Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals

ISAP Monthly E-Newsletter, Volume 11, Issue:9 (September, 2018)


- 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, has achieved the following highlights since then:
  • ISAP has set up 200 FPOs and aims to develop many more across the country.
  • Indian Agriculture Professional (IAP), a part of ISAP, has 2,50,000 professional members following the page in the network.
  • Reached 5,000 villages, 250 blocks, 100 Districts in 18 States.
  • Touched and transformed lives of 5 lakh Indian farming families.
  • Provided Entrepreneurship Development training to 6,200 agri-graduates and incubated 2,458 successful ventures.
  • Trained 11,000 BPL rural youth on vocational skills and helped them gain meaningful livelihoods.
  • Satisfactorily answered more than 6 lakh farmer queries through Kisan Call Centres (KCC) in New Delhi, Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) and Gulbarga (Karnataka).
  • Successfully established two 100-bedded rural hospitals in West Bengal.
  • Set up 52 water treatment plants for village drinking water supply schemes in various states.
  • Built 3 school buildings in the states of Haryana, MP and Maharashtra.
  • Successfully running Community Radio Station "Kissan Vani" in Sironj, District Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh).
  • For learning advancement in agriculture technology, please download our 'Krishi Gyan' app from

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ISAP Activities

OCPF-IFS Project, Rajasthan

ISAP is working with 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-business 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.

Recent Activities

FPOs at Kishanganj and Khandar are running Seed Processing Units and have facilitated farmers to grow Wheat, Mustard, Soybean and Green Gram crops for seed production. During Rabi 2017 Wheat seed was produced in 108 Acres by involving 17 farmers. 880 quintals of raw wheat seed of varieties Raj 4037 and HD 2967 were procured from farmers after harvest of the crop benefiting them with INR 200 bonus over MSP.

In the current Kharif season 2018, two crops – Soybean (Variety JS 9560) and Green Gram (Variety SML 668) have been taken for seed production. Foundation seed of Soybean has been grown in 71 Acres and Breeder seed of Green Gram was sown in 33 Acre. This is expected to produce certified seed of Soybean and truthful labeled of Green Gram. Both crops seed production program has been registered with State Seed Certification Department. Three crop inspections were done by the Certification Department.

Wheat piles after harvesting

New Honey based Products
The Hindoli FPO has launched new Honey based products of the brand Dharini – 3 new flavours (Creamed Honey, Azwain Honey and Multi flora Honey), and Bee Pollen. Earlier the Honey Processing Plant at Hindoli AVRC was producing only two flavours: Litchi and Mustard.

Training on Bee Keeping
Ten-day training programs were organized on Bee Keeping in association with Bank of Baroda Rural Self Employment Training Institute (BOBRSETI) & Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) at AVRCs of block Hindoli, Nainwa, Bonli, and Khandar. 141 farmers who were interested in Bee Keeping participated in the training program and received certificates of training. This training program has been planned to involve more farmers in this Sweet Revolution that can add more in the income of farmers. Banks are supporting farmers for providing soft loan for developing Bee Colonies and KVK has been involved for regular training and hand holding to develop Bee Keeping as profitable business.

Vegetable Supply
The Hindoli FPO has supplied more than 10 quintals of seedless cucumber to Walmart at INR 30 per kg as opposed to the local rate of 10-15 per kg. This supply is still in progress and the FPO hopes to supply more than 150 quintals this season.
Khandar FPO is supplying Tomato and Brinjal to Sawai Madhopur market. Farmers are getting 30-40% more price of their produce by supplying through the FPO.

Exposure Visit
FPO representatives of blocks Anta, Kishanganj, Hindoli, and Nainwa participated in a one-day exposure program to Krishi Vigyan Mela & Crop Demonstration at KVK, Anta, district Baran. The KVK scientists explained various crop demonstrations of Rabi season especially for Wheat, Chickpea and Lentil. Farmers visited farm machinery exhibition, fruits & vegetable exhibition and participated in a seminar where government officials told them about various government schemes for promotion of agriculture production & marketing.

Sunhara Prayas Project

ISAP is working with banana and mango farmers in Sitapur district of Uttar Pradesh with the support of Walmart to enhance the income of farmers through adoption of innovative technologies and approaches for Mango and Banana Cultivation and Value Chain Development. This also focuses on organizing farmers through FPO formation and institutional sustenance through market linkages.

Recent Activities

Establishment of Farmer Resource Centre

A Farmer Resource Centre has been established in village Tadhaikhurd. This centre is serving farmers in terms of providing training on standard package of practices of Mango & Banana cultivation. So far 14 training programs have been organised at this centre, directly benefitting 254 farmers. This centre is equipped with Digital Soil Testing Mini Lab (Pusa Soil Test & Fertiliser Recommendation Meter Kit) for providing soil tests and recommendations to farmers locally.

Biomass based Ripening and Cold Storage Unit
A basic infra-structural support in the form of Cold Storage-cum-Ripening Centre has been established at Village Devari Rukhara, BKT, Lucknow to effectively manage the services to the farmers and output market for Mango, Banana and other major commodities. This Cold Storage-cum-Ripening Chamber Centre is being managed by Utsarg Farmer Producer Company Ltd (FPO) and is equipped to handle provision of a variety of services and also to nurture farmers for tapping growth-oriented opportunities through targeted assistance and capacity building. This Cold Storage-cum-Ripening Chamber Centre consists of facilities like FPO Office, Input Store, horticulture tools & equipment, 4 cold storage-cum-ripening chambers (each having a capacity of 4 MT) and soil test laboratory.

Usually, large quantities of fruit are ripened using calcium carbide which emits harmful substances like phosphor, arsenic leads health hazard. As per PFA (Prevention of Food Adulteration) Act, Section 44AA, use of carbide is strictly prohibited. The only safe and worldwide accepted method is using ethylene which is natural hormone for ripening under controlled temperature and relative humid conditions.

This cold storage and ripening unit is an alternate energy technology based on Vapor Absorption Machines VAM used to provide a viable solution to overcome running of Cold Storages without Grid Power. It is utilizing renewable farm waste like paddy straw, biogas rice husk, bio-mass briquettes and dried biomass etc. to provide energy to run the refrigeration systems.

Total 4613 Kg Mangoes were ripened in two lots-1st 1048 kg and 2nd 3565 Kg and supplied to Walmart Store, Big Bazar, Spencer and Mandi. Total 22180 Kg Bananas were ripened in 5 lots and supplied to Big Bazar, Spencer, Walmart, Metro, Akshaypatra, Hotel and street vendors. Banana ripening and supply is currently going on.

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 comprises 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.

Recent Activities

Onion Trading between FPCs:

Basavanbaewadi Horticulture Farmers Producer Company got registered under the Producer Company Act in 2017. The major produce among the farmers are onion, grapes and pomegranate. The producer company initiated business activities by selling inputs such as fertilizers, seeds and pesticides. Soon after the FPC started gaining profit from input business, they expanded their business by starting output business activities. The FPC planned to sell their produce to various other FPCs in Karnataka, so that no trader is involved and farmers of both the companies can benefit. Recently Magadi Farmers Producer Company, Rural Bangalore had placed the order for 120 quintals of onion. The price of onions available locally was on the higher end, so the producer company planned to sell onions to their farms as well as to the local traders.

The Basavanbagewadi HFPC collected onions from the 3 farms. The onions were graded and then sold to another FPC. The percentage increase in price realization by the farmers was approximately 25%. The total turnover of the business transaction is Rs.1,20,000/-.

The producer company started with small quantity but soon after the first successful transaction started getting orders from the Buyers and other Producer Companies in Karnataka. So far, more than 330 tonnes of onion have been supplied to various Retailers and FPOs.

Exposure Visit/Cross learning

An exposure visit in the month of September, 2018 was conducted for 5 FPOs under Madhya Pradesh Special project 2 to Rajasthan FPO. The directors and CEOs of the FPO were a part of the visit.

It was a one day Exposure visit to the Chambal farmer Producer Company, block Kishanganj, district Baran, Rajasthan. The purpose of the visit was to make our FPOs directors realise the ground realities and challenges the FPOs face while carrying out different business activities and reaches the stable stage. The Chambal FPO was registered in 2016; the member farmers of this FPO had a lot of experience to share with our team. The FPO had taken up multiple activities according to the requirement of their farmer members. Some of the activities are listed below-

• Vermi-compost Unit
• Azolla Unit
• Seed Production
• Custom Hiring Service Center

The main learning for the FPO directors was about the following-

• The multiple businesses the FPO can take up at various stages.
• Importance of the contribution of each director in the success of the FPO.
• The importance of documentation and account-keeping.
• To develop small business plans on their own for the farmers member at initial level.

As the FPOs who have visited are at a nascent stage, they could understand the holistic approach of a Farmers Producer Company with the help of the visit.

Participating in National Level Exhibition

The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer’s Welfare, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (NFSM division) had organized a national level workshop on Millets on 28th September, 2018, Vaikunth Mehta National Institute of Cooperative Management (VAMNICOM), Pune.

The workshop was inaugurated by Hon’ble Union Agriculture Minister and was attended by important dignitaries from state governments, GoI and other institutes.

ISAP promoted two FPOs under NFSM project in Aurangabad, who got the opportunity to display the millets grown among their farmers. The FPOs Kisan Shakti Farmers Producer Company and Champavati Farmers Producer Company have grown Jowar and Bajra in large quantities.

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.

Recent Activities

During April 2018, ISAP went for the construction of new Rainwater Harvesting Structures i.e. Cement Nala Bunds. In order to increase the usage of harvested rainwater by the whole community rather than a few beneficiaries, cement nala bunds were built.

Water Conservation Structure – Cement Nala Bunds

The water conservation structures are an integral part of soil and conservation programmes and are an important component of the watershed development and management programme. Recharging of ground water storage can be effectively done by the construction of nala bunding. Nala bunds are the embankments constructed across the nala for storing water, increasing water percolation and improving soil moisture regimes. Embankments which are made of stone masonry are called cement nala plug.

How is it erected?

Normally the final dimensions of the Nala bund are - length: 10 to 15 metres, height: 2 to 3 metres and width: 1 to 3 metres. If the bedrock is highly fractured, cement grouting is done to make the foundation leakage free.

How is it expected to enable water storage?

• Increase in irrigation areas through increase in the groundwater storage in the wells within 1 to 2 km areas.
• The silt from the drainage is used as fertilizer.
• To minimize loss on account of run-off water.
• Run-off water management and its use for useful works.
• To minimize soil erosion and silting.
• To minimize the intensity of flood on down slopes.
• To improve groundwater recharge.
• To make proper use of natural land resources in the watershed areas.
• To develop forest and fodder growing areas.
• To adopt proper land use pattern.
• To manage irrigation and water sanitation.
• To control water logging and salinity problems.

The list of the No of Beneficiaries / village benefitted from the intervention:




Population (Beneficiaries)

Structure Type

Between Gut No.

Estimated Cost (Rs in lakh)






31 -34







175 - 172







111 - 112






In partnership with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), ISAP has worked on the Promotion of Farmer Producer Organisations in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Karnataka, during 2015-18.

The project aims to organise farmers into a collective so as to improve their bargaining strength in the market. It also aims to make easy access to investment, technology, quality inputs. Finally, it aims at integration of the FPOs with markets.

Recent Activities

Rajasthan FPOs
Exposure Visit of Shreedev and Vaishno FPOs at Nabard FPO: Kurel Kisan Producer Company Limited, Jakhana Distt. Bundi on 21-09-2018.

The FPOs Shreedev Mahila Kisan Producer Company Ltd. and Vaishno Maa Mahila Kisan Producer Company Ltd. visited Nabard FPO Kurel Kisan Producer Company Limited, Jakhana Distt. Bundi promoted by KVK Bundi with the support of NABARD on 21-09-2018. Shreedev has started the business of packaging tea and selling of maize seeds. The Chairman and CEO of Kurel FPO are Shyam Bihari Sharma and Moti Shankar respectively. Kurel FPO has started business of animal feed under the brand name Kurel Animal Feed which is very popular among the farmers. Along with that, they also produce milk products such as buttermilk, Lassi and Mava. The turnover (Input and Animal feed) of Kurel FPO as on 31-03-2018 is Rs. 85 Lakh. In this visit, BoDs, CEOs of both Shreedev and Vaishno FPOs, ISAP members and BoDs & CEO of Kurel FPO were involved.

Visit of Cattle feed making process at Kurel NABARD FPO

Mava Plant Visit at Kurel FPO

Milk and Chach Packing Visit at Kurel FPO

Punjab FPO
Sujanpur Fruit and Vegetable Co-operative Society

Sujanpur FPO has a membership of 112 Farmers. It has started business of aggregation and retails. Recently, Smt. Rachna Dikshit, RBI Regional Director of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, UT Chandigarh at Pathankot with CGM NABARD Sh. J.P.S. Bindra, Chairman Punjab Gramin Bank, LDM, DDM Pathankot etc. visited the FPO. They visited the stall of Sujanpur FPO and had discussions with the farmers and enquired about its produce, quality and sales. RBI Regional Director and CGM NABARD specially asked about the difficulties faced by the organisation and future steps. They all were impressed by the progress of the FPO as the previous year’s sale was Rs. 20 lakh in retails.

Stall of Sunjanpur FPO with farmers and their produce

RBI Official and CGM enquiring about the quality of produce of Sujanpur FPO

CGM NABARD with DDM Pathankot discussing the progress of Sujanpur FPO

Haryana FPO
Indri Farmers Producer Company Limited, Karnal

Indri FPO has a membership of 200 farmers and has set up its shop under the license of market committee and started the business of purchasing and selling of crops. Paddy crop was sold by this FPO at the price of Rs. 2311 per quintal on 24.09.2018. This FPO aims at increasing production of crops, decreasing crop production cost and selling of its produce at reasonable prices. On this occasion, BoDs, CEO of the FPO, ISAP members and DDM Sushil Kumar were involved.

Opening of Shop of Indri Farmers Producer Company Ltd

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 candidates throughout the year to facilitate their placements. The table below shows the status of the ongoing projects.



Training Target

Total Trained

Total Placed


IDRF-Skill Program





John Deere "Hunar"





CNH-Skill Program





IEX "Hunar"









CASE construction





PMKVY Special Project














‘Hunar’ Skills Training Program and IFS - John Deere

ISAP has initiated the Hunar Skills Program in Dharwad region of Karnataka; Bhopal region of Madhya Pradesh; and Nagpur/Akola regions of 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.

Recent Activities

“Hunar” Skill Training Programs were inaugurated in 2016 at Dharwad, Akola, and Bhopal. So far we have trained total 862 candidates. Out of 862 candidates, 537 candidates have been successfully placed. Trainings of 50 candidates at Bhopal Training Centre, 20 at Akola, and 20 at Dharwad Training Centre have been completed.

Hunar Skill and IFS Training Program: CASE New Holland

A Story of Perseverance

The following story is the journey of a trainee, Yallappa Lambani, who had not been able to earn a dignified living for himself and his family before the training. The big challenge for him was that his father was no more and also there was the financial problem of his sister’s marriage. Yallappa was (and is) the only earning member of his family and had the responsibility of raising his mother, brother, and sister upon his shoulders. But he wasn’t able to find a way through. He had only two acres of land from which the earning was very little and insufficient for his family to live a day to day normal life.

A while ago, he learned about and took an appropriate decision to join the Hunar Skill Training Program and has been proudly associated with ISAP since. During mobilization in his village, he came to know about the Hunar training program. Upon hearing about the program, his village mates started showing interest and enrolled themselves in the program. Yallappa discussed his problems with the ISAP facilitators and shared his concerns about learning to operate the case machine on his own. He was very convinced with the objectives of the program. The program was free of cost, and therefore garnered a lot of enthusiasm from the villagers in the age group of 18-35. So many people, along with Yallappa joined this program that they normally couldn’t have afforded. The day he came to the training centre, Yallappa was delighted to see that many other boys from his village would be taking the training together. In fact, they all felt that together they can make a great change in their future.

Being in the case Operator domain, he learnt how to use a case machine in different kinds of fields, maintenance of the machines, and many other related aspects; for instance when to get the case machine serviced, which increases the life of a machine and thus improves the quality of work done by a huge machine with proper knowledge. He was quite happy with the training and skill he gained from the theory and practical lessons of the Hunar training program.

After successfully completing his training, Yallappa joined as a JCB machine helper and operator. After three months of successfully working with the machine he alone could run any machine confidently and started earning more than Rs. 15,000 per month, which is sufficient for his family to live a better life. In off-season he is involved in his own field which is an additional benefit for him.

Now Yallappa is preparing for his sister’s marriage with a nice boy and also is able to send his younger brother to school. Today, he believes that the Hunar training program has given a right direction to his career and has helped him bring success to his life.

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 was 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 was trained consecutively for 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. 4900 farmers benefitted from the program across the six locations of Rajasthan.

NFDB – RPL – Aquaculture Worker – UP

Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals (ISAP) was contracted by National Fisheries Development Board, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India for conducting Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) under PMKVY in Uttar Pradesh State. The RPL training was conducted in Aquaculture Worker domain of three days duration, based on the QP approved by Agriculture Skill Council of India (ASCI). Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a platform to provide recognition to the informal learning or learning through work to get equal acceptance as the formal levels of education. RPL is a process of assessment of an individual’s prior learning to give due importance to learning as an outcome rather than learning as process. Under PMKVY, special focus is given to RPL by recognizing prior competencies of the assessed candidates and provides a certificate and monetary reward on successful completion of assessments.

Recent Activities

The project concluded on 30th September, 2018.

We have successfully trained 2500 fish farmers in Lucknow, Mirzapur, Jhansi, Hardoi, Agra, and Allahabad districts of UP.

The trainers were identified and send for TOT program and were certified under Agriculture Skill Council of India.

The certificates have been distributed to all the passed candidates.

The three day training for the first batch was inaugurated by District Magistrate Gaurav Dayal, Deputy Director – Fisheries, Puneet Kumar, and Village Sarpanch of Mussepur village of Fatehabad block in Agra District.

PMKVY Special Project

PMKVY is the flagship vocational skill training scheme of the NSDC under Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE). The objective of this skill certification and reward scheme is to enable and mobilize a large number of Indian youth to take up skill training and become wage and self employable and earn their livelihood. Under the scheme, monetary reward would be provided to trainees who are successfully certified in skill courses.

The objective of the PMKVY training program is to train the rural youth of Haryana and to provide them with employment linkage to improve the livelihood of the farmers and unemployed rural youth in Agriculture and Food processing domains. In total, ISAP aims to train 1650 candidates and we have successfully trained 518 candidates under this training program in Gharaunda block of Karnal District.

Recent Activities

We have started two new batches at Chaura Training Centre in pickle making technician and quality seed grower domain, and assessment of animal health worker and quality seed grower has also been completed.

Upcoming Events

Events promoted by Indigram under the banner of ISAP, Indigram LABS, FIFA and Agriwatch as partners are:

Name of the Event



Facebook Link

Farm Tech Asia 2018

05-08 October, 2018

Agriculture College Ground, Indore, M. P.  

AgriFest 2018

16-18 November, 2018

Lucknow, India 

HortiPro India 2018

15-18, November, 2018

Hindustan Antibiotic Ltd, Ground Pimpri, Pune, M. H.

CII 13th Agro Tech India 2018

1-4 December, 2018

Parade Ground, Sector 17, Chandigarh

Food Show India

16 - 18 January, 2019

Reshim Bag Ground, Nagpur (Maharashtra)


22-26 November, 2018

Thakkar's Dome, Trimbak Road, Nashik

International Conference on Emerging Issues in Agricultural, Environmental & Applied Sciences for Sustainable Development (EIAEASSD - 2018)

27-29 November, 2018

Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (SHUATS), Allahabad, U.P.

Agriculture Growth Summit - 2nd Edition

29-30 November, 2018

The Arcade, Expo Centre, World Trade Centre, Mumbai 

8th International Food Convention Ifcon2018

12 - 15 December, 2018

CSIR - CFTRI Campus, Mysore, Karnataka  

Science & Technology:

Tech movement initiative helps firm support precision farming to boost crop yields, reduce water use.

C Spire, on a mission to move Mississippi forward through technology, is teaming up with farmers and smart equipment manufacturers to test new automated irrigation techniques that promise to boost crop yields and conserve declining ground water levels in the Mississippi Delta.

Aided by mobile coverage from its wireless unit widely regarded as the best in the region, the Mississippi-based telecommunications and technology firm is working with JF Phillips Farm and PrecisionKing to learn if new water management techniques can increase selected row crop yields and conserve groundwater resources.

Source: agritechtomorrow

Prominent Contributors to Agriculture:

Anupam Mishra (1948 – 2016) was an Indian Gandhian, author, journalist, environmentalist, and water conservationist who worked on promoting water conservation, water management and traditional rainwater harvesting techniques. He had been awarded the 1996 Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar (IGPP) award instituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. He travelled to villages across several Indian states, especially Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh, describing the value of time-tested systems of water harvesting. He advocated conservation of traditional water structures in India as well as abroad. He wrote books like Aaj Bhi Khare Hain Talaab (Ponds Are Still Relevant, 1993) and Rajasthan Ki Rajat Boondein (Radiant Raindrops of Rajasthan, 1995), landmark works in the field of water conservation.

Mishra was born in Wardha, Maharashtra state, India in 1948. He worked at the Gandhi Peace Foundation in New Delhi in varying capacities since completing his college education in 1969. He promoted the use of indigenous or traditional knowledge to solve water problem via preservation, maintenance and regeneration of ponds, water management and rain water harvesting.

Working with Chandi Prasad Bhatt, he was one of the early chroniclers of the Chipko movement that flourished through the 1970s in Uttarakhand, and published Chipko movement: Uttarakhand women's bid to save forest wealth in 1978.

In 1993, he published Aaj Bhi Khare Hain Talaab (Ponds Are Still Relevant), written after eight years of field research on traditional pond and water management. Soon, it became a handbook for many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working on water-harvesting projects. Subsequently, it was translated into 19 languages, including Braille, and sold over 100,000 copies, out of which the National Book Trust published 13 languages, including English. His next book, Rajasthan Ki Rajat Boondein (The Radiant Raindrops of Rajasthan), also documented water harvesting and water management in Western Rajasthan. All his books are copyright free.

Mishra was awarded the 'Amar Shaheed Chandrasekhar Azad National Award' of 2007–08, instituted by the Government of Madhya Pradesh, Culture Department to "propagate and publicise ideals of freedom struggle, patriotism and social service”.

He spoke on the topic "The ancient ingenuity of water harvesting” in the 2009 TED conference. He is the recipient of Jamnalal Bajaj Award for the year 2011. He was editor of the bi-monthly Gandhi Marg, published by the Gandhi Peace Foundation.

Mishra was a true Gandhian in philosophy and practice. Known to be warm and engaging in his demeanor and maintaining his principles throughout his life, he was a role model to many. He passed away on 20th December 2016 after a 10-month battle with cancer.

Source: wikipedia

Did you know?

The Mesopotamians built the first simple irrigation system around 7000 B.C. The earliest large-scale irrigation system was created around 4000 B.C. in southern Russia. This system had canals up to 10 feet across and more than a mile long.

The development of irrigation system in Mesopotamia was one of the major trails towards civilization and modernization. The irrigation systems in Mesopotamia unlike the modern irrigation systems had some major components like the canals, gated ditches, levees and gates.

This invention had two main purposes - to protect Mesopotamia, and other ancient civilizations to the threat of flooding. Using flooding, however, with this system, could actually make the crops grow, instead of washing away crops. Furthermore, the main water sources of this irrigation system were the rivers Euphrates and Tigris.

In the ancient Mesopotamia the water supply was not regular; be it in the form of rains or any other source which resulted in high temperature and the ground use to become hard and dry and unsuitable for cultivation of plants for almost eight months in a year.

Consequently, agriculture without risk of crop failure, which seemed to have begun in the higher rainfall zones and in the hilly borders of Mesopotamia began, irrigation had been invented then so as to bring water to large stretches of territory through a widely branching network of canals.

Through a system of dikes, dams and canals the precipitation in the mountainous region in the north was used in the south. The Mesopotamian irrigation system was of the basin type which were opened by digging a gap in the embankment and closed by placing mud back into the gap.

Water was hoisted using the swape. Furthermore, Laws in Mesopotamia not only required farmers to keep their basins and feeder canals in repair but also required everyone to help with hoes and shovels in times of flood or when new canals were to be dug or old ones repaired.

Some canals may have been used for 1,000 years before they were abandoned and others were built. These canal systems, in fact, supported a denser population.

In addition the Assyrians also developed extensive public works. Sargon II, invading Armenia in 714 B.C.E. discovered the qanat (Arabic name) or kariz (Persian name), which is a tunnel used to bring water from an underground source in the hills down to the foothills.

Sargon's son Sennacherib also developed waterworks by damming the Tebitu River and using a canal to bring water to Nineveh, where the water could be used for irrigation without hoisting devices.

During high water in the spring, overflows were handled by a municipal canebrake that was built to develop marshes. When this system was outgrown, a new canal, nearly 19 kilometers (30 miles) long, was built, with an aqueduct that had a layer of concrete or mortar under the upper layer of stone to prevent leakage.

Together with the change of river flow this irrigation system stimulates throughout the Mesopotamian history and laid the foundation of new settlements and cities in ancient Mesopotamia which in turn contributed in the formation of the cradle of civilizations.

Source: ancientmesopotamians


News Highlights

How farmer producer company model can transform Indian agriculture

Agricultural engineer Vilas Shinde has reaped a rich harvest. Sahyadri Farms, the farmer producer company (FPC) set up by him in 2011, has grown to become the largest FPC in the country, with a membership of 8,000 farmers and a turnover of Rs 300 crore. It has overtaken Mahindra Agribusiness to become India’s largest grape exporting company, and many say it may well be on course to revolutionise the fruits and vegetables business in favour of growers just as Amul did for milk producers of Gujarat.

Read more at: economictimes

Turmeric: Arrivals, sale up

Arrivals and sale of turmeric increased at the markets in Erode. “Many traders purchased good number of bags for their local demand. The farmers too brought some quality turmeric. Of the arrival of 2,800 bags, 70 per cent were sold. The present price may prevail for another fifteen days,” said Krishnamurthy, a trader. He said the price of the spice turmeric in all the markets across the country is in decreasing trend as North Indian traders have ample stocks and they are not placing any fresh orders now. At the Regulated Marketing Committee, finger variety went for ₹5,989-6,919; root variety fetched ₹5,369-6,399 a quintal. Of the 475 bags offered, 339 were sold.

Read more at: hindustantimes

Govt. estimates Kharif food grains output at record 141.59 mt

Kharif food grains output in 2018-19 would be at a record 141.59 million tonnes (mt), marginally higher than the targeted 141.2 mt, according to the first advance estimates of production of major kharif crops released by the Agriculture Ministry on Wednesday. Production in the previous year was 140.73 mt.

The stellar performance is expected mainly on account of an increase in kharif rice production which is slated to be 99.24 mt, nearly 1.75 mt more than that in the corresponding season last year. Rice output in 2017-18 kharif season was 97.50 mt, as per the fourth advance estimates published last month.

This is despite the drastic drop in output of coarse cereals which is estimated to decline by almost 15 per cent to 11.56 mt. Production in last kharif season was 13.64 mt. Among coarse cereal crops, bajra is projected to take the maximum hit whose output may come down to 7.77 mt against 9.13 mt, as per the fourth advance estimates for 2017-18.

Maize production is projected at 21.47 mt, up 1.2 mt, compared to the same period in 2017-18. Pulses production too is estimated to fall marginally to 9.22 mt from 9.34 mt in the previous kharif season, mainly because of lesser urad and arhar production.

Oilseeds output, on the other hand, is expected to be about 1 mt more than the previous season’s 21 mt thanks to the spurt in soya bean sowing. Soyabean production is projected to touch 13.5 mt, up from 11 mt in 2017-18 kharif and is more than enough to tide over the estimated 1.2 mt shortfall in groundnut production.

According to the official data, as against 7.5 mt produced in the corresponding season last year, groundnut yield this kharif season is estimated at 6.3 mt. The official estimates also indicated yet another sugarcane glut year with the production expected to be close to 383.9 mt, which is 7 mt more than 376.9 MT harvested in 2017-18.

Cotton output, on the other hand, is estimated to drop by 2.4 million bales (one bale is 170 kg) to 32.48 million bales, forcing an increase in its market prices. Production of jute and mesta, however, is anticipated to maintain the same levels at a combined output of 10.17 million bales of 180 kg each.

Read more at: thehindubusinessline

Improved cues lifts soya

Despite weak demand, improved global cues lifted soya complex at the mandis, Soya refined rose to ₹730-40 for 10 kg, while soya solvent ruled at ₹700-705. Plant deliveries of soybean were at ₹3,350 a quintal. In futures, soyabean traded higher with its October and November contracts on the NCDEX closing at ₹3,308 and ₹3,329. Soyameal, on the spot, went for ₹28,000-29,000 a tonne.

Read more at: thehindubusinessline

India's 2018 monsoon rainfall below average, lower than forecast

Rainfall in India's annual monsoon season was below average and less than forecast, with a fourth of the regions including key crop-growing northern states receiving less rain than needed, federal weather office said on Sunday.

Rains were 91 percent of the long-term average at the end of the July-September monsoon season, compared with a forecast of 97 percent, marking the fifth straight year in which the weather office has overestimated the likely rainfall.

Read more at: economictimes

Cabinet Approves New Procurement Policy to Ensure MSP to Farmers

The cabinet has approved a new procurement policy under which one scheme will focus on compensating oilseeds farmers if rates fall below the MSP and another will allow states to rope in private players for procurement, sources said.

A decision in this regard was taken in the cabinet meeting, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, held here.

In the budget this year, the government had announced that it will put in place a fool-proof mechanism to ensure minimum support price (MSP) to farmers. It had asked think-tank NITI Aayog to suggest a mechanism in consultation with the union agriculture ministry and states.

According to the sources, the agriculture ministry’s proposal on new procurement policy ‘Annadata Maulya Samrakshana Yojana’ was taken up for discussion in the cabinet, and the same has been approved.

Under the new policy, the state governments will be given an option to choose multiple schemes to protect farmers when prices fall below the MSP.

A new scheme ‘Price Deficiency Payment (PDP)’ has been framed on the lines of Madhya Pradesh government’s Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana (BBY) to protect oilseeds farmers only.

Under the PDP, the government will pay to farmers the difference between the MSP and monthly average price of oilseeds quoted in the wholesale market. This would be implemented for up to 25% of the oilseeds production in a state.

Read more at: thehindubusinessline

More women getting into farming, show agriculture census

NEW DELHI: More women are getting into farming in India, with the latest Agriculture Census showing a rise in the percentage of female farmers. The number of small and medium land holding and that of farmers and tillers too have increased in the country.

Uttar Pradesh is home to the largest number of people tilling land, followed by Bihar and Maharashtra, according to the 2015-16 Agriculture Census. As much as 86.21% of India's cultivated farmland is held by small and marginal farmers with less than two hectares of land, while those with 10 hectares and more account for just 0.57%. The average size of agriculture landholding declined to 1.08 hectare in 2015-16 from 1.15 hectare in 2010-11.

Read more at: economictimes

India's April-Aug rice exports drop 4.3 pct year on year: govt body

India's rice exports between April and August dropped 4.3 percent from a year earlier to 5.03 million tonnes as leading buyer Bangladesh trimmed purchases due to bumper local harvest, a government body said.

The country's buffalo meat exports during the period edged down 1 percent from a year ago to 499,186 tonnes, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority said.

Read more at: economictimes

Rabi crops to gain as cold wave slated to continue for two days

The rain spell on Tuesday over the northern plains leading to drop in temperatures and cold weather conditions would benefit standing rabi crop, especially wheat, gram and mustard, said scientists and traders.

The weather office has forecast cold wave conditions to continue over Punjab, Haryana, west UP and north Rajasthan for the next two days. It has also said that under the influence of the rain-bearing weather system called western disturbance, rainfall would cover northern plains.

Read more at: economictimes

Budget 2018: Time for promoting sustainable agriculture with focus on improving productivity of major crops

“Transform, Energise and Clean” or TEC India was the agenda of the 2017-18 Union Budget. The budget included many “wishes” and also identified ten “distinct themes to foster the broad agenda”. The very first theme is doubling farmers’ income in five years. Specific interventions were outlined for this theme: a) Agricultural credit increased to Rs 10 lakh crore, b) corpus of Rs 40,000 crore for NABARD’s Long Term Irrigation Fund, c) Rs 5,000 crore to micro irrigation, d) a budget provision of Rs 9,000 crore for crop insurance—Fasal Bima Yojana—to increase coverage of cropped area from 30 per cent to 40 per cent and take it to 50 per cent in 2018-19, e) Rs 8,000 crore for infrastructure development fund for dairy.

Read more at: downtoearth


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