more than 6 lakhs farmer queries through Kisan Call Centres (KCC) in Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) and Gulbarga (Karnataka)
  • Successfully established two 100 bedded rural hospitals in West Bengal
  • Successfully running multi-seater health helpline in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh)
  • Set up 36 water treatment plants for village drinking water supply schemes in various States
  • Successfully running Community Radio Station "Kissan Vani" in Sironj, District Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh)

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ISAP Activities

OCPF-AES Project, Karnataka

In Phase I, the OCPF-AES project started as a soil health improvement and yield enhancement program. In a span of 4 years, the project culminated into institutionalization of project farmers into Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) and integration of these FPOs into the existing market value chain. In Phase I, ISAP formed seven FPOs in the districts of Gulbarga, Bidar and Raichur. In Phase II, emphasis is largely on making these FPOs sustainable through market integration, infrastructure support and convergence with various schemes.

Monthly Update:-

During the month of June, the second time Red Gram procurement started directly by the AVRCs of Karnataka for the Karnataka Farmers Maha Society (KFMS), in which the facilitation was done by the three AVRC centers of Gudur, Ankalga and Tadkal. The procurement by the AVRC Gudur was about 4,964 quintals from 268 farmers, AVRC Tadkal procured 3,382 quintals from 190 farmers and AVRC Ankalga procured 3,447.5 quintals from 162 farmers.

Cucumber grown, sorted and sold by the Kamlapur Demo Plot at Gulbarga

Cucumber was grown on the Kamlapur Demo Plot and sold by the Kamlapur farmer members to the Gulbarga traders. The total 2 acres area was used for the Cucumber production. The harvesting of Cucumber was done on an alternate basis and the produce of around 6-10 trays of almost 15 kg reached the Gulbarga market for direct trading.

OCPF-IFS Project, Rajasthan

ISAP is working with the small and marginal 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, such as watershed harvesting management, and generating in-farm resources, such as 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 the 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 machineries, warehouses, shade net houses for nurseries, vermi-compost pits, medical dispensaries, children’s playing zones, and a large platform for drying and winnowing of farmers’ produces.

Monthly Update:-

Under the Seed Production Program, Wheat Raw Seed procurement has already been completed and value of Wheat TL seed procurement was paid through cheques to the farmers of all the three blocks—Kishanganj, Anta and Hindoli. In addition to this, Agriculture Research Station (ARS), Kota, carried out the soil sample testing in the fields of selected 20 farmers from each blocks of Hindoli, Anta and Kishanganj.

Under the Water Conservation Programme, the farm ponds digging was completed in the Districts Baran and Hindoli, where the farmers can use the rain water collected in the farm ponds for harvesting purposes in order to conserve water. Various farm ponds under Water Conservation Programme have been built in the Blocks of Kishanganj (2 Farm ponds) and Anta (4 Farm ponds). Multi-crop seed cum fertilizer drills were also received from Seth Agro, Indore (MP) in all the three Blocks, namely, Kishanganj, Anta and Hindoli. The selling of Green gram seed variety SML-668 was also started and the processing of Soyabean seed varieties, such as JS-335, JS-9560 and KDS-344 were also initiated.

In Hindoli district, packaging of 150 kg flavored honey in 500 gm bottles and 100 kg flavored honey in 250 gm bottles were completed. In the last month, a total 250 kg of flavored honey had been packed and sold. Mr. Jagdish Prasad from Block Anta and Mr. Yudhistar Singh from Block Hindoli participated in the meeting organized by NAFED on June 30th, 2017.

The Wheat TL seed procurement at Kishanganj, Anta and Hindoli blocks of Rajasthan

Farm ponds digging at Kishanganj and Anta blocks of Rajasthan

SFAC-sponsored Projects

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

Capacity Building of Farmers:-

In the month of June, the farmers of various FPOs were given field demonstrations and trainings on practicing Integrated Farming System (IFS). On 19th June, the Field Demo for onion growing farmers was organized. The training was conducted by a scientist from the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), in which 35 farmers participated in the Demo session. The sowing season has already started, so the Demo session was given to the farmers on the best practices of sowing as well as on precautions to be taken during sowing of the onion seeds. Series of such trainings at the FIG level were conducted this month.

During this month, the training cum meeting was organized for the Lead farmers of the UluvaYogi Farmers Producer Company, Hubli, where 75 Lead farmers from the entire FIG participated in the meeting. The Subject Matter Specialist, Mr. Guruprasad explained about the best practices that are followed in mango and vegetable cultivation and on Soil Health Protection. Along with this, the farmers also got information on the agribusiness activities that have been conducted by the Farmers Producer Organization during the year 2016–17, and Mr. Guruprasad also received suggestions from the Lead farmers about the farming activities that has to be planned during the financial year 2017–18.

Demonstrations cum Trainings given by the Subject Matter Specialist, Mr. Guruprasad to the Lead farmers at Hubli, Karnataka

Monthly Review Meeting

On the 5th and 6th June, the monthly review meeting for KSP-1 and KSP-2 were conducted at the ISAP’s Gulbarga Office. All the District Coordinators were called for the meeting. The review meeting started with showing documentary film on “Bhanghar Farmers Producer Company”. This meeting was conducted to evaluate the activities completed till date under Phase 4 for KSP-1 FPOs and under Phase 2 for KSP-2 FPOs. For the coming month, the activities to be conducted were planned and discussed.

The review meeting of the District Coordinators of KSP-1 and KSP-2 at the ISAP Office of Gulbarga, Karnataka


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 the 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 about 400 Villages of 30 Blocks in the respective States of Maharashtra and Telangana which will be further 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 the small-scale business enterprises.

Monthly Activities:-

During the month of June, implementation of the activities planned has started. The project activities for the annual year 2017–18 include IFS Demonstrations, IFS Trainings, IFS Cross-Learning Visits and Kharif Demonstrations.

Ms Dhanalaxmi Ramchandra from Monsanto, Mr. Shaibal Chatterjee from ISAP, New Delhi, along with the field team had visited project sites at both the States—Telangana and Maharashtra. At Morshi, Amravati and Higna of Maharashtra, IFS Demo, such as Drip Irrigation, Vermi-compost, Goatry, Orchard as well as Farm pond were observed. Meeting with SHGs was held, where plans on establishing a Dal Mill enterprise was discussed. Another meeting with FPO at Higna was conducted, where plans under consideration were selling of chemicals and fertilizers, building Hiring Centre for tractors and other implements and raising nursery for vegetable crops. At another meeting with SHGs of Parshiwani, women were found producing three different types of Papads and selling them at the local market. Lastly, decisions regarding the follow-up and the action plans were the minutes of the meeting in the visit.

Ms Dhanalakshmi Ramchandra from Monsanto visited project areas in Maharashtra and Telangana

Implementation of the IFS demonstration components was completed in the Districts of Adilabad and Nizamabad, Telangana as well as in the Vidharva region of Maharashtra, while its about to complete in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra. Till now, Vermi-compost beds and Drip irrigation components have been implemented in Marathwada region, Maharashtra. Training of farmers has started in Vidharva region of Maharashtra. The topics covered are Integrated Nutrient Management, Integrated Pest Management and Good Agricultural Practices, such as use of organic inputs, use of improved agricultural equipments and soil testing. Trainings are in process of implementation in the Telangana and Marathwada region of Maharashtra. In the month of June, six new FPOs have been registered in the Vidharva region of Maharashtra: one at Aurangabad, two at Amravati and three at Washim. Recently, 21 FPOs have been registered until now. Registrations of other FPOs are still in progress.

The IFS Farmers Meeting at Jalna, Maharashtra

Agri-Clinic Agri-Business Program

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

A Success Story


Name: Dr. Arup Sutradhar
Age: 37 years
Father’s name: Mr. Narendra Kumar Sutradhar
Mother’s name: Mrs. Ranu Sutradhar
Address: Barpeta, Guwahati
Business: Poultry and Livestock Trading
Turnover: 50 lakhs

"Capital isn't so important in business. Experience isn't so important. You can get both these things. What is important is ‘ideas’. If you have ideas, you have the main asset you need, and there isn't any limit to what you can do with your business and your life."—Harvey Firestone

“The idea is what keeps the business alive”, says Dr. Arup Sutradhar, a BVSc & AH Graduate from Assam Agriculture University. Dr. Arup never joined the government job, as he was always interested in executing his own business. He was entrenched with plenty of ideas to implement in his business. He commenced his career in business at Barpeta Road in 2008, after obtaining the Agripreneurs training from ISAP, with a small piggery farm.

It was very difficult to maintain a small piggery farm with fewer margins along with the high cost of feed and labour. The availability of swine flu vaccine was also a major concern those days. “Two times I faced the problem of swine flu. I could not make the profit from there. But I never lost my confidence”. It was his new ideas which gave him the zeal to continue and he never gave up. He came up with the idea of starting the ducklings supply business and started it on a small scale. “It was very difficult to do this business as the mortality rate of ducklings was high and I used to bring the ducklings from Bangalore via train by myself”. It was difficult to carry out ducklings business, as the boiler ducks were not consumed much at that time. Duckling eggs are not very copacetic to heat and stress, so the percentage of hatching is very low.

“To manage both my business and family together I used to do private practices”. The earning was not very generous from the ducklings business, but that didn’t tumble his hopes. “I was struggling with the piggery and duckling businesses in Barpeta. Then, I thought of shifting the business to other location where it would be profitable”. He then came to Guwahati in search of new opportunities for his business. It was then that he had the idea of starting the chicks business and opened a small farm near Garchuk, Guwahati.

“I didn’t have sufficient money to buy land for setting up the business. I had to sell my car and house in Barpeta to settle my family and business in Guwahati. It was like a fresh start”. His Idea was that one had to make sacrifices today in order to achieve big in the future. Alongwith chicks farm, he gradually started ducklings business there and gave free consultancy services to the farmers. Slowly he started to supply the chicks and ducklings to the KVKs and various government institutions.

Due to his ethical services, he gained the confidence of the farmers and increased his customer base. Currently, more than 2,000 farmers are connected with him. He also created a garden of medicinal plants for business, but it didn’t become a success; so, now the garden has been converted into a tea garden. Despite of several failures in many of his initiatives, he never stopped venturing into new practices and always came up with new ideas to continue pursuing his dreams.

It has been well said by J.M. Barrie that “Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.” The same say is true with Dr. Arup as he never gave up on his dreams and he sacrificed all the comforts and luxuries he could have enjoyed by joining the public sector.

His says that the concept for a blooming business is “profit for the farmers involved in your business and an assiduous research of the business you want to endeavour with”. “We should always be comprehended with new ideas and innovation to expand our business”, says Dr. Arup.

At present, Dr. Arup has an efficacious business of Ducklings and Chicks, and further he is planning to start a new piggery farm alongside a Dog Training Centre. His business has a turnover of about 50 Lakhs with seven employees working under him. Almost 9 years since he had begun his entrepreneurial journey, still he explores for new ideas to elaborate his businesses. He has developed a new technique of earning more than INR 10,000/- per month from one male and six female of Khaki Campbell ducks and calls it a “7 Ducks Formula”.

ISAP wishes Dr. Arup Sutradhar all the best for his future endeavors. Dr. Arup can be contacted on +91-7086955616.

‘Hunar’ Skills Training Program and IFS - John Deere

ISAP and Global Communities had 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 operation and maintenance of tractors and combine, as means to improve the livelihoods and increase the qualified labour forces in remote markets. Each training course is for 45 days, including 30 days of classroom training and 15 days of practical training. Classroom training includes both theory and practical with machinery and equipment. The training is free-of-cost for the trainees and a full-residential training program with lodging and boarding arrangements. In particular, the program aims to provide skills training to 720 individuals. Apart from this, the program also aims to improve agricultural productivity by introducing Integrated Farming Systems (IFS) in the rural Indian markets by providing training on IFS to 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 May 4th, in Dharwad district of Karnataka. Till now, 470 candidates have been trained at all the three locations. We have also started a new batch in Tractor Operator and Mechanic domain on June 1st, 2017, at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh with strength of 30 candidates in a batch.

“Hunar” Skills Training Program

IEX - Hunar Training Program

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

Monthly Activities:-

Till now, training of six batches has been completed and at present a total 185 candidates are trained in Solar Energy Technician domain. Out of these 185 trained candidates, 95 trainees are placed/self-employed successfully and the placement of the remaining candidates is in process.

The placed candidates are quite happy and satisfied with their placement along with the remuneration that they are receiving.

IEX – Hunar Training Program at Samastipur, Bihar

Science & Technology:

Growing crops in Vertical farms

When you run out of land in a crowded city, the solution is obvious: build upwards. This simple trick makes it possible to pack huge numbers of homes and offices into a limited space. Mankind now faces a similar problem on a global scale. The world's population is expected to increase to 9.1 billion by 2050, according to the UN. Feeding all those people will mean increasing food production by 70%, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation, through a combination of higher crop yields and an expansion of the area under cultivation. But the additional land available for cultivation is unevenly distributed, and much of it is suitable for growing only a few crops. So, why not create more agricultural land by building upwards? Such is the thinking behind vertical farming. The idea is that skyscrapers filled with floor upon floor of orchards and fields, producing crops all year round, will sprout in cities across the world. As well as creating more farmable land out of thin air, this would slash the transport costs and carbon-dioxide emissions associated with moving food over long distances. The use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides can be kept to a bare minimum by growing plants indoors in a controlled environment. Soil erosion will not be a problem because the food will be grown hydroponically—in other words, in a solution of minerals dissolved in water. Clever recycling techniques will ensure that only a fraction of the amount of water and nutrients will be needed compared with conventional farming, and there will no problem with agricultural run-off.

Source: wikipedia

Prominent Contributors to Agriculture:

Janaki Ammal (November 4, 1897–February 7, 1984)

Janaki Ammal Edavaleth Kakkat was an Indian botanist, best remembered for her work on sugarcane and eggplant. As an expert in cytogenetic (the genetic content and expression of genes in the cell), she conducted research on chromosome numbers and ploidy in a variety of garden plants while she was in England which led to new findings on the evolution of species and varieties. Her research played a vital role in understanding the nature of polyploidy in sugarcane and helped in choosing plant varieties for cross-breeding in order to produce the sweetest sugarcane. Born in the late 19th century in Kerala, India, Ammal was encouraged to pursue her intellectual interests from a young age. Unlike in many other Indian families of those times where girls were not provided any opportunity for self-development, her family supported her from the very beginning. She developed an early interest in botany and studied the subject at Queen Mary's College and Presidency College. Eventually, she realized her interest in cytogenetic and went to the University of Michigan, US, for her higher studies. She returned to India after completing her studies and after working as a Professor for some time, she joined the Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore, as a geneticist. In 1977, the Government of India conferred the Padma Shri on her. A very determined woman, she never married and dedicated her entire life to scientific pursuits.

Source: Thefamouspeople

Do you know


Himalaya is abode to various plants with medicinal values. Rhododendron arboreum tree from the valley of Himalayas known for its bright scarlet crimson-red bell-shaped flowers filled with sweet nectar is one such tree with many medicinal uses. The flowers and leaves of this evergreen tree have long been used for medicinal purposes. The plant being commonly known as Burans, juice made from its flowers is very popular beverage in the region. Drink made from the flowers of Burans is simply divine, as the locals say. Bright red similar to rose or strawberry drink with jelly-like texture, the juice of Burans flowers taste tangy and sweet. Just like Indian Gooseberry, water tastes sweet after munching Burans flowers. It is believed to be refreshing appetizer and relieves mountain sickness. When the flowers bloom after winter, locals consume Burans along with rice or in form of chutney to treat seasonal sickness. Burans parathas and Burans pakodas are also very popular. Nectar of this flower is used to brew local wine. The flowers of Burans are typically stored in form of juice, jelly or squash. These flowers are considered spiritual and so used in religious functions and for decorations. Burans flower offers mainly fibers and is good source of Potassium, Calcium, Iron and Vitamin C. The wood from the trees are used for various purposes including fuel wood, packaging and making artifacts. In Eastern Himalayan, the state of Arunachal Pradesh, India, making smoke by burning Burans tree wood is considered sacred and helps purifying air. The leaves are used to get rid of insects and lice. Traditionally, the Burans leaves and flowers have been used in various medicinal purposes. Latest research has evaluated anti-diabetic, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, pain killing ability, heart and liver protective properties of Burans flowers and leaves.

Source: Valuefood


News Highlights

Haryana opens purchase centre for sunflower

To facilitate the Sunflower seed growers, Haryana State Cooperative Supply and Marketing Federation Limited (HAFED) has decided to open two more purchase centers at Ladwa and Pehowa in Kurukshetra for procurement of Sunflower seed at Minimum Support Price (MSP).

Chairman, HAFED and MLA Gharaunda, Harvinder Kalyan, said that the farmers of Haryana were selling their Sunflower seed crops at the prevailing market rate, which was far below the Minimum Support Price (MSP). The Haryana government immediately stepped in to protect the interest of the farmers by deciding to procure FAQ Sunflower Seed at the MSP of Rs 3,950/- per quintal, including a bonus of Rs 100/-, which is well above the prevailing market rate. He said that HAFED would procure the Sunflower Seed at MSP under the Government of India, Price Support Scheme (PSS) on behalf of NAFED. He further added that this procurement of Sunflower seed initially started from Ambala City and Shahbad Mandies from June 12, 2017, but now in the interest of farmers and to facilitate the Sunflower seed growers, two more purchase centers were being opened at Ladwa and Pehowa in District Kurukshetra. This procurement would continue till July 31, 2017, he added. He said that HAFED has purchased 1,811 quintal Sunflower seed till date, directly from the farmers through the shops of its member Cooperative Marketing Societies. The payment to farmers is being made electronically through RTGS to their bank accounts.

Read more at: economictimes

Darjeeling tea industry staring at zero production of its premium flush teas

The Darjeeling tea industry is looking at zero production of its premium second flush teas as the plucking round has been totally destroyed and green leaves have become unprocessable which will have to be plucked and destroyed following the stoppage of work at the tea estates due to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's agitation since 9th June. A release issued by the Darjeeling Tea Association (DTA) on Thursday said that by the time the plucking round is controlled and the next flush arrives the second flush period shall come to an end.

The 87 tea estates have remained closed since 9th June, 2017. This period is the premium second flush which contributes to about 20% of the annual production of the industry and is the economic lifeline of the industry which contributes to approximately 40% of the annual revenue. Darjeeling produces 8.5–9 million kg of tea annually. The industry has incurred a direct loss of more than Rs 100 crores mostly in foreign exchange till date, as it is an exportable product and looking at a further indirect loss of Rs. 150 crores approximately, the DTA release added. This would make the Industry totally unviable and break the backbone of the industry. This may result in closure of the Darjeeling tea industry even after normalcy returns.

The Darjeeling tea industry is passing through a critical phase of revival with new and fresh investments been made by entrepreneurs by taking over sick and abandon tea estates and making them operational. Despite of all the steps taken till now, the whole Darjeeling tea industry is still economically weak and vulnerable and the closure at this moment will be a death knell for the industry resulting in a disastrous long-term effect in the viability of the whole Industry, jeopardizing the employment and livelihood of more than 1 Lac people of the area. The Darjeeling tea industry functions on a very unique economic model. The first and second flush provides 70% of the industry’s annual revenue enabling the Industry to operate. Unavailability of season 2017 premium second flush Darjeeling tea in the global market is a major blow to the brand equity and shall cause a permanent damage to the future market and value of the premium Darjeeling tea globally.

Further period of closure shall cause permanent damage to this heritage Darjeeling tea industry which will be irrrepairable.

Read more at: economictimes

Farmers may see Agri-input scarcity despite prediction of a good monsoon

Agricultural inputs are going to be dearer to access for Indian farmers in the kharif season despite the prediction of a good monsoon as dealers delay placing orders with the fertilizer and pesticide manufacturers waiting for clarity over the impact of goods and services tax (GST).

Dealers fear the notification of the Union government that allows only up to 60% of refund on input credit for dealers for an initial period. Sector analysts point out this could adversely affect the financials of fertilizer and pesticide makers during the next couple of quarters and could lead to a pile-up of unsold stocks.

Dealers of agricultural inputs across the country are reducing inventories and avoiding stocking ahead of GST for the last month or so, said brokerage JM Financial after a detailed survey it conducted in June covering over 50 large dealers.

“Farmers may face scarcity of agri-inputs in the last couple of weeks of the current month and in July as dealers are not accepting new stock from the companies. “Dealers normally start stocking after initial rainfall in peak season of July–August for agri-inputs, which is not happening this time around,” said Rajesh Aggarwal, managing director, Insecticides India.

“We are in the process of approaching Anant Kumar, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, to ensure timely supply of agri-input,” said BV Javare Gowda, president of Federation of All India Farmers Association.

Read more at: economictimes

Yogi Adityanath for strengthening 'Parag' milk brand to bring prosperity to farmers

Stressing on strengthening 'Parag' - the state's milk brand, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said today that it can bring prosperity to farmers by increasing their incomes.

“For the prosperity of farmers, the Parag milk brand of the state need to be strengthened and developed,” the chief minister who took part in a meeting on milk development and dairy farming said.

Thanking Amul for setting up milk processing units in the state, he said it will help farmers become self-reliant and give them a life of dignity. He also exuded confidence that Amul will lend necessary support for further developing the Parag brand. Stressing that people are ready to pay more for pure and good milk, Adityanath said there is a demand for good and organic things in the market. “People are ready to even pay more for good milk and if it was made available with the help of dairy processing plants, the market for adulterated goods will die on its own,” he said.

He also said that there were immense possibilities for setting up milk processing units in Gorakhpur and surrounding areas. Managing Director of Amul Dairy, R S Sodhi said that Uttar Pradesh is the biggest milk producing state of the country which is more than double of what is produced in Gujarat. Explaining the working of Amul through a presentation, Sodhi said it (Amul) has paid Rs 360 crore as milk prices to farmers in UP which is likely to be taken to Rs 3,500 crore in the coming years.

Read more at: economictimes

Government releases Rs 700 crore to NAFED for buying pulses at MSP

The Centre has released Rs 700 crore to cooperative NAFED to undertake procurement of Rabi pulses and other agri-produce, grown in the 2016–17 crop year, at the support price and protect growers from falling prices.

The fund, made available under the Price Support Scheme (PSS) operated by the Agriculture Ministry, will also be used to clear all outstanding payments to farmers for procurement of pulses, mustard seed, groundnut and other commodities undertaken in the 2016–17 crop year that ends this month.

The purpose of PSS is to protect farmers with the minimum support price for their produce in times of price fall.

"We have sanctioned Rs 700 crore to National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) for procurement of 2016–17 Rabi crops. The line of credit will help the cooperative to make payments to farmers on time," a senior Agriculture Ministry official told.

From the amount, NAFED has already released Rs 512.18 crore to Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana.

In Maharashtra, NAFED has already procured 1 lakh tones of Tur under the PSS and it is making additional procurement of 15,000 tonnes.

Similarly, in Madhya Pradesh, NAFED is currently procuring Moong and Urad under PSS. The ministry has asked the cooperative to buy 11,250 tonnes of Urad and 55,500 tonnes of Moong at MSP from farmers in the state.

Read more at: economictimes

FICI hails move to put cashew in 5% slab of GST

The Federation of Indian Cashew Industry, the apex body of India's cashew fraternity, today welcomed the government's decision to put cashew, cashew nut and allied products in the five per cent slab of the proposed Goods and Service Tax.

FICI said such a move would greatly help the industry, now battling a string of problems in both domestic and international markets.

Earlier, the GST Council had fixed the tax for cashew at 12 per cent, clubbing it along with other tree nuts.

FICI Chairman P Somarajan said FICI and other associations, along with the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India, had made a representation to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and the Finance Ministers of the cashew growing/processing states, drawing their attention to such an anomaly with a request to place it under the five per cent slab.

Somarajan said the demand for a downward revision in GST on cashew was due to a host of reasons. Currently, all the states have VAT on cashew in Schedule III attracting a tax of five per cent with NIL excise duty.

"As per the general guidelines, the GST should be to the nearest slab of VAT and excise duty put together, which works at five per cent, whereas for most of the tree nuts the same worked out at 14 per cent or higher," Somarajan said in a release here.

The FICI also requested the Union Government to fix the GST on value added cashew kernels at five per cent GST at par with sweets, restore the export incentives to five per cent from the present level of three per cent and rollback the import duty till the country attains self-sufficiency in raw nut production.

Read more at: economictimes

E-trading platform helps Karnataka farmers earn 38% more income

Karnataka farmers have realized 38 per cent more income in 2015–16 from sale of agri-commodities through the e-trading interface Unified Market Platform (UMP), according to a Niti Aayog report.

UMP, an initiative of Rashtriya e-Market Services Ltd. (ReMS)—a joint venture between NCDEX e-Markets Limited and Karnataka government, was set up in 2013–14 much before the Centre rolled out eNAM, almost a similar version for the entire country.

"While all provisions of UMP are not yet fully operational, complete implementation is expected to have a much larger impact on farmer incomes," noted the Niti Aayog report titled Doubling Farmer Incomes. The report analyzed the prices received by farmers between 2013–14 (the year preceding the functioning of UMP) and 2015–16 (the first year after creation of UMP).

"It is heartening to see the government lauding our efforts in developing the primary markets. We remain committed to use the power of technology and markets to bring about a positive change in the lives of farmers by reforming the physical markets in the country and helping central and state governments in the nation's food security and welfare priorities," CEO Rajesh Sinha said in a statement.

Read more at: economictimes

Punjab to set up viral vaccine unit for livestock

Punjab’s chief minister Amarinder Singh today gave in-principle approval for setting up of viral vaccine production units to ensure better protection of livestock against critical diseases.

This decision would help in protecting livestock against the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), swine flu and PPR disease common amongst goats, an official spokesperson said after the meeting.

He also directed the department to work on a detailed plan for establishing Disease Free Zones in certain areas, beginning from the international border and between the geographical boundaries stretching from Beas to Sutlej rivers, in order to give impetus to the promotion of trade between India and its neighboring countries. The chief minister asked the department to prepare a comprehensive action plan to introduce new practices of cattle breeding, elimination of cattle disease, and scientific production of milk and milk products as well as meat and meat products.

Earlier, the minister was apprised by advisor (Animal Husbandry) Dr. BK Uppal about the vaccine for FMD. The vaccine, which is free from NSP antigen, would make Punjab first in the country to be free from foot and mouth disease. This will facilitate the livestock farmers of the state to export their high-breed cattle to the Middle East, and further boost their earnings. During the meeting, the chief minister asked the Animal Husbandry department to launch a vigorous campaign to promote piggery and fishery in a big way to encourage farmers to adopt these allied sectors in order to supplement their income.

Read more at: economictimes


“As we search for a less extractive and polluting economic order, so that we may fit agriculture into the economy of a sustainable culture, community becomes the locus and metaphor for both agriculture and culture - Wes Jackson.”

Wishing you all a Great Month ahead! - ISAP Team

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