Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals

ISAP Monthly E-Newsletter, Volume 10, Issue:5 (May , 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:-

A visit of Mr. Ganagi (CGM, NABARD) at ISAP office, Karnataka

Mr. Ganagi (CGM, NABARD) visited ISAP office at Karnataka on 30-05-2017 and interacted with the ISAP team in the presence of Dr. S.A. Patil. He was very impressed by the ongoing activities undertaken by ISAP for the development of farmers’ community. Also, he expressed his interest in supporting ISAP further on various activities.

A visit by Mr. Ganagi (CGM, NABARD) to the ISAP office at Karnataka

KFMS has grown Sugarking variety of watermelon by mulching process in 12 acre of demo plot at Antapanal Horticulture Resource Center in Buyyar site of Kamlapur, district Gulbarga. This nursery of its member FPOs are used to development watermelon saplings, FYM supply with technical interventions. With this KFMS is involving its entire member FPOs in having high tech farming practices and consultancy services. Now, these Sugarking variety of watermelon are fully grown and in the process of harvesting. The average sizes of the watermelons are 2 to 5 kg. The expecting production of these watermelons is 10 tonnes per acre and these are ready for marketing.

The Sugarking variety of watermelon grown in the KFMS demo plot at Antapanal Horticulture Resource Center in Buyyar site of Kamlapur, district Gulbarga, Karnataka

During the month of May, Shri Sudarshan Suryawanshi (CEO, ISAP) visited to the Watermelon demo plot fields at Antapanal Horticulture Resource Center. After the field visit Shri Sudarshan Suryawanshi conducted a meeting at Gulbarga office where all the Presidents and Field coordinators of the six AVRCs joined him along with the PGS Indian Officers and they had a discussion on different new activities to be started in the centre during the year 2017 along with being into organic farming.

A visit by Shri Sudarshan Suryawanshi (CEO, ISAP) to Watermelon demo plots of Antapanal Horticulture Resource Center at Karnataka

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 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 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 play zones, and large platforms for drying and winnowing of farmers’ produces.

Monthly Update:-

Under the Seed Production Program, raw wheat seeds procurement has already been started in the April month and wheat TL seeds is ready for procurement at all the AVRCs in different blocks, namely Kishanganj (131.7 qtl), Anta (90 qtl) and Hindoli (92.25 qtl). Wheat varieties—HD 2967, Raj 4037 (97.5 qtl), Raj 4079 (34.2 qtl), HI 8498 and HI 8713—were undertaken in this Seed Production Program. Further, the seeds will be processed, packed and tagged for supplying in the market during the next sowing season. The Custom Hiring Service Centers (CHSC) at Blocks Anta, Kishanganj, Nainwa and Hindoli has been equipped with more farm machineries to make them available for customer hiring to the farmers.

Under the Water Conservation Program, farm pond digging was started in the districts of Baran and Hindoli, where farmers can use the harvested rain water for different purposes. Various farm ponds under water conservation programme were made in Blocks Kishanganj (2 ponds) and Anta (4 ponds). Collection of soil samples were also started by Agriculture Research Station, Ummedganj, Kota (Rajasthan) and IARI, Pusa (Rajasthan). Multi-crop seed cum fertilizer drills were also received from Seth Agro, Indore (MP) by all the three blocks, namely Kishanganj, Anta and Hindoli.

Procurement of Raw wheat seeds under Seed Production Program at Rajasthan

An Exhibition of Farmers Produce by Hindoli Farmers Producer Co. Ltd. at Dehradun

From 13th to 19th May, 2017, Hindoli Farmers Producer Company Limited participated in Exhibition organized at Dehradun, Uttarakhand, where various farmers produce and SHG products were showcased for sale in the exhibition. The natural products like three varieties of naturally flavored Honey were the exquisite products along with Turmeric, Coriander, Papad, Red chilli powder and Washing powder sold under the umbrella brand named “Dharini”. In the first two days Papad was sold like hot cake with more orders placed. This stall was unique in itself in this grand Mela, as no other stall showcased the naturally flavored Honey. All the products even being organic compared to the market price were quite economical. To conclude, ISAP through the branded unique natural products introduced in such a grand Mela had succeeded in introducing the “direct from farm to the kitchen” concept in introducing the organic brands and thus touching many of the human hearts.

An Exhibition of Farmers Produce by Hindoli Farmers Producer Co. Ltd. at Dehradun

SFAC-sponsored Projects

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

Haveri, Dharwad and Koppal are the major Mango growing districts of Karnataka. During 2016, ISAP had registered one FPO in each district to strengthen the mango farmers. After completion of 1 year of the registration, our three FPOs participated in the Mango Mela organized by the Horticulture Department at district level.

The mangoes were collected from the individual farmers and brought to the ripening centers, where the mangoes were naturally ripened avoiding the use of any chemicals, such as Carbide. About three to four different varieties of mangoes were available at the Exhibitions. The prices of mangoes were also kept low compared to the market rate as it was bought directly from the producer and brought to the consumers. In the Mela, bulk quantities of mangoes were successfully sold by the FPOs.

The district level participation of FPOs of the Districts of Haveri, Dharwad and Koppal at Mango Mela organized by the Horticulture Department at Karnataka

In the case of Kayakalpa Farmers Producer Company Ltd. at Dharwad, 10 quintals of mangoes were purchased from the FPO member farmers, the price was more than the previous price that the member farmers got by selling directly in the local Mandis. The mangoes were then further sold at good cost. In the case of Abhinavshree Farmers Producer Company Ltd., Koppal, 1,150 kg mangoes of different varieties were purchased from the member farmers, ripened at FPO level and sold in the Exhibition. About 1,150 kg of mangoes were sold at good price with a good marginal profit.

Such collective actions at the FPO level helped to gain the member farmers trust and even the company got the chance to learn about the market and its demands so that this can further help the FPOs to plan their activities accordingly in future.

The success of FPOs in bring the varieties of mangoes and showcasing them at the Exhibition was declared and captured by the local newspaper at 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 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:-

During May, implementation of the activities planned during the month of April has started. The project activities for the annual year 2017–18 include IFS Demonstrations, IFS Trainings, IFS Cross Learning Visits and Kharif Demonstrations. Installation of the IFS Demonstrations was completed in the State of Telangana, however, the installation is under process in Maharashtra. Training farmers have started at both the project locations. The topics covered are Integrated Nutrient Management, Integrated Pest Management and Good Agriculture Practices, such as use of organic inputs, use of improved agricultural equipments and soil testing. Two more FPOs were registered during the month of May and at present with a total number of 14 registered FPOs in Maharashtra.

The IFS demonstration and training given to the farmers at Telangana

Agri-Clinic Agri-Business Program

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

A Success Story


Name: Dr. Ahmed Hussain
Age: 48 years
Father’s name: Late Abdul Jabber
Mother’s name: Amina Begam
Address: Goalpara, Assam
Business: Wholesale and retail shop of veterinary medicines and farm inputs
Turnover: INR 5 crore

“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon our will, they soon become inevitable“–Christopher Reeve.

Will power, that is all, is needed to accomplish what we feel impossible. Conquering with the same will, Dr. Ahmed Hussain has fabricated his business to an eminent stand. Starting his career as a temporary practionner in government hospital (1996–1999), he had never anticipated that he will ever start a business.

“My father retired in 1998, we had financial complications, back then and I had to look after the whole family. So, I started a small Poultry farm at my home”. His father was the Principal of Rakal Dubi School at Goalpara, Assam.

His father’s retirement brought a stagnant phase in the family. Also, Dr. Ahmed Hussain 6 months’ salary was pending. It was a struggling phase for Dr. Ahmed Hussain, and he used to buy goods on credits from the shops.

As a part time he started working as a consultant in his friend’s feed shop. He gave free of cost suggestions to the farmers coming with their problems and sold vetenairy medicines for only one to two hours. “I routinely used to visit my friend’s shop to buy feeds for 1–2 days a week, there I gave free consultancy services to the farmers and used to sell the medicines that I bought from Guwahati”. Day after day the strength of farmers increased and gave him confidence. “This gave me assurance that I can do it and I can do it better”.

In 2003, after the endorsement of his salary he bought a small shop in Goalpara. “I was left with only INR 5,000/- in hand to purchase the medicines and run the shop”. Despite copious pressure from the family and relatives, he did not take financial support from them. “I thought this particular business should be my own”. He got full support from the farmers due to his good will and ethical practices. During the initial days, earning was not generous as he did not charge fixed fee to the farmers and also did not have enough capital to expand the retail business. “Every day I used to calculate how much I have earned? I used to bring INR 55/- home daily and attended my family in that”. He got many opportunities to acquire a huge capital from his relatives, but he believed that money is not the matter of concern, knowledge is the primary concern.

Once he saw that some dealers were selling feeds to the farmers with altercations. He was very frustrated by seeing that for earning just meager profits, these dealers are putting the farmers into harm. So, he started feed business to efface the damages done to the farmers by those dealers.

At the initial stage, he struggled a lot in the business as there were no stock point at Goalpara and he could not purchase the feeds in bulk due to confined capital. But, all these complications didn’t break him off and he fought against all the odds. Now, he has got a stock point at Goalpara.

His idea for being a successful entrepreneur needs confidence and knowledge at grass root level about the field which he desires to enter as a businessman. It will boost his desires and eagerness to bustle in business.

Now, he is a successful entrepreneur having dealership of more than 30 companies and more than 200 farmers are connected with him as his regular customers. He has also supported more than 20 farmers to set up their own feeds, wholesale and retail business. His business is now extended to Barpeta, Bongalgaon and Dhubri districts. Presently, his business has a turnover of about INR 5 crore per year with six employees working under him. ISAP ACABC training shaped his future by providing the basic knowledge about doing business on feeds and marketing the information. At present, Dr. Ahmed Hussain is doing the same by helping the farmers set up their own businesses.

Dr. Ahmed Hussain’s wholesale and retail shop of veterinary medicines and farm inputs at Goalpara, Assam

‘Hunar’ Skills Training Program and IFS - John Deere

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

Monthly Activities:-

“Hunar” Skills Program was inaugurated on 1st March, 2016, at Akola, Maharashtra, on 4th April, 2016, at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh and on 4th May, 2016, at Dharwad district of Karnataka. Till now, 443 candidates have been trained at all the three locations. We also started a new batch in Tractor Operator and Mechanic domain on 15th May, 2017, at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, with the strength of 25 candidates.

“Hunar” Skills Training Program

IEX - Hunar Training Program

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

Monthly Activities:-

We have completed the certified training program of six batches till now and have trained 185 candidates in Solar Energy Technician domain. Out of them, 95 trainees have already been placed/self-employed successfully and for remaining candidates the placement is still in process.

IEX - Hunar Training Program at Samastipur, Bihar

Science & Technology:

Dewdrop Water Generation from Air Condenser


Many parts of India suffer from acute water shortage. This was due to deficient monsoons in the previous years. But, the hydrological cycle makes sure that a substantial quantity of water is present in the earth’s atmosphere in the form of water vapor anywhere on the Earth. What if we could harvest this water irrespective of where you are, using a small and portable device?

Well, a 22-year old Indian engineering student, Jawwad Patel has invented a device and named it ‘Dewdrop’ which converts atmospheric moisture into potable drinking water. It is just a bottle which just fills and refills itself on its own. Dewdrop sucks air using a fan, filters dust, condenses moisture using Thomson and Peltier effect, mineralizes water and stores it for drinking. It is a 3D printed device. Dewdrop weighs about 900 g which makes it easier to carry anywhere one goes. The device is powered by a 12 V 6000 mAh Li-ion battery. It can generate about 1.86 l/hr of potable drinking water. The need for such a device struck him when he visited Latur, a small town in Marathwada region of Maharashtra where people were literally surviving without water. It also assuages the drinking water needs of the people who trek in mountains, camp in deserts and forests, fish in the sea, and work in mines or remote areas.

Source: Techstory

Prominent Contributors to Agriculture:

Dr. R. Pankaja Reddy

Dr. R. Pankaja Reddy was born to Shri R. Jagannath Reddy and Smt Tara in a small village of Telangana State on 13th May, 1935. She was a brilliant student from the beginning and studied with the support of scholarships. She was interested in Botany from childhood and did Graduation in Botany in 1952 from Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University, Hyderabad, and later switched over to agriculture as a plant breeder. She did her M.Sc. (Agriculture) at Indian Agriculture Research Institute, New Delhi, and received prestigious Rockefeller fellowship during the course. She was the first women in India to bag the Rockefeller fellowship. She considers her M.Sc. thesis “Heterosis in Sorghum” as one of the best contributions. After completion of Ph.D. she moved to horticulture for a Postdoctoral fellowship at Ohio, US, where she worked on ornamental plants. She was very keen in returning to India and serve Indian agriculture. Later at Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), she worked on the wheat lines provided to India by Dr. Norman Borlaug. She screened these segregating lines in the field at IARI. She fondly recalls how Dr. Borlaug could recognize his wheat material from a distance in wheat fields and how fast he used to walk in the fields. She was fortunate to work under Dr. M.S. Swaminathan.

During her service she used to visit the agriculture field everyday and record the observations. Plant breeding is an art as well as science. She owed her skill of identification of plant materials among many to Dr. Borlaug. She feels that we have to understand the crop and its needs to harvest high. An example she narrated was excess of irrigation hampers groundnut germination and it reduces pod formation in Pigeon pea. She was very systematic and is an inspiration not only to women scientists, but also to men. A simple living and high thinking woman, she hailed from a small village from an agricultural family, worked with world class scientists, served Indian dry-land agriculture for several decades.

After retirement she preferred her native place rather than Hyderabad urban life with an interest to spend retired life close to farming. She opines that Agricultural courses in India should have 6-months training in small villages with farmers, so that they can learn the traditional methods and combine them with modern technology. She expressed that for effective transfer of technology and benefit of agriculture all the experts and officials should visit the farmers and agricultural fields during 6:00–11:00 AM and 4:00–6:00 PM, the best time that suits farmers’ working hours. Presently, she is living in a small village of Telangana State spending time with farming community.

Source: indianbotanists

Do you know


Mangosteen can be found freely growing in the Nilgiri hills, all the way down to Kanyakumari and Kerala, and are in season during the monsoons. The fruit has a uniform sweet taste that is to the liking of one and all. It is delicate and juicy. Although grown locally, Mangosteen can be quite expensive but worth every penny. The tree grows from 6 to 25 m (19.7 to 82.0 ft) tall. The fruit of Mangosteen is sweet and tangy, juicy, somewhat fibrous, with fluid-filled vesicles (like the flesh of citrus fruits), with an inedible, deep reddish-purple colored rind when ripe. In each fruit, the fragrant edible flesh that surrounds each seed is botanically endocarp, i.e. the inner layer surrounding the seed in a fruit. Seeds are almond-shaped and sized. Mangosteen is referred to as “queen of fruits” or “fruit of the gods”. Mangosteen conatins xanthones are thought to support many of the vital functions of the body, including immune health.

Source: benefitsofmangosteen


News Highlights

Government buys 29.26 million tonnes of wheat

Government agencies purchased 29.26 million tonnes (MT) of wheat during the Rabi marketing season this year and as buying continues in UP, MP and Rajasthan, officials are confident of procuring 30 MT this year, still short of target. “Till May 31, we will continue to buy from MP, followed by UP and Rajasthan till June 15. We will easily procure 30 MT of wheat this year for the central pool,” said an official of the Food Corporation of India.

However, wheat purchases at this level will be lower than the target of 33 MT set earlier this year. In Uttar Pradesh, where Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced that 8 MT of wheat would be purchased from farmers when he took over, procurement had reached 2.4 MT as of May 25. That’s still a three-fold increase from 800,000 tonnes in the previous year. The Department of Food & Public Distribution had set a target of 3 million tonnes in the state.

Wheat procurement in Punjab until May 25 was 11.65 MT, higher than the target of 11.5 MT, the FCI official said. Procurement in Haryana was 7.41 MT, short of the target of 7.5 MT. In Madhya Pradesh, government agencies bought 6.53 MT of the grain against the target of 8.5 MT and in Rajasthan too the procurement was short of the goal of 1.75 MT, the official said. In Uttar Pradesh, where the Yogi Adityanath administration wants to ensure that farmers get remunerative prices, wheat procurement will remain close to 4 million tonnes, procurement state government officials said.

Read more at: economictimes

Basmati export benefits from ban on DA, exporters seek similar move for non-basmati

Basmati, premium rice, has brought back flavor in the export for the domestic companies who are hailing timely payments from overseas buyers after the Indian government banned documents against acceptance (DA) for the commodity in the current marketing season. The exporters are mulling to seek similar DA restriction for export of non-basmati from India in the ensuing marketing season.

The practice of DA had tilted the basmati trade in favor of overseas buyers due to raise in default, delayed payments and price manipulations that adversely affected domestic companies. The DA allowed export of consignment without settlement of payments. Even though DA has been banned in the last year for export of basmati, but the practice is still prevalent in case of export of non-basmati from India.

"The curb on DA in export of basmati has decreased defaults in the trade and also given control over prices to the domestic exporters," executive director, All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA) Rajen Sudershan told ET. Sudershan said that the rice exporters lobby is contemplating to seek ban on DA in case of non-basmati from the Indian government. "The move will boost export and also benefit different stakeholders in the rice trade," he said.

The rice exporters maintain that the ban on DA had brought benefits to domestic companies as well as farmers who received timely and higher remuneration this time compared to the previous marketing season. "The policy amendment on DA by government has given confidence to exporters who were exploited by buyers once consignments have been delivered," Vijay Sethia past president of AIREA said.

Sethia said that the practice of DA allowed buyers to manipulate all companies who were forced to compromise on margins.

This year the ban on DA has promoted transaction through Cash against documents and Letter of Credit. "It has lead to better rice realization to exporters and higher remuneration to farmers," Sethia said. The export of basmati this season stood around 3.99 million tonnes till March 2017 compared to 4.4-million tonnes in 2015–16. The Indian basmati export has been affected due to less basmati trade to Iran after the gulf nation introduced price regulation of $850 per tonne on basmati import.

Read more at: economictimes

Government hikes sugarcane FRP by Rs. 25 per quintal for 2017–18:

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday has agreed to fix the fair and remunerative price (FRP) for sugarcane at Rs. 255 per quintal for the new sugar season (October–September). This marks a Rs. 25 per quintal increase compared to the previous year. This 11% rise in FRP has taken place after two years. Last year, the government had kept prices unchanged at Rs. 230 per quintal. In 2009–10, FRP was about Rs. 130 per quintal. The latest revision is the seventh increase since 2010–11, marking a 96% increase. Meanwhile, industry association body, the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), said sugar prices in wholesale and retail are likely to correct with the latest development as demand for sugar by the industry was less.

FRP is fixed by the central government keeping in view the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). It is the minimum assured price that farmers get. Some state governments declare State Advisory Price (SAP) which is above the FRP to protect farmers’ interest. “Keeping in view the interest of sugarcane farmers and given the importance of the sugar industry, the Union cabinet gave its approval for fixing FRP of sugarcane at Rs. 255 per quintal for the sugar season 2017–18, linked to a basic recovery rate of 9.5% subject to a premium of Rs. 2.68 per quintal for 0.1% point increase in recovery above that level,”an official statement said.

Read more at: economictimes

Fisheries sector expected to touch Rs. 1.5 lakh crore by 2020: Assocham

Urging the government to double the outlay of Rs. 3,000 crore for development and management of fisheries sector, apex industry body Assocham on Tuesday said that India could achieve about 16 million metric tonnes (MMT) of inland and marine fisheries’ production by 2019–20 thereby adopting a target oriented approach to achieve eight per cent growth year-on-year.

“Aided by government’s efforts to bring systemic changes in processing sector, the domestic segment in raw and processed fisheries sector in value terms is expected to touch Rs. 1.5 lakh crore by 2020 and total domestic retail market is forecast to cross Rs. 61 lakh crore or almost triple in next 4–5 years,” noted a just-concluded Assocham study titled ‘Fisheries in India: Potential & Prospects; Reference state – West Bengal.’

“Thus coupled with exports, fisheries sector in India should aim at a target of Rs. 2 lakh crore by 2020 in value terms,” added the study conducted by agri & food processing division of Assocham.

“However, most of the incremental fish production will have to come from aquaculture and ‘Blue Revolution’ will provide necessary impetus in this direction,” said Mr Rawat.

“Achievement of ambitious targets in increasing fish production is possible only through harnessing potential in aquaculture,” he added.

The study further noted that since India is endowed with over 8,000 kilometers (kms) long coastline, exclusive economic zone of over 2 million square kms of continental shelf, there is scope to increase marine catch, which has turned sluggish lately.

Global fish production is likely to grow by about 1.5 per cent during 2015–2020 and reach a total of about 183 MT (million tonnes), while with value added/downstream products the trade in this sector could cross $200 billion by 2025, this despite the sluggish growth in exports, highlighted the ASSOCHAM study.

“Marine/capture fisheries is set to hover around 93 MT and aquaculture production (89 MT) could overtake by 2021–22,” it said.

Read more at: economictimes

Australia, US new markets for Karnataka mangoes

After West Asia and Europe, Australia and USA have been emerging as the new market for mangoes grown in the state, Karnataka Mango Development and Marketing Corporation managing director Kadire Gowda said today.

Interacting with reporters at the venue of the mango–jackfruit festival which began here, Gowda said importers in Australia had sought 200 tonnes of mangoes from the state for the first time this year, while the demand for Karnataka mangoes had risen from 100 tonnes last year to 200 tonnes now.

He said the Corporation would export 200 to 300 tonnes of mangoes this year to the US which was turning out to be a good market with potential.

Three schemes had been introduced by the Corporation to promote mango marketing, he said.

Online trading, marketing mangoes on wheels in residential areas in Bengaluru and mango picking tourism were the schemes conceived, he added.

"Mango picking tourism" was a scheme in which consumers would be taken to mango orchards in Bengaluru in a KSRTC bus for picking ripened mangoes of their choice and paying the farmers on the spot.

The consumers would have to bear half the cost of transportation, he said.

Read more at: economictimes

Agriculture experts call on farmers to focus on self marketing

Agri experts today called on farmers to market their own produce and self production of seeds to cut down on the cost of agricultural production.

Punjab being one of the highest potato producing states, its farmers can considerably add to their income through this crop, they said.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in association with the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, the Government of India, & Mehram Publication, organised a session on 'Varietal Improvement, Storage and Marketing of Potatoes' as part of the Innovative Farmers' Meet here.

Paramjit Singh Brar, Chief Agricultural Officer, Ludhiana, called on the farmers to produce seeds for cultivation themselves.

He also exhorted them to market their agricultural produce and diversify into producing agri-related products like corn, vegetables and milk products to sell in the market.

He said, "Farmers can easily devote a part of their land to produce seeds for their next crop be it paddy or wheat. This will save them a lot of money on buying readymade seeds from the market and thus add to their profit."

"Farmers should not shy away from marketing their agricultural produce to earn more profit and thus increase their income. We have a very hard working farming community, which produces more and more every year but is shy to market it directly. For this they can connect with technical experts to learn how to effectively market their produce and also produce agri-products to add to their income," he said.

Satpal Sharma, from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, said, "After paddy and wheat, farmers of Punjab produce large quantity of potatoes. At present 20 lakh hectare land in the country is under potato cultivation while 90,000 hectare land in Punjab is under potato cultivation which leads to production of 23 lakh tones potato."

Punjab also sells 75 per cent of potato seeds to the rest of the country, he said.

If farmers grow potato seeds on even one fourth of the land, then we need only 15 lakh ton potato crop with seed, he said.

“We need to grow and market potato as seed for which need is for the agricultural scientists, industry and farmers to come together. Potato can help farmers earn very high profit," he said.

Ramandeep Singh from Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana, said, "Packaging of agricultural produce holds key to sell agri produce more effectively and earn more. Farm market concept needs to be propagated in Punjab more effectively."

Farmers especially those having their land along the highways can also sell their produce better, he said.

Self marketing can help farmers increase their income, he added.

Read more at: economictimes


“The farmer is the only person in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale and pays the freight both ways - John F. Kennedy.”

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