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Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 31 May 2018 00:25
by Indranil
I think a distinction should be made between a farmer and a farm owner!

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 31 May 2018 00:53
by SBajwa
Indranil wrote:I think a distinction should be made between a farmer and a farm owner!

There already is a column called "Maalik" aka "Owner" and "Kashatgar" aka "Farmer" on your Girdavari document (Patwari gives you this document and he/she comes to village to check each crop and to estimate yield). Most of this is now computerized in Haryana and Punjab.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 20 Jun 2018 19:43
by SBajwa ... 08028.html

No groundwork, late sowing ‘diktat’ goes unheard

Amarjit Thind

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The government steps to make farmers plant early maturing and less water-consuming paddy varieties, either forcefully or by creating awareness, stand exposed as transplantation officially begins on Wednesday.

It seems another year has been lost on saving groundwater, as a majority of farmers across the state have already transplanted water-guzzling varieties of paddy.

This year, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) had recommended PR 127, a medium maturing high-yield variety. To make a complete switch from traditional varieties at least 61,000 tonnes of seed was needed to sow 30.69 lakh hectares, as per figures tabulated by the university.

This year, 2,600 quintals of PR 127 was sold for Rs 50 a kg at kisan melas, regional research stations, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, seed farms located at Ladhowal, Naraingarh, Faridkot and Kapurthala, and Farmer Advisory Service Centres of PAU.

Dr TS Dhillon, Director (Seeds), PAU, said PR 127 was a high yield paddy variety with medium maturity period and was disease resistant. “It resists attack of 10 prevalent pathotypes of bacterial blight pathogen present in Punjab, which makes it the best option as compared to traditional varieties. The average yield of this variety is 30 quintals per acre. It is a better genetic product and the farmers should go for it in a big way,” he said.

Farmers, on the other hand, have been on the warpath over the government order banning paddy sowing before June 20. They are also demanding uninterrupted power supply and withdrawal of cases registered against farmers who sowed paddy early.

The farmers allege that the recommendations are released often late and no department bothers to disseminate information about new developments.

As such, only a handful of progressive farmers keep track of the latest developments and benefit from them.

Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, general secretary of the BKU Ekta Ugrahan, said the farmers were soft targets and everything that went wrong was blamed on them. “The advisory on seed should have been issued immediately after wheat is harvested giving farmers time to procure the seed,” he added.

“Our experience has shown that delay in sowing paddy always means yield loss and despite what the experts claim, sowing paddy after June 20 will entail a loss of 3-5 quintals per acre. Who will compensate us for this shortfall?” he questioned.

“Another problem pertains to moisture which is higher in all late maturing varieties. Will there be some relaxation on this count at the time of procurement?” he asked.

Moreover, the available quantity of new seed was an indication of the seriousness of the government in providing alternatives to water-guzzling varieties, he pointed out.

Unplanned move, say farmers

At least 61,000 tonnes of seed of late or medium maturing paddy was needed, but only 2,600 quintals was sold.
Recommendations are released often late. Delay in sowing paddy would have resulted in a loss of 3-5 quintals per acre. No government word on relief.
Moisture is higher in late maturing varieties.

Inputs by Manav Mander

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 24 Jun 2018 14:45
by Supratik

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 22 Sep 2018 03:07
by Vips
India sets record farm output target for 2018-19.

The government has set a target of producing a record 285.2 million tonnes of food grains in crop year 2018-19 beginning July, despite monsoon rainfall has been 9% below normal so far this year.

The target is 0.53% higher than the initial forecast made in April, the agriculture ministry said on Tuesday.

India harvested a record 284.8 million tonnes of food grains in 2017-18.

For the current crop year, the government targets higher production of rice, wheat, oilseeds and cotton, while production of pulses, coarse cereals and sugarcane is expected to be lower than last year.

Kharif production this year is expected to be better to last year’s owing to excellent crop condition, ministry officials said.

They, however, did not explain the reasons for buoyant forecast for a year when rainfall has been below average and some parts of the country have been ravaged by floods.

Parshottam Rupala, minister of state for agriculture, said rains have been less than normal in some parts of the country, and more than normal in some places. “Despite that we expect higher production in kharif,” he said. “Due to water availability in reservoirs, even the rabi planting will be very good.”

The agriculture ministry has set kharif production target at 141.20 million tonnes, which is 0.71% higher than the target set in April.

The ministry also said it expects rabi planting — which begins by mid-October — to be higher than last year since there were good soil moisture and higher water levels in reservoirs.

The food grain target for 2018-19 — announced by agriculture commissioner SK Malhotra during a two-day national conference on planting strategy for the upcoming rabi (winter) season — is 0.14 % higher than the fourth advance estimate for 2017-18 production at 285.2 million tonnes.

For 2018-19, the agriculture ministry has fixed the production target for rice at 113 million tonnes, against 112.9 million tonne last year. Wheat production target has been set at 100 million tonnes against 99.7 million tonnes last year.

The target for pulses has been kept at 25 million tonne, slightly less than last year’s 25.2 million tonnes. In case of coarse cereals, too, the target has been lowered slightly to 46.7 million tonnes against 46.9 million tonnes in 2017-18.

Target oilseed production for 2018-19 has been fixed at 36 million tonnes, up from 31.2 million tonnes last year, while cotton output is targeted to be raised to 35.5 million bales of 170 kg each from 34.89 million bales.

Sugarcane production target for 2018-19 is fixed at 355 million tonnes, down from 376.91 million tonnes last year.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 23 Nov 2018 01:40
by Vips
India set to overtake Brazil as world’s biggest sugar producer.

Brazil, traditionally the world’s top sugar producer, is poised to cede the crown to India for the first time in 16 years.

Production in the Asian country this season may rise 5.2% to a record 35.9 million metric tonnes on increasing acreage and improving yields, the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service said Tuesday in a report. Brazil’s output may tumble 21% to 30.6 million tonnes because of adverse weather and a shift to produce more cane-based ethanol.

Global production is forecast to fall 4.5% to 185.9 million tonnes, trailing the May estimate of 188.3 million, after the outlooks for Brazil, Thailand and the European Union were revised lower.

Brazil is expected to remain the top exporter, followed by Thailand. The marketing season runs from April to March in the South American nation and from October to September in India. Most countries run from May to April.

Global inventory is forecast to rise as “massive stock building” in India counters lower supplies in China and the EU, the USDA unit said.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 04 Dec 2018 17:56
by Arima
Onion farmers' distress: Verghese Kurien's formula of giving farmers 50% of market price of harvest can help

Social media is rife with the story of a farmer who got just Rs 1,064 for 750 kg of onion. So upset was he with the amount he received, that he is said to have sent the entire proceeds to the prime minister.

The story is about a farmer named Sanjay Sathe, a resident of Niphad tehsil in Nashik district, who told PTI on 2 December that he had produced 750 kg of onion in this season, but was offered a rate of Re 1 per kg at the Niphad wholesale market last week. Sathe was one of the few “progressive farmers” selected by the Union agriculture ministry for an interaction with the then US president Barack Obama when he visited India in 2010.

There are three things to be considered here.

Factor 1

First, is Sathe’s story credible? According to traders in the market, retail prices of onions currently hover between Rs 30-40 per kg because of tight supplies. Last week they could have been lower. But not as low as Re 1 per kg. Some traders allege that it is possible that the farmer could have been trying to sell the previous season’s crop today, and it is also possible that some of the onions might have started rotting… That could have resulted in a price of Re 1.
But that is merely an allegation. The fact is that farmers usually get barely 10 percent of the retail price of an agricultural produce which is outside of the government’s procurement basket of rice and wheat. So if the prices of onions were Rs 10 a kg, it would not be improbable that the farmer may have been able to get Re 1 per kg.
But why should the farmer get only 10 percent of the retail price of the crop?

That brings us to factor 2.

One reason why the farmers get less is that the wholesale traders have ganged up to become a mafia protected by what is known as the APMC or the Agricultural Produce Market Committee. This is a body which is made up of politically powerful farmers (usually politicians) who usurp the right to become the canalising agency for all agricultural produce. The APMC then sells the produce to retail traders, who in turn sell it to smaller traders, who offer the produce to the consumer. Typically, if you go beyond the limits of Mumbai, you could get vegetables at one-tenth the price consumers pay in the city. At times of overproduction, you could get the produce for even lower than that level.

Ever since Narendra Modi, as chief minister of Gujarat, began a campaign for abolishing of APMCs and giving the farmers the right to sell agricultural produce directly to consumers, some states have withdrawn the tremendous powers that APMCs once enjoyed. As the chart alongside will show, many states have apparently defanged APMCs. But in reality they still wield tremendous clout.


Consider how, in Maharashtra, just a few days ago, the state government was forced to back down from passing a legislation that sought to close down APMCs in the state. The state wanted to de-notify all agri-commodities from the purview of the mandis. The Maharashtra Agricultural Produce Marketing Development and Regulation Act Ordinance had already been passed in the lower house but was withdrawn from the upper house. Reason? The traders had observed a one day-bandh against the government’s decision. The traders and workers at APMC went on indefinite strike against the new APMC law.

That is because most of the trucks that transport vegetables from the mandis to the markets are controlled by the APMCs even today. They even control the storage places and the warehouses. They have a stranglehold over the farm sector. Unless the organisation is itself dismantled, farmers will remain at the mercy of these cartellised traders.

It is these traders, backed by very powerful political bodies that account for a bulk of the difference between what the farmer gets and what the consumer pays.
So what options do the farmers have? And this takes us to factor 3

The two solutions

The first solution has been in existence for almost 60 years. It is the one introduced by Verghese Kurien. He believed that the farmer was the most important player in the agriculture to consumer ecosystem. Thus, instead of promoting the global norm of one-third to the farmer, one-third to the processor-aggregator and one-third to the trade, Kurien insisted that the the farmer gets at least 50 percent of the market price of the produce.

To ensure that market prices were not allowed to go down, Kurien used NDDB (National Dairy Development Board), which was allowed to become the canalising agency for any import of any milk whether as a commercial purchase or as a gift. NDDB sold these at market prices, thus ensuring that the market price for milk did not ever get hurt. The few times when farmers suffered grievously was when the central government ignored this rule and allowed for import of milk and milk products.

NDDB then went on to replicate this model for fruits and vegetables under the brand Safal (Sabzi and Phal or fruit and vegetable in many local languages). But it failed because the APMCs protected by state governments did not allow it to procure vegetables and fruits directly from farmers. It was only when the APMCs had begun being dismantled, that the move to revive Safal has begun. But government support for it is not as forthcoming as it ought to be.

In fact, a few years ago, NDDB sought to create a similar structure for pulses in Akola. The plans were being rolled out, when the NDDB chairman resigned. The reasons are not known.

If Kurien’s model is followed, farmers would not suffer distress prices that they currently face.
There is another way. The government had enacted a brilliant piece of legislation called the Warehousing Development and Regulation Act (WDRA) in 2007. But it was forgotten thereafter. It got notified only on 25 October, 2010. Even this notification could have been because the Supreme Court exerted tremendous pressure on the government to explain why it had allowed grain (especially rice and wheat) to rot in the sun and the rain, merely because there were no warehouses.

The apex court had ordered the government to provide all the grain free of cost to India’s poor rather than allow it to rot. The government dragged its feet. Its argument was that sending the grain to public distribution shops (PDS) would be a very expensive affair – costing around Rs 5,000 crore. That justification was obviously specious, because the government could have asked NGOs to pick up the non-warehoused grain free of cost on an as-is-where-is basis. The costs would have to be borne by the NGO concerned. People consuming the grain is a better proposition compared to letting it get devoured by rats or worms.

It is probable that the government did not want to stop the rotting of grain because it wanted – as is being alleged in several quarters – the evidence of the surplus grain to be destroyed by sun, wind, rain and pests. All indicators point to a devious practice by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and several State Warehousing Corporations (SWCs) to make money illegally through grain procurement. The modus operandi appears to be procuring second-rate grain from well-connected farmers at first rate prices. The best way to erase evidence of the fraud is by allowing the evidence of the crop itself to disappear.

Whatever the reason, the desire to make the WDRA effective does not appear to have been strong. The organisation exists. But it has not been promoted strongly enough. This is despite the fact that the WDRA remains one of the most important pieces of legislation in recent times. It could potentially change the way agriculture and the trade surrounding it happens.

There are several things the WDRA was meant to do which were missing earlier.

First, instead of the state procuring agricultural produce, the Act allowed for WDRA registered warehouses to step in. Farmers could walk into any warehouse (every district was expected to have such facilities) where such produce could be stored.

Second, the warehouse would have an assayer who would evaluate the quality of the produce and certify both the quality and the quantity and give the farmer a receipt.
Third this receipt would be recognized as a negotiable instrument, which the farmer could take to the bank and get money for his produce at prevailing spot market prices. Else the farmer could sell the produce directly through the commodity markets at current or future prices. The farmer also had the option of keeping the receipt with himself till he believed he could get better prices. In that case, the farmer would have to pay for the storage of the produce till the time it got sold.

Thus a small farmer could bypass procurement officials and even traders. He could approach a warehouse with his meagre produce and get a receipt and encash it at his will. It would create a national market where a trader in, say, Orissa could purchase a few tonnes of onion or rice from a farmer in Maharashtra through the commodity markets and collect the given quantity and quality from the local warehouse.

That would have ensured that the farmer could have got at least 3-4 times the current prices he gets from traders. It would have been much more than the prime minister’s promise of doubling farm incomes. It would be higher than the MS Swaminathan formula of giving farmers 50 percent more than his input costs.

Bitter reality

The fact also is that the farmer is paid a pittance. Estimates from Nabard shows how grave the farmer distress can be. The government’s formula of subsidies and grants is akin to treating a farmer like a beggar who holds out his bowl for charity and alms. It strips him of dignity, and of the ability to grow big and self-reliant. The Kurien solution or the WDRA method are better ways to empower the farmer. But clearly, local politicians do not want to lose the moolah – the fat difference between what the farmer gets and what the consumer pays.
The sooner, this parasitical layer is removed, the better will it be for farmers and the country

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 04 Dec 2018 18:13
by Arima
Agrarian crisis clear & present danger for Indian economy


India's gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the second quarter (Q2) has laid bare the deepening distress in its villages. Farm incomes haven’t risen even though the government has announced a hike in minimum support prices. The country’s agricultural output, measured as gross value added, grew at a sedate pace of 2.8%, far slower than the 5.3% in the June quarter. This was on top of a low base of 2.6% growth last year.

Economists said that the GDP deflator for agriculture is negative for the first time in many years. In other words, farmers are earning less than what they were before. Indeed, if the recent marches to New Delhi by thousands of farmers are any indication, the farm sector has already sent up emergency flares.

What is notable is that even allied activities are growing slower. This doesn’t bode well for rural demand in the coming months.

For a government that will face the litmus test of its policies through a national election within six months, the farm sector’s woes are unsettling. Although agriculture contributes less than one-third of the output of the entire economy, rural centres are key demand areas. Consumption demand from the rural economy also needs to hold up for the overall growth rate to remain above 7%.

An extension of the troubles of the Indian economy has also been visible on the expenditure side. Private final consumption expenditure grew by 7%, which was lower than the 8.6% in the previous quarter. Consumption has been the strongest engine of growth and, incipient signs of a slowdown that was followed by distress in the financial sector, will hurt the economy.

To balance this gloom was a bright spark in gross fixed capital formation. This grew at a brisk pace of 12.5%, but on a low base of 6.1% a year ago. Gross fixed capital formation has been growing faster and faster every quarter over the last five years, which is a sign of traction in investment growth. Juxtaposing the not-so-bad 7.4% growth in manufacturing gives hope on the employment front.

That said, economists believe the latest growth numbers dash hopes of the estimated 7.4% GDP growth for the full year of 2018-19. The urge to let loose a fiscal stimulus ahead of elections is high, especially to alleviate the pain in agriculture. But can the government afford to give in to such an urge?

Even as the debate over revising past GDP growth rates continues, the government and the markets should be really worried about the impact of rural distress on the pace and direction of economic growth.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 04 Dec 2018 19:46
by Supratik
Incorrect. As the economy develops share of agri in GDP will go down. Gross value addition has very little to do with farmers as it happens after farming. Not an agrarian crisis.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 13 Jan 2019 23:25
by Vips
UAE and Saudi Arabia to invest in making India hub for food security: Suresh Prabhu.

United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have decided to make India as a base for food security for the countries and plan to invest in both organic and food processing industries, minister of commerce and industry and civil aviation Suresh Prabhu said on Sunday.

Speaking to media at the Partnership Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) held in Mumbai, Prabhu said that the development comes at a time when India has recently announced an agricultural exports policy.

"India is already the largest producer of milk and the second largest producer of fruits which gives it a huge potential to export," Prabhu said.

He added that the government has identified which product will be exported from which district and each district will be divided into clusters for that. For example, Nasik has been identified for grapes, Nagpur for oranges, Ratnagiri for mangoes etc. It is working with states to facilitate this arrangement.

Prabhu, however, did not disclose details about the potential investment.

The export policy has removed restrictions on the export of both organic and horticultural products and UAE and Saudi Arabia wants to invest in both kinds of products.

India is expected to produce 290 million tonnes of agricultural products along with 310 million tonnes of horticultural products, according to advanced estimates.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 14:28
by jaysimha
one more kumbh mela in delhi

Joint International Workshop on
"Earth Observations for Agricultural Monitoring"
New Delhi, INDIA 18-20 FEBRUARY 2019

Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare
Indian Space Research Organization
South/Southeast Asia Research Initiative (SARI) Asia Rice

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 22 Feb 2019 04:54
by Vips
Wheat harvest to cross 100 million tonnes in 2019.

Wheat production in the current rabi season would cross 100 million tonnes with the States reporting very good crop having was no incidence of diseases, said a top agriculture ministry official on Thursday.

“The recent rains have not affected the wheat crop. This year we would have the highest level of wheat production, which would more 100 tonnes production, which is higher than 99 million tonnes produced last year,” SK Malhotra, Agricultural Commissioner of India, on the sidelines of a meeting at FICCI.

India is now looking at productivity-led growth in production, not area-led growth, he said, adding that the area under wheat cultivation is 1 lakh hectares lower than the last rabi season, but the harvest is expected to be more. As per the data available from wheat-growing states, the area sown under the wheat crop this season was 297 lakh hectares. “From lesser area, we are producing more. This is the scenario that is emerging,” Malhotra said.

"The latest rains received would prove to be a boon for getting a good plant growth and more tillering in the plant as this time we have a more prolonged winter season,” the Agriculture Commissioner said. In comparison, last year’s February was warmer than this year. The intermittent snowfall in the hills in the current season helped sustain lower temperatures, which are good for the wheat crop.

According to him, gram production too is expected to be good this year. This year, the total production of pulses is estimated to touch 25 million tonnes, which would be yet another year of bumper production. “In the coming years, we simply need to sustain such high levels,” Malhotra said.

Increasing oilseed production

Similarly, oilseeds production would touch 32-33 million tonnes this year, up from 31 million tonnes produced last year. “What we produce is enough to give give us only 10 million tonnes of edible oil, whereas the demand in the country is around 25 millions of oil,” Malhotra said.

In the last two-three years, the government has been trying to focus on increasing oilseeds production by making use of some of the rice fallow land available in the country. “This year we have given six States in the country the target of putting 1.8 million hectares of rice fallow land into oilseeds, millets and pulses cultivation. Slowly, we would be able to increase oilseeds production through meaningful intervention,” he said.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 28 Mar 2019 16:39
by jaysimha
ISRO Sponsored One Day National Seminar on
" Recent Developments in Smart Farming based on Internet of Things and Robotics"
on 5th April 2019

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 28 Mar 2019 21:58
by tandav
Any pointers for creating a goat milk products market. India has the world's largest goat population however there seems to a lack of market for goat milk (which typically is the most malodorous milk due to large amounts of capric and caproic fatty acids (incidentally the smell of vomit is due to this fatty acid which is a by product of digestion. It's also the reason Goat milk is very easy to digest since it is essentially predigested

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 26 Apr 2019 05:16
by Vips
India sets a record foodgrains target of 291 million tonnes.

The government has set an ambitious foodgrains target of 291.1 million tonnes (mt) for 2019-20, nearly 2.6 per cent more than the previous year’s 283.7 mt, as a favourable monsoon is anticipated in the current season.

While the target set for rice is 116 mt, 3 mt more than that in 2018-19, wheat production target is set at 100.5 mt, which is marginally higher than the previous year’s (July-June) 100 mt, said Agricultural Ministry sources at the National Kharif Campaign conference on Thursday.

However, as per the second advance estimates for 2018-19, rice output is projected to be 115.6 mt, while that of wheat is 99.12 mt.

Targets set
The government, on the other hand, is hoping to have a substantial 10 per cent increase in pulses production at 26.3 mt, as against the target of 24 mt in the previous year.The target set for coarse cereals is 48.3 mt as against 46.7 mt last year.

The output of oilseeds, however, is expected to be 36.1 mt (36 mt in 2018-19). So is cotton, whose tentative target for 2019-20 is 35.75 million bales of 170 kg each, marginally higher than 35.5 million bales in 2018-19.However, as per the second advance estimates, projected oilseeds production in 2018-19 was 31.5 mt, while that of cotton was a poor 30 million bales.

Targeted sugarcane production, on the other hand, is 385.5 mt, nearly 30 mt more than that targeted in the previous year, but only 5 mt more than that was estimated in the 2018-19 second advance estimates.

Maize target for the current year is 28.9 mt, while that for bajra and jowar are 9.5 mt and 4.9 mt respectively.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 11 Jun 2019 20:04
by ricky_v
In January 2019, Chhattisgarh became the latest state in India to report infestation of Fall Armyworm (FAW), locally being referred to as American keeda.

In just nine months since Fall Armyworm was spotted in India in Karnataka in last June, it has invaded crops in more than 10 states. As if taking a pre-scripted route, Fall Armyworm infestation has spread from Karnataka to all southern states, then to western Maharashtra and Gujarat and now to the eastern Indian states.

Other than fast advancement, the pest is also attacking new crops. Though it is being detected mostly in maize crops — a preliminary calculation estimates that it has affected nearly 1,70,000 hectares of maize crops — there have also been reports from states where it has infested paddy, sugarcane and sweet corn.

Maize is the third-most important cereal crop in India after rice and wheat. It accounts for 9 per cent of the total food grain production in the country.

The up-to-2-cm-long pest “accidentally” landed in Africa in 2016 from its native Americas, almost after 100 years. Since then, it has wreaked havoc in over 50 countries in Africa and Asia ravaging crops, especially maize.

“The spread of Fall Armyworm is nothing like we have ever seen with any pest before. We have faced pestilences like wheat blast or the Maize Lethal Necrosis. But in all the previous cases, the incidents were mostly limited to a few countries and also limited to a single crop. With Fall Armyworm, the threat is much bigger, in terms of extent of damage caused to both the crop varieties and the area,” says BM Prasanna, director, CGIAR Research Program on MAIZE.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 02:12
by SBajwa ... 86099.html
Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepur, June 10

The discharge of thousands of cusecs of water into Pakistan from the Hussainiwala headworks has ruffled the farming community ahead of the paddy-sowing season.
It has also contradicted the Central government’s stand in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack when Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari had declared that India would not allow any amount of its river water to flow into Pakistan.

As per information, almost 14,000 cusecs water is being released into Pakistan from Hussainiwala, which the farmers term as total wastage of the natural resource.
Karan Singh Dhaliwal, secretary, Border Kisan Union, said while some districts like Sangrur had been placed in the dark zone due to exploitation of groundwater, the release of water into Pakistan was unwarranted. Even Punjab Ekta Party leader Sukhpal Khaira had raised his concern over release of excess water across the border.

Meanwhile, sources in the drainage department said all three dams, including Bhakra, were filled to the brim. At Bhakra, while the inflow was recorded at 27,298 cusecs on Monday, the outflow was 35,000 cusecs.

HS Chahal, Superintendent Engineer (Canals), Ferozepur, said water was being released into Pakistan as a preventive measure ahead of the monsoon season to avoid any untoward situation later. “We are gradually releasing the excess water so that there are no chances of flooding of the area as more inflow is expected in the coming weeks,” he said.

“There is no option but to release this water into Pakistan,” said another department official, adding that if the water was not released, it might cause colossal damage in the coming days. Sanjeev Gupta, Chief Engineer (Drainage), said it was a high-alert situation as far as water in dams was concerned. “We cannot take chances as the situation might go out of control,” he said.

Sources said earlier, the capacity of Hussainiwala headworks was about 4.5 lakh cusecs but due to presence of hyacinth and encroachment at some places along the Sutlej, the capacity had come down to almost one lakh cusecs over a period of time, which had compounded the problem.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 22:51
by darshan
Off topic. Not sure where to post it. ... -districts

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Wednesday (12 June) said that thunderstorm and lightning accompanied with gusty wind are likely to occur in the southern districts of the state due to the cyclone Vayu, which is set to make landfall in Gujarat on Thursday (13 June), reports ANI. ... y-3686367/

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 06 Jul 2019 01:19
by Mukesh.Kumar
Great to see the Indian government taking steps towards sustainable agriculture in the Budget.

Presenting her maiden Budget in the Parliament, said the government would focus on “Zero Budget” farming.

This is in keeping with the suggestions of the Economic Survey 2019 to shift from green revolution to green methods.

It is also a tribute to the agricultural scientist Subhash Palekar, who invented ‘Zero Budget’ farming based on natural farming principles.

The announcement is a reflection of what the Economic Survey, tabled in the Parliament on 4 July, said. The survey, dealing on agriculture, suggested a shift from “green revolution” to “green methods”. There are very good reasons why the government is looking to shift from “green revolution”, which has led to self-sufficiency in the country’s food grain production, after it gained acceptance in the 1960s.

The “green revolution” focussed more on agricultural inputs such as fertilisers, pesticides, and on cultivating water-intensive crops. For the 1960s, it could have been the right choice but not anymore. Rapid and rampant use of chemical fertilisers has led to the deterioration of soil health and nutrients, particularly in states like Punjab and Haryana that were at the forefront of the “green revolution”.

Being heavily dependent on external inputs resulted in production and productivity stagnating. Thus, returns to the farmers were not commensurate with the investments they were making. These developments had led to the thinking that the “green revolution” has perhaps had some fallout too.

Moreover, the acute water shortage that some parts of the country is facing has opened the eyes of the government and pushed them into promoting crops that consume less water. Extensive cultivation of water-intensive crops such as paddy and sugarcane is being questioned. The government made a deft move this year by announcing higher minimum support price for hard crops such as coarse cereals that consume less water.

Therefore, it is natural that the government is looking for a return to the roots through natural farming. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), an arm of the United Nations, terms “Zero Budget” farming as a grassroots peasants movement that has spread across various states in India.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 06 Jul 2019 07:23
by arshyam
^^ Please add links when posting media articles. That's from the Swarajya article linked below.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 06 Jul 2019 07:23
by arshyam
(x-post from econ thread)
arshyam wrote:Perhaps one of the best proposals to come from this budget, given the growing reports of water shortage around the country. This article summarizes what ZBNF is.

Government To Focus On ‘Zero Budget’ Farming: Here’s All That You Need To Know About It - M R Subramani, Swarajya

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, presenting her maiden Budget in the Parliament, said the government would focus on “Zero Budget” farming.
This is in keeping with the suggestions of the Economic Survey 2019 to shift from green revolution to green methods.
It is also a tribute to the agricultural scientist Subhash Palekar, who invented ‘Zero Budget’ farming based on natural farming principles.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 20 Aug 2019 03:46
by Vips
Foodgrains production almost flat at 284.95 MT in 2018-19, says Government data.

India’s foodgrains production is almost flat at 284.95 million tonnes (MT) in 2018-19 crop year due to fall in pulses and coarse cereals output even as the country harvested record rice as well as wheat crops, according to government data. The production of foodgrains (rice, wheat, coarse cereals and pulses) stood at 285.01 million tonne (MT) in the 2017-18 crop year (July-June).

Releasing the fourth advance estimates of production of major crops for 2018-19, the agriculture ministry said the rice production is estimated at an all-time-high of 116.42 MT during 2018-19, beating the previous record of 112.76 MT achieved in 2017-18 crop year.Wheat output is also seen at record 102.19 MT, surpassing 99.87 MT in the previous year. However, production of coarse cereals is estimated to have declined at 42.95 MT from record 46.97 MT in 2017-18 crop year. Pulses output, too, is pegged lower at 23.40 MT from record 25.42 MT in the previous year.

In non-foodgrains category, oilseeds output is estimated to rise at 32.25 MT in last year compared 31.45 MT in the preceding year. Cotton production fell to 28.7 million bales (of 170 kg each) in 2018-19 from 32.80 million bales in the previous year. Sugarcane production is estimated at record 400.15 MT, up from 379.90 MT in the previous year. The output of jute and mesta is seen lower at 9.76 million bales (of 180 kg each) from 10.03 million bales.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 15 Sep 2019 05:31
by darshan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi to launch National Animal Disease Control Programme on 11th September 2019 ... sis-546331
In one of the major efforts towards doubling the Farmers Income, Prime Minister Narendra Modi shall be launching the National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP) for eradicating the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis in the livestock, on 11th September from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh.
With 100 Percent funding from the Central Government, of Rs 12,652 Crores for a period of five years till 2024, the programme aims at vaccinating over 500 Million Livestock including cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats and pigs against the FMD.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 16 Sep 2019 20:56
by Haresh
Toxic Water, Toxic Crops: India’s Public Health Time Bomb
Raw sewage and industrial wastewater contaminated with metals and chemicals irrigate much of the nation’s food. ... time-bomb/

" According to the latest assessment by the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI), 70 percent of the country’s fresh water – in the ground or on the surface – also is contaminated."

"The cocktail of heavy metals and pesticides carried by the Hindon have accumulated in the river sediments and seeped into the ground. Now groundwater is polluted, too. A study in 2009 found manganese, lead, zinc, copper, chromium, iron, and elevated levels of cadmium in river sediments."

"As part of a research project from 2000 to 2003, the UK Department for International Development tested heavy metal contamination in spinach from various markets in Delhi, including the wholesale market in Azadpur. Every sample exceeded the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s international CODEX safety standard for lead. Nearly three quarters of the samples – 73 percent — were found to exceed accepted PFA global public health safety standards for lead. Almost a quarter – 24 percent — contained twice the PFA standard. A fifth of the samples also had markedly elevated levels of zinc.

In a 2015 study, a team of Indian researchers assessed residues of cadmium, lead, zinc, and copper in vegetables in five markets in Delhi. They found that a significant proportion of vegetables contained levels of zinc, lead, and cadmium above safe concentrations."
"One more seminal question confronts Indian food growers – the safety of the country’s agricultural exports. India is the world’s 15th largest exporter of agricultural, fishery and forestry products. The United States is India’s top export market. Other important markets include Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, China, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom.

The world is well aware of India’s wastewater-contaminated food exports. The United States ranks India among the three nations that most consistently violate American import safety limits. Food grown in India accounts for 60 percent of the items that United States Customs inspectors refuse to allow into U.S. markets.

Two years ago, the UAE barred Indian imports of chili peppers, mangoes, and cucumbers unless each shipment arrived with official residue analysis reports. The UAE is one of the top four global markets for Indian fruit and vegetables and one of the world’s biggest importers of Indian mangoes and onions."

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 20 Sep 2019 05:08
by Vips
India registers fastest growth in fish production in more than two decades.

India’s fish production in 2017-18 grew at its fastest pace in more than two decades, driven largely by a 14.05 per cent increase in inland farming, data showed on Thursday.

The handbook for fisheries statistics for 2018 said the average fisherman earned Rs 4,411.16 per month in 2016-17, indicating the rise in production may not have improved incomes. The average income in 2011-12 was Rs 3,124.76 per month. Numbers for income in 2017-18 weren't mentioned.

Data showed that at 8.90 million tonnes, inland fisheries was the main production contributor. Its output rose by 14.05 per cent between 2016-17 to 2017-18. At 3.69 million tonnes, marine fish production grew by just 1.73 per cent in the same period.

The share of inland farming in total production has been rising since 2000-01, as high-value marine fisheries declines due to climate change, mechanised trawling and dwindling catch.

Giriraj Singh, union minister for fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying, said the government will invest Rs 25,000 crore in the next five years to promote fisheries.

Singh said investments will be done through three components: about Rs 10,000 crore will be spent through the newly launched Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana, about Rs 12,860 crore through the World Bank, and Rs 7,532 crore will be sanctioned through the Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF).

Seven harbours and 181 fish landing centres have been set up as part of measures to improve post harvesting infrastructure, he said.

Singh said the government aims to achieve fish and related products export worth Rs 1,00,000 crore in the next five years from the current level of Rs 45,000 crore.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 27 Sep 2019 15:15
by A Nandy ... hree-years

Emaar Group is coordinating with the Government of India in respect of the investment relating to food security in the UAE. The investment will be made by other UAE entities, the details of which will be declared at a later stage."

The firms will make investments across India, creating as many as 2 lakh jobs while ensuring food security for UAE.

"They [UAE entities] have expressed their interest to invest up to $5 billion in mega food parks, logistics and warehouse hubs, fruits and vegetable hubs in various Indian cities, which would create 200,000 jobs across India," said Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry who was recently on a visit to UAE.

The remaining $2 billion would be geared towards contract farming, sourcing of agro commodities and related infrastructure, Goyal said.

As much as 30 per cent of Indian produce gets wasted each year and the investment in food processing can help bring down the number, while assuring better rates for UAE based buyers and Indian farmers.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 04 Oct 2019 19:05
by Haresh
Sustainability Makes Good Business Sense For Farmers: Dan Alluf ... luf/339386

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 04:29
by Vips
Food grain output seen at 140.57 million tonne in FY20 on monsoon boost.

With the best monsoons in 25 years, the overall food grain production is expected to increase marginally by 8.4 million tonne from the average output in the past five years at 140.57 million tonne in 2019 -20, says a report. The monsoons have been normal or excess in 84 percent of the regions, while the rest of the regions getting insufficient rainfalls, the National Bulk Handling Corporation (NBHC) said in a report Monday. Production of monsoon-sown food grain is expected to be 140.57 mt in 2019-20, up by 8.4 mt from average output in the past five years, it added.

The report said total rice is expected to show marginal improvement in sown area by 2.80 percent as farmers have shifted 20-25 percent of their crop areas from non-basmati rice to basmati in Punjab due to the higher export demand last year. “Receding waters in the flood-affected regions of Bihar, Odisha and Karnataka have helped recover the areas under paddy but delayed in sowing, which is likely to lower the yield by 2.58 percent,” NBHC head for research & development Hanish Kumar Sinha said in a statement. Maize acreage is expected to go up, but output may fall by 5.75 percent due to the massive armyworm infestation. Area and production of jowar is expected to fall by 4.79 percent and 0.61 percent respectively, while bajra area is expected to increase by 2.47 percent but is expected to decline by 4.69 percent, it said. In the pulses sector, acreages under tur and urad exceeded last year’s levels after widespread rains in early August boosted the sowing, the government has begun to dispose of stocks.

Arhar area is expected to rise by 1.69 percent and the production is expected to rise significantly by 21.27 percent, while urad output is expected to be lower by 0.16 percent. “We expect the area under moong to increase by 4.66 percent while production is expected sharply lower by 17.23 percent mainly due to flooding of fields in MP, Maharashtra and Rajasthan,” Sinha added. In oilseeds, castor area is expected to increase by 5.32 percent and likely to see significant increase in production by 21.07 percent due to good prices of castor in domestic markets.

Production fall is expected to be 8.90 percent and 2.32 percent for sesame and sunflower, respectively, and marginal improvement is expected in groundnut and niger seeds by 4.93 percent and 4.93 percent, respectively. Soybean acreage expected to improve by 5.68 percent but the production is expected be lower by 17.72 percent due to heavy rains and floods in major growing areas.

The cash crops are likely to be stable as area for sugarcane is expected to be up by 14.32 percent but production is likely to dip by 5.60 percent as farmers from major growing areas have to other crops. Cotton area and production are expected up by 4.32 percent and 9.99 percent, respectively, the report added.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 10 Oct 2019 02:38
by Vips
Government plans 1,400km long great ‘green wall’ of India.

The Centre is mulling an ambitious plan to create a 1,400km long and 5km wide green belt from Gujarat to the Delhi-Haryana border, on the lines of the “Great Green Wall” running through the width of Africa, from Dakar (Senegal) to Djibouti, to combat climate change and desertification.
Though the idea is at a nascent stage, it has already generated a lot of excitement among officials in different ministries who believe that the
project, if approved, may turn out to be a legacy programme in India’s efforts to deal with land degradation and the eastward march of the Thar

They believe the idea of forming a green belt from Porbandar to Panipat will not only help in restoring degraded land through afforestation along the Aravali hill range that spans across Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi, but also act as a barrier for dust coming from the deserts in western India and Pakistan.

The idea of creating a huge green belt was part of the agenda of the recently held conference (COP14) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in India. It, however, could not be taken up there as final clearance is still awaited,” said an official on condition of anonymity.

Though the “Great Green Wall” of Africa, mooted almost a decade ago, is still far from reality due to the involvement of many countries in its implementation, India seeks replicate the idea as a national priority under its goal to restore 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.
However, no official was willing to speak about the plan on record, saying it would be premature to discuss it before the approval stage.

They said the green belt may not be contiguous, but would roughly cover the entire degraded Aravali range through a massive afforestation exercise. Once approved, its implementation will start with degraded forest land with more stretches coming in for restoration after taking farmers (and other private landholders) on board.

The Aravali has been identified as one of the key degraded zones to be taken up for greening under India’s target to restore 26 million hectares (mha) of its land. India has, at present, 96.4 mha of degraded land which is 29.3% of the country’s total geographical area (328.7 mha).

The desertification and land degradation atlas of India, brought out by the ISRO in 2016, revealed that Gujarat, Rajasthan and Delhi were among states/UT where more than 50% of the total area was degraded land and those under the threat of desertification.

“A legacy programme like converting such a huge tract of land as a green belt in high-intensive land-degraded states will be great boost towards meeting India’s target,” said an official. Besides afforestation, water resource management and sustainable farm practices are other ways to restore degraded land.

On Africa’s Great Green Wall, African countries had during the COP14 last month sought global support in terms of finance to make it a reality in the continent’s Sahel region by 2030. The project was launched by the African Union a decade ago with the support of many partners including UNCCD, World Bank and the European Commission. So far, work on nearly 15% of the wall is under way.

Besides the African efforts to implement the project, the COP14 had also seen announcements of a similar initiative — called Peace Forest Initiative (PFI) — to develop forests in conflict areas between two countries, including the demilitarised zone of South and North Korea. The PFI got its inspiration from the Peace Park between Peru and Ecuador.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 10 Oct 2019 05:24
by Vayutuvan
For persepctive, that corridor is about 0.7 million hectares, 2.5% of the quoted 28 million hectares of the degraded land.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 14 Oct 2019 04:32
by ashbhee
Why can't India produce enough edible oils? Is it a land issue, water issue or government policy issue?

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 05 Nov 2019 00:01
by ashbhee
Is there any use of stubble instead of just burning it? How about fodder, bio fuel, bio methane by anaerobic digestion?

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 05 Nov 2019 01:51
by Vayutuvan
ashbhee wrote:Is there any use of stubble instead of just burning it? How about fodder, bio fuel, bio methane by anaerobic digestion?

Would you be interested in looking at this tech.? I know a party which has developed the tech. and is looking for funds and/or licensees.

Punjab alone burns 20 Million tons of rice straw stubble a year. A 5 TPD bio-methane plant requires 40 Tons of rice straw. Punjab alone can support 1000 biomethane plants if the stubble is fed into the plants.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 03:47
by SBajwa
Vayutuvan wrote:
ashbhee wrote:Is there any use of stubble instead of just burning it? How about fodder, bio fuel, bio methane by anaerobic digestion?

Would you be interested in looking at this tech.? I know a party which has developed the tech. and is looking for funds and/or licensees.

Punjab alone burns 20 Million tons of rice straw stubble a year. A 5 TPD bio-methane plant requires 40 Tons of rice straw. Punjab alone can support 1000 biomethane plants if the stubble is fed into the plants.

Rice straw can be converted into fodder. Rice straw can be used to create paper, cardboard, ropes, packing material, etc. It is a huge business opportunity.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 23:06
by Vayutuvan
To save Delhi from air pollution, Prof Swaminathan has a (sic) innovative idea — Rice Bio-parks

He further suggested the Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh government to put up Rice BioParks where farmers can convert stubble into income and employment.

“We should stop blaming farmers since it will take us nowhere. Instead we should propose methods which are economically and ecologically desirable,” he added.

Recently, a rice bio-park was established by the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation at Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. It was funded by the Indian government. The rice biopark shows how stubble can be utilised to make products including paper, cardboard and animal feed, he said.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 07 Nov 2019 00:39
by tandav
Vips wrote:India registers fastest growth in fish production in more than two decades.

India’s fish production in 2017-18 grew at its fastest pace in more than two decades, driven largely by a 14.05 per cent increase in inland farming, data showed on Thursday.

The handbook for fisheries statistics for 2018 said the average fisherman earned Rs 4,411.16 per month in 2016-17, indicating the rise in production may not have improved incomes. The average income in 2011-12 was Rs 3,124.76 per month. Numbers for income in 2017-18 weren't mentioned.

Data showed that at 8.90 million tonnes, inland fisheries was the main production contributor. Its output rose by 14.05 per cent between 2016-17 to 2017-18. At 3.69 million tonnes, marine fish production grew by just 1.73 per cent in the same period.
Singh said the government aims to achieve fish and related products export worth Rs 1,00,000 crore in the next five years from the current level of Rs 45,000 crore.

In East Asia rice fields double up as fish farms growing Catfish.

Re: Indian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry

Posted: 13 Nov 2019 05:25
by Vips
Toxic air in Delhi fueled by rice fields.

Each year India’s rice farmers burn the stubble of the harvested crop, contributing to an annual haze that damages the health of those in and around the capital. Yet the country is producing more rice than it needs thanks to government subsidies.

Guaranteed prices have encouraged farmers to grow so much rice one of the most water-intensive crops and a major source of greenhouse gases — that India has become the world’s largest exporter of the grain and government stockpiles are now more than twice the required level.

“Farmers in Punjab and Haryana need to diversify from rice to other crops to save water and the environment,” said former Agriculture Secretary Siraj Hussain. The government should help them shift to crops that use less water, like soybeans, pulses and corn, compensating them for any loss in earnings “for two or three years,” said Hussain, a visiting senior fellow at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations in New Delhi.

India exports more than 11 million tons of rice annually, and has about 25 million tons of rice and about 4 million tons of unmilled grain in Search for buffer stocks, enough to feed the nation for more than three months. The government requirement is for 10.3 million tons in reserves on October 1.

But farmers in northwest India prefer to grow rice and wheat because the government buys the grains at guaranteed prices so it can sell the food at subsidized rates to the poor. The government expects to spend Rs 1.51 lakh crore ($21 billion) on food subsidies in 2019-20.

Farmers have been taking the blame for the capital’s terrible air quality in recent days even though vehicle and industrial emissions contribute year-round, as does road and construction dust and domestic fires lit by the poor.

“Everyone blames farmers for pollution,” said Harjinder Singh, 40, who grows rice and wheat on 4 acres he rents in the village of Sher Majra in Punjab state. “What about the factories that emit poisonous gases all year round?” he said, indicating a plant next to his field that turns plastic waste into furnace oil.

But it’s the extra wallop from burning crop stubble that causes the annual slump in Delhi’s air quality, despite the fact that the practice is banned in the surrounding states of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan. In the trough-like topography of north India, the smoke lingers in the colder months.

A law enacted in 2009 bars farmers in Punjab from sowing rice until mid-June to conserve ground water, leaving them with little time to clear the fields to sow wheat before the winter. The fastest and cheapest solution is to burn the rice stubble, clearing and sanitizing the soil.

Crop burning contributed 44% on Oct. 31 to Delhi’s PM2.5 level, a measure of dangerous particles in the air. The contribution is forecast to be 25% on Tuesday, according to the government air-quality and weather forecaster.

Farmers in the states of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh grow rice on 10.5 million hectares (26 million acres), producing about 48 million tons of straw a year of which about 39 million tons is burnt, according to a joint industry-government report.

The straw was once removed manually during the harvest and used as cattle feed or to make cardboard, but now most farmers rent a combine harvester which leaves up to 80% of the residue in the field. Farmers say they don’t have the time or money to store the straw or plow the stubble back into the ground.

“Farming is no longer profitable and the government doesn’t understand that,” said Singh, adding that farmers should get an additional Rs 200 per 100 kilograms of rice to remove and store the straw instead of burning it.

India has seven of the 10 most polluted cities in the world, and toxic air was responsible for one in eight deaths in 2017. The life of a child born in India today is likely to be 2.5 years shorter because of poor air quality. Record pollution last week prompted a public health emergency and schools were closed for several days.

A shift to crops such as maize, beans and lentils would reduce the burning because they are normally harvested by hand or can be gathered earlier. “If we increase our pulses production we can reduce our import and provide protein to our malnourished masses,” Hussain said.

Farmers need guaranteed purchases for corn, soybeans and lentils if they are to shift from rice, said rice and wheat farmer Raghubir Singh. He said the government would also need to compensate farmers for adverse weather that can damage other crops more easily.

Burning stubble also reduces soil quality. Razing 1 ton of rice straw loses 5.5 kilograms of nitrogen, 2.3 kilograms of phosphorous, 25 kilograms of potassium and 1.2 kilograms of sulfur, according to government data.

“We can’t afford big tractors and machines to plow stubble back into the soil,” said farmer Jujhar Singh. “We don’t want to burn the stubble, we’re forced to do it.”

Not all farms harvest rice mechanically. Growers of the more expensive and aromatic basmati rice typically harvest the grain manually and feed the straw to cattle or make it into rope or other uses. But those who do, feel victimized for the wider air pollution problem in India.

“Why is everyone targeting us?” said Gurmeet Singh, 54, who rents 10 acres to farm. “Our fields feed people.” He said the millions of exploding firecrackers set off during the festival of Diwali on Oct. 27 were just as much to blame for the sudden increase in smoke around Delhi. “Why doesn’t the government ban firecrackers or force factories to run on natural gas?”