Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals

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

INDEX

- ISAP Activities

Success Story (Agriclinic-Agribusiness Program)

Science & Technology

Prominent Contributors to Agriculture

Do you know

- News Highlights

ISAP FILE

ISAP, the parent body of IAP, which also started as an electronic group in 2001, achieved the following highlights since then:
  • ISAP has set-up 150 FPOs and is in the process of developing 100 more FPOs in the States of Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Telangana.
  • ISAP web page has been liked and followed by more than 195,500 numbers of people. Indian Agriculture Professional (IAP), a part of ISAP, has also crossed more than 189,000 professional members following the page in the network
  • Reached 1,500 villages, 250 blocks, 100 Districts in 18 States
  • Touched and transformed lives of 5 lakhs Indian farming families
  • Provided Entrepreneurship Development training to 5,600 agri-graduates and incubated 2,150 successful ventures
  • Trained 10,000 BPL rural youth on vocational skills and helped them gain meaningful livelihoods
  • Satisfactorily answered more than 6 lakhs farmer queries through Kisan Call Centres (KCC) in Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) and Gulbarga (Karnataka)
  • Successfully established two 100 bedded rural hospitals in West Bengal
  • Successfully running multi-seater health helpline in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh)
  • Set-up 36 water treatment plants for village drinking water supply schemes in various States
  • Successfully running Community Radio Station "Kissan Vani" in Sironj, District Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh)

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ISAP Activities

OCPF-IFS Project, Rajasthan


ISAP is working with the small and marginalized farmers in Baran, Bundi and Sawai Madhopur districts of Rajasthan through the OCPF-IFS project. Key interventions are being made to increase the productivity of field crops, vegetables and fruits through implementation of advanced crop production technologies, integrated farming practices, resource conservation like watershed harvesting management and generating in-farm resources like vermi-compost and bio-pesticides.

Efforts are being made to strengthen the FPOs through building linkages to marketing and value chain stakeholders. Agri-Village Resource Centers (AVRCs) have been established in all six operational blocks of the project to provide a common platform for the FPOs to run the enterprises. These FPOs have been provided with tractors, farm machinery, warehouse, shade net house for nursery, vermi-compost pit, medical dispensary, children’s play zone, and a large platform for drying and winnowing of farmers’ produce.

Monthly Update:-

Inauguration of AVRCs at three Blocks - Anta, Khandar and Nainwa

On 10th October, Agribusiness Village Resource Centers (AVRCs) at Blocks - Anta (Dist. Baran), Khandar (Dist. Sawai Madhopur) and Nainwa (Dist. Bundi) were inaugurated. The Chief Guest for the occasion was Shri. Imadeddine Rouini from OCPF-Morocco. Other dignitaries who were present in the inauguration ceremony were Dr. S.A. Patil (Chairman, Karnataka Agriculture Mission), Shri. Sujit Sarkar (Sr. Manager Agronomy Market & Data Analysis at OCP S.A.), Dr. D.K. Singh (Programme Coordinator of KVK-Anta) and Shri. Sudarshan Suryawanshi (CEO-ISAP). Like AVRCs at other locations, this AVRC will also consist of FPO office, Dal Mill, Seed Processing Unit, Chilly Processing Unit, Shed-net Nursery, Vermi-compost Unit, Custom Hiring Service Centre, Warehouse, Input store, Health Care Center, a Computer Training Centre and a Children Recreation Centre.

The Chief Guest Imadeddine Rouini along with Dr. S.A. Patil and Shri. Sudarshan inaugurating the AVRC Ratadia (Block-Anta, Dist. Baran)

The AVRC displaying the goods made by SHGs at AVRC-Ratadia (Block-Anta, Dist. Baran)


The local newspapers publish the news on inauguration of all the three AVRCs of Rajasthan


SFields visit of OCPF–IFS Project farmers at the three Blocks - Anta, Khandar and Nainwa

After the inauguration of AVRCs, all the delegates along with the Chief Guest visited the fields of 10 successful OCPF–IFS Project farmer members in all the three Blocks - Anta (Dist. Baran), Khandar (Dist. Sawai Madhopur) and Nainwa (Dist. Bundi).

Field visit of OCPF–IFS Farmer: Mr. Moti Lal of village Patunda (Block Anta, Dist. Baran)

Field visit of OCPF–IFS Farmer: Mr. Rameswar Lal Meena of village Sindhpuri (Block Anta, Dist. Baran)


SFAC-sponsored Projects

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

Objectives of the project are:

• Strengthening the farmers’ competence through training programs, exposure visits and demonstration of the best agricultural and allied practices.
• Increasing the marketing opportunities for output marketing via collective action and increasing linkage of the producer groups to fair and remunerative markets.
• Providing input, information and modern technological services pertaining to agriculture and allied activities by developing community-based sustainable agribusiness models.

Monthly Activities: (Karnataka)

1. Capacity building

Training of 9 FPOS conducted by “BIRD” under the assistance of SFAC and NABARD ,Hotel Kamat Yatri Niwas,Dharwad

In the month of October, 5-days training and awareness by Bankers Institute for Rural Development (BIRD) under the sponsorship of Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) was provided to the 9 FPOs of Karnataka spread across the Districts – Hospet, Dharwad, Hangal, Haveri, Hubballi, Belagavi, Gadag. Objective of the workshop was to make FPO directors and CEOs of ISAP to understand the Business plans and the challenges faced by the farmers while doing business and establishing outlets.

The program was inaugurated by Dr. Diwakar Hegde (DGM, NABARD) and Mr. KL Vinay (Retd. GM, NABARD). From the 9 FPOs, 30 members participated in the training program. The State coordinator, District coordinators from ISAP and ICCOA took part in this programme. In the entire session, Dr. Diwakar explained about the identification and case exercises on backward linkages. He also explained about the components of business plan, Inventory & Balance Sheet preparation, marketing & value addition strategies analysis. Meanwhile, Mr. Vinay discussed about the Survey techniques for data collection and he also conducted a practice session on the use of cashbook, bank book, vouchers, etc.

A training on preparation of business plans held at Dharwad, Karnataka


Visits to Kalmeshwar Farmers Producers Co. Ltd. (Navalgund) and KVK-Dharwad

On 24th of this month, farmers were taken for a field visit of a successful FPO, named Kalmeshwar Farmers Producers Co. Ltd. at Navalgund (Dist. Dharwad). Farmer members understood about the factors which led to the success of Kalmeshwar FPO and how they conduct their business activities. They observed a wide range of bamboo cultivation, drumstick plantation along with chilli as one of the crop used for intercropping at the FPO.

A field visit by farmer members to Kalmeshwar FPO at Navalgund, Dharwad

On the same day, during afternoon session the team visited KVK-Dharwad and understood about the cultivation of the following:
• Marigold using different techniques, such as raised bed, mulching techniques, etc;
• Orchids using Aerophonic technique;
• Lettuce using Fertigation techniques.

A training on different cultivation techniques conducted at KVK of Dharwad, Karnataka


The Project SHARE

This is the second phase of the Project Sustainable Harvest Agriculture Resources and Environment (SHARE).

The project will augment yields of 30,000 farmers across eight districts of Maharashtra (Amravati, Akola, Nagpur, Wardha, Yavatmal, Washim, Jalna and Aurangabad) and three districts of Telangana (Nizamabad, Asifabad and Adilabad). This is being done sustainably through input–output management, capacity building of the farmers, imparting best package of practices through creation of demonstrations/model plots, creating water harvesting structures, facilitating market linkages and aggregating them into sustainable FPOs engaged in profitable agribusiness operations. The project will also impart trainings to the lead farmers on following IFS through promotion of livestock rearing, raising of horticultural crops and vermi-composting. The project will engage 30,000 farmers from 30 blocks and about 400 villages from the respective States of Maharashtra and Telangana, which will be mobilized into 30 new FPOs. The project will also create 600 women SHGs engaging over 6,000 rural women and imparting skill development trainings for engaging them in small-scale business enterprises.

Monthly Activities:-

A monitoring visit was undertaken by representative of Ernst and Young LLP (EnY), Mumbai, the external agency employed by Monsanto for assessment of the project activities. The monitoring team comprised of Ms. Samantha Ann Dsouza from the Development Advisory Services of EnY and Mr. Shaibal Chatterjee, Head-Operations from ISAP Head Office, Delhi. The visit was undertaken in the project locations of Districts Yavatmal and Wardha of Maharashtra. Given below are some of the snapshots of the visit.

A visit to the IFS Demo Plot of farmer member-Madhukar Dhage with portable vermicompost unit and cotton farm at village Vaigaon (Dist. Wardha)

Team discussion on future plans with the BODs-Ner FPO in village Chikani (Dist. Yavatmal)

A visit to the IFS Demo Plot of farmer-Kishore Chandikapure with a portable vermicompost unit at village Shelu (Block Arni, Dist. Yavatmal)


A meeting with women members of Ramai Mata SHG in village Jwala (Block Arni, Dist. Yavatmal)

A meeting with farmer members of Baliraja FIG in village Jwala (Block Arni, Dist. Yavatmal)


Agri-Clinic Agri-Business Program

ISAP is running an Entrepreneurship 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

Ganesh Sandu Langde – A Farmer Turned Into An Opinion Leader

Name: Ganesh Sandu Langde
Age: 40 years
Address: Village-Undangaon, District-Aurangabad, Maharashtra
Business: Farming


Mr. Ganesh Sandu Langde, a 40-year-old farmer from village Undangaon of Aurangabad district of Maharashtra has set an example in his village in going beyond conventional methods of farming and succeeding at it. The journey of Ganesh from being a routine farmer to an opinion leader started just a year ago when he got associated with Unnat Kisan Project, a CSR initiative of Dow Agro Sciences being implemented in the villages of Sillod taluka of Aurangabad district.

Under Unnat Kisan Project, Ganesh cultivated Maize during the Kharif season of 2016 in 1 acre demonstration plot. He was provided with complete package of inputs including seeds, fertilizers, micronutrients, plant protection chemicals, training and advisory on the package of practices from time to time. During the season, project staff would visit his field regularly and provided hand-holding support. As a result, he got an enhanced yield of 35% which led to an increased income from the same plot as compared to his regular farming. Fascinated by this increase in yield he motivated other farmers of the village also to join the project.

Buoyed by the success in Kharif, Ganesh now volunteered to experiment in Rabi season also and accepted to plant Gram (Chana) crop deviating from the regular practice of planting Wheat or winter maize. Gram crop is generally not popular amongst the farmers of the project area as there is a notion that the leaves of gram cause itching in human body and the crop itself is harmful for the soil health though the reality is totally different. Gram, being a leguminous crop fixes atmospheric nitrogen and thus is beneficial for the soil health.

With all the prescribed units of inputs and advisory provided under the Project for Gram crop, Ganesh again witnessed an increase in yield, this time by 40%. Tasting the success twice, Ganesh epitomised “Unnat Kisan”. He is now an opinion leader and a frontrunner in getting fellow farmers linked with the project. He has also volunteered himself to become a promoter and a member of the Board of Directors of the upcoming Farmer Producer Organization (FPO), a company of farmers to be registered under the Companies Act. This company of primary producers aims at providing forward, backward and market linkages to their member farmers.

“After joining Unnat Kisan Project I have started liking farming”, says a beaming Ganesh, who is now motivated to spread the knowledge gained from the project to other fellow farmers as well.

Ganesh Sandu Langde of Undangaon village, Aurangabad district, Maharashtra



Skill Development

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

S.No.

Project/Funder

Training Target

Total Trained

Total Placed

1.

IDRF-Skill Program

300

358

247

2.

John Deere "Hunar"

720

559

171

3.

CNH-Skill Program

160

162

40

4.

IEX "Hunar"

175

185

78

5.

RPL-PMKVY

5000

1130

6.

CASE construction

90

30

TOTAL

6,445

2,424

536


‘Hunar’ Skills Training Program and IFS - John Deere

ISAP and Global Communities has initiated the Hunar Skills Program in Dharwad region, Karnataka; Bhopal region, Madhya Pradesh; and Nagpur/Akola region, Maharashtra. This programme is funded by John Deere, India. The main objective of this program is to provide training on operations and maintenance of tractors and combines, as means to improve livelihoods and increase qualified labour force in remote markets.

Monthly Activities:-

“Hunar” Skills Training Programs were inaugurated on 1st March, 2016 at Akola (Maharashtra), on April, 2016 at Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), and on 4th May, 2016 at Dharwad (Karnataka). Till now, 559 candidates have been trained at all the three locations. Also, 1,350 farmers have been trained on Integrated Farming System (IFS).


“Hunar” Skills Training Program on IFS



Hunar Skill and IFS Training Program: CASE New Holland

ISAP has initiated the Hunar Skill Training Program funded by CASE New Holland in the three rural regions of Dharwad and Hasan (Karnataka) and Jaipur (Rajasthan). The main objective of this program is to provide training on operation of Case Backhoe Loader, as means to improve the livelihoods and increase the qualified labor forces in remote markets. The training course is of 60 days duration, which includes 45 days of classroom training and 15 days of practical training. Classroom training includes both theory and practical on machinery and equipment. It is a non-residential training program and completely free-of-cost for the trainees. In particular, the program aims to provide skills training to 60 individuals. Apart from this, the program also aims to improve the agricultural productivity by introducing Integrated Farming System (IFS) and by promoting innovative techniques during trainings of 900 farmers on IFS, thus catering to the demands of Indian markets.

Monthly Activities:-

On 23rd October, 2017, a new batch on “CASE Operation” domain was started at Jaipur, Rajasthan, with strength of 10 candidates. The classes and trainings are in progress.


Classes and trainings on operation of Case Backhoe Loader at Jaipur, Rajasthan


RPL Skill Training Program – PMKVY

Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals (ISAP) in association with Agriculture Skill Sector Council of India (ASCI) is organizing Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and skill training program in the domain of pulse cultivation under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY). The target is to train 5,000 farmers in the six regions of Rajasthan, namely Anta, Kishanganj, Hindoli, Nainwa, Bonli and Khandar.
The main objective of the training is to acknowledge the skills farmers already possess and appreciate the same under RPL in PMKVY. Moreover, making them aware about the modern scientific cultivation techniques that can help in increasing the production as well as enhance the quality of the produce. Apart from the main domain training, the trainees are imparted with the knowledge of current market demands and cashless mode of transaction. The project aims to create the registry of skilled workforce in agriculture sector and assess the gaps that are needed to be bridged for existing workforces in the agriculture industry.
A batch of 50 farmers is trained for consecutive 2 days followed by an assessment test on the third day. Farmers are provided with a certificate and monetary reward on successfully clearing the assessment test.

Monthly Activities:-

RPL skill training program was inaugurated on 9th August, 2017. Total 1,130 candidates in 24 batches were trained till now in the four different regions of Rajasthan, namely Hindoli, Kishanganj, Bonli and Khandar. Till now, 364 candidates cleared the test in 11 batches. Results for rest of the batches are awaited.


Candidates trained under RPL skill training program of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY) in the regions of Rajasthan


Science & Technology:

Edible water bottle “Ooho” for the future




A bottle or container which is made of plastic, glass, or metal for holding drinking water is well known in the art but a bottle or container which is consumable along with of water, liquids or other beverages sounds very interesting and unbelievable, isn’t it?
In the past, bottles were used for storing drinking water and other beverages over the advantage of being durable, lightweight, and easy to carry. However, the common and convenient practice of drinking water and other beverages from plastic bottles comes with many problems like being non-biodegradable material and negative effects on health and environment also. According to National Geographic Kids survey, only one plastic bottle is recycled out of every six plastic bottles.
Therefore, there exists a need to use a renewable, bio-degradable, eco-friendly, reusable packaging materials for liquids which may be consumable along with the liquids thereby avoiding need for throwing used packaging around creating and increasing different types of pollutions. With the advancement in technology, researchers have now come up with an edible water bottle (water ball). A water ball is new way of packaging a liquid, say water, that proposes an alternative to the plastic bottle.
Yes, you read it right, the edible or consumable or chewable water bottle is a blob or drop-like water container which is made from sodium alginate gel. The biodegradable blob is created to make a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastic bottles. The water ball encloses a small volume of water in a membrane which is made from brown algae and calcium chloride. The technique of spherification, of shaping a liquid into spheres is disclosed in US Patent 2403547. Using the culinary technique of spherification, the water is enclosed in a double jellylike membrane to generate a gelification on the peripheral of the liquid. Calcium deposited on the membrane creates hardened membrane, and hard shell in the manner of an egg shell. The final package is simple, cheap resistant, hygienic, biodegradable and even eatable. The edible water ball is tasteless, although flavors can be added to it. Recently, Skipping Rocks Lab has actually implemented this concept and come up with a bio-degradable, edible water bottle (water ball) and the ball is named as “Ooho”. The edible container can be consumed directly. A layer of edible container can be unwrapped off to keep the peripheral clean for consumption. The water ball will replace millions of plastic bottles thrown away every year.

Source: techstory



Prominent Contributors to Agriculture:

Dr. Suman Sahai (July, 1993 – Present)Dr. Suman Sahai is the founder of the Gene Campaign in India, which is a leading research and advocacy organization, working on issues relating to food, nutrition and livelihoods. She is the voice of the millions of farmers all across the country. Her campaign is currently running in 17 states across the country. Dr. Sahai is the brains and the brawn behind the patent campaign for Azadirachta indica (Neem) and Turmeric (Haldi). She believes that ‘nature’s technology can meet the needs of humanity’. Dr. Suman Sahai, who has had a distinguished scientific career in the field of genetics, was honoured with the 2004 Borlaug Award for her outstanding contribution to agriculture and the environment. Dr. Sahai has served as a faculty member at the Universities of Alberta and Chicago as also the University of Heidelberg. She returned to India and organized Gene Campaign, an organization dedicated to protecting farmers’ rights and food and livelihood security. She chaired the Planning Commission Task Force on ‘Agro-biodiversity and Genetically Engineered Organisms’, for the Eleventh Plan. She has received several national awards and was appointed Knight of the Golden Ark (Netherlands) in 2001. Dr. Suman Sahai, who has had a distinguished scientific career in the field of genetics, is a recipient of the Padma Shri, the Borlaug Award, Outstanding Woman Achiever awards, the Birbal Sahni Gold Medal and the Order of the Golden Ark. She has published extensively on science and policy issues and is a member of several national policy forums on scientific research and education, biodiversity and environment, biotechnology and bioethics as well as intellectual property rights. Dr. Sahai chaired India’s Planning Commission Task Force on ‘Agro Biodiversity and Genetically Engineered Organisms’, for the XIth Plan. She was a member of the Steering Committee of the National Biodiversity Board, the Expert Committee on Biotechnology Policy and the Bioethics Committee of the Indian Council of Medical Research. She has served on the Research Advisory Committees of national scientific institutions. Her name figures in the list of successful women pioneers in India because of her single-minded dedication to her cause, which made the Indian government sit up and take notice of the actual problems faced by Indian farmers.

Source: ncsm.gov.in


Do you know?

Oca Root


Image result for breadfruit

Oca (Oxalis tuberosa) is a member of the widespread family Oxalidaceae, the wood sorrels, and should look somewhat familiar to woodland foragers all over the world. It is known by many names in its native South America, but in the rest of the world it is probably most commonly known as the New Zealand Yam. Oca has thick, succulent stems and clover like leaves. Plants grow up to about 18 in. (45 cm) tall, although the stems frequently sprawl before this point, and up to 3 ft. (91 cm) in diameter, although usually closer to 2 ft. (61 cm). They are fast growing in cool, wet weather and are generally able to outcompete and smother weeds. Because it is attractive and has a long growing season, it can make a good decorative vegetable.

Overall, oca is nutritionally similar to potato. It has about 20% less calories per serving and half as much protein, but carbohydrate content and fiber are similar. A 100-gm (3.5 oz) serving of oca provides almost 40 mg of vitamin C, an important antioxidant that plays a key role in maintaining a healthy immune system and preventing premature aging. The amount of vitamin C found in 100 g of oca equals to more than 60% of the daily value for vitamin C! Some varieties are also loaded with iron (up to 70% of the daily value). Oca is also an excellent source of zinc (100 g of oca covers 12% of the daily value for zinc) and vitamin B2 (55% of the daily value). Furthermore, oca is a good source of fiber, with a 100 g portion of oca providing around 8 g of dietary fiber. In addition to vitamins, minerals and macronutrients, many oca varieties are also notable sources of anthocyanidins and other flavonoids. In addition to being a valuable source of nutrients, oca is very low in calories, which makes it a great, healthy weight loss food for overweight people.


Source: healwithfood

 

News Highlights

Farmers look to harvest the fruits of AI

Come December, tur growers in Karnataka can look forward to the prospect of having a better visibility on the price trend of the red gram at least for the next six months, which could help them take an informed marketing decision.

A multi-variant price forecasting model for tur crop, being developed by Microsoft for the Karnataka government using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms, is expected to help growers.

Similarly, in the next few years, an apple or pomegranate farmer may be able to estimate his crop size based on an image of fruits on a tree in his orchard. Using the same image, even the grading of the produce can be done before it is harvested. Likewise, for a potato farmer, the risk of disease outbreak can be predicted in advance based on emerging weather parameters. And soil moisture levels in the farm can be assessed using an image from remote-sensing satellite to carry out timely irrigation and targeted fertiliser/pesticide application.

Other digital tools
Thanks to AI and a host of digital tools, such as cognitive computing, image processing and advanced analytics by technology majors IBM and Microsoft, precision agriculture is set to get a major boost as innovative solutions take root in the Indian agrarian landscape.

While Microsoft has partnered with Karnataka to develop price-forecasting model, IBM Research Labs is making its tools available to entrepreneurs/start-ups to develop solutions.

“We are making available our technology platform and tools to enable start-ups and entrepreneurs to frame innovative solutions for precision agriculture,” said Sriram Raghavan, Director, IBM Research India. IBM Research, which focusses on the agri-business vertical in India, is working with a couple of Indian firms and running pilots on precision agriculture using technologies, such as geo-spatial analytics, the Internet of Things and forecasting technologies, Raghavan said.

Microsoft proposed a multi-variant agricultural commodity price-forecasting model using historical sowing area, production, yield and weather data sets on its Cortana platform. “We plan to develop such a model for 10 crops; for this season, a model is being developed for tur. We expect these solutions will help farmers take informed decisions when they harvest crops this year,” said Prakash Kammaradi, Chairman of the Karnataka Agricultural Prices Commission.

Read more at: thehindubusinessline

Rabi pulses to compensate losses in Kharif season: Agriculture Minister

The estimated decline in pulses production by about 7 lakh tonnes during Kharif season could get compensated in the coming Rabi (winter sown) season, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh today said.

India's pulses production is estimated to fall to 8.71 million tonnes during Kharif 2017 compared to last year's record output of 9.42 million tonnes, according to the first advance estimate released by the ministry last month. "Last year there was a record production of pulses. In Kharif season this year, there is some decline. But we expect it to compensate in the Rabi season," Singh told reporters.

The minister today reviewed pioneer project 'CHAMAN', which was launched three years ago to boost horticulture sector through use of remote sensing techniques. In the current phase, 185 districts are being covered.

"This project will be completed by March next year," he said adding that data would be provided to all states by March next year based on which strategy could be framed for the growth of this sector.

Singh said the horticulture sector is one of the major drivers of growth in agriculture sector.

India is the second largest producer of vegetables and fruits in the world and is first in the production of banana, mango, lime and lemon, papaya and okra.

Singh said the CHAMAN is a pioneer project in which remote sensing technique is being used for strategic development of horticulture sector as also to increase the farmers' income. The minister said the income of farmers will increase by growing selected crops in the high suitable areas identified under CHAMAN in the current waste lands.

"It gives methodology for preparing reliable estimates of horticulture crops," Singh said, adding that this methodology will help the farmers to generate better income.

The post harvest damage of farmers would be significantly reduced by creation of cold storages.

"In addition, the geo-spatial studies like crop intensification, orchard rejuvenation and aqua-horticulture would further help the farmers to grow their horticultural crops in a profitable manner which will help doubling their income," an official statement said.

Read more at: economictimes


Agriculture ministry maps 185 districts through remote sensing for horticulture

The Union ministry of agriculture has mapped 185 districts under a project using remote sensing technology to identify areas best suited for seven different fruits and vegetables across the country, agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh said on Monday.

The first report, for eight states in the North East, will be ready in December and will be given to the state governments in January, Singh told reporters after a presentation on the project known as CHAMAN or Coordinated Horticulture Assessment and Management using geoinformatics.

“We will have a meeting with the state officials and share the findings with them,” the Union minister said.

The reports from the project for the rest of the districts will be ready in March 2018 for other states will be shared with state governments and agriculture extension departments for advising farmers on crop suitability in the areas, Singh said.

Agriculture ministry officials said that the state governments and industry can set up post-produce infrastructure based on the information provided. The project has mapped major crop growing districts for banana, mango, citrus fruits, potato, onion, tomato and chilly.

The scheme is part of the government’s ambitious target for doubling farmers’ income by 2022. The second phase of the project envisages complete horticulture mapping of the country with two to three major districts for every state.

Read more at: hindustantimes

India’s Wheat Production Estimated At Record Level: US Department Of Agriculture

World Agriculture Production Report by United States Department of Agriculture for the month of October has been published, while report has suggested that heavy rains in nearby nation Bangladesh which may be 78 per cent higher than the long term average of the country ‘with impact on rice production due to landslides etc. around 6, 00,000 Ha of land had been impacted due to flood.

Report has also highlighted about the expectation of record corn yields in People’s Republic of China. It says, ‘USDA estimates China’s 2017-18 corn production at 215.0 million metric tons (mmt), unchanged from last month, down 4.55 mmt or two per cent from last year. Projected area of 35 million hectares is unchanged from last month but down five per cent from last year. Area has shown a downward trend in recent years, particularly in the Northeast, as reductions in government support for corn has increased profitability for alternative crops such as soybeans. Yield is forecast at a record 6.14 tons per hectare, unchanged from last month, and up three per cent from last year.

While Mexico’s corn production has also been project to increase for the year. Mexico is known to be one of the major corn producers of the globe. Australia which is a major producer of wheat may remain low on its winter crops on the other hand, says the USDA estimates. It says, ‘Australia’s 2017-18 wheat production is estimated at 21.5 million metric tons (mmt), down 1.0 mmt or four per cent from last month, and down 12.0 mmt or 36 per cent from last year. Area is estimated at 12.5 million hectares (mha), unchanged from last month, up 0.1 million or one per cent from last year. The yield estimate of 1.72 tons per hectare (t/ha) is the second lowest in the past ten seasons. The two lowest yields occurred in the severe drought years of 2002-03 and 2006-07’.

Read more at: businessworld

‘Foreign investment deals worth $10 b already done in food processing sector’

Foreign investment deals worth $10 billion have already been closed, and the figure may go up further after the conclusion of World Food India in November, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said here on Monday.

Speaking at a curtain raiser for the global mega food event World Food India (WFI), to be held from November 3-5 in New Delhi, Badal said she was confident that partnering with global industry would transform the food economy and double farmers’ income, as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as well as reduce post-harvest losses.

Without disclosing further details of the $10-billion deals, Badal said: “This is just the start. We have beaten the target for the next 2-3 years. All I can disclose at this point is that the deals are in areas such as cold chains, food processing, dairy, marine etc.”

When asked about FDI in non-food items, such as personal care products, the Minister said she was “very hopeful and positive”, even though the Department of Industry and Policy Promotion was the decision-making body.

WFI will provide a platform to over 200 companies from 30 countries, 18 ministerial and business delegations and about 50 global CEOs, from Nestle, Cargill, Kellogs, Mondelez, Tesco, Amway and Walmart, among others. From India, 27 States are likely to participate, along with CEOs from companies such as ITC, Patanjali, Godrej, Haldiram, Bikano, etc.

The event will also showcase the best of Indian and international cuisine at the Food Street, to be curated by WFI’s brand ambassador, chef Sanjeev Kapoor.

Read more at: thehindubusinessline

One-third of those involved in agriculture in India are women: Centre

The Centre on Sunday said that women participation in agriculture is one-third even while the number in a few southern states is close to 50 per cent. The Central government also stated that 7.5 crore women are engaged in milk production activities in the country.

Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ welfare Radha Mohan Singh on Sunday quoted Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to say that women's contribution to Indian agriculture is about 32 percent. “The participation of women agriculture and rural economy in some states such as Hills, Northeast, and Kerala is more than men. Women are involved in 48 per cent agriculture-related employment. At the same time, 7.5 crore women are playing a significant role in milk production and livestock management,” Singh said in the national capital, while addressing a conference on Rashtriya Mahila Kisan Divas.

The minister noted that the government has policy provisions like joint leasing for both domestic and agricultural land under “National Policy for Farmers” to strengthen women’s participating in agriculture and allied activities. He added that necessary structural, functional and institutional measures are being promoted to empower women, besides enabling them to build their abilities and increase access to input technology and other agricultural resources and various initiatives.

The minister noted that in 2016-17 21 techniques related to women were evaluated and 2.56 lakh women were trained in agriculture-related fields like sewing, manufacturing, value addition, rural handicraft, animal husbandry, beekeeping, poultry, fisheries, etc. “At least 30 per cent of the funds are being earmarked for women under various schemes and programmes and development related activities. The current emphasis in the government is on formation of women self-help groups (SHGs) to connect them with micro-credit through activities like capacity building,” Singh stated.

Read more at: newindianexpress

ICAR to study if ‘cow urine’ can be used in organic farming

India’s premier farm research organisation Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has been asked to study if ‘cow urine’ can be used to promote organic farming and submit its report in two months. According to a senior Niti Aayog official, the ICAR has been asked to look into the possibility of converting cow urine into amino acid for use as natural fertiliser to increase farm productivity.

The decision to request the ICAR to conduct this study was taken after a high-level meeting at the Niti Aayog, during which Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Giriraj Singh talked about organic farming and also how cow urine, bio-waste and cow dung can be used in organic farming.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also many times in the past has asked Niti Aayog to hold discussion with Singh as he had done lot of work in the field of organic farming in Bihar, the official said. Singh had reportedly told the Niti Aayog meeting that cow urine is a better alternative to chemical fertilisers and can increase the farm productivity as much as by 4-5 times.

Amino acids is used an essential nutrient for soil and plant health. The prime minister has stressed for expansion of organic farming across the country as part of efforts to transform the agriculture sector entailing better remuneration for the farmers. In 2016, Sikkim became India’s first fully organic state.


Read more at: indianexpress

India targets USD 15 billion from shrimp exports by 2022

India has set a target of earning INR 1 trillion (USD 15.28 billion, EUR 12.99 billion) from its shrimp exports by 2022.

At a recent a stakeholders’ meeting, Indian Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairy, and Fisheries (DADF) Secretary Devendra Chaudhry said the government’s strategy for growing shrimp exports will be focused on increasing demand in the European Union, U.S.A. and Southeast Asia.

The meeting came in the wake of the European Union’s detection of antibiotics including nitrofuran and chloramphenicol in shrimp exported from India, after which the E.U. increased the frequency of inspections of Indian shrimp exports from 10 to 50 percent, starting in October 2016.

Chaudhry didn’t directly mention the European Union’s growing complaints about contamination found in Indian shrimp imports. However, he did call the overuse of antibiotics in Indian aquaculture “a problem” – particularly in shrimp farms and hatcheries, according to a statement from the department he leads. He added that stakeholders concerns and possible causes of the problem were discussed in detail and both questions and suggestions were passed on to various regulatory agencies in the Central and State Governments overseeing regulation of the shrimp trade.

During 2016-17, India earned INR 378 billion (USD 5.78 billion, EUR 4.91 billion) from exporting 1.13 million tons of shrimp. In the previous year, India earned USD 4.69 billion (EUR 3.99 billion) from exporting 940,000 metric tons of shrimp. According to the DADF, frozen shrimp maintained its position last year as the No. 1 contributor to India’s seafood exports, with 38.28 percent share in quantity and 64.50 percent of the total earnings in terms of value.

Representatives of Coastal States, National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Export Inspection Council (EIC), Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) and other stakeholders including Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI), All India Shrimp Hatcheries Association (AISHA), Society of Aquaculture Professionals (SAP), Prawn Farmers Federations, Compound Livestock Feed Manufacturers Association (CLFMA) and fisheries institutions were present at the meeting.

Read more at: seafoodsource

Onion procurement at Lasalgaon resumes after month-long hiatus

After a month-long break, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) has resumed procuring onions from Lasalgaon, country’s largest wholesale market for the bulb, and neighbouring Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) under the Centre’s Price Stabilisation Fund. “Our main target markets are Delhi and other metropolitan cities such as Chennai and Kolkata. The procurement is being done with a view to prevent a possible hike in onion prices,” said Nanasaheb Patil, director, NAFED. According to Patil, the procurement which commenced in September was stopped after a while when prices dropped below Rs 1,400 per quintal.

Jaydutta Holkar, chairman of Lasalgaon APMC, confirmed the development and said that the agency has begun procuring onion for the Delhi markets. “The procurement had commenced last month but had stopped after prices fell. Now, the process has restarted although the purchases are not very high, barely a couple of trucks or so (one truck contains 10 tonne),” he said. The procurement may pick up later, senior officials of the market felt. Modal prices at Lasalgaon touched Rs 2,375 per quintal on Thursday with minimum prices at Rs 1,000 per quintal and maximum at Rs 2,701 per quintal. The arrivals were at 5,700 quintals on Thursday as compared to 13,599 quintals on Wednesday when modal prices were at Rs 2,560 per quintal.

Some of the officials of NAFED, who did not wish to be named, pointed out that the shortage in the market is not so high to warrant the purchase. The officials said that although rains had damaged around 50% crop in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, the harvest has been delayed in Maharashtra due to late plantation. Officials pointed out that even if there is a drop of 20% in production in Maharashtra because of the recent rains, the situation is manageable and new arrivals should start hitting the markets in a couple of weeks. Moreover, the tie-up for retail outlets for sale of onions in Delhi is yet to happen, Patil said. Last month, the agency was procuring some 200 tonne onion a day for a couple of weeks. Prices of onion had fallen by nearly Rs 6-8 per kg in September over the last one month. According to some industry observers, NAFED is using this as opportunity to procure onion and build a buffer for market intervention in case prices rise. Patil said talks were in progress with Mother Dairy for selling the onion through their outlets. Mother Dairy had not given permission for sale of onion last month, Patil added.

NAFED officials said that there is no specified target for procurement. Industry sources pointed out that about Rs 500–700 crore has been set aside by the government for procurement purposes. NAFED may expand procurement to other markets as well, sources said. At present, the consumer affairs ministry is closely monitoring onion prices. According to market sources, some of the traders were allegedly summoned to Delhi and told to ensure that there is no price hike and therefore there is a panic situation in the market. Highly placed sources said that while traders were not speaking about this openly. There is pressure on them to maintain prices and therefore there is not much buying happening.

Read more at: financialexpress

US agricultural export have grown 250 per cent: Official

American agricultural products have experienced a whopping 250 per cent growth in its exports to India in the last decade, a senior US official has said.

US Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney made the remarks ahead of his five-day visit to India starting Monday. "US agricultural exports to India have grown nearly 250 per cent over the past decade, but the country's barriers impede exports of many of our products," he said.

McKinney is leading an agribusiness trade mission to India from October 30 to November 3 with stops in New Delhi and Mumbai. On his first international trip in this position, he will head a delegation of approximately 50 business, trade association and state government leaders who are seeking to grow US agricultural exports to the world's second-most-populous country. "On this trip, I look forward to not only promoting US farm and food products, but also to meeting with my Indian government counterparts to build relationships and address key trade policy issues in an effort to improve American access to this important market," McKinney said.

US agricultural exports to India totaled nearly USD 1.3 billion in 2016, with tree nuts, cotton, pulses, fresh and processed fruits, and prepared foods accounting for more than 80 percent of those exports.

India is also a major market for US ethanol exports.

The United States is India's top ethanol supplier, with sales totaling nearly USD 176 million in 2016.

Read more at: economictimes

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