Festive Onset Pushed Up Nutmeg Prices but the Farmers Want More

DIWALI – festival of lights is one of the major festivals in India and with its advancement, the demand for some spices and foods has increased in the market.

‘Nutmeg’ being one such spice, is no exception to this. In addition to this, two consecutive floods in Kerala and climate change have to led to its prices grow between Rs 600 – 650 per kg, which is more as compared to the previous season which was Rs 450 per kg. Mace is selling at a price of Rs 1,900 per kg, which is also more than last year’s price which is Rs 1,100 per kg. Nutmeg taffy – an edible candy made from javetri, is also being sold at a price of Rs 800 per kg.

As it is an exotic spice, it has a good demand in the urban society nowadays. Given to this rise in demand, the flood hit farmers are expect to increase the already soaring prices of nutmeg by at least Rs 15-25 per kg before Diwali. This move is driven by the devastating and disrupting floods in Kerala that occurred twice in a short interval of time.

Farmers lost much of their crop production to these floods and are now looking forward to compensate those losses through price rise. It is apparently a very sensitive situation for the farmers as there lies a big confusion ahead of them – whether to grow this crop or not, as it does gives good value for price but the region has been frequently struck by floods and cyclones.

Javetri & Jaiphal:

Its crop consists of two components – rind known as “javetri (mace) and the seed is known as “jaiphal (nutmeg). Jaiphal is a prominent winter spice which helps in treating cold and flu. Also, it is nowadays being used as an ingredient in many desserts. 

Nutmeg is used to season dishes, found in baked items, deserts, and entrees (mostly Indian and Moroccan cuisines). It is also used to season beverages like nutmeg tea and coffee.

source: https://krishijagran.com/

World Food Day 2021: India Ranks 101st on the Global Hunger Index Rankings

According to the Global Hunger Index released by the Food and Agriculture Organization across the world, India ranked 101st among 116 countries worldwide. Ironically the report was published on October 16th which is also observed globally as World Food Day.

A day that marks the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN. It is also a day that is aimed at tackling and eradicating global hunger across the world.

Although much outrage has been shown by the Women and Child Development (WCD)  Minister Smriti Irani over the calculation of the rankings on the Global Hunger Index.

It is still a very sad fact that India as a country ranked below Pakistan (92), Bangladesh (76), and Nepal (76) who have all fared better in the aspect of feeding its citizens than India according to the rankings published in the global human index.

The fall in rankings from 94th in 2020 to 101st in 2021 also has to be attributed to the spread of the COVID pandemic across India.

According to the stats published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs an additional 70-161 million people are facing food crises due to the spread of the covid pandemic across the world.

Another factor that affected this fall in rankings could be the inclusion of 9 other countries in the rankings in 2021.

Although a score of 27.5 in the GHI which India achieved in 2021 is considered serious it is still way lower compared to India’s GHI score of 37.5 which fell in the alarming category in the 2000s.

What is GHI?

Global Hunger Index is the ranking of countries worldwide a jointly published by the US-based Concern Worldwide and Germany-based Welthungerhilfe

It calculates global hunger on the following basis:

Under Nourishment:

Share of the population with insufficient caloric intake.

Child Wasting:

Share of children under age five who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition.

Child Stunting:

Share of children under age five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition.

Child Mortality:

The mortality rate of children under the age of five.

Though India showed improvement in indicators such as the under-5 mortality rate. The prevalence of stunting among children and the prevalence of undernourishment owing to inadequate food remained high.

source: https://krishijagran.com/

Mukhyamantri Bagwani Bima Yojana: Get up to Rs 40000 under this Crop Insurance scheme

The Haryana government has authorized the implementation of the Mukhyamantri Bagwani Bima Yojana, which would pay horticulture farmers for crop losses caused by severe weather and natural disasters.

This scheme will cover a total of 21 vegetables, fruits, and spice crops. This scheme will seek to protect farmers from natural disasters.

On Tuesday, a government spokesman stated that this scheme is designated as the Horticulture Crop Assurance Scheme. Its goal is to persuade farmers to grow high-risk horticultural crops. Horticulture producers face significant financial losses as a result of a variety of factors. These include crop disease outbreaks, biological variables such as bug infestations, and environmental conditions such as unseasonal rain, hailstorms, drought, frost, and severe temperatures.

Insurance cover:

According to a state government official, farmers would receive Rs.30000 in insurance for vegetable and spice crops and Rs.40000 for fruit harvests under the scheme. Only 2.5 percent or 750 rupees would be required for vegetable and spice crops, while 1000 rupees will be required for fruit harvests.

The compensation survey and four categories of damage will be 25 percent, 50 percent, 75 percent, and 100 percent.

According to the spokesperson, farmers must choose this scheme while registering their crop and area on the Meri Fasal Mera Byora Portal. Seasonal crop registration periods will be established and communicated on a regular basis.

This plan will be administered on an individual sector basis, which means crop loss will be measured on an individual field level.

The state government would provide budgetary provision for this, and under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, state and district level committees will monitor, evaluate, and resolve disputes at the state and district levels. 

Here, the Bhavantar Bharpayee Yojana is also being implemented to compensate farmers for not receiving a fair price for their products. Farmers will, however, need to register on the Meri Fasal Mera Byora Portal in order to do so.

source: https://krishijagran.com/

India to face challenges in balancing food security with sustainability

Even as India spends over USD 3 billion annually on agricultural innovation, of which only 4 percent has environment and social sustainability objectives, the country will continue to find it challenging to balance food goals without severe damage to its environment, according to a report.

India spends over USD 3 billion annually (USD 25 billion for the period 2010-2018) on agricultural innovation, including investments by the government, development partners, private sector, and PE/VC firms, according to a report by strategic advisory firm Dalberg Advisors.

Only about 4-5 percent of this funding has clearly defined sustainability outcomes (measured as a combination of environmental, social, human outcomes) and is estimated to be USD 120 million annually or about 10 cents per person per year, it said adding that most of this is driven by the government.

“Keeping in mind the environmental challenges of growing more food in India, substantially more innovation investments for sustainable agriculture are needed. Mandating frequent reporting of sustainable agriculture investments by different actors in a format that is transparent, consistent, and verifiable would be a first step towards ensuring we meet our climate and food security goals in parallel,” Dalberg Advisors partner Nirat Bhatnagar said.

With India expected to be home to an estimated 1.6 billion people by 2050, the country will need to almost double its food production keeping in mind both the growing population and the demand for higher quality food, the report further noted.

This will be a key challenge since agriculture is already a major driver of water scarcity, biodiversity loss, and carbon emissions in India, it stated.

Unless agriculture production methods change substantially with a greater emphasis on sustainable agriculture intensification, (in terms of environmental impact, human and social impacts, India will not be able to meet its food goals without severe damage to its environment, it said.

This will require significant investments in sustainable agriculture systems in India and an urgent switch to more sustainable practices that are good for the environment, good for farming communities, and good for end-users in terms of nutritional outcomes, added the report.

source: https://www.business-standard.com/

Agriculture Minister launches ‘Amul Honey’

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday launched ‘Amul Honey’, a product of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. The product was launched under cooperation with ‘National Bee Board (NBB)’. 

Addressing the launching event, Tomar emphasized the importance of the National Beekeeping and Honey Mission in increasing the income of small farmers, which is being implemented in the country for doubling the income of farmers/beekeepers through beekeeping with the budgetary allocation of ₹500 crores.

He said there are 86% small farmers in the country. “In order to increase the income of these small farmers, it is necessary to connect them with other dimensions of agriculture like beekeeping,” he said. 

The minister also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed his desire for a sweet revolution on the soil of Gujarat and today, by launching Amul Honey, India has started the journey towards fulfilling the dream of the PM.

He also expressed that the quality of honey is a major concern in the country for which 5 large-scale Regional Honey Testing Labs and 100 Mini Honey Testing Labs are being set up all over the country. “It should be our constant effort that the quality of our honey products should also meet the global standards as there are lots of export opportunities in this sector,” he added. 

The minister assured the beekeepers/ farmers of the country that the Government of India will provide all necessary support for the promotion & development of beekeeping in the country.

Appreciating efforts made by Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), Tomar said Amul has not only set up a milestone in the direction of the White Revolution but it also expanded in the milk processing sector and established itself as a global brand. 

Besides this, Amul also provides employment opportunities to marginal farmers and significantly contributes in the overall progress of the country in the dairy sector. 

The Minister also assured GMMF that the Agriculture Ministry will look into the proposal for establishing a testing lab in Gujarat.

Parshottam Rupala, Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying, congratulated GCMMF on launching its Honey product. He expressed happiness that Amul Honey is being launched after testing it as per the global standard. He said promoting beekeeping and selling honey through cooperatives will give a boost to the rural economy. 

GCMMF Managing Director Dr. RS Sodhi said that Dairy Cooperatives and their infrastructural facilities can be simultaneously used for Honey Production through their established set up of 84 Dairy Plants over all the country.

source: https://www.livemint.com/

Haryana Bee Keeping Policy 2021: How It Will Help Farmers

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar introduced the Haryana Bee Keeping Policy-2021 and Action Plan 2021-2030 on Thursday to encourage beekeeping in the state. 

By 2030, Khattar instructed the officers to increase honey output by tenfold. He also instructed officials to encourage farmers to begin successful beekeeping and to recruit 5,000 additional farmers to join the project, which the state would support. 

Farmers will be encouraged to grow alternative crops like sunflower and mustard as a result of beekeeping, he said. Farmers’ income would be increased by selling honey and its byproducts, he added. He also told the officers to concentrate on small farmers in order to assist them in increasing their revenue through beekeeping. 

Sumita Mishra, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture, and Farmers’ Welfare, stated that focusing on the byproducts of beekeeping will result in a considerable increase in farmer revenue. 

Haryana ranked eighth in honey production in the country, with 4,800 MT produced, according to Director General (Horticulture) Arjun Singh Saini. In 2019-20, the country produced around 1 lakh MT of honey. He claims that 60 percent of the honey, worth Rs 600 crore, is exported.

In addition, on Thursday itself, Haryana Agriculture Minister J P Dalal ordered a special girdawari’ (revenue survey) to examine crop damage caused by severe rain in various regions of the state. 

Also, efforts have been made to engage the youth with businesses such as mushroom farming, milk processing, and fisheries. 

Haryana Agriculture Minister J P Dalal said horticulture crops cover 8-10% of the state’s land, and there was no insurance plan in place for them previously. The ‘Mukhyamantri Bagwani Bima’ scheme, which was authorized by the state cabinet on Wednesday, would cover a total of 21 vegetables, fruits, and spice crops. 

Farmers that cultivate horticulture crops may experience significant financial losses as a result of a variety of circumstances. Farmers will be compensated for crop loss caused by unexpected outbreaks of crop diseases, insect-pest infestations, unseasonal rains, hailstorms, drought, and frost, among other things. 

source: https://krishijagran.com/

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.

source: https://indianexpress.com/

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.

source: https://www.news18.com/

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. 

source: https://krishijagran.com/