Developments in Indian Agriculture

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Postby Vick » 23 Nov 2005 17:39

Indian agri is integrating more and more with the world agri business. That is very good for the rural agri economy... one of the largest drivers of Indian growth.

Again from FT
Punjabi farmers tempted by taste of success
By Anita Jain in New Delhi
Published: November 23 2005 00:50 | Last updated: November 23 2005 00:50

India flagIf all goes to plan, Mohinder Jeet Singh Ladhra will soon grow more than a dozen acres of Florida’s sweetest and juiciest oranges on his farm in Jalandhar in Punjab state.

Like all farmers in the heavily agricultural northern Indian state, Mr Ladhra harvests mostly wheat and rice – India’s two main food staples – on his 72-acre farm.

However, four decades of intense cultivation have led to a precipitous drop in the underground water level and accelerated soil degradation.

This, and a desire to earn more, have led the farmers to join with the state government and PepsiCo of the US to experiment with planting different varieties of citrus fruit from Florida and California, whose soil and weather are comparable with those of the Punjab.

“It solves the water problem and they are saying it is more profitable,” said Mr Ladhra, who has already planted the citrus stock on three acres. He is ready to increase that to 20 acres if the crop is successful.

PepsiCo is not a newcomer to contract farming in Punjab, having introduced the state’s farmers, including Mr Ladhra, to the harvesting of higher-yielding US varieties of potatoes, tomatoes, chillis and peanuts over the past 15 years. But this is by far its most daring experiment.

For PepsiCo and other western food companies, this kind of supply chain initiative is critical to establishing long-term competitiveness in one of the world’s fastest- growing consumer markets.

India is already PepsiCo’s fifth largest market outside the US – Pepsi-Cola beverages and Frito-Lay snack foods generate annual sales of $700m (€598; £409m) in India compared with $264m for Coca-Cola.

For Punjab state, 70 per cent of whose gross domestic product is linked to farming, the project could mean a dramatic shift from low-value grains to value-added horticultural cultivation of fruits and vegetables. A quarter of the state’s agricultural revenues could come from citrus by 2015, estimate Punjab officials.

“The government wants diversification, the farmers want higher income and the company wants local availability of citrus,” said Abhiram Seth, PepsiCo India’s executive director of exports.

PepsiCo imports its orange concentrate for juice sold in India because the home-grown oranges are smaller, bitter and have a thinner skin than western varieties.

The US company, through its Tropicana division, is one of two large companies in India’s packaged fruit juice market, which has developed overnight in line with the country’s rapid embrace of western-style consumerism.

PepsiCo’s $1.1m contribution to the project is small by comparison with the state government’s $22m investment in citrus farming. But PepsiCo says it is bringing its technical expertise and management skills to the project. Punjab is also setting up two $8.8m fruit concentrate processing plants by late 2006.

“The government is looking for a paradigm shift,” said Himmat Singh, managing director of Punjab Agri Exports Corp. “We want to tap into the higher value-added chain.”

The Punjab government sold 22,000 trees to farmers this year and plans to sell 250,000 next year, followed by 2m in 2007. The first saplings, planted in 2002, should bear fruit in 18 months.

PepsiCo first sold juice in India in 2001 and expects to source all its orange concentrate locally by 2011.

For India, the project could offer a clue on how to revitalise agriculture, which is growing at about 2 per cent a year compared with the country’s overall growth of about 7 per cent.

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Postby John_Doe » 24 Nov 2005 00:08

A clear example of how some MNCs are integrating with the Indian economy in a mutually beneficial way, and without forcing changes in "culture" as some people have been protesting about.

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Postby Kakkaji » 25 Nov 2005 07:58

Hope floats for the rural poor in Bihar

http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story ... t_id=82613

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Postby Kakkaji » 25 Nov 2005 08:13

Himachal Pradesh aiming at a white revolution
From 7.60 lakh litre a day in 2002, milk production has reached 8.70 lakh litre a day

http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story ... t_id=82617

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Postby Kakkaji » 25 Nov 2005 08:18

Indo-Israel tie to forward irrigation, dairy process

http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story ... t_id=82616

NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 24: Israel is the world number one in milk production and has almost perfected the art of using water judiciously for agriculture. These are just some of the qualities that India wants to imbibe through a joint cooperation on five specific areas.

During agriculture minister Sharad Pawar’s recent trip to Israel, it was decided that a work plan would be drawn up between the two countries for collaboration in 5 specific areas: micro-irrigation, dairy, protected cultivation of horticulture crops, organic farming and date palm production.

In micro-irrigation, Israel is the best. Its milk productivity is the highest in the world and meat production is also the best

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Postby Kakkaji » 26 Nov 2005 09:32

Final trials on for ‘10 times better’ version of Bt Cotton
Monsanto clears mid-term test, new seed has 2 genes

http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story ... t_id=82728

Four harvests of Bt Cotton later—in which sale of transgenic seeds jumped almost 30 times—Monsanto is holding field trials for Bollgard II, which it claims will be more effective than the first Bt cotton hybrid since it will have two genes instead of one.

Rath said Bollgard cotton had helped farmers in six districts in central and southern cotton-growing states to reap rich harvests. The IMRB survey, which interviewed 3199 farmers across 20 cotton-growing districts in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat, estimated an approximate 58% increase in yield per acre compared to conventional cotton.

However, the Government cleared the use of Bt Cotton for five states in 2003 and for Punjab this year. In March 2002, when Mahyco received regulatory approval, 72,000 packets of three approved bollgard hybrids were sold. In 2003, the acerage under Bt increased to 230,000 acres (one packet per acre). In 2004, nearly 13 lakh packets were sold. This year the number has shot up to as much as 200 lakh packets. 8)

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Postby Kakkaji » 26 Nov 2005 09:40

Final trials on for ‘10 times better’ version of Bt Cotton
Monsanto clears mid-term test, new seed has 2 genes

http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story ... t_id=82728

Four harvests of Bt Cotton later—in which sale of transgenic seeds jumped almost 30 times—Monsanto is holding field trials for Bollgard II, which it claims will be more effective than the first Bt cotton hybrid since it will have two genes instead of one.

Rath said Bollgard cotton had helped farmers in six districts in central and southern cotton-growing states to reap rich harvests. The IMRB survey, which interviewed 3199 farmers across 20 cotton-growing districts in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat, estimated an approximate 58% increase in yield per acre compared to conventional cotton.

However, the Government cleared the use of Bt Cotton for five states in 2003 and for Punjab this year. In March 2002, when Mahyco received regulatory approval, 72,000 packets of three approved bollgard hybrids were sold. In 2003, the acerage under Bt increased to 230,000 acres (one packet per acre). In 2004, nearly 13 lakh packets were sold. This year the number has shot up to as much as 200 lakh packets. 8)

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Postby Kakkaji » 27 Nov 2005 09:30


Sanjay M
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Postby Sanjay M » 06 Feb 2007 05:59

Wow, this thread is old. Time to revive it.
The Water-sharing poobahs have announced their grand decision on the Cauvery dispute:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6330567.stm

TN 420
KA 270

I dunno, it seems like with the dwindling water resources, no matter who wins somebody else loses.

Maybe both states with their prodigious coastlines should look towards desalination technology:

http://www.technologyreview.com/Nanotech/16977/

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Postby Kakkaji » 08 Feb 2007 08:29

This story has a political slant, but good ground-level info about the success of BT Cotton:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/22786.html

[quote]“Never before have we harvested such a bountiful crop, or received such high rates for it by using pesticide just once. The going rate for cotton never dipped beneath Rs 1,800 a quintal. Let us officially sow Bt cotton instead of sneaking in spurious varieties from Gujarat,â€

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Postby asharma » 14 Feb 2007 01:57

Not sure if this the right thread, but here goes:

Does anyone know the TOTAL per capita fresh water availability in India, and how it compares to the ROW?

What I am looking for is how much we get if we look at rainfall+rivers+ groundwater in terms of availability, how much of it we can actually capture (in terms of existing storage)

Tried googling but no help...

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Postby ramana » 05 Mar 2008 05:16

Two stories about an IITB portal to help farmers.


Almost All Questions Answered:

aAQUA


LINK


Almost all questions answered
The Linux Journal carries this story about a website started by IIT Powai which functions as a user/expert exchange targeted at the Indian agricultural community.

Aaqua lets users post questions, exchange information, search through archived answers and even check out the market rates for particular produce all over the country. The questions range from tomato plant diseases to obtaining government land records and are answered by agricultural experts from Krishi Vigyan Kendras (Agricultural Science Centers) around the country. Crop recommendations, information about government schemes for farmers are also posted on the site.

The plan is to support as many Indian languages as possible (the Natural Language Processing lab at IIT Bombay is working on that) and to reach an ever widening audience.

And the best part? Aaqua is run entirely using open source software.

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A need for Water Management

Postby joshvajohn » 23 Mar 2008 07:01

I think India needs to develop a special department for Water Management. How to distribute the water? How much we can use for agri purposes?
How much we need for Industries? How much we need water for drinking purposes? How much we have to leave water for underground water?

A lots of question have to be raised and systematically studied and proposals have to be brought in. Particularly those areas where water is simply wasted due to flood and overflows one needs to preserve water for two to three years just for drinking and irrigations.

New dams to be built. Even the Water needs to be distributed from Major rivers to places where there is no water.

It is time that there is a special department for water distribution and management. Also one has to sit and calculate properly how are we going to manage water in future particularly during draught times. So there is a need for small dams and preservation of water across the country where there is a need to stop flooding and waste water.

We need Water management policies too that could avoid flooding and wastage of water. May be the urban areas can be charged for water supply as they already do in some areas. For Industries too we need water supply. We cannot take it from the regular supplies of water and so there is a possibility of people agitating against such water supplies.

There should be more investment in terms of preserving water during flood and overflow from dams. This may enable people avoid disasters due to flood and also possibly meet the demands of urban areas and also for irrigation purposes too.

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Postby upendora » 27 Mar 2008 15:44

Most of the medium and small rivers run completely dry to the sea.
The only river in the South that has excess water is Godavari. If the current plans proceed, there will be quite a loss in fisheries and agri land in the delta region. (As outlflows decrease salt water starts coming up )

btw you can control floods by by forest plantations..

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Postby Gerard » 23 Apr 2008 02:48

India to Grow Record Rice, Wheat, Curbing Inflation
India, the world's second-biggest grower of rice and wheat, may harvest record crops after adequate rainfall and sunshine boosted yields, helping the government tame inflation that's near a three-year high.

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Re: Developments in Indian Agriculture

Postby SaiK » 19 Jan 2009 18:58

How to develop India’s northeast

M. S. Swaminathan

Science has a big role to play in shaping the region’s ecological future.

The annual Science Congress was held in Shillong on the Northeastern Hill University (NEHU) campus from January 3 to 7. In spite of many constraints, the Vice-Chancellor and staff of NEHU and the scientists of the Department of Science and Technology made superb arrangements. The President of the Congress, Dr. T. Ramasami, deserves credit both for deciding to hold the event for the first time in northeastern India, and for choosing the focal theme, “Science Education and Attraction of Talent for Excellence in Research.”

In 1976, I introduced the focal theme concept, with the topic “Science and Integrated Rural Development” at the Science Congress hosted by Andhra University. This tradition is being followed. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi began the practice of first hearing the General President of the Congress and then responding to the suggestions made by him or her. Unfortunately, over the years the General President’s role has been devalued and political leaders have come to occupy centrestage at the inaugural session. The Council of the Science Congress Association should request the Prime Minister to join on the closing day, receive the Congress’ recommendations, and deliver an address.

At the Waltair Science Congress in 1976, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission P.N. Haksar received the recommendations on enlisting technology as an ally in the movement for social, gender and economic equity in rural India. Union Minister for Finance C. Subramaniam made an ad hoc allocation of Rs. 15 crore in the budget for 1976-77 to implement the recommendations. Such seriousness in listening to the voice of science is not evident today. I hope from next year there will be an opportunity to provide pride of place for the General President at the inaugural session and listen to the valedictory address of the Prime Minister.

The northeastern region is a mega-biodiversity area and a hotspot for genetic erosion. The rural population is around 82 per cent and they depend largely on agriculture and allied sectors for work and income security. The forests have 8,000 of the 15,000 species of flowering plants occurring in India. Of about 1,300 species of orchids reported from India, the region has the highest concentration: about 700 species. The species richness is the highest in Arunachal Pradesh, where over 5,000 flowering plants occur, and the lowest in Tripura with 1,600 species. Bamboo is the lifeline of the region, and 63 out of 136 species found in India occur here. Unfortunately, 25 of these are in the rare and endangered category. The region is home to Eri and Muga silkworms. Yak and mithun are unique animals that are threatened by the spread of non-edible invasive plant species. The region is culturally diverse: 225 of India’s 450 tribes live here.

In spite of the richness of culture and bioresources, there is much poverty and unemployment. The allocation of funds for northeastern India is high and scientific departments are required to spend at least 10 per cent of their budget here. The outlay is, however, not getting converted into socially meaningful outcome.

During 1972-75, I set-up a research complex of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for this region. Agricultural universities exist at Jorhat and Imphal. The Department of Biotechnology has set up an Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development at Imphal. ICAR National Research Centres exist in Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Guwahati and Gangtok. There is the Northeastern Space Application Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation and a regional centre of the Indira Gandhi National Open University also.

Ecologically the region has many problems. The Uranium Corporation of India is trying to convince the people of the West Khasi Hills that uranium mining can be done in an ecologically and socially desirable manner. In spite of an average annual rainfall of over 2000 mm, water shortage during December-May is serious. The Cherrapunjee region (now known as Sohra) in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya faces scarcity during December-April though the annual rainfall exceeds 12,000 mm. Sohra lies atop a limestone plateau and limestone sucks in the water. The surrounding hills are denuded and more than 50 per cent of the forests have been lost. The only solution is to hold rainwater. Every household must have tanks for water collected from the roof. Meghalaya has initiated steps in this direction.

The region produces about 5.8 million tonnes of foodgrain as against the requirement of about 7.5 million tonnes. The gap between potential and actual yields is high in most farming systems, ranging from 155 per cent in mustard to 650 per cent in wheat. Thanks to the Horticulture Mission, the area under most fruits and vegetables has increased. Mizoram produces fine anthuriam varieties and Sikkim is the home of beautiful orchids. However, the productivity of fruits and vegetables is still low. The yield gap needs to be bridged since most holdings are small and there is need for greater marketable surplus and cash income.

Based on considerations of ecology, economics and employment generation, the MSSRF has developed the following three approaches to enhance opportunities for sustainable livelihoods in biodiversity-rich areas such as northeastern India:

Biovillages: The biovillage paradigm involves concurrent attention to the conservation and enhancement of the ecological foundations for sustainable agriculture; enhancing the productivity and profitability of small holdings, and generation of multiple livelihood opportunities through crop-livestock-fish integration, biomass utilisation, and agro-processing.

Bioparks: These are designed to add value to plant and animal biomass through agro-processing and preparation of a wide range of market-linked products.

Biovalleys: The aim is to promote along a watershed small-scale enterprises supported by microcredit and to link biodiversity, biotechnology and business in a mutually reinforcing manner. The biotechnology enterprises relate to the production and marketing of biological software essential for sustainable agriculture, such as biofertilizers, biopesticides, and vermiculture.

Such institutional approaches will help foster an economic stake in conservation. The region has a mine of valuable genes in rice which confer resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. The genetic variability in rice includes a strain which is reported to be one of the tallest among the global rice germplasm. A hybridisation programme could be undertaken jointly with farm families involving crosses between such unique rices and modern varieties with high yield potential and desired duration and grain quality.

As is customary on such occasions, both the Prime Minister and the Minister for Science and Technology announced new institutions and universities for the region. Unfortunately, more than 50 per cent of the scientific posts in the existing institutions in the field of agricultural research and education are vacant. Also, many of the positions are held by persons from outside the region, several of whom do not have a long-term stake in linking science with society in the region.

There is a trend to deviate from what is known as the “Bhabha Model of nurturing science”. Homi Bhabha built institutions around outstanding individuals and established the Trombay School to create a new class of outstanding scientists and science leaders. Unfortunately there is now a reversal of this paradigm with the highest priority going to the brick-and-mortar aspect of institution-building. In my Public Lecture at Shillong, I suggested that in the case of agricultural science about 1,000 graduates be selected from the region, provided with fellowships to do M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural and animal sciences universities and then inducted into the ICAR’s Agricultural Research Service. I got the ARS established in the ICAR in 1974 in order to promote a scientist-centred system in personnel policies in place of a post-centred system.

The irony of the coexistence of poverty of people and prosperity of nature will continue so long as the political approach is on quantitative expansion of educational institutions without corresponding emphasis on the breeding of outstanding teachers and researchers from the region.

(Professor M.S. Swaminathan is Chairman of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai, and a Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha).

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Re: Developments in Indian Agriculture

Postby Raj » 08 Apr 2009 03:41

SEAF to raise $75 million food & agri fund for India

Washington-headquartered investment firm Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF) is in the process of raising a $75 million fund targeting Indian agriculture-related businesses, a top official told VCCircle. SEAF launched this fund in February this year and expects a first close at $30-35 million in May. It's looking at a final close by 2009-end, SEAF co-founder Bert van der Vaart said in an interview to VCCircle. He is also moving to New Delhi from Washington to lead the SEAF team.

Agriculture is becoming hot sector sector among private equity investors given its recession proof nature. There have been a slew of investments in the space since the end of last year. Another similar sector dedicated fund is $100 million Food & Agriculture fund managed by Rabo Equity Advisors.

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Re: Developments in Indian Agriculture

Postby VinodTK » 12 Apr 2009 19:06

Interesting article, I thought I read quite a few news items in my lifetime, but this beats them all!!

Cows With Gas: India's Contribution to Global Warming

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Re: Developments in Indian Agriculture

Postby Ravi S » 14 Apr 2009 02:23

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102893816&ft=1&f=1004

India's Farming 'Revolution' Heading For Collapse
by Daniel Zwerdling


Audio for this story will be available at approx. 7:00 p.m. ET

The first of a two-part series.

Revisiting India's 'Green Revolution'

“Farmers are committing a kind of suicide.”
G.S. Kalkat, chairman of the Punjab State Farmers Commission

April 13, 2009 · Farmers in the village of Chotia Khurd in northern India don't realize it, but they symbolize a growing problem that could become a global crisis.

They gathered on a recent morning in a stone-paved courtyard — a circle of Sikhs with brightly colored turbans and big, bushy beards — to explain why the famed "bread basket" of India is heading toward collapse.

Their comparatively small region, Punjab, grows far more wheat and rice for India than any other region. But now these farmers are running out of groundwater.

They have to buy three times as much fertilizer as they did 30 years ago to grow the same amount of crops. They blitz their crops with pesticides, but insects have become so resistant that they still often destroy large portions of crops.

The state's agriculture "has become unsustainable and nonprofitable," according to a recent report by the Punjab State Council for Science & Technology. Some experts say the decline could happen rapidly, over the next decade or so.

One of the best-known names in India's farming industry puts it in even starker terms. If farmers in Punjab don't dramatically change the way they grow India's food, says G.S. Kalkat, chairman of the Punjab State Farmers Commission, they could trigger a modern Dust Bowl. That American disaster in the 1930s laid waste to millions of acres of farmland and forced hundreds of thousands of people out of their homes.

The story of Chotia Khurd is a cautionary tale: Political leaders and scientists can't necessarily transplant a technology from one country and culture to a vastly different one and expect it to flourish without serious side effects.

The 'Green Revolution'

The story begins in the 1960s, when parents in America's well-fed suburbs would admonish ungrateful children to "think about the starving people in India." Occasional news reports told wrenching stories about Indians subsisting on grass and leaves. The country survived on imports, like a beggar.

The public concern prompted a loose coalition of scientists, government officials and philanthropists — spurred and funded, in part, by the Rockefeller Foundation —to launch a "Green Revolution."

In the context of the times, "green" did not refer to what it means today — organic, pesticide-free farming methods. To the contrary, India's farmers were persuaded to abandon their traditional methods and grow crops the modern, American way.

For example, the advisers told farmers to stop growing old-fashioned grains, beans and vegetables and switch to new, high-yield varieties of wheat, rice and cotton. Farmers began using chemical fertilizers instead of cow dung. They plowed with tractors instead of bulls.

The "Green Revolution" of the 1960s and 1970s meant that if farmers embraced chemicals and high-yield seeds, their fields would turn lush green with crops. (An official at the U.S. State Department, William Gaud, apparently coined the term in 1968.)

During the Cold War, the term also implied that if countries like India could stamp out hunger, the population would be less likely to foment a violent revolution and go communist.

A Temporary Fix

In India, ground zero for the Green Revolution was the state of Punjab, which borders Pakistan and the foothills of the Himalayas. And the system seemed to work miracles — for a while.

The United States sent money and technical support, including advisers from one of America's most prestigious agriculture universities. India's government showered Punjab with low-cost chemicals and seeds — and they paid the farmers, in effect, to use them by guaranteeing minimum prices for Green Revolution crops.

It helped India transform itself from a nation that depends on imports and food aid to a budding superpower that often exports grains.

Villages like Chotia Khurd were harvesting three to four times as much grain per acre as they did before.

Many of the farmers and the local government were flush with money. They paved their dirt roads. The farmers replaced their mud houses with bricks and cement. They bought American tractors for a small fortune.

Just about everybody in Chotia Khurd bought cell phones, with a wide variety of ring tones — so it's hard to chat with a farmer without getting interrupted by electronic versions of Sikh chants or theme songs from Bollywood hits.

But government reports and farmers themselves say that era is over — and today, the Green Revolution system of farming is heading toward collapse.

'Farmers Are Committing A Kind Of Suicide'

To show why, the district director of the Punjab Agriculture Department, Palwinder Singh, leads the way up a narrow dirt road into wheat fields that encircle the village.

On the surface, they look robust. The countryside is electric green in every direction.

But Singh points to a large contraption rising above the crop, like a steel praying mantis. The machine is blanketing the countryside with a percussive, deafening roar.

"That's part of our most serious problem," he says. It's a drilling rig. A young farmer in a purple turban, Sandeep Singh, is standing next to the rig, looking unhappy. (The two men are not related — according to tradition, all Sikh men share the last name "Singh," which means "lion.")

When farmers switched from growing a variety of traditional crops to high-yield wheat and rice, they also had to make other changes. There wasn't enough rainwater to grow thirsty "miracle" seeds, so farmers had to start irrigating with groundwater. They hired drilling companies to dig wells, and they started pumping groundwater onto the fields.

But Sandeep Singh says he has been forced to hire the drilling company again, because the groundwater under his fields has been sinking as much as 3 feet every year.

Government surveys confirm it. In fact, his family and other farmers have had to deepen their wells every few years — from 10 feet to 20 feet to 40 feet, and now to more than 200 feet — because the precious water table keeps dropping below their reach.

Nobody was surprised when environmental activists started warning years ago that the Green Revolution was heading toward disaster. But they were astonished as government officials started to agree.

"Farmers are committing a kind of suicide," warns Kalkat, the director of the Punjab State Farmers Commission. "It's like a suicide, en masse."

Kalkat offers an unsettling prediction in a nation whose population is growing faster than any other on earth: If farmers don't drastically revamp the system of farming, the heartland of India's agriculture could be barren in 10 to 15 years.

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Re: Developments in Indian Agriculture

Postby vsudhir » 18 Apr 2009 04:54

x-post

1,500 farmers commit mass suicide in India

Over 1,500 farmers in an Indian state committed suicide after being driven to debt by crop failure, it was reported today.

The agricultural state of Chattisgarh was hit by falling water levels.


How true is this? Why haven't we heard abt it before this? In Chattisgarh? An NDA state, the dhimmedia would be all over this by now. What gives?

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Re: Developments in Indian Agriculture

Postby SriniY » 18 Apr 2009 11:24

e-Sagu: An IT based Personalized Agro-Advisory System

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFvGvr3vzIw

Related links : http://www.esagu.in/

http://www.iiit.net/~pkreddy/ - Principal investigator for the project

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Re: Developments in Indian Agriculture

Postby Jarita » 02 Nov 2009 10:20


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Re: Developments in Indian Agriculture

Postby SaiK » 12 Apr 2016 10:49

Big agriculture reform: PM Modi’s NAM to electronically integrate 585 regulated wholesale market
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the national agriculture market (NAM) on April 14.

http://www.financialexpress.com/article ... 14/234832/

Narendra Modi will launch the national agriculture market on April 14. Finance minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech announced setting up of the Unified Agriculture Marketing Scheme. (AP Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the national agriculture market (NAM) on April 14. It proposes to integrate 585 regulated wholesale market or agriculture produce market committees (APMCs) under one electronic platform within a couple of years. The NAM will allow farmers to sell their produce to highest bidders.

The NAM will initially aim at integrating 21 mandis in eight states – Gujarat (3), Telangana (5), Rajasthan (1), Madhya Pradesh (1), Uttar Pradesh (5), Haryana (2), Jharkhand (2) and Himachal Pradesh (2). Sources said chana, castor seed, paddy, wheat, maize, onion, mustard and tamarind will be traded in these mandis.

Fruits and vegetables, which often witness price fluctuations, are yet to be included in the NAM platform. Besides, the country’s two biggest mandis — Azadpur (Delhi) and Vasi (Mumbai) — have not yet agreed to come on board.

Sources told FE that 14 states which have amended their respective APMC Acts for making provision for e-trading are — Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Telangana and Uttarakhand.

However, many of these states are yet to make changes for allowing sales of fruits and vegetables through the e-trading platform.

“Farmers face price volatility in selling their fruits and vegetables as they are perishable while in case of other commodities such as grains and pulses, there are several traders involved in procurement,” an official said.

Seventeen states and Union Territories have included the provision of single point levy of market fee in their APMC Acts and 15 other states have made provision of single unified licence to validate trading across the entire state.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech announced setting up of the Unified Agriculture Marketing Scheme that envisages a common e-market platform that will be deployed in 585 regulated wholesale markets.

“Amendments to the APMC Acts of states are pre-requisite to join this e-platform. Twelve states have already amended their APMC Acts and are ready to come on board. More states are expected to join this platform in the coming year,” Jaitley had said.

As per the government’s plan, following the formal launch of NAM, 200 mandis would be integrated by September. Besides, 200 more markets would be integrated to NAM by March 2017 and the remaining 185 by March 2018. The Centre has allocated Rs 200 crore for implementation of the NAM.

National kharif meet starts today Following two consecutive drought years ( 2014 and 2015), the agriculture ministry has called a two-day national conference stating Monday to chalk out strategy for sowing of kharif crops such as paddy, pulses and oilseeds.


not all states in

member_29172
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Re: Developments in Indian Agriculture

Postby member_29172 » 12 Apr 2016 11:27

vsudhir wrote:x-post

1,500 farmers commit mass suicide in India

Over 1,500 farmers in an Indian state committed suicide after being driven to debt by crop failure, it was reported today.

The agricultural state of Chattisgarh was hit by falling water levels.


How true is this? Why haven't we heard abt it before this? In Chattisgarh? An NDA state, the dhimmedia would be all over this by now. What gives?


briturd paper, reporting on something obscure that DDM hasn't, why do you even ask? lol

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Re: Developments in Indian Agriculture

Postby SBajwa » 15 Apr 2016 22:00

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/trends ... 19465.html

Sarika Sharma
When Ikroop and Raman Tiwana returned to Chandigarh in 2014 after spending a good number of years abroad, they decided to take over their farms themselves. They stopped giving it for contract farming and began growing vegetables. The farm at Paintpur near Mullanpur was a relatively small one — around two acres — but the produce was good enough, and not just for the Tiwanas. They often found themselves sharing sacks full of fresh vegetables with their friends and relatives. Soon, they turned entrepreneurs and connected with organic lovers over a small WhatsApp group and a Facebook page. Today, the two take pride in calling themselves ethical farmers, who grow vegetables and flowers without pesticides.

Jaspal Chatha is a bigger farmer and owns about 30 acres in Nakodar. The fresh college passout entered farming in 1981. Punjab was flourishing in Green Revolution’s gains, but Jaspal wasn’t glad. He still missed the feel of the soil from when he had returned to India from Kenya in 1964. “We were still using Persian pumps. Ploughing was done with bullocks. And the soil was much softer. I had my share of memories, but I could do nothing about it as I had no idea about organic farming.” However, two decades later, he did make the transition.

Starting with small areas and then graduating to the entire field worked well. “There was no dip in the yield,” says Jaspal, who has been trying various kinds of alternative farming in the last few years. While following biodynamics, he is also going for the age-old method of sowing and harvesting according to the lunar calendar.

He says doping the land with fertilisers has disturbed its pH balance. He puts it beautifully: “Mitti bimaar hai taan fasal bimaar hai. Fasal bimaar hai taan loki bimaar ne (Diseased land will lead to diseased crop and diseased crop means diseased you).”

The Tiwanas and Jaspal are from the increasing breed of organikers in Punjab.

There are around 1,500 hectares of certified organic land in Punjab, according to various reports, although there is no official figure.

Market marquee
The growing number of local farmers is changing the market marquee and the number of consumers is on an upswing, and swiftly so. Mohali resident Balwant Kaur says they shifted to using organic vegetables after being spurred by a close family friend. The weekly trips to Chandigarh’s sabzi mandis explain what ensued thereafter. “You have to eat it to believe the difference between organic and regular stuff. Vegetables are juicier and smell better too,” she says.

While Balwant turned to organic easily, Ikroop, who handles market for the produce from their farm, feels marketing organic produce is a tricky thing, still. Growers often find themselves facing pre-conceived notions; biggest of them being organic products are expensive. Ikroop insists the prices are not very high. However, she does say that bio inputs are expensive and not subsidised by the government. “And as our produce is always prone to pest attack, we have to count that in. However, the difference is marginal,” she says.

Consumers as facilitators
It isn’t just the community of organic farmers that is growing. Hem Khosla has been ‘into organic’ for quite a few years now. She would source vegetables and groceries from all over the country, look for the best quality products online, but she has been growing her own vegetables at her farm near Jalandhar for around three to four years.

But the idea isn’t just to introduce organic produce to her loved ones. She feels it is the community that deserves it to eat ‘poison-free’. For that, she and several others like her are not just growing vegetables, but also helping farmers market their produce.

Among them is Rohit Gupta, a businessman from Ludhiana. He takes pride in the fact that almost every vegetable or grocery that comes to his house is organic. At least that is the idea. Rohit, too, grows vegetables at his own farm. Going a step further, he has now joined Kheti Virasat Mission, a non-profit group promoting organic farming in Punjab.

Along with several other volunteers like Hem, he is now bringing farmers market their produce and informing people about the choice at hand.

“We would sometimes get organic products and sometimes not. Though I would cultivate my own little piece of land, it would not give a good yield when I did not have the time for it. We are now bringing farmers to kisan haats being held in various cities of Punjab every Sunday,” says Rohit, who is joined by Rajiv Gupta, chief manager with State Bank of Patiala, in Patiala. Whatever time he spares for himself goes into marketing organic produce. What spurs Rajiv’s interest was concern about the poison in the food chain. “People were contracting non-curable diseases and being fleeced in the name of organic, while farmers were being exploited. At these haats, farmers bring produce, which is fresh from the farm and they don’t have to give commission to any mediator who takes it to a superstore,” he says.

While KVM convener Umendra Dutt is ecstatic about the response, Rohit says one can only see the difference when one comes to such a mandi. His favourite example is that of a man who took home kinnows for juice from the mandi one Sunday. When the stock exhausted, his family switched to regular kinnows and the man wondered if the kinnows he got had rotted. “That is the difference, you know!” he gushes. Ikroop too swears by the taste of palak and methi from her farm.

Bigger famers are happy too, but have bigger challenges to face. Hartej Singh Mehta, from Mehta village in Bathinda, took to organic farming after pest attack damaged his entire crop in the early 1990s. He gradually shifted to organic and his 11-acre farm turned fully organic around 12 years ago. He says that while people’s yields have been falling, theirs is on a rise. “Though our crop too was damaged this year, we were able to save seed. Our forefathers followed a system. We played into the hands of corporates and lost our traditional knowledge. But Earth is furious. We need to go back to our roots and set things right. However, mindsets can’t be changed that soon, we know. But we have made a start,” he says.

Food for thought or a thought for food. Either ways, it works for us. Doesn’t it?

Fresh from rooftop
For some, awareness also leads to DIY, no matter if there is a farm or not. Anoop Kapoor, a Chandigarh-based businessman, is among them. His rooftop flourishes with 10 to 12 varieties of vegetables planted in 160 pots. What began as a hobby has grown into a passion. And he says nothing beats fresh salad from the kitchen. “I would not want to exaggerate, but it meets around 20 per cent of my household consumption,” he beams. Pallavi Sharma, an MSc student in Bathinda, has been growing vegetables on the terrace for last two years. She says there is no better food than that made of vegetables from your own kitchen garden.

Similarly, Amrinder Kaur, who runs a school in Bathinda, has been tending to her kitchen garden ever since she attended a training workshop organised by KVM. She converted her fallow plot into a kitchen garden and grows around ten kinds of vegetables. She has been doing composting and mulching and is happy with the results.

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Re: Developments in Indian Agriculture

Postby SBajwa » 27 Apr 2018 22:26

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab ... 80266.html

Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Due to bumper produce this season, Punjab’s major concern is storing the procured wheat. Almost 50 per cent of the wheat procured this year will be stored in the open in mandis. The covered storage space has all been used by the paddy from the last kharif season. The wheat is still arriving in mandis.

This wheat will be subjected to vagaries of weather in case it is not lifted immediately, and could go waste.

The matter was raised by a Punjab government delegation, led by Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, during a meeting with Secretary, Food, GoI, Ravi Kant here on Thursday. Raising the issue of anything between 55-60 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of wheat that would have to be stored in the open, the state pressed upon the Centre to run more trains next month (Centre has already assured of running 400 special trains for transporting wheat from Punjab to recipient states), so that this wheat stored in the open is first lifted.

Punjab is expecting production of 180 LMT wheat this year, of which 118 LMT will be procured by the government agencies. Till date, 102 LMT of wheat has been procured by the agencies and the FCI. Of this, 70 per cent of wheat that has arrived in mandis in the past 72 hours has been lifted.

Punjab government officials are learnt to have told the Central delegation that the glut in the mandis happened only in the past week when the wheat arrival peaked. But they were following the norm of lifting wheat within 72 hours of its arrival. “The main problem this year will be the storage of the grain being produced,” the state is learnt to have told the Secretary, Food.

Officials say that Ravi Kant has told the state government that a consultant for the storage gap analysis and need for creating more silo storages in Punjab is being appointed, and the report would come out soon.

Sources say that the Central government delegation said after lifting the wheat stored in the open in mandis, they would ensure maximum movement of wheat stored on raised plinths and then move the remaining wheat stocks to other states. This movement would allow the state to have

sufficient storage space for the paddy procurement season that begins in six months from now.

Why the shortage

Total covered foodgrain storage capacity in Punjab is 153 lakh metric tonnes (LMT)
100 LMT of rice from the last kharif marketing season was lying in godowns when procurement began
26 LMT of wheat from the previous year, too, is lying in these storage spaces
Movement of the foodgrain last year has been an average of 17 LMT each month, almost 2 LMT per month less than what it was in 2016

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Re: Developments in Indian Agriculture

Postby SBajwa » 27 Apr 2018 23:14

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/amrits ... 80305.html

Amritsar, April 26
Farmers are a harried lot amid slow lifting of crop at the grain markets in the district. A total of 3,69,527 metric tonnes (MT) of wheat have arrived at the grain markets in the district till Thursday evening and only 66,038 metric tonnes have been lifted so far.

Two days ago, only 11,000 metric tonnes of wheat had been lifted, but with the government allowing the use of tractor-trolleys to lift the grain has surely helped in increasing the pace of wheat lifting.

The government has recently allowed the use of tractor-trolleys. These have also been used in the past, but in absence of any official sanction, the transporters often had to face problems.

District Mandi Officer Kulwant Singh said, “In the last two days, over 50,000 metric tonnes of produce have been lifted. The harvesting season is at peak. On Thursday, around 70,000 metric tonnes of produce arrived at the markets.”

Due to heavy mechanisation, the harvesting season has got confined to a few days, so problems arise at mandis sometimes.

The mandi officer feels that the quantity of arrival will decrease after two days as the season is now at its peak. “As the arrival goes down, the labourers at the markets would be free to load trucks and trolleys. As of now, their priority is to unload and weigh the produce brought by farmers,” he said.

Out of the total arrival of 3,69,527 metric tonnes, 3,54,259 metric tonnes have been procured by various private and government agencies. Mandi officials say allowing tractor trolleys to transport the produce to warehouses has helped as it has increased the pace of crop lifting.


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