Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals

ISAP Monthly E-Newsletter, Volume 10, Issue:9 (September, 2017)


- ISAP Activities

Success Story (Agriclinic-Agribusiness Program)

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 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:-

The Mid-Term Assessment at AVRCs Anta, Kishanganj and Hindoli of District Baran, Rajasthan

On the month of September, the Mid-Term Assessment of OCPF-IFS Project was carried out by the assessor team members including Mr. Ajay Pandey, Mr. Loknath and others, at AVRC Anta and Hindoli, District Baran, Rajasthan. Also, on 19th September the Mid-Term Assessment was done by the same assessors’ team at AVRC Kishanganj, District Baran (Rajasthan). They interacted with the local ISAP team members, few IFS beneficiaries, FPO members/board of directors and observed the operations/facilities at all the AVRCs. The interactions focussed on understanding the overall project goal/objectives, implementation strategies and progress made. The purpose of the visit was also to make appropriate revisions/refinements into the design of the detailed Mid-Term Assessment. The minute of agenda this assessment included were the discussion on Business planning on seed production and nursery raising, landholding and cropping patterns, crop yield, income, assessment of the outcomes of the interventions, assessment of Custom Hiring Centres for implementation of farm machineries during the Rabi crop season, assessment of ICT interventions, change in fertiliser usage pattern, etc.

The Mid-Term Assessment of OCPF-IFS Project by assessors team at AVRCs of Anta and Kishanganj blocks of Baran district as well as Hindoli block of Bundi district in Rajasthan

Soyabean and Black gram threshing using farm machineries at AVRC-Anta, Baran, Rajasthan

The FPO consists of AVRC at Anta has just become operational with Custom Hiring Service Centre (CHSC). The CHSC has the valuable machineries that the farmer members of AVRC-Anta could seldom afford. These machineries include reaper, harvester, cultivator, manual harvester, tractors, threshers, straw reaper, pressure trolley, etc. The farmers are using these farm machineries as they are provided at low cost on hiring basis. Soyabean and Black gram threshing task are going on in the fields of the member farmers of AVRC-Anta, Baran district, Rajasthan. The photographs shown below depict the full-fledged use of some of these farm machineries from the CHSC units to complete the jobs.

Threshing work at member farmers’ fields of AVRC-Anta, District Baran, Rajasthan

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

i. Training of the Directors conducted by BIRD at FPOs of CR Patna and Belur, Bengaluru:

In the month of September, two FPOs (C R Patna and Belur) were given 5 days training by BIRD in assistance with SFAC and NABARD at Bengaluru. The purpose of the training was to make the FPO board of directors and CEOs of ISAP understand the Business Plan and challenges faced while doing output businesses and assist them in establishing outlets.

A training of the BODs of CR Patna and Belur FPOs by BIRD at Bengaluru

ii. A visit of member farmers to Krishi Mela at Dharwad

Krishi Mela was held from 22nd to 25th September at Dharwad. The 13 member farmers of Shree Puttarai Gawai Horticulture Farmer Producers Company Limited, Gadak and 14 member farmers of Dayasagar Horticulture Farmer Producers Company Limited, Yadgir, visited the Mela to get exposure and knowledge on the advances in technology and equipments. All the 27 member farmers of the two FPOs had gained good experience and knowledge about the developed technologies that they can apply on their farms.

The member farmers of the FPOs at Krishi Mela in Dharwad


2. Value chain model opt by Pingaara HFPCL, Bantwal, Dakshin Kannada

On 19th September, Pingaara HFPCL at Bantwal generated an outlet for selling banana chips, jackfruit chips, etc., in dry forms, thus setting a value chain model. These chips are packed and labeled in the FPO for their registered farmers. This outlet business has started in just a year of its getting registered for operation which is in itself a major achievement.

AGM at Pingara HFPCL, Bantwal, Dakshin Kannada

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:-

Farmers training, IFS training and IFS Cross Learning Visits were the major activities accomplished this month. At Telangana, IFS training and farmers’ training were accomplished. IFS trainings were focused on Goatery management and Mango orchard management.

IFS training on Goatery maintenance and Mango plantation at Chakriyal, Balkonda (left) and at Kopkaguda, Jainoor (right)

IFS training on Goatery maintenance and Mango plantation at Shapoor, Nandipet (left) and at Gundala, Narnoor (right)

Also, the farmers training were focused on pest management of various crops, such as paddy, turmeric, cotton, red gram, maize and beans.

Farmers training on pest management at Seval, Balkonda (left) and at Rashimetta, Jainoor (right)

Farmers training on pest management at Dhattapur, Nandipet (left) and at Pusiguda, Narnoor (right)

At Maharashtra, Farmers training was focused on management of various Kharif crop. Similarly, IFS training was covered on the various features that contribute to Integrated Farming System. IFS Cross Learning Visit is going on in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. Various Demo farms were visited and the IFS training were also conducted side by side. One new FPO has been registered at Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. Recently, 26 FPOs have been registered until now.

Farmers training on Crop management at Vahle (left) and at Malevadi, Badnapur (right)

IFS training on Goatery and Orchard management at Akola, Badnapur (left) and at Motigavan, Jalna (right)

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: Saibub Mondal
Age: 25 years
Father’s name: Humayun Kabir
Mother’s name: Chhakira Bibi
Address: Punra, Town-Baduria, Subdivision-Basirhat,
North 24 Parganas, West Bengal
Business: Agri-input Shop
Turnover: INR 7 lakhs

Saibub Mondal belongs to a very small village named “Punra” in Baduria town, Basirhat subdivision, North 24 Parganas, West Bengal. His father practices farming in 3 acres of land. From his childhood days, he became very attached to agricultural practices seeing his father actively working day and night. Following his affection towards the profession, he completed graduation in Agriculture and Rural Development from his State University. After completing graduation in 2016, initially Saibub started a grocery shop, but he was not very satisfied and wanted to do more. He wanted to pursue a career related to agriculture, but due to lack of proper knowledge and guidance about the marketing and business planning he couldn’t seek his dreams.

Saibub Mondal working in his retail shop at Punra, Town-Baduria, West Bengal

But the circumstances changed when he came to know about and also became associated with ISAP. Saibub got to know about ISAP from one of his friends. Thus, he completed the training program from ISAP.

After completing his graduation, Saibub had no knowledge about how to start a business on his own. From ISAP he learnt about entrepreneurship and different agricultural and allied sectors in which he could start his entrepreneurial journey. After the training, he converted his grocery shop into Agri-input shop. He started dealership in fertilizer and pesticide and also retails in farm inputs.

From initial days, he went to the fields to market his products by providing free consultancy services and field demos to farmers. Slowly he increased his customer base by gaining their trust, so the present situation is 1,000 farmers from 60 villages are associated with him.

Saibub Mondal’s retail shop for fertilizer, pesticide and other farm inputs

Initially, he started his distributorship with only one product. Currently, he does wholesale of four companies and is associated with 20 companies for retail. At present, his business is having a turnover of about 7 lakhs with four employees working under him. He has succeeded in his endeavour to pursue a good career and is now satisfied with his professional life.

‘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 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

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:-

All the six batches have completed training in Solar Energy Technician domain till now and a total of 185 candidates were trained. Out of these trainees, 103 trainees have been successfully placed and self-employed. The placement of remaining candidates is in process.

IEX - Hunar Training Program at Samastipur, Bihar

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 8th August, 2017, a batch on “CASE Operation” domain was started at Dharwad (Karnataka) with the strength of 30 candidates. The classes and trainings are in progress.

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

RPL Skill Training Program – PMKVY

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

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

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

Monthly Activities:-

RPL skill training program was inaugurated on 9th August, 2017, at Hindoli (Rajasthan). The objectives of the training were: 1. Farmers skill development; 2. Increase in quality of the crop yield; 3. Value addition; 4. Generation of Self-employment. Till now, 600 candidates in 12 batches are trained in the five different regions of Rajasthan—namely, Anta, Bonli, Hindoli, Khandar and Kishanganj. Till now, 178 candidates cleared the assessment test in four batches in the regions of Anta, Bonli, Hindoli and Khandar districts of Rajasthan. The results for rest of the batches are waiting.

Oral Assessment of a candidate at Bonli region of Rajasthan

RPL skill training program for farmers of Hindoli, Rajasthan

A Batch of RPL Training under PMKVY—AVRC-Ratadia, Block Anta, District Baran, Rajasthan

Batch of RPL Training under PMKVY—AVRC Kishanganj District Baran (Rajasthan)

Science & Technology:

World's first 'molecular robot' capable of building molecules

The tiny robots, which are a millionth of a millimetre in size, can be programmed to move and build molecular cargo, using a tiny robotic arm. Each individual robot is capable of manipulating a single molecule and is made up of just 150 carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen atoms. To put that size into context, a billion billion of these robots piled on top of each other would still only be the same size as a single grain of salt. The robots operate by carrying out chemical reactions in special solutions which can then be controlled and programmed by scientists to perform the basic tasks.

In the future, such robots could be used for medical purposes, advanced manufacturing processes and even building molecular factories and assembly lines. The research is published in Nature on Thursday, 21st September 2017.

Professor David Leigh, who led the research at University's School of Chemistry, explains: 'All matter is made up of atoms and these are the basic building blocks that form molecules. Our robot is literally a molecular robot constructed of atoms just like you can build a very simple robot out of Lego bricks. The robot then responds to a series of simple commands that are programmed with chemical inputs by a scientist.

'It is similar to the way robots are used on a car assembly line. Those robots pick up a panel and position it so that it can be riveted in the correct way to build the bodywork of a car. So, just like the robot in the factory, our molecular version can be programmed to position and rivet components in different ways to build different products, just on a much smaller scale at a molecular level.'

The benefit of having machinery that is so small is it massively reduces demand for materials, can accelerate and improve drug discovery, dramatically reduce power requirements and rapidly increase the miniaturisation of other products. Therefore, the potential applications for molecular robots are extremely varied and exciting. Prof Leigh says: 'Molecular robotics represents the ultimate in the miniaturisation of machinery. Our aim is to design and make the smallest machines possible. This is just the start but we anticipate that within 10 to 20 years molecular robots will begin to be used to build molecules and materials on assembly lines in molecular factories.' Whilst building and operating such tiny machine is extremely complex, the techniques used by the team are based on simple chemical processes. It is the same sort of process scientists use to make medicines and plastics from simple chemical building blocks. Then, once the nano-robots have been constructed, they are operated by scientists by adding chemical inputs which tell the robots what to do and when, just like a computer program.'

Source: sciencedaily

Prominent Contributors to Agriculture:

Clara H. Hasse (1880–10 October, 1926) Clara Henriette Hasse was an American botanist whose research focused on plant pathology. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1903 with a PhB. She went to Washington DC, to take up an appointment as assistant horticulturist and botanist in the Bureau of Plant Industry at the US Department of Agriculture under Erwin Frink Smith, the USDA's pathologist-in-charge. Hasse was one of the twenty assistants that Smith hired during his tenure at the USDA. She later worked at the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station. Hasse died at her home in Muskegon, Michigan, aged 46. Her paper “Pseudomonas citri, the cause of Citrus canker”, published in the Journal of Agricultural Research in 1915, was the first to identify the cause of citrus canker. While originally it was believed that Citrus canker was of fungoid origin, Hasse found that bacteria are at its source. The paper in the Journal states, “Although this paper gives only a very brief account of the etiology of the Citrus canker and many important facts in the life history of the causal organism remain to be determined, the immediate publication of this preliminary report is considered necessary on account of the great economic significance of this disease, which up to the present has been supposed to be due to a fungous parasite. Because the methods of control for bacterial diseases differ quite radically from those employed for fungous diseases it is hoped that the presentation of this report at this early stage in the investigation will lead to a more adequate understanding of the precautions which may be essential in an effective campaign of eradication.” The discovery led to the development of methods for controlling the disease which saved the citrus crops in Florida, Alabama, Texas and Mississippi from being wiped out.

Source: wikipedia

Do you know

Periwinkle (Sadabahar or Vinca rosea) Plant:

Image result for breadfruit

Periwinkle (Sadabahar or Vinca rosea or Catharanthus roseus) is the native to Madagascar and very commonly grown plant in India. It is an evergreen shrub that is commonly grown worldwide both as an ornamental plant and for medicinal purposes. Though this flower is famous for its application, only two of its varieties have medicinal values—the pink-colored and the white-colored flower varieties. The Periwinkle plant grows to about 3 ft in height having smooth, glossy, dark green leaves and flowers throughout the year. The medicinal variety has white flowers and the pink flowers have a dark pink eye in the center. Some gardeners use it for naturalizing landscapes. Vinca rosea contains two classes of active compounds: the alkaloids and the tannins. More than 100 alkaloids have been found in this plant of which vincristine and vinblastine are most notable for their medicinal benefits. This plant has been used both in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines. The extracts of the plant parts, such as leaves, flowers and roots are used for diseases like diabetes, malaria, leukemia and Hodgkin's disease in Ayurvedic as well as Chinese medicines. According to the “International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences”, the roots of the plant was found to accumulate ajmalicine and serpentine, which are the important components of medicines that are used for controlling high blood pressure and other types of the cardio-vascular maladies. Extracts of the plant have demonstrated significant anti-cancer properties against a number of different cell types. The highest level of efficacy is seen in the multi-drug resistant tumors. The Vinca rosea alkaloids that are used primarily for the treatment of cancer include vinblastin and vincristine. Periwinkle tea is used to treat diabetes, cough and sore throats. The alkaloids also offer sedative and tranquilizing properties. Also, it relieves muscle pain and depression. It is in traditional medicine used to relieve wasp stings because of its property of counteracting poison and detoxification. It controls nosebleeds, bleeding gums and mouth ulcers. Also, it is useful in treating gastritis, cystitis, enteritis, diarrhea, diabetes, etc., when taken internally. The Vinca rosea plant ensures brain health. Its active ingredients improve blood supply to the brain, thus increasing the level of oxygen that the brain can utilize. It also raises serotonin levels and prevents abnormal coagulation of blood. The alkaloid vincamine keeps the blood thin and has memory enhancing properties. Therefore, it is useful in preventing dementia, especially vascular dementia.

Source: desimd


News Highlights

Globally India Ranks 9th in Organic Farming Outlook

The share of nations involved in organic farming, according to International Federation Of Organic Agriculture Moment (IFOAM), leaves India at ninth rank with Australia on top with 22.7 million hectares of land used for organic farming.

India by the year 2015 was using merely 1.2 hectares of the total land used for farming of both conventional and organic classifications.

Bhutan has an interesting vision of becoming a fully organic nation by 2020. The country has already pioneered in organic farming and its neighbouring state Sikkim had been declared by government as the only Indian state with 100 per cent organic farming.

Land Under Organic Farming By Countries: Land under organic farming as data suggested by IFOAM and Research Institute Of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), can be termed as mere god gifted to the nations with higher land mass and lower population. Falkland Islands, between UK and Argentina, is a rare example of higher farm land sizes used for organic farming. In 2015, the total land under organic farming was 50.9 million hectares, which is around 1.1 per cent of the world’s total agricultural land. Though the size of land in organic farming had increased four folds from 11 million hectare in 1999 to 50.9 million hectare in 2015, but the per cent share remains as nominal as anything (1.2 per cent).

The Producers: There were some 2.4 million organic producers among the world till year 2015. A study by Yes Bank and Ingenous Strategy & Creative Research (2016) says that though US and Australia are sharing largest organic farm land sizes in the world but it is still the group of developing countries with emerging economies who holds the key to organic farming. More than 86 per cent of overall organic producers are from developing economies. A regional classification will also make it proper to understand that population plays a major role in economies. Asia with 35 per cent of overall organic producers in the world, holds major chunk even though farm land size is the biggest challenge in region.

Read more at: businessworld

Agriculture Ministry readies 7 point strategy to double farmers income

The agriculture ministry has drawn up a 7-point strategy to double farmers’ income in the country.

The plan includes improving irrigation efficiency, reducing input cost thereby increasing production, increasing investment in warehouses and food processing, and introducing reforms in agriculture marketing, the ministry said on Friday.

The ministry is also working to address concerns of farmers on crop loss and giving a push to allied activities such as encouraging horticulture, dairying, fisheries, poultry and beekeeping among others, it said.

“It is important to improve irrigation efficiency to increase production,” the agriculture ministry said in a press statement. “Hence, pending medium and large projects have also been expedited. Watershed development and water harvesting and management projects have been put on the fast track,” it said.

The ministry said soil health card scheme, which informed farmers about nutrients status of the soils, was reducing the cultivation cost as farmers were going for balanced use of fertilisers.

“The adoption of new technologies in agriculture such as space technology is helping in better planning through forecasting of crop production, agricultural land-use mapping, drought prediction, and utilisation of fallow paddy fields for rabi crops,” it said.

Also, to the address the issue of storage of crop post harvesting, the government is encouraging farmers to use warehouses and avoid distressed sales. “Loans against negotiable warehouse receipts are being provided with interest subvention benefits,” the ministry said. “To protect farmers from losses, the government is focusing on storage facilities and integrated cold chains in rural areas.”

Further, the government through the Rs 6,000-crore Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana would be working on the forward and backward linkage of agro processing cluster, which would benefit 20 lakh farmers and create employment opportunities for about 5 lakh, it said.

Read more at: economictimes

Madhya Pradesh will remain front runner in agriculture sector: Niti Aayog member

Niti Aayog member Ramesh Chand today expressed hope that Madhya Pradesh will remain the front runner in agriculture sector in the next 10-12 years. “Madhya Pradesh, among different states, has accomplished remarkable works in agriculture sector and it is expected that it will be the leader in farm sector in next 10-12 years,” Chand said addressing heads of government departments’ at Mantralaya here, a press release said.

The state has been receiving the prestigious annual Krishi Karman Award for excelling in food grain production in the country consecutively since five years. Chand said that the state government has also done extraordinary work in power sector adding that country’s 60 to 65 per cent power is being generated in the state, the release further said.

The NITI Aayog member opined that MP should make strides in non-agricultural sectors as well, it added. The meeting among others was attended by MP Planning Commission vice chairman Chaitanya Kashyap, it added.

Earlier, Chand met MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan at Mantralaya.

Read more at: financialexpress

India-Israel Agricultural Cooperation needs to align with the ‘New India’

The Agriculture is the driving force of the ‘New India’. Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi has set a target to double the income of the farmers by 2022. A few days back, Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) in India have organized the pledge taking ceremonies to achieve this target, in 562 districts of the country, where the Central and State Governments representatives, Agricultural officers, Students and a large number of farmers have participated in each district. For the first time, we have seen such kind of ceremonies for a government’s commitment.

The current approach of Israeli projects in India, particularly in the Agriculture sector, needs some major improvements. India and Israel have signed the Agreement for Agricultural Cooperation in 2006, which evolved into Indo-Israeli Agricultural Cooperation Project in 2008. During the last three years, the Indian government has completely revamped its age-old institutions/policies. This is a high time for Israel to update and align its cooperation strategy with the changed reality and vision of the New India. Now the focus should be on Agribusiness and Agro-Value Addition. Israel should participate proactively to turn Indian Agriculture sector into a profitable enterprise!

On January 1, 2015, Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi has replaced Planning Commission of India with the NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India), this change reflects the change in the approach of the government in India, now the focus is on ‘functioning’ in place of ‘planning.’

Read more at: newsjs

India Is Best Poised For A 'Fruit Circular Economy'

As horticulture production outgrows food grain output in the country for the fifth consecutive year, the growth of India's horticulture is being intertwined with the progress of the food processing industry. Starting the investment at the farm gate through the processing value chain to the ultimate consumer, and then ploughing it back to the farm gate forms the virtuous fruit circular economy, and this has the potential to improve the lives of India's farmers.

For farmers in India, this could be an opportunity worth pursuing. At 5.4 per cent, growth in horticulture products is twice that of food grains, while the productivity per hectare for horticulture is almost 5-6 times that of food grains. Farmers are now choosing to invest their efforts in growing fruits and vegetables. Consumption of fruit-based beverages is on the rise, and the industry now appears to be ready to commit investments to build processing of horticulture products.

For India's horticulture farming, it has been a long, arduous journey to arrive at this situation. In 2004, we decided to invest and expand the market for our mango-based beverage through an approach straddling farm to beverage. With steadily increasing procurement, food grain farmers were encouraged and saw an opportunity to grow mangoes that had a ready market for the food processing industry. As more investments were made in promoting the beverage, there was need for more mangoes for processing. The increased demand led to increased investment in capacity and technology so that consumers could be presented with an option that they loved in more packages and formats. A little over a decade later, we have been happy to build the overall category with strong competition, while the farmer has reaped good benefits as the industry expanded.

Read more at: huffingtonpost

Researchers find cereal rye is effective at reducing Amaranthus spp. density in soybean crops

Fall-planted cover crops are often used as part of an integrated weed control program in herbicide-resistant soybean crops. But researchers writing in the journal Weed Technology say not all cover crops are equally effective against Palmer amaranth, waterhemp and other Amaranthus spp. weeds.

Their conclusions follow a two-year, multistate study to compare the impact of cereal rye, spring oat, forage radish and annual ryegrass on weed control and crop yields. The study was conducted in areas with known infestations of Amaranthus spp. weeds.

Two herbicide programs were used. The first involved a pre-emergence residual herbicide, followed by a post-emergence application of a foliar and residual herbicide. The second program added a second post-emergence application of residual herbicide.

Researchers found there were no variations in weed control or in crop yields among the various cover crops used as part of an integrated control program with herbicides. Cereal rye, though, consistently reduced the density of Amaranthus spp. weeds, even in the absence of herbicides.

"Cereal rye has the most potential to contribute to Amaranthus spp. control by reducing weed population density within the first month or so following soybean planting," said research team member Mark Loux of Ohio State University. "As a result, there is a better opportunity to reduce selection for weeds resistant to herbicides used in post-emergence treatments. Cereal rye is also a great choice when weed density is high or when environmental conditions reduce herbicide effectiveness."

Read more at: eurekalert

Two new radars to track rain, flooding

Karnataka will soon start receiving information of floods three hours before they occur. India Meteorological Department (IMD) has come up with a new plan to set up radars in Bengaluru and Mangaluru which will provide accurate information on the amount of rainfall and the regions that will be affected.

Flooding is common in Bengaluru city, the Karavali region and a few parts of South Canara and it affects thousands of people. The radars will help people better prepare for the flooding by providing them ample time to protect life and property.

The work on the radars is already in progress in the city. As a first step, the GKVK campus and a few other places in the city are being inspected and checks for the ground reality are taking place.

Sources from the IMD said that this is the first time such an initiative is being undertaken. The most important aspect of these radars will be the flooding alerts which were lacking in the current system.

Currently, rainfall and weather conditions are predicted based on the information from weather satellites and the information that is received from the Chennai weather department.

However, these two radars will receive information from a 300- to 500-km radius and will help accurately predict the rainfall in the state.

Update every 7 minutes

In the current system, satellite pictures are received every few hours but these radars will be able to provide a pictorial representation every seven minutes. Officials say the radars will also be able to give information about the exact amount of rainfall and the accurate location of affected areas.

“Since these radars will issue warnings much prior to the actual rains, a lot of havoc can be avoided. We had requested the central department to install these a long time ago and only now have we been given the go-ahead,” said Sundar M Metri, Director, Meteorological Centre, Bengaluru.

Sundar also said that, as of now, the Chennai radar is what is helping predict the rainfall and give information about the affected areas. This radar in Chennai covers a radius of 250 km and the information becomes less and less reliable as we move further away from the radar.

These new radars are located in the state and will also be able to give information about the southern region which has 11 districts. The radar which will be installed in Mangaluru will track the flood information from the coastal region up to 500 km.

Read more at: bangaloremirror

Make own strategy to double farmers’ income: centre to states

Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh on Tuesday urged states to chalk out their own strategy to achieve the target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

The centre has already come out with a four-volume report suggesting ways to boost farmers’ income, which states will have to study and see how it can be best implemented in each state, he said. Not only does crop productivity need to be raised, but also focus on allied farm activities like timber cultivation and honeybee cultivation is required, he added. Addressing a two-day national conference to evolve a sowing strategy for the upcoming winter (rabi) season, Singh said, “The government’s aim is to increase productivity and ensure farmers get the remunerative price for their produce.”

He said that the government has launched several schemes like Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY), Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, Soil Health Card scheme and the “neem-coated urea and electronic national agriculture market” (e-NAM) to achieve the target of doubling farmers’ income. While implementing these schemes, he said, states have to “devise their own strategy” to boost farmers’ income by focusing on production-to-post-harvest activities.

“It is our responsibility to make special efforts to improve the agricultural sector so that it provides strong trade opportunities,” he added. Echoing similar views, agriculture secretary S.K. Pattanayak said “doubling farmers’ income by 2022 should be the mantra and all of us should be working towards it. The seven key schemes have to be operationalized at field level”. He urged states to take e-NAM project seriously and put in place infrastructure to facilitate farmers to trade online.

“Once this is in place, farmers will get remunerative price and help in doubling income.” To ensure farmers get support price in times of price crash, the secretary said the centre has drafted a new market assurance scheme and asked states to study and share how they wish to implement.

On organic farming, he said only Sikkim has been declared a fully organic state till now. The centre’s target is to see entire northeast grow fully organic and funds are in place but states have to show more interest, he said. He also mentioned that states should encourage allied farm activities as it will add to the income of farmers.

Read more at: livemint

CLFMA of India calls for allied & integrated agriculture industry

"Integrated farming will help doubling farmer's income by 2022. The Government is promoting agriculture and allied sectors to boost farmers' productivity. It's now time for a white and blue revolution where the dairy industry and aquaculture activities will play a major role," said Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh. He was speaking at a symposium organised by CLMFA.

"Integrated farming is being promoted in Maharashtra and the schemes like balanced ration, artificial semen, etc. are being given preferences. A special thrust is being put on raising the breed of domestic cows. To beat the agrarian crisis, developing integrated farming is the key."

The Compound Livestock Feed Manufacturers Association of India (CLFMA), which is an apex trade body of manufacturers, traders in the sectors like dairy, poultry, aquatic and non-poultry sectors like meat, animal husbandry and animal feed at its golden jubilee celebration ceremony invited the institutions across India to come together and work towards achieving the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mission in doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

At an event inaugurated by Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister, Government of Maharashtra, CLFMA, the nodal association of livestock industry called for liaison with the governments, institutions and associations to formulate favourable policies which would help upbringing the sectors growth and improve farmers’ lives.

Livestock production and agriculture are intrinsically linked, each being dependent on the other, and both crucial for overall food security. According to the government statistics, the agriculture industry contributes 17% of India’s total GDP, out of which, the 27% comes from Animal Husbandry. Overall, the dairy, poultry and aqua industries contribute 4.4% to the nation’s GDP, which itself symbolises the importance of the sectors. These sectors are also crucial in providing employment opportunities to over 16 million people across the country.

Read more at: economictimes

Late rains augur well for rabi crops in Karnataka

The prospect of rabi (winter) crops in Karnataka has brightened because of late south-west monsoon, which will help the state recover likely foodgrain output losses in the kharif season, a state official said.

Kharif (summer) crops, which will be harvested from the next month onwards, have been hit badly in the southern state due to poor rains during crucial sowing months of June-July.

This is expected to bring down overall kharif output by 25 per cent.

"The kharif season has not been that good, but rabi prospects are bright. Late rains in the last last few days have improved soil moisture and will encourage sowing of rabi (winter) crops," Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre Director GS Srinivasa Reddy told.

Read more at: zeebiz


“Agriculture looks different today - our farmers are using GPS and you can monitor your irrigation systems over the Internet.” – Debbie Stabenow

Wishing you all a Great Month ahead! - ISAP Team

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