Seedless Watermelon Varieties Developed By Kerala Agri University Becoming Popular

The seedless watermelon varieties developed by Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) is so good that it will compel you to start watermelon farming. These varieties are slowly becoming popular amongst farmers. 

These hybrid cultivars, dubbed Shonima and Swarna, were cultivated in a freshly constructed polyhouse (10 cents) in Vellanikkara in Thrissur, using mulching, drip irrigation, and sowing seeds in raised beds covered with polythene mulch. The University has shown the viability of seedless watermelon growing in a polyhouse built with State Horticulture Mission funds to popularise its commercial cultivation. 

These unusual hybrids are suited for polyhouse and open precision farming, according to Pradeep Kumar T, Head, Department of Vegetable Science, KAU. With high density planting, a field demonstration was done under open precision farming. 

Cost of Production 

The cost of producing one acre of watermelons is projected to be Rs 50,000, with each fruit weighing 2.5 to 3 kg and yielding three to four watermelons per plant. The farm gate price is projected to be Rs 20, and a farmer may earn Rs 1.2 lakh in four months from an acre. 

The seed price is set at one rupee, and one kilogram contains 30,000 seeds. Seeds may be bought by email, and farmers from all over India are doing so as well. 

Seedless watermelon production, according to Kishorkumar N K, a farmer in Varandarappilly, Trichur, is a successful enterprise. He has posted a video on Facebook demonstrating the process of farming. 

Watermelon is the most lucrative vegetable crop, although it is only grown in a few areas of the country, including Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Gujarat.  

At the moment, none of these areas grow seedless watermelon. The lack of seeds and the need for pollenizers, according to Pradeepkumar, are limiting issues in popularising seedless watermelon production. 

Because it is a high-value vegetable that benefits from protected cultivation and precision farming, he believes that demonstrating production technology using fertigation, mulching, and scientific pruning will help popularise cultivation in commercial farms, high-tech vegetable growers, and export growers. 

source: krishijagran

Agriculture is the backbone of economy: VP Venkaiah Naidu

Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said that agriculture was the “backbone of our economy” and called for unshackling the potential of rural economy to ensure income security for farmers.

“Agriculture is the basic culture of India. Half of the country today depends on agriculture. Our villages not only produce foodgrains but they also inculcate values and principles. All governments should give priority to the welfare of farmers and ensure remunerative prices. There must always be a dialogue between farmers and the government; however, farmers’ problems should not be linked to politics. When it is linked to votes, then division happens,” he said.

Naidu was addressing a gathering in Gurgaon after releasing five volumes of collected works of speeches and writing of Sir Chhotu Ram, the co-founder of the National Unionist Party and a prominent politician in pre-independent India.

Heaping praise on the agriculture sector and work ethic of farmers, Naidu said that even during Covid, when all other sectors of the economy had suffered, production in agricultural sector increased for two successive years.

“You must remember a government had fallen due to onion prices. There should be one market for all, without restrictions, and support prices should be raised from time-to-time. But, I am not in favour of government procuring all the produce. The government should procure when there is no demand in the market. Otherwise, commission agents will exploit farmers,” said Naidu, adding that he was not referring to any particular party or government on this.

“I am not in politics. I have retired from politics, but not tired from public life. I am myself son of a farmer,” he added.

Naidu reiterated that there was a need to look beyond politics of freebies in addressing the needs of farmers. “Farmers need infrastructure – uninterrupted power supply for 12 hours, roads [to their villages], water, timely credit, market, godowns. They need permanent projects, not populist schemes,” he said.

Calling Sir Chhotu Ram a “renaissance” man, Naidu credited him for initiating major agricultural reforms in undivided Punjab and for freeing farmers from exploitation of money lenders. “He brought new ideas (setting up mandis, Bhakra dam on Sutlej) in polity and worked for the cause of nation-building. He always worked for the uplift of marginalized, poor and farmers. The youth should read about the life of such visionaries and take inspiration,” he said.

In the evening, the Vice-President felicitated Paralympian athletes, who won India’s highest ever tally of medals at Tokya Paralympics. Praising their grit and determination, Naidu said, “You have made us all proud. The nation salutes you. In these dismal times, when there is so much uncertainty, you have shown us a ray of hope. You had to face so many adversities – conditions were tough due to Covid, stadia were closed, your training was affected – yet you have triumphed and your accomplishments are an inspiration for every Indian.”

Calling for the need for a sporting culture, he heaped praise on the efforts of Haryana government in creating infrastructure and supporting sportspersons.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who attended both the events, said the state was a hub of sports and complimented athletes for a stellar performance at the Olympics. “Entire society gets inspiration from your achievements. I have told the officials that do not worry about the budget and to just focus on performance. We have created infrastructure for sports in the state. We have also put in a mechanism where athletes can claim their cash rewards immediately. Gone are the days when sportspersons had to wait for days for their rewards,” he said, adding that he will soon inaugurate an Olympic Bhavan in Faridabad, where a para-sports centre for athletes will be built.

Recalling his own story of comeback into the hockey team after suffering a gunshot injury, Sandeep Singh, Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs, said he salutes the efforts of athletes who overcame so many hardships. “I have set an aim that in the next Paralympics, at least 100 athletes should participate and we win 50 medals,” he said.

Several athletes shared their stories of struggle, especially after Covid.

Harvinder Singh, who won bronze in archery, said that he practiced in a farm, since all the stadiums were closed during Covid.

“The medal is a result of nine years of struggle. I started practicing after watching London Olympics on television in 2012. The feeling is slowly sinking in. I want to thank the Haryana government for their support. Archery is an expensive sport.”

Singhraj Adhana, who won a silver and a bronze medal in shooting, said, “When I had polio at a young age, I told my mother that I wanted to run like other kids. She told me that if I really willed it in my mind, I definitely would run. Now I can say that I ran so fast that I reached Olympics and won.”

He said that after Covid, he decided to build his own shooting range for 10 m and 50 m. “I was quite upset when I could not train. The stadiums were closed during lockdown. I checked with my coach, who advised me that I should build my own range,” he said.


Red Okra Variety Grown by Madhya Pradesh Farmer Is More Nutritious Than The Green One

A farmer in Madhya Pradesh is growing red okra (ladyfinger) in his garden. Middle-aged Misrilal Rajput hails from Bhopal district’s Khajuri Kalan area. He sowed the seeds in July and in just 40 days, the crop started growing and now his garden is filled with red pods.

“It is more beneficial and nutritious than green ladyfinger. It is extremely beneficial for people who are facing heart and blood pressure issues, diabetes, high cholesterol,” Rajput told ANI.

According to Rajput, the market price for the red ladyfinger ranges from ₹75-80 to ₹300-400 per 250 grams or 500 grams. He claims that he did not use any harmful pesticides during the cultivation of this product. Rajput believes that one could grow about a minimum of 40-50 quintals and a maximum of 70-80 quintals on an acre of land.

Rajput told the news agency that he purchased 1kg seeds for the crop from an agricultural research Institute in Varanasi. The Institute Rajput is talking about is the Indian Institute of Vegetable Research in Varanasi. IIVR, which is a field unit of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and comes under the Indian government’s Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, developed this new red variety of okra in 2019 after some 23 years of research. The variety is officially named Kashi Lalima.

According to the Institute’s website, the red ladyfinger is not only tolerant of two major diseases that affect okra – Yellow Vein Mosaic Virus (YVMV) and Okra Leaf Curl Virus (OLCV) – but also rich in nutrients such as anthocyanins and phenolics. These nutrients provide anti-oxidant effects and boost the human body’s anti-inflammation capacity. The crop is suitable for both spring-summer and rainy seasons. The website mentions that a hectare can grow about 14-15 tonnes of Kashi Lalima.

Before Kashi Lalima was developed at IIVR, India had to import red ladyfinger from western countries to meet the demand.


Telangana Urges Centre to Relax PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme Norms

Telangana government has asked the Centre to relax the existing rules for implementing PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme in the state, allowing even small and marginal farmers to participate in it. 

S Niranjan Reddy, the Minister of Agriculture, has urged the Union government to promote the cultivation of oilseeds and pulses, as well as consider providing financial assistance to agriculture-related enterprises through the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund. 

Reddy was taking part in a virtual session of the Union government’s national conference of agriculture ministers from various states to discuss the agriculture infrastructure fund, Pradhan Mantri Samman Nidhi, Kisan Credit Cards, Digital Agriculture, oilseed cultivation, Oil Palm, and other issues. Union Minister for Industries and Commerce Piyush Goyal chaired over the event. Kailash Choudhary and Shobha Karandlaje, both Union Ministers of State for Agriculture, were also present. 

The minister said that small and marginal farmers make up 91.48 percent of the farming community in Telangana, which has 1.5 crore acres of cultivable land. Due to the Central Government’s rules, only 35.19 lakh farmers become eligible for Kisan Samman Nidhi.

He emphasized the importance of loosening the rules so that more farmers can benefit from the program. He further pointed out that the Telangana State received only Rs.703.81 crore in the eighth installment of the scheme. 

In addition to numerous other measures in the best interests of farmers, the Telangana government is spending Rs.15,000 crore to provide financial assistance to farmers through the Rythu Bandhu farm support scheme. 

About PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme: 

The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-Kisan Yojana) is a government scheme that provides up to Rs 6,000 per year in basic income support to all small and marginal farmers. This 75,000-crore initiative aims to benefit 125 million farmers in India, regardless of their landholding size. 


Must find ways, means to boost farm productivity and Agri exports: Piyush Goyal

Union food & public distribution minister Piyush Goyal on Monday stressed the need for finding ways and means to augment farm productivity and agriculture exports to boost farm incomes in the country.

He also said that the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) and the Food Corporation of India (FCI) will soon submit a comprehensive modern crop storage plan for the benefit of farmers in India, according to an official release.

Speaking at the Conference on Agri Infra Fund and Digital India, Goyal said that a cluster-based approach in agriculture produce marketing and exports will enable to “bring down the cost of production without affecting quality.”

He also threw light on the works done in the last seven years, including India featuring in the ninth position in the top 10 list of agricultural produce exporters in 2019 with 3.1% global agricultural exports as per WTO report. Goyal also said that the export of agricultural and allied products – including marine and plantation items, saw a 17.34% hike during 2020-21 as opposed to its previous financial year (2019-20).

At Monday’s event, the minister said that focus needs to be present on “five pillars to create atma nirbhar Kisan”. These include the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund of ₹1 lakh crore, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), digital agriculture, national mission on oilseeds and oil palm, and export of agriculture products, the official government release read.

Talking about the various initiatives and works done by the Centre, Goyal, who also holds the profile of the Union commerce minister, said that the department of commerce has reached out to the states, districts and farms in order to boost a rise in exports of agriculture products.

He added that farmers have been given a “stake in exports of their produce, export market linkages [have been] provided to farmers/FPOs,” and export-oriented production with Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO) have also been encouraged.

The minister, while outlining the agricultural achievements, mentioned the export of dragon fruit to London and Bahrain, a consignment of ‘Raja Mircha’ (king chili) from Nagaland exported to London by air for the first time, and ‘Shahi Litchi’ from Bihar exported to the UK as well by air, among others.

Goyal also mentioned export of saffron and dry fruits from Jammu & Kashmir to Saudi Arabia and a consignment of vegetables consisting of curry leaves and ladies finger sourced from Hardiwar exported to Dubai.

“India has the attention of the entire world today and we are being looked upon as a trusted partner,” the release quoted him as saying.

Goyal said that India is “expecting FTAs/PTAs with many countries” for instance, the UK, the EU, and Australia, among others that will help in “boosting agriculture exports as well.”

The minister added that by “expediting technology adoption” in agricultural practices, India can boost its competitive advantage further.


World Coconut Day Celebration at Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare

World Coconut Day was observed by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare on 2 September to commemorate the founding day of the International Coconut Community (ICC), an intergovernmental organization of coconut producing countries under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP). 

The function’s chief guest, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar, stated that India has made significant development in the field of coconut. India ranks third in the world in terms of production and productivity. During 2020-21, the country’s coconut production was 21207 million nuts, accounting for 34% of global production. The productivity is the greatest in the world, with 9687 nuts per hectare. Farmers are finding work as a result of the growth of new coconut products and companies. 

This year’s World Coconut Day theme was “Building a safe, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable coconut community amid the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.” Every year, the Coconut Development Board celebrates Coconut Day to raise awareness about the value of coconuts and to draw national and worldwide attention to the coconut industry. 

Union Minister Tomar stated on the occasion that coconut has had a significant impact on the country’s economy. He urged farmers and entrepreneurs to fully use the coconut sector’s potential. He assured farmers that the Central Government is in their support.  

 The Minister stated that by greatly boosting the agriculture budget, producers will profit from MSP. The Prime Minister is constantly thinking about methods to improve farmer income. According to Tomar, agricultural produce should be of high quality and meet global standards, which will boost exports. 

Sushri Shobha Karandlaje, Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmer Welfare, said, “since the farmers are small and marginal, the future of our domestic coconut industry lies in our ability to aggregate and pool farm level coconut production, take up processing and value addition for better income realization and give a major thrust to product diversification and finding industrial utilization of various by-products and their value addition.” 


PM Modi lauds Sukhet Model to check pollution in Madhubani villages

The PM said the model had a four-fold benefit like pollution-free environment in villages, disposal of waste in villages, monetary assistance to villagers for gas cylinders, and availability of organic fertilizers to farmers.

An initiative called ‘Sukhet Model” adopted by Dr Rajendra Prasad Agriculture University, Madhubani and local agricultural research centres to check pollution in villages was praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Maan Ki Baat address on Sunday.

The PM said the initiative was giving an impetus to the Swatch Bharat campaign and also providing benefits to farmers. In his address, Modi talked about the major highlights of the Sukhet Model stating how cow dung and waste from houses of villagers are collected and in return the villagers are given money for gas cylinders.

He said the waste collected from the villages is used to manufacture Vermi compost, which is made available to farmers.

The PM said the model had a four-fold benefit like pollution free environment in villages, disposal of waste in villages, monetary assistance to villagers for gas cylinders and availability of organic fertilisers to farmers. “Just think how such initiatives can increase the strength of our villages. This is the subject of Atma Nirbharta. I will urge all panchayats to think about doing something like this,” the PM said.

The Sukhet Model was launched by the agricultural department as part of the climate-resilient agricultural programme in 2019.


Agriculture minister Tomar launches national food and nutrition campaign

Narendra Singh Tomar said ICAR has been working successfully on which crops should be cultivated and which seeds should be invented for rainfed and other areas

Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday launched a national food and nutrition campaign for farmers. “Efforts are also being made to make agriculture and farmers connected with new technology. We have expertise in production, but it is also important to manage this abundance. It is the responsibility of the farmers along with the government to ensure that our products should be of better quality, meet global standards. Farmers should be attracted towards costly crops,” Tomar said at the launch.

He added that increasing productivity in India is a “matter of pride”, but India is at a stage, where it has to introspect into farmers’ challenges and their solutions. He lauded the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). Tomar added ICAR has been working successfully on which crops should be cultivated and which seeds should be invented for rain-fed and other areas. Tomar said farmers associated with Krishi Vigyan Kendras should also ensure the participation of all farmers in various schemes including the Agri Infra Fund.

Tomar said when the Modi government took over, the budget for agriculture was about ₹21,000crore which has now been increased to over ₹1.23lakh crore. “For the development of gram panchayats, the amount of the Finance Commission’s grant has been increased almost five times by the PM,” Tomar said.


Top 5 Combine Harvesters in India – Details Inside

India is the world’s largest agricultural country providing employment to more than half of the population. Farming also plays a vital role in the country’s economy, accounting for around 17% of overall GDP and employing more than 60% of the people. The majority of farming was done by hand or by human labor in the past. However, as the economy grew, so did this important sector. 

Today, it is done with the help of equipment and tractors, resulting in significant output and profit. Many machines have been developed to help the agriculture sector grow more productively.  

One of them is a Harvester. Harvester is a frequently used farming machine designed to harvest crops efficiently in the field. It’s excellent reaping, threshing, and winnowing combination. As a result, we might argue that a harvester has “many names.” Combine harvesters have nearly all of the desirable characteristics, making them perfect for crop cultivation. 

Best combine harvesters in India

Check out some of the best combine harvesters available in India;

Kartar 4000 Harvester

The Kartar 4000 harvester is a machine, which is sturdy and made in India. It is capable of handling any heavy and difficult farming tasks. The harvesting machine features a powerful engine and is self-propelled. It has shaper blades and a wide cutting breadth, resulting in refined grains. It was created to meet all of a farmer’s high-production needs. 

– The cutter bar of the machine is 14 feet wide. 

– This Kartar harvester is capable of harvesting multiple crops. A huge fuel tank is included with the machine. 

– It is constructed from high-quality materials. That is why it can withstand all of the harsh farming conditions. 

– This machine uses less fuel and produces excellent results. 

– In the fields, the harvester responds quickly. 

The pricing of the Kartar 4000 harvester is inexpensive, allowing you to save money. 

New Holland TC5.30 Harvester: 

This one is a New Holland TC5.30 harvester, which belongs to the New Holland brand. The equipment is robust and durable, and it performs well in the agricultural area. The equipment is designed with high-quality blades that allow for precise crop cutting. It is one of the best options for meeting all of a farmer’s farming needs. 

– The cutting bar width on the harvester machine is 14 feet. 

– It has a huge fuel tank, which reduces additional costs. 

– India’s top harvester features big engines. The engine does a good job while using less fuel. 

– This harvester machine can handle any type of crop. 

– It’s a multi-crop harvester that’s self-propelled. 

The New Holland TC5.30 harvester is ranked among the most cost-effective harvesters because of its low price. 

Kubota Harvesking DC-68G-HK Harvester 

Kubota is a popular multinational brand that is equally well-known in India. Kubota Harvesking DC-68G-HK Harvester is one of the company’s innovative harvester machines. It’s jam-packed with cutting-edge Japanese technology. As a result, it is regarded as very efficient equipment in India. 

– The multi-crop self-propelled equipment is ideal for all paddy crops. 

– Rice, sugarcane and other paddy crops are among them. 

– The most powerful engine was installed in the harvesting machine. The engine consumes less fuel while delivering strong performance. 

– The cutting bar width of the Kubota harvester machine is 900 x 1903 MM. 

– It boasts high-quality sharper blades that allow for effective fine grain cutting. 

-All of the paddy fields are simply handled by the equipment. 

The cost of the harvesting machine is minimal, making it India’s most popular combine harvester. 

Mahindra Arjun 605 Harvester

The Mahindra Arjun 605 harvester, a tractor-mounted multi-crop equipment, comes next. This harvester machine is capable of doing all harvesting tasks efficiently. It comes with a slew of innovative and cutting-edge features that guarantee a good return on investment. It has a high-hp engine, which makes it more powerful. 

– The cutter bar width of the Mahindra Arjun 605 harvester is 11.81 feet. The features allow for fine grain cutting. 

– The machine is powerful and features high-quality components. It works well for a variety of harvesting tasks. 

– It has the best air filter, which keeps the inner system clean. This functionality extends the life of the component. 

-The machine’s cooling water system prevents the inner system from overheating. 

Customers are constantly taken care of by the Mahindra brand. As a result, it offers all of the devices at a reasonable price. The best example is the Mahindra Arjun 605 harvester. 

Preet 987 Harvester 

The Preet 987 harvester, which is one of the most powerful harvesters. It performs well during harvesting activities. Threshing, winnowing, and reaping are all possible with this equipment. The preet harvester increases output while making work easier. It’s a self-propelled combine harvester that gets the job done quickly. The blades are of excellent quality. 

– The cutting bar width on the machine is 14 feet. 

– It has a powerful engine that makes it both efficient and strong. 

– The Preet 987 harvester meets all of a farmer’s needs. 

– The Preet 987 harvester machine is composed of high-quality materials, making it durable.  

This harvester equipment is especially well-liked because of its low price. The price of a harvester machine in India in 2021 is inexpensive, making it accessible to all farmers. 

Bottom Line: 

These are the top 5 combine harvester machines that are effective in harvesting. They have distinct attributes and characteristics that make them excellent for harvesting. 

If you want more details about any particular harvester, do let us know through the comment box given below.


Telangana govt launches ‘Saagu-Baagu’ to promote innovation in agriculture, horticulture

Taking one more step towards the launch of ‘Saagu-Baagu’ project that would revolutionise agriculture in Telangana, the State government has released an Expression of Interest (EoI) for selection of Project Implementation Partners (PIPs) which will build consortia and deploy a bouquet of solutions from several startups and tech-focused organisations, to establish proof of value and accelerate adoption and use of agritech solutions.

Adopting a farmer first approach, the State government and World Economic Forum (WEF) jointly invited proposals from startups, Farm Producers Organisations (FPOs), industries, academia, and civil society to showcase end-to-end value chain transformation with new-age technologies, under its ambitious ‘Saagu-Baagu’ project.

The last date for submission of proposals is September 30 and the State government will conduct a virtual pre-bid conference for interested stakeholders on September 7.

“A new revolution in agriculture has already started with the adoption of emerging technologies in the sector. With this project, Telangana will be in the forefront and lead the revolution in our nation to improve farmers’ lives,” Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy said on Saturday.

The Saagu-Baagu project is the first-of-its-kind public-private initiative for agritech in India, to unlock Ease of Doing Innovation in agriculture and horticulture. It is aimed at bringing value addition with mainstreaming of innovative new age technologies in agriculture. This can potentially uplift the lives of more than 65 per cent of India’s population which depends on agriculture for their livelihood. The objective is to increase farmers’ income, saving environment and also enhancing trust and transparency.

“Telangana is leading by example – mainstreaming responsible and scalable deployment of emerging technology in agriculture, the highest priority sector for the country,” IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao said.

Along with a multi-stakeholder working group comprising over 70 organisations including more than 40 Indian startups, the Telangana government and WEF have shortlisted a list of 30 priority solutions using emerging technologies like AI, IoT, remote sensing, and blockchain among others to solve unique problems and create impact on farmers’ lives. Starting with one lakh farmers in 1,000 villages along with 100 farmers’ collectives, the initial scope of the EoI will be two years with focus on select crops like cotton, chilli and turmeric for Kharif season and groundnut, bengal gram for Rabi season. Any proposal by the EoI will be required to have at least 5 distinct use-cases across various segments of any given agri value chain. The government will engage the selected PIPs on a pro-bono and non-exclusive basis, and under a Public Private Cooperation (PPC) framework to offer active support.

Under this Public Private Cooperation (PPC) framework, the government and several State institutions are establishing an enabling environment to provide level playing field for innovation on a non-exclusive basis, as well as shared and regulated access to government data, infrastructure and manpower. It is also aimed towards convergence with existing programmes and policies on-ground, promote technology adoption through its field staff and awareness drives, provide agro-economic domain knowledge from the State agricultural university, and also uphold the interest of vulnerable stakeholders via continuous consultations.