Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

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Sushupti
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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Sushupti » 25 Jan 2013 00:06


Virupaksha
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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Virupaksha » 25 Jan 2013 02:43

Sushupti wrote:The Desi Cow – Almost Extinct

One of the nonsensical articles I have read in a long time. Ofcourse, it is exactly that paper's speciality

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby krisna » 01 Feb 2013 02:03

^^^^
why virupaksha?? I thought there is some truth in it.

India is the second largest exporter of beef after australia.

The Desi Cow - Almost Extinct
India is the world’s largest producer of milk. But in 10 years, we will be forced to start importing it. And the Indian cow will no longer exist.Jay Mazoomdaar investigates a looming disaster


Nearly 63 percent of animal protein in the Indian diet comes from dairy products. For vegetarians, there is simply no alternative.

Traditionally, India has been home to some of the most varied stock of cows in the world: the red-skinned Sahiwal that milks through droughts, the mighty Amrit Mahal with swords for horns or the tiny Vechur that stands no taller than a dog. Different breeds to suit different climatic conditions. These cows have been the most crucial backbone of India’s rural economy. Low on maintenance costs, their milk yield has not only been a succor and source of nutrition for otherwise impoverished families, their surplus has been sold by small farmers to State-run cooperatives and private companies, which further package and sell them to urban households under brands such as Amul, Vijaya, Verka, Saras, Nestle and Britannia.

The importance of cows to India’s economy, therefore, just cannot be overestimated. India is the world’s largest producer of milk. A whopping 68 percent of these milch animals are owned by small and landless farmers; their produce is distributed through over one lakh village milk cooperatives, which have more than 1.1 crore members. These arteries interconnect every strata of the country. In fact, milk is a bigger driving force for India’s agro-economy than paddy, wheat or sugar.

But in a mere 10 years, all of this could disappear. India is at the precipice of a disaster that no one seems to be trying to avert. In the run up to India’s 66th Republic Day, here’s a really sobering thought: the indigenous Indian cow — one of the country’s biggest assets — will soon cease to exist and we will be forced to import milk within a decade. This is going to have catastrophic and unimagined impact on lakhs of people.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Virupaksha » 01 Feb 2013 07:18

I was more interested in data than Tehelka's pathetic interpretations. The whole article doesnt have one even prominent depressing data. His whole article is based on flimsy anecdotes with sensationalism.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Mukesh.Kumar » 17 Feb 2013 14:18

New technique helps boost rice production while cutting down consumption costs without using herbicides & GM seeds. A case study from Bihar

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Prem » 18 Feb 2013 07:38

Sumant Kumar was overjoyed when he harvested his rice last year. There had been good rains in his village of Darveshpura in north-east India and he knew he could improve on the four or five tonnes per hectare that he usually managed. But every stalk he cut on his paddy field near the bank of the Sakri river seemed to weigh heavier than usual, every grain of rice was bigger and when his crop was weighed on the old village scales, even Kumar was shocked.This was not six or even 10 or 20 tonnes. Kumar, a shy young farmer in Nalanda district of India's poorest state Bihar, had – using only farmyard manure and without any herbicides – grown an astonishing 22.4 tonnes of rice on one hectare of land. This was a world record and with rice the staple food of more than half the world's population of seven billion, big news.It beat not just the 19.4 tonnes achieved by the "father of rice", the Chinese agricultural scientist Yuan Longping, but the World Bank-funded scientists at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, and anything achieved by the biggest European and American seed and GM companies. And it was not just Sumant Kumar. Krishna, Nitish, Sanjay and Bijay, his friends and rivals in Darveshpura, all recorded over 17 tonnes, and many others in the villages around claimed to have more than doubled their usual yields.
The villagers, at the mercy of erratic weather and used to going without food in bad years, celebrated. But the Bihar state agricultural universities didn't believe them at first, while India's leading rice scientists muttered about freak results. The Nalanda farmers were accused of cheating. Only when the state's head of agriculture, a rice farmer himself, came to the village with his own men and personally verified Sumant's crop, was the record confirmed.What happened in Darveshpura has divided scientists and is exciting governments and development experts. Tests on the soil show it is particularly rich in silicon but the reason for the "super yields" is entirely down to a method of growing crops called System of Root Intensification (SRI). It has dramatically increased yields with wheat, potatoes, sugar cane, yams, tomatoes, garlic, aubergine and many other crops and is being hailed as one of the most significant developments of the past 50 years for the world's 500 million small-scale farmers and the two billion people who depend on them.Instead of planting three-week-old rice seedlings in clumps of three or four in waterlogged fields, as rice farmers around the world traditionally do, the Darveshpura farmers carefully nurture only half as many seeds, and then transplant the young plants into fields, one by one, when much younger. Additionally, they space them at 25cm intervals in a grid pattern, keep the soil much drier and carefully weed around the plants to allow air to their roots. The premise that "less is more" was taught by Rajiv Kumar, a young Bihar state government extension worker who had been trained in turn by Anil Verma of Professional Assistance for Development Action, an Indian NGO which has introduced the SRI method to hundreds of villages in the past three years.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Vipul » 04 Jun 2013 20:02

Farmers flock to city to find labourers; PAU says don’t panic.

As the date for paddy sowing — June 10 — is coming near, farmers of Punjab are heading towards migrant and industrial hub Ludhiana but the shortage of labour and inflation have compounded their problems.

In view of the too expensive paddy transplantors costing lakhs and unaffordable for small farmers, they are left with no option but to go for manual paddy sowing and hiring labourers from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other states.However, this year even the labour, which was earlier available in abundance, is hard to find. Thus, their rates have too gone up due to shortage.

While a farmer hiring a labourer had to pay Rs 1,800 to Rs 2,000 (Is that per day? :shock: )for getting paddy sowed till last year, it’s nothing less than Rs 2,500-3,000 which is going to work this paddy sowing season.

But the option is still viable if compared to a paddy transplantor which costs nothing less than Rs 1.5 lakh and thus completely out of reach for small and medium farmers. This cost is despite the subsidy by the state government. The transplantors are also not easily available to all the farmers.
Without the subsidy, the minimum price of a transplantor is Rs 2.5 lakh while the maximum is Rs 10 lakh, which is completely out of reach for farmers.

But if experts from Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) are to be believed, it is still not the time for farmers to get panicky. “No doubt, labour is in short supply and costly this year but nothing to get panicky about. They will arrive but late,” says Dr M S Sidhu, senior economist-cum-head, PAU Economics Department.

He says there are many factors which have led to the shortage of labour. “First the MNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) has played a major role as now migrants feel comfortable in living with their families and getting employment too. It’s not that they have completely stopped coming here but not in huge numbers as earlier. So, definitely shortage will be there,” he said.

According to Dr Sidhu, except paddy sowing, all other works in the process have become mechanised. This along with inflation and ‘more demand and less supply’ are also contributing to ‘short and costly’ labour.

Teja Singh, a farmer from Moga, who landed on the Ludhiana railway station on Sunday to find labourers, said, “We are ready to pay what they demand, give them food and accommodation but we are yet to find anyone.”

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby krisna » 06 Aug 2013 05:13

http://forbesindia.com/article/on-assig ... um=twitter

Contrary to NGO stories of exploited farmers and middlemen running riot, Gujarat’s potato farmers have scripted an entrepreneurial success story by teaming up with multinationals and other buyers of their produce


Yeah it is the kommunal Gujarat again.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby krishnan » 06 Aug 2013 16:24

not per day, probably for sowing the particualr area , say 1 acre or something like that. Its getting harder to get labours for these even in pollachi

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby RamaY » 07 Aug 2013 02:52

Virupaksha wrote:I was more interested in data than Tehelka's pathetic interpretations. The whole article doesnt have one even prominent depressing data. His whole article is based on flimsy anecdotes with sensationalism.


The numbers you can get from google. In India we have ~300mil cattle population in 2010. In 2012 we exported 8.5L tons meat meaning we slaughtered anywhere between 15-40 million cattle (cattle weighs about 350-600kg so you can guess consumable/exportable meat from that) because these numbers do not include local consumption.

That means the entire cattle population gets recycled every 7-15 years.

The average life span of a water buffalo is about 15-30 years. That means we are slaughtering them much before the cattle gets old.

Coming to the Tehelka report, the key point is 'extinction of Indian cows species". Why is it a right issue? Because Indian cows are known to give lesser milk than genetically modified hybrid cow varieties. So it is natural for farmers to get rid of Indian cows and go for hybrid cows.

Yes it is all economics. Indian cattle matters if and only if we see life as not something that can be exploited for economic benefits. By one argument, even slave trade is also an economic pursuit.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Javee » 07 Aug 2013 09:55

krishnan wrote:not per day, probably for sowing the particualr area , say 1 acre or something like that. Its getting harder to get labours for these even in pollachi

Pollachi was never a big paddy growing area. With 100 days work scheme and freebies thrown by the government and the industrialization of western TN makes agriculture a daunting task. That is why most of the farmers in this region have resorted to coconut farming. The main areas in TN are the Cauvery belt (Trichy, Thanjai, Nagai) or Thamiraparani belt (Ambai).

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby VKumar » 07 Aug 2013 21:24

For many years I have been thinking of a farm where I can maintain original Indian breeds of cows, maybe breed them, so as to preserve their lines. I will be very obliged to anyone who can provide some guidance.

I suppose that one will have to take some permission from the State or Central Ministry of Agriculture. Then what? Is there any consultant who can guide?

Thank you.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Theo_Fidel » 07 Aug 2013 22:39

In my area you are 'required' to hire a team. Anywhere from 6 to 20 workers mostly women who work together. A typical team is paid Rs800- Rs2500 or so per day for work like paddy transplantation. For reference a team of 10 experienced workers can do about 1 acre per day of transplantation. There is a transplantation machine that can do 10-20 acres a day with 2-3 workers on it. It costs roughly roughly Rs 2000 per day to rent plus labor-diesel etc. Due to small plots it is cheaper for small farmers to go with labor.

IIRC the pollachi area soil is not good for paddy. Too sandy. But excellent for coconut. The Pollach-namakkal-salem area has some of the highest coconut productivity in the world! Far higher than even kerala. The lower rainfall and humidity means that it is easier to grow the dwarf varieties that are more disease prone.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Javee » 08 Aug 2013 11:41

VKumar,
Depending upon the area you in, there are Vert. Univ that can help you to start and breed native cattle or visit the cattle fairs conducted across the country.

For eg, in Western TN, we visit these 3 places,
http://www.agritech.tnau.ac.in/animal_h ... breed.html
http://www.kangayambull.com/history.htm
And the Anthiyur/Kangeyam Cattle Fair

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Javee » 08 Aug 2013 11:59

Theo_Fidel wrote:IIRC the pollachi area soil is not good for paddy. Too sandy. But excellent for coconut. The Pollach-namakkal-salem area has some of the highest coconut productivity in the world! Far higher than even kerala. The lower rainfall and humidity means that it is easier to grow the dwarf varieties that are more disease prone.

Pollachi has red soil, although they still do grow paddy, cotton and other cash crops around that area, like you said Pollachi-Kinathukadavu area is known for "elaneer" coconuts. Its a combination of weather, soil and water. The fruit is almost twice the size of other areas in TN. Namakkal, Salem, Erode all have primarily "kopparai" coconuts.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby nawabs » 10 Sep 2013 23:30

Modi wows farmers in VIP style

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opi ... 113151.ece
For most of the 4,000-odd farmers who have converged on Gandhinagar for the Vibrant Gujarat Global Agricultural Summit, the swank and sprawling complex of the Mahatma Mandir is a different world. All plugs have been pulled out to make this initiative, an obvious exercise by the Gujarat Chief Minister and prime minister hopeful Narendra Modi, to connect with this huge rural constituency, a success.

The farmers hailing from remote corners of India and 542 districts — a figure surprisingly close to the number of Lok Sabha seats — are being virtually treated as VIPs. While the total cost of the travel and accommodation of the large number of awardees — each getting a cash award of Rs 51,000 for their exemplary farming practices — has been borne by the organisers, all that the remaining farmers have had to dish out is the cost of their train ticket.

“For us from Tamil Nadu, this meant only an expenditure of Rs 1,250 for the return ticket on Navjeevan Express from Chennai,” says an excited Prabhakaran, a paddy farmer from Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu. A delegation of 140 farmers is attending this meet from Tamil Nadu. “We were met at the Ahmedababd station and have been put up in a very comfortable place.”

Adds fellow farmer Uma Lenin from Vellore, “The food is super, and each group of 40 has been given a bus with our own driver, so we’ve not had to spend a penny after landing here.”

The 200-strong delegation from Punjab is even more privileged. Accompanied by few officials from the Punjab Agricultural Department, even their travel cost (“including our meals in the train,” says Bhatinder Singh Sarkari, a Punjab farmer) has been borne by their Government, and “we’ve been given AC rooms in a hotel which would cost Rs 4,000 or more a night…. We are three to a room, and are delighted with the VIP treatment we’re receiving here,” he beams.
best practices


The farmers have been invited here to not only honour the high performers from across the country, but also to give them an opportunity to learn about the best practices in agriculture not only from researchers and technical experts but also by sharing their experiences. The accent is on increased productivity, higher yield and diversified, high value farming. The endeavour is also to connect them with the best technology and modern agri equipment and implements available to increase their yield and reduce their dependence on labour at a time when labour for farm operations is becoming prohibitively expensive.

Over 200 companies from 15 nations are showcasing their farm implements and machinery at the accompanying exhibition. A large contingent of the national media has been invited and the importance of this meet to Modi can be seen from his presence on the first day not only through the entire inaugural session lasting over three hours but also at the subsequent Kisan Panchayat post lunch. About 10,000 farmers participated in this Panchayat. And then he dashed back after addressing the Jaipur BJP rally on Tuesday to address the valedictory session of the farmers’ summit.

Most of the Gujarat ministers were found attending the different sessions and senior bureaucrats too had been directed to give this meet their undiluted attention. Ample arrangements were made at different parts of the huge complex for lunch and there was no dearth of water bottles, Amul buttermilk cartons, ice cream and other refreshments, all on the house of course.

More than one farmer I spoke to had only one sentiment to express: Finally somebody has recognised the worth and value of the Indian farmer.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby RamaY » 07 Oct 2013 15:10

Yesterday there was an interview in a telugu news Chanel with farmers from different parts of AP. one of them is an inspiring story. That farmer turned his water-scarce farm into floriculture and is earning Rs5-25L per year per acre :eek:

Will post the summary later.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby ramana » 16 Oct 2013 08:31

Has India decoded the Rice genome or is waiting for US to patent it?

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Haresh » 28 Nov 2013 15:11

Dust to Dust: a man-made Malthusian crisis
We must wake up to the global land crisis or face a very real threat of famine

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comm ... risis.html

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby nawabs » 30 Nov 2013 12:49

Sugar production declines 65% to 1.6 mt in Oct-Nov

http://www.livemint.com/Politics/vOSNSq ... ctNov.html
Sugar production fell by about 1.6 million tonnes (mt) in the first two months of the current sugar season that began in October, and the situation threatens to worsen as sugar mills across the country continued their shutdown, protesting against sugar prices set by various states. The impasse is especially severe in Uttar Pradesh, the country’s second largest producer of the sweetener.

India produced about 800,000 tonnes of sugar in October and an equal quantity in November, compared with about 2.44 mt produced during the same two months last year—a 65% decline, the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said on Friday. The sugar season will end on 30 September 2014.

“As compared with 400 sugar mills which were crushing sugarcane at the end of November 2012, only 208 sugar mills have started crushing operations till now in this season,” ISMA said in a press statement. “The main reason for just about half the sugar mills having started till now, as compared with last year, is because of the uncertainty on cane pricing for 2013-14. UP as well as Karnataka have fixed unviable sugarcane prices, which has deterred mills to start crushing due to obvious losses expected at these prices and resultant expected cane price arrears of farmers,” it added.

The impasse is a result of the financial crunch the sugar industry is battling after suffering huge losses last year due to increased cost of production and a simultaneous fall in sugar prices. The industry body is demanding that the Uttar Pradesh government implement the formula suggested by a committee headed by C. Rangarajan, chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, to determine sugarcane price in relation to sugar price realization and that the state provide farmers a subsidy to bridge the gap in the state-administered price and mills’ paying capacity for one year.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby panduranghari » 15 Jan 2014 15:52

x post
prahaar wrote:
SBajwa wrote:Also!!

Jats are farmers and thus they see FDI in retail as helping them (direct contracts with Walmat, Reliance, etc). As oppose to helping the city based middle men who do not add any value to the product between consumers and producers.


Farmers will get a good deal ONLY if the clause of resourcing raw material locally is maintained. Walmart, if given a free reign, will bypass also the local farmers.



True that. A cursory study of farmers in EU or US is enough to prove the big supermarkets have caused huge upheaval in the life of small farmers. Hence, the farmers in France oppose any cuts to their subsidies by the European Union. Britain wants to cut the subsidies as they cannot compete with France, forgetting that the subsidies the British farmers get are coming not from Brussels but from Westminster. Because without these subsidies they would never even break even.

I am sure the supporters of FDI in retail will have studied this is much more detail.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby ramana » 22 Jan 2014 04:15

Hindu Business Line:

No Longer US grain market

Some thing happened with collapse of FSU.

No longer Uncle Sam’s grain market
TEJINDER NARANG

The price of wheat is determined by Black Sea region countries, and corn by Argentina, Brazil and Ukraine.

The views of analysts that world grain prices are bearish simply because they are declining in the US’ Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) may not be entirely true.

Price movements in the Black Sea region have been quite the opposite of what transpired on futures exchanges. US leadership in agro trade is on the decline and other origins are asserting themselves. This is borne out by some recent developments.


WHEAT DYNAMICS

US share in world wheat trade has declined to 20 per cent from 30-35 per cent in 1990-2008. In recent times, the Black Sea nations of Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan have been the largest single bloc of wheat exporters of about 35 million tonnes (mts) while the US share is around 28-30 mts out of the world’s total volume of 140 mts.

Egypt, the world’s largest wheat buyer (10-12 mts per annum) is heavily dependent upon Black Sea Wheat (BSW), as are other nations in Africa and West Asia. The Far-East gets its wheat from Australia. Since 2011, Indian wheat export of about 5-6 mts has been competing with Black Sea and Australian wheat.

US futures exchanges, CBOT and the Kansas Board of Trade (KBOT), are no longer “reliable” platforms of price discovery. The high speculative interest of hedge funds in futures trades distorts evaluations. The price trends (bullish or bearish) indicated by these exchanges are disregarded by other origins.

During the last quarter of 2013, the values of US’ Hard Red Winter (HRW-12 per cent protein) wheat, which is comparable to Indian wheat and tracked by KBOT, plummeted by $45/mt ($290 fob), while Black Sea quotes climbed up by $45/mt from $250 to $295.

From India’s export perspective, Black Sea values are more relevant than what is happening in the US or its future exchanges. Moreover, Indian fob export price has to be compared with the landed cost (CIF) of the nearest origin — the Black Sea or Australia.

The US is the world’s largest producer of corn — about 350 mts. It had a share of 60 per cent share in world coarse grains in 2000-08 but that is now down to 40 per cent.

Recently, China “rejected” about 600,000 tonnes of US corn on GMO-related aberrations, though China requires about 5 mts maize this year.


The US or its sellers cannot muster the courage to drag China to international arbitration or the WTO for destabilising the market for fear of jeopardising future business.

After all, China imports 65 mts of soya bean, mostly from the US.

Discarded corn cargoes are finally offloaded in Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and elsewhere at a discount. Perhaps to firm up CBOT prices, the US Department of Agriculture underplayed corn yield in its monthly report dated January 10, 2014. :eek: :eek: :eek:

Corn exports from Argentina, Brazil and Ukraine of 20 mts each acted as a dampener on US prices. It is this trio that determines world’s maize prices, rather than the CBOT.

The irony is that the US has supported higher GMO corn production in these very South American countries from whom they are facing the heat. India’s corn exports, too, are calibrated on the basis of this trio, and not the US.

RICE TRENDS

The US was never a frontrunner in rice trade, whereas India is. Surprisingly, the US and Pakistan are on the same footing on rice production and exports. Both produce about 6-7 mts of rice each, and export about 3-3.5 mts. This is in contrast to India’s export of 10-11 mts (25 per cent of world trade) and about 7-8 mts each by Thailand and Vietnam. Global rice trade is expected to reach 40 mts for the first time, from about 38 mts, because of China’s additional demand, to be serviced mainly by Vietnam.

Three factors are responsible for Indian supremacy in rice trade — the populist but unfriendly Thai trading policies, the demand pull of basmati rice from Iran, and the switching of Sub-Saharan consumers from traditional foods (cassava and millet) to rice, which is viewed as a ‘fast’ food because of its shorter preparation time. The expansion in African price-sensitive markets has been supplied largely by India and Vietnam.

Rice trade is linked to the processing of paddy, packaging, and blending rather than bulk shipments. It is labour-intensive. The participation of the US in the rice trade in a big way is difficult.

Lower world prices of wheat and corn do not spell good news for Indian exports. However, basmati rice export — which is growing — is a high value addition item. Non-basmati rice export will depend upon Thailand’s ability to sustain its financial and economic mismanagement. The influence of the US here is marginal.

(The author is a grains trade analyst.)



This is a big shift in grain markets and has geo-political ramifications.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Vipul » 11 Feb 2014 06:00

India set to post its highest ever food output.

India is set to post its highest ever food output with a likely production of 263.2 million tonne of food grain this year, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar has said.

The figure is about 4 million tonnes higher than the previous record of 259 million tonnes two years ago.

Nearly two-thirds of Indians depend on farm income.

The higher output could cool prices and boost rural earnings, with the farm sector growing at a robust 6%, two percentage points higher than the official target of 4%. Together, these trends represent a good bet for the government to fix the economy, its biggest worry, analysts say.

Food prices were higher by 13.68% in December 2013 as compared to the same period a year ago, down from a rise of 19.95% in November 2013.

A fall in food prices could come as a major respite for households as they form the largest chunk of monthly expenditure and affect the poor most. Vegetable prices have also fallen after the recent spike in onion prices, government data says.

The record harvest comes on the back of four consecutive normal monsoons and higher crop prices offered by the government in the form of minimum support prices.

Cropping patterns show farmers in many regions shifted to cash crops for higher income, signalling aspirational goals in the rural hinterland. Currently, rural consumers account for nearly half of all television sales, according to a Citibank analysis.

“If farms are happy (sic), then the biggest chunk of India will be happy,” said Rajiv Ahuja of Comtrade, a commodity market analyst.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Vipul » 15 Apr 2014 08:05

India to expand irrigation to cut reliance on monsoon.

India plans to expand its farmland under irrigation by at least a tenth in the next three years, potentially boosting grains output by an equal proportion in the world’s second-biggest rice and wheat producer, a top government official told Reuters.

The extra irrigated area would cut India’s dependence on annual monsoon rains that water crops grown on nearly half of the country’s farmlands. Rice, cane, corn, cotton and soybean are the main monsoon crops.

Crop yields on irrigated farms are usually 2-2.5 times those in rain-fed areas. Better yields would boost exports after India shipped large quantities of rice and wheat in recent years.

“We have around 97 million hectares under irrigation and it’s slated to go up by 10% by 2017. Eventually, the potential is to take this forward by almost half to 149 million hectares,” A.B. Pandya, chairman of the state-run Central Water Commission, said in an interview on Monday.

Higher output and productivity will also raise rural income, stoking demand for an array for consumer goods ranging from lipsticks to refrigerators.
Although agriculture’s share in India’s nearly $2 trillion dollar economy has steadily fallen to 14%, the sector continues to employ more than half of its 1.2 billion people.

If India manages to realise its irrigation potential, almost three-quarters of its 199 million hectares of arable land would be irrigated, leaving just a quarter dependent on monsoon rains.

A wide range of geographies, climatic conditions and crop patterns will prohibit India from raising irrigation facilities beyond its optimum potential of 149 million hectares.

“I don’t have an answer when are we going to realise our full irrigation potential. To realise that potential, we need new reservoirs to raise storage capacity to 450 billion cubic metres from the current 250,” Pandya said.It would cost around Rs10,40,000 crore ($173 billion) to boost reservoir capacity, he said.

While there is no dearth of resources, issues such as land acquisition, resettlement and environmental clearances remain a prickly problem in building new reservoirs, said Pandya and his colleagues at the ministry of water resources.

A number of mining and industrial projects, including POSCO’s $12 billion Indian steel plant have been stuck in a quagmire of legal and environmental procedures.Also, there has been stiff opposition to big dams in India that Pandya believes is a major constraint in realising the country’s true irrigation potential.

“The voluntary groups that are opposed to dams try to couch their argument in a way that looks scientific but their basic assumption is wrong,” he said.
A major project to construct dams in the upper Yamuna has been stuck for the past 20-30 years, Pandya said, referring to the river that flows through the capital New Delhi.

Agriculture may become more resilient because of the extra area under irrigation but the monsoon will continue to play a major role in supporting farmers’ income and replenishing reservoirs.

Heavy rains at the tail end of the last monsoon season have ensured water levels at 42% of total capacity in India’s main reservoirs, a fifth higher than a year earlier and a third more than the 10-year average.

“More than satisfactory water levels at our reservoirs are very reassuring, especially when the new monsoon season is just round the corner,” Pandya said

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Vipul » 18 May 2014 22:49

India expected to record highest-ever foodgrain production.

India is likely to produce 264.38 million tonnes of foodgrains during 2013-14 (includes kharif crops in 2013 and rabi crops during 2013-14 crops) compared to 257.13 million tonnes last year.

This is over seven million tonnes higher than the production last year. In the earlier second advance estimates released in February, the total foodgrain production was pegged at 263.2 million tonne.This is 1 million tonne higher than expected, mainly due to higher wheat and rice output.

Rice production is expected at record 106.29 million tonnes, while wheat production is expected to reach 95.85 million tonnes.

Record production has also been achieved in the case of tur (3.38 million tonne), gram (9.93 million tonnes), maize (24.19 million tonnes), all pulses put together (19.57 million tonne), cotton (36.50 million bales) and jute (10.82 million bales).

Industry body Assocham said yesterday India can export upto 10 million tons (MT) of wheat each year if the country is able to maintain production level of about 95 MT as exports are the only ideal option to avoid massive spoilage and wastage.

According to estimates about 40 per cent grains worth about Rs 50,000 crore are spoilt owing to dearth of adequate modern wheat storage facilities and the slow pace at which new fresh storage space is being created in the country.

Exports would help India develop dedicated clientele in the global wheat markets.

Major importers of wheat from India are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, UAE, Yemen, Vietnam and African Countries like Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, Tanzania among others.

Though, with over 90 million tons (MT) of annual wheat production India ranks second only after China in terms of global wheat production of about 700 MT grown on over 240 million hectares, however in terms of yield (3 MT/ha) India is far behind leading Western European countries like - France, Germany, UK (each with about 7 MT/ha), China (5 MT/ha). ''Considering the growing population and needs for country's food security there is a compelling need to increase the yields significantly by focusing on high yielding varieties suitable for various geographical and climatic regions.''

''The total production of wheat which accounts for about 35 per cent of India's foodgrains' basket may reach 100 MT by 2016-17 from the level of about 93.5 MT as of 2012-13,'' noted Assocham. ''However, unless concerted efforts are made to fight the vagaries of weather, risk of pests and diseases and poor productivity in most wheat producing states, it is difficult to achieve higher wheat production targets on a consistent basis.''

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Pranay » 17 Jun 2014 20:14

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city ... 684381.cms

UGAMEDI (Bhavnagar): Connecting the country's big rivers may still look a far-fetched idea, but a village in Bhavnagar has shown the way in its own small way. Two rivers in Ugamedi, about 70 km from Bhavnagar, have already been linked with a 2.5 km pipeline.

The river interlinking project is a gift from diamond baron Lalji Patel, owner of Surat-based Dharmanandan Diamonds, to his native village. Lalji almost single-handedly took up the project — which has cost him about Rs 10 crore — connecting river Keri with the Sonal through a pipeline.

READ ALSO: Interlinking of rivers to get new push under Modi government

When Keri, a river originating near Hingolgadh, gets rain this monsoon, a large volume of water will flow into the Sonal through the pipeline

"Keri river is 183 km long and its water flows away into the sea," said Lalji. "So we decided to divert this water into Sonal river through a pipeline."

He also got the Sonal deepened and widened to increase its water-carrying capacity. This river linking will benefit nearly 10 villages and one lakh bigha agricultural land in the surrounding areas.

In the past two years Lalji, with the help of villagers, constructed three check dams on the Sonal. This resulted in underground water levels going up.

"There was a time when Ugamedi villagers used to quarrel over a bucket of water," Lalji said. "But the village is [now] free from water scarcity as groundwater is available at just 30 ft."

River interlinking also has the potential of turning Ugamedi into a tourist hotspot. Taking a cue from the Sabarmati riverfront, Lalji plans to beautify the banks of the Sonal. He has bought eight motorboats that will be seen in action once the river is filled up with water. Visitors will get free rides.

"The banks of the Sonal will be beautified by planting 5,000 fully grown trees," Patel told TOI. "We are also developing common plots along the bank. The river-linking project should become an inspiration for others and be replicated in other villages."

Vinu Patel, sarpanch of Ugamedi village, said: "Our village can turn into a tourist spot during and after the monsoon since water is abundant. People can enjoy boating and learn about linking rivers."

Lalji also plans to provide irrigation water to farms through a pipeline. "Farmers are taking two crops every year," said Vinu. "Last year, as per our calculations, farmers earned Rs 4 crore more compared to previous years. Eighty per cent of the farmers are using drip irrigation and from next year all farmers will be using this method to save water and energy."

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby alexis » 18 Jun 2014 11:42

^
what about people and ecosystem downstream of Keri river? Are these affected or it is also taken care of?

I have no idea about geography of the region and hence the question.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Vipul » 20 Jun 2014 04:11

India-born scientist named winner of 2014 World Food Prize.

India-born plant scientist Sanjaya Rajaram has been named the winner of the $250,000 World Food Prize for his breakthrough achievement in increasing global wheat production by more than 200 million tonnes following the Green Revolution.Rajaram’s contributions in successfully cross-breeding winter and spring wheat varieties, which were distinct gene pools and had been isolated from one another for hundreds of years, led to him developing plants that have higher yields and a broad genetic base.

More than 480 high-yielding wheat varieties bred by Rajaram have been released in 51 countries on six continents and have been widely adopted by small- and large-scale farmers alike.“Rajaram’s work serves as an inspiration to us all to do more, whether in the private or public sector,” said US Secretary of State John Kerry at an event where he delivered the keynote address.

“When you do the math, when our planet needs to support two billion more people in the next three decades, it’s not hard to figure out: This is the time for a second green revolution,” Kerry said.

Rajaram followed Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Norman E Borlaug at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, CIMMYT, leading its Wheat Program from 1976 to 2001.

World Food Prize Foundation President and the former US Ambassador to Cambodia Kenneth M Quinn said the 2014 World Food Prize Laureate is an individual who worked closely with Dr Borlaug in Mexico and who then carried forward and extended his work, breaking new ground with his own achievements.

We are grateful for the hundreds of new species of wheat Dr Rajaram developed, which deliver 200 million more tonnes of grain to global markets each year and feed millions across the world,” Kerry added.

He also talked about Feed the Future, a presidential global hunger and food security initiative, through which the US is establishing a foundation for lasting progress against global hunger.“Feed the Future supports a research agenda to harness scientific innovation and technology in agriculture,” he said.

The World Food Prize was established in 1986 by Borlaug in order to focus the world’s attention on hunger and on those whose work has significantly helped efforts to end it.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby hanumadu » 20 Jun 2014 08:54

alexis wrote:^
what about people and ecosystem downstream of Keri river? Are these affected or it is also taken care of?

I have no idea about geography of the region and hence the question.


From the article,

"Keri river is 183 km long and its water flows away into the sea," said Lalji. "So we decided to divert this water into Sonal river through a pipeline."


I guess, Keri has excess water which can be diverted to Sonal.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Vayutuvan » 20 Jun 2014 10:28

World Food Prize to another Indian - fantastic news. IIRC, he is seventh Indian to get the prize. The very first one was awarded to Prof. M. S. Swaminathan, and two years later the third one to Prof. Verghese Kurien (second Indian to get the prize). I had the good fortune to hear M. S. Swaminthan a decade back and got one of my grad degrees (loongtime back) from the hands of Prof. Kurien when he was the speaker at the convocation.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Kakkaji » 22 Jun 2014 08:57

Cash flowers in oilseed field

Supaul, June 21: A college graduate hailing from a farmers’ family, Anil Kumar Yadav (32) roamed around in Delhi and Mumbai in search of a job only to return empty-handed, about three years ago. The very idea of getting engaged in the family’s traditional vocation was “nightmarish” to him.

Anil, a resident of Samda Chowk village under Basantpur block of Supaul district, around 350km northeast of Patna, today owns a spanking motorcycle, a decent house to live in, smart clothes to wear and, more important, has money that is adequate to educate his two children.

All this, thanks to the farming of sunflower that he started nearly three years ago.

Anil’s prosperity is effectively the gift of the high-profit cash crop that sunflower — a popular oilseed in demand in Bangladesh, China, Japan besides all over India — has turned out to be.

“A cottah of land yields around 80kg of sunflower. It fetches Rs 2,400 per cottah at the rate of Rs 3,000 per quintal. It requires an investment of barely Rs 900 to produce the oilseed worth Rs 2,400 in four months — the time for the crops to ripe and be harvested,” Anil explained.

Anil said he had been selling sunflower worth Rs 8.1 lakh produced at an investment of about Rs 3.03 lakh on his 10 acres (270 cottahs approximately) of farmland. “In spite of owning over 15 acres of land, our family was poor. My father and grandfather produced only wheat, gram and barley that required more labour and money and yielded no profit. The farming of sunflower on a major portion of our land has changed our fortunes,” Anil said.

Oil mills in Gujarat are big buyers of the sunflower seeds grown in Bihar.

Till about four to five years ago, the flood-ravaged region — consistently inundated by the river Kosi and its tributaries originating from Nepal during the monsoon season — was infamous for poverty, starvation and large-scale migration of labourers. Its farmlands seldom produced kharif crops — mainly paddy — for they stayed inundated during the kharif season (July to October/November). Of course, the region produced rabi crops — wheat and gram — but these crops seldom yielded profit for the farmers.

The distinguishing feature of sunflower farming is it is sown and harvested during the rabi season — November to June. Thus, the flooding never comes in the way of the farmers growing sunflower

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby johneeG » 23 Jun 2014 07:58



Very informative video. Must watch.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby Prem » 24 Jun 2014 00:02

http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/The-B ... pesticides
http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/The-Bite/2014/0622/Why-women-in-India-are-farming-with-diverse-plants-and-without-pesticides

Occupying much of south-central India, the Deccan Plateau represents a large swath of the country’s agricultural terrain. The region is home to three states, the major population centers of Bangalore and Hyderabad, and land used to cultivate many traditional crops, including sugar, maize, and sorghum. However, a growing number of peasant women, many organized within the Deccan Development Society (DDS), have taken the initiative to farm through unique, sustainable techniques that harken back generations.Planting a diversity of crops, these women farmers avoid many physical and mental heath problems found in large-scale Indian farming, and are able to feed their families effectively. According to the DDS, farmers who suffer from poor harvests often battle depression and suicide, and the successes realized by biodiverse planting alleviates many of these concerns. Many of the women plant more than 20 different crops on their land, ignoring scientists and economists that argue against cultivating crops that do not typically command high prices in the open market. Deccan peasant women represent empowerment, tradition, and the strength that accompanies responsible living. With the ability to grow many different crops, these women can preserve their heritage by planting and cultivating foods that, while nutritious and delicious, are not typically grown on a modern industrial scale. Saathesh cites this type of “farm to table” agriculture as a simple yet powerful way to connect families, maintain aged and treasured cultural aspects, and live under a fairly low-income umbrella. Biodiverse farming allows women to build seed collections to be envied that support entire communities. Since 1998, annual Mobile Biodiversity Festivals attract over 150,000 farmers in the region, and the Indian National Biodiversity Board has labeled the area as an Agricultural Biodiversity Heritage Site. Encouraged by this recognition of their work, the women are measurably content with their results; a peasant woman named Mahbatpur Swaroopa noted that the farmers “…are totally disinterested in any monetary benefits. It is the recognition that (they) cherish.” The successes of their seed collections and biodiverse planting schemes have earned them respect from their husbands, appreciation from their families, and recognition from national organizations applauding their efforts.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby vivek.rao » 30 Jun 2014 01:02

DUTCH PLANTLAB REVOLUTIONIZES FARMING: NO SUNLIGHT, NO WINDOWS, LESS WATER, BETTER FOOD

You’ve heard of paint by numbers? Get ready for feed-the-world by numbers. Dutch agricultural company PlantLab wants to change almost everything you know about growing plants. Instead of outdoors, they want farms to be in skyscrapers, warehouses, or underground using hydroponics or other forms of controlled environments. Instead of sunlight they use red and blue LEDs. Water? They need just 10% of the traditional requirements. At every stage of their high tech process, PlantLab monitors thousands of details (163,830 reports per second!) with advanced sensors to create the perfect environment for each individual type of crop. In short, they create a high tech ‘plant paradise’. See it in action in the videos below, followed by plenty of pics of their tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc. PlantLab’s revolutionary approach to agriculture may be able to leverage math and science to create a better food supply for the world’s escalating population. Fresher, local, more efficient…and they supposedly taste better too!

Urban agriculture isn’t new, and people have been talking about vertical farms (i.e. greenhouse skyscrapers) for decades. We’ve seen some cool examples of urban aquaculture (fish + plants) and a team from Singularity University was working on small scale urban farm boxes last year. What makes PlantLab different is the hardcore scientific and mathematical innovation they are bringing to the table. Screw bringing the farm into the city. These guys are reconsidering everything we know about planting crops. Why use white light? Plants don’t want the green spectrum, and many of the wavelengths just heat the leaves and evaporate water. Instead PlantLab gives their plants light from red and blue LEDs, changing the spectrum for each different plant! The same goes for CO2, and dozens of other factors. The results are plants grown in weird purple rooms, stacked in columns, that get bigger faster and with less resources than traditional indoor horticulture. Take a look:






What does PlantLab’s purple fetish buy you? When grown outdoors plant photosynthesis is only about 9% efficient. With the correct balance of colored LED light, PlantLab has increased that efficiency to 12 or 15%, aiming for 18%. Double the efficiency means increased yield (or more likely equal yield with less energy). By keeping the plants in a contained system, PlantLab can also recycle evaporated water, which helps them grow crops using just one tenth the water as with traditional greenhouses. Because PlantLab’s harvest is indoors, they don’t have pests (and could quickly isolate rooms that somehow got contaminated) and they don’t need pesticides. Finally, PlantLab’s production facilities can be built almost anywhere: from the Sahara to the Artic, it’s all going to look the same indoors. So everyone’s food can be grown as local as possible. That means fresher food with less costs of transportation.



PlantLab was founded with four key principles in mind, which can be paraphrased as such: 1) if we don’t create a lot more food, our growing global population is going to starve 2) we need to innovate 3)we should redesign agriculture to best suit a plant’s growing needs, and 4) if we can balance all the factors in a plants environment, we can optimize food production. Frankly, the creation of those goals alone would have impressed me. That PlantLab has employed them to such great benefit is truly wonderful. Triple the production of traditional plants on just 10% of the water is amazing. Customized environments to maximize (or tailor) yield controlled by complex operating software? Also amazing. The reduction (or absence) of pesticides and the ability to place these agricultural facilities almost anywhere is amaz—Look, it’s all just pretty freakin’ awesome, okay? Every bit of it. If and when the energy cost hurdle can be overcome, I think PlantLab’s approach to agriculture may be a definitive one for the early 21st Century. Every crop gets its own perfect paradise, and humanity gets local, abundant food for their needs. Math and science can feed the world. Get hungry.


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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby ramana » 01 Jul 2014 05:52

I wish some one figures out how to weave bamboo based textiles in India. Would be boost for North East region.

Bamboo fibre is the new silk.

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby ramana » 02 Aug 2014 20:10

Is there any effort to catalog the various Ayurvedic drugs using modern chemical analysis techniques like High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) et al?

This would help bring standardization for alternate medicines.


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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby govardhanks » 09 Aug 2014 23:21

ramana wrote:Is there any effort to catalog the various Ayurvedic drugs using modern chemical analysis techniques like High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) et al?

This would help bring standardization for alternate medicines.

From my little experience in pharma field, I can tell that though govt has some institution yet not that effective..but dabur n Himalaya are in this kind hplc cataloging.. Sirji real problem is not that ; many Ayurveda plants are seasonal n territory specific.. So basically there commercialization is limited, again we have China compete with us for raw materials, I even know some companies which are making profit by selling rare medicinal plants per kilo to China.. Its a booming business in south India, many people have become rich, zero or little investment n good profit tempts them..little do people know about that eventually when rare plants are gone they are gone forever..

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby akash_k » 21 Aug 2014 21:55

govardhan wrote:
ramana wrote:Is there any effort to catalog the various Ayurvedic drugs using modern chemical analysis techniques like High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) et al?

This would help bring standardization for alternate medicines.

From my little experience in pharma field, I can tell that though govt has some institution yet not that effective..but dabur n Himalaya are in this kind hplc cataloging.. Sirji real problem is not that ; many Ayurveda plants are seasonal n territory specific.. So basically there commercialization is limited, again we have China compete with us for raw materials, I even know some companies which are making profit by selling rare medicinal plants per kilo to China.. Its a booming business in south India, many people have become rich, zero or little investment n good profit tempts them..little do people know about that eventually when rare plants are gone they are gone forever..


How does exporting harvest lead to rare plants being gone forever. if i export Basmati rice, it isn't gone forever.
Or am I missing something?

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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Postby member_28705 » 30 Aug 2014 22:51

Is Rhodiola the long-lost Sanjeevani?

It can:

-->Boost your immunity
-->Counter radioactivity
-->Help you survive mountainous [low air-pressure] climate
-->Combat depression
-->Increase your appetite.

Scientists wonder if it is the end to the quest for sanjeevani, the mythical herb that gave renewed life to Ram’s brother Lakshman in the epic Ramayana

In the high, hostile peaks of the Himalayas where sustaining life is a challenge in itself, scientists say they have found a “wonder herb” that can regulate the immune system, help adapt to the mountain environment and, above all, protect from radioactivity.

Rhodiola, a herb found in the cold and highland climate, has led the country’s leading scientists to wonder if it is the end to the quest for sanjeevani, the mythical herb that gave renewed life to Ram’s brother Lakshman in the epic Ramayana.

Locally called ‘Solo’ in Ladakh, the qualities of Rhodiola were largely unknown so far. The leafy parts of the plant were used as vegetable by locals. However, research by the Leh-based Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) is exploring the therapeutic values of the herb.

“Rhodiola is a wonder plant that has immunomodulatory [enhancing immune], adaptogenic [adapting to difficult climatic condition] and radio-protecting abilities due to presence of secondary metabolites and phytoactive compounds unique to the plant,” R.B. Srivastava, Director, DIHAR, told IANS.

Mr. Srivastava said the herb can mitigate the effects of gamma radiation used in bombs in biochemical warfare. The Leh-based lab of the DRDO, the world’s highest agro-animal research laboratory, has been studying this wonder plant for more than a decade. “While its adaptogenic qualities can help the soldiers in adjusting to the low pressure, low oxygen environment, the plant has also been found to have anti-depressant and appetiser properties,” said Mr. Srivastava.


http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health ... 348112.ece


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