UK Set to Receive Its First Consignment of Jackfruit from Tripura

Tripura successfully exported the first consignment of jackfruit to the United Kingdom, said officials from the state’s horticulture department. Previously the state has been successfully exporting pineapples and lemons to Middle Eastern countries.

Dr Phani Bhusan Jamatia, Horticulture Director, said that the consignment was sent to Guwahati on Thursday by train next to be transported to the United Kingdom via Delhi. 

“The Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) sent us a proposal to export Tripura jackfruit. As a result, a Guwahati-based company, Kiega Exims Pvt Ltd, was contacted, which collaborated with another organisation, Krishi Sanyoga Agro Producer Co Ltd from Melaghar in the Sepahijala district, to connect with farmers in Tripura,” Jamatia explained. 

Jamatia further mentioned that 350 jackfruit weighing 3 to 4 kg were sent in the trial run, for which the farmers were paid Rs 30 per piece by the company. “The Tripura jackfruit has a unique flavour, so the company expressed interest in obtaining them from our farmers,” Jamatia explained. 

“The APEDA, which is part of the ministry of commerce and industry, will practically flag off the consignment from New Delhi on Friday,” according to Tripura horticulture secretary CK Jamatia. Besides that, Tripura agriculture minister Pranajit Singha Roy said that England will experience Tripura’s sweet jackfruit for the first time because the state is exporting them for the very first time. 

“England to taste the sweet fruits of Tripura. Tripura exports jackfruit for the first time with enormous potentiality. Shipped first consignment. Jackfruits are now in the export list after state queen pineapples. Kudos to our Department of Farmers, Agriculture and Horticulture,” wrote Roy on Twitter.  

Tripura exports pineapples successfully to Dubai and to other areas of the Middle East prior to 2019. Three varieties, Kew, Queen and Bombay are produced in the country. Queen pineapples are the most exotic and most demanded. 

Pineapple is grown in 8,800 hectares of Tripura, according to the latest statistics from the department of horticulture. About 4,000 farmers participate directly in fruit cultivation.   



Medicinal Plants You Must Have at Home

Indian land is blessed with many kinds of plants and their species. As per our culture and year-old Ayurveda, some plants gave great medicinal significance. And even today, people prefer homemade recipes of Ayurveda to treat any common ailment, before taking allopathy or any western treatment. 

Best medicinal plants for home

Here is the list of top five medicinal plants you must have at your home. 

Holy Basil/ Tulsi 

Tulsi is a must-have plant in every Indian household. It is considered a sacred plant. Tulsi leaves are used to treat common cold and flu, digestive issues, fever, and some other common ailments. Apart from this, the tulsi plant also purifies the air. 

Peppermint/ Pudina 

Pudina is known to give a refreshing taste and used to prepare several drinks and chutney. Talking about medicinal properties, pudina is considered as best home solution for indigestion, and it is also used to treat acne and pimples. And along with these, pudina can also be used to prepare hair pack to strengthen the hair.  

Heart-leaved moonseed/ Giloy 

Giloy is known to increase immunity, and also increase platelet count. This medicinal plant is also used to reduce the symptoms of Diabetes, Dengue, Chikungunya, Arthritis, and respiratory issues. In fact, in this coronavirus period, many of us have used giloy to boost immunity. Apart from that, giloy is also known to solve skin problems including wrinkles, pores, and other skin issues. 


Who doesn’t know about aloe-vera gel? Aloe-vera is the most common shrub that is used to prepare medicines and skin-care products. Aloe-vera leaf gel can also be used directly. Antioxidants and antimicrobial properties of aloe-vera helps to treat ulcers, constipation, and skincare issues.


Lemongrass is an aromatic plant. It is a rich source of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, manganese, and other minerals and other essential nutrients. Lemongrass is used for many health benefits including cure for menstrual pain, sore throat, stress, sleep trouble, and fever.  


Covid-19: Maharashtra Sugar Mills Gear up to Produce Oxygen

Maharashtra sugar mills are all set to produce and supply oxygen at their plants. This is a step taken in the wake of the oxygen crisis during the raging pandemic. The mills have decided to produce oxygen as a response to NCP President Sharad Pawar’s appeal to all factories to utilize their facilities to produce and supply oxygen. The appeal letter was sent to the mills by the Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI).

Sharad Pawar is also the Chairman of VSI, located in Pune. This has been decided in a recent online meeting that discussed how to solve the present oxygen crisis. The meeting also saw the presence of Health Minister Rajesh Tope and Cabinet Minister Jayant Patil. Director-General of VSI Shivajirao Deshmukh informed about the discussion of four options during a meet with the stakeholders.  

According to him, “At least 50 to 60 factories have showed readiness to import 5 litre and 10 litre oxygen cylinders from Taiwan. This is a comparatively low-cost solution that could prove useful for patients at home who do not require ventilators.”  

Excerpts of the appeal letter:  

“Oxygen demand has increased in the current corona conditions. Therefore, all sugar mills should take the initiative and set up oxygen production plants. Factories have experience in refining ethanol and separating carbon dioxide in distillation projects. The only thing to be done here is to set up a project to separate oxygen.”  

“Factories have experience in refining ethanol and separating carbon dioxide in distillation projects. Therefore, all sugar mills should take the initiative and set up oxygen production plants.”  

Statement of Shivajirao Deshmukh: 

“Factories that produce ethanol and run cogeneration plants can produce oxygen at the ethanol facility. A pilot plant is coming up at Dharashiv factory in Osmanabad district and Baramati Agro. Factories showing a willingness to stop ethanol production and opt for oxygen production as a social cause can also do so. Factories are also looking at skid mounted oxygen production units that will again be imported from Taiwan. These units cost Rs 45-50 lakh and an additional Rs 8-10 lakh for air freight cost.” 

Statement of the President of Western India Sugar Mills Association (WISMA), BB Thombare:  

“The crushing season is almost coming to an end. As an immediate measure, mills have decided to lend the oxygen cylinders at their facilities for medical use to tide over the current shortage and also examine low-cost plants for oxygen production.”  

According to him, mills are ready to produce oxygen as a major social initiative during the Covid-19 crisis. Some mills have resumed the production of sanitizers looking at the market demand.  


Cotton consumption to drop by 8 percent due to current Covid-19 wave

Cotton consumption is expected to drop by a little more than 8% as a result of the current Covid-19 wave and subsequent lockdowns in several states, according to India’s top cotton crop assessment agency.

Cotton consumption for season 2020-21 (October to September) has been reduced by the Union Ministry of Textiles’ Committee on Cotton Production and Consumption (COCPC) from 330 lakh bales (each of 170 kg) to 303 lakh bales, owing to the current lockdowns as the extreme second wave of Covid has gripped the entire country.

The predicted cotton closing stock has been raised from 98.79 lakh bales to 118.79 lakh bales at the end of the season on September 30, 2021, according to the COCPC meeting held on April 30.

Exports are expected to suffer a setback

The COCPC, which took over from the former Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) in September 2020, has also reduced the forecast cotton production for the season from 371 lakh bales to 360 lakh bales.

Though cotton imports are expected to remain flat at 11 lakh bales for the year, exports are expected to drop from 75 lakh bales to 70 lakh bales, compared to earlier estimates of 75 lakh bales.

“The sowing area of Indian cotton has been raised from 133.73 lakh hectares to 134.77 lakh hectares. The biggest shift was in Punjab, where sowing was reduced from 3.92 lakh hectares to 2.48 lakh hectares, while it rose from 6.37 lakh hectares to 8.17 lakh hectares in Karnataka, according to COCPC.

The overall cotton production for the year 2020-21, which began on October 1, 2020, is expected to be 491.79 lakh bales, with an approximate opening stock of 120.79 lakh bales. This includes 360 lakh bales of crop and 11 lakh bales of imports in addition to the opening stock.

Exports are expected to suffer a setback

The COCPC, which took over from the former Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) in September 2020, has also reduced the forecast cotton production for the season from 371 lakh bales to 360 lakh bales.

Though cotton imports are expected to remain flat at 11 lakh bales for the year, exports are expected to drop from 75 lakh bales to 70 lakh bales, compared to earlier estimates of 75 lakh bales.

“The sowing area of Indian cotton has been raised from 133.73 lakh hectares to 134.77 lakh hectares. The biggest shift was in Punjab, where sowing was reduced from 3.92 lakh hectares to 2.48 lakh hectares, while it rose from 6.37 lakh hectares to 8.17 lakh hectares in Karnataka, according to COCPC.

The overall cotton production for the year 2020-21, which began on October 1, 2020, is expected to be 491.79 lakh bales, with an approximate opening stock of 120.79 lakh bales. This includes 360 lakh bales of crop and 11 lakh bales of imports in addition to the opening stock.

Total demand is expected to be 373 lakh bales, with 303 lakh bales consumed domestically and 70 lakh bales exported. Cotton trade body Cotton Association of India (CAI) has estimated India’s cotton production for the year at 360 lakh bales, which is the same as COCPC’s projection. However, gross demand is expected to be 330 lakh bales this year, leaving a closing stock of 106 lakh bales.

Punjab Agricultural University launches a new variety of Basmati Rice

Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, has grown a new variety of basmati, ‘Punjab Basmati 7′, for commercial cultivation in the coming season in the state, with the aim of diversification and preservation of the state’s depleting underground water table.

This variant was created by crossing the standard basmati variety, ‘Basmati 386,’ with the most common basmati variety, ‘Pusa Basmati 1121.’ “Being a big export item, the ‘Queen’ of rice, basmati, is having a huge effect on our national economy,” says Dr. GS Mangat, Head, Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics. Approximately 44.54 lakh metric tonnes of basmati is shipped to various countries in 2019-20, totaling Rs 31,025.87 crore.”

Dr. Mangat says that in multi-locational trials, ‘Punjab Basmati 7′ yielded consistently better than the check varieties, referring to the variety’s key characteristics. Overall, it outperforms the common basmati varieties, Pusa Basmati 1121 and Pusa Basmati 1718, by 11.4 and 6.1 percent, respectively. He claims that it produces an average yield of 48.58 quintals per hectare (19.4 quintals per acre).

He also says that transplanting it in the first two weeks of July yields great results. According to him, ‘Punjab Basmati 7′ matures a week earlier than the check varieties, Pusa Basmati 1121 and Pusa Basmati 1718, and has a medium height (111 cm).

According to Dr. RS Gill, a rice specialist, ‘Punjab Basmati 7′ is resistant to all 10 pathotypes of the bacterial blight pathogen found in Punjab, while the most common variety, Pusa Basmati 1121, is susceptible. “The distinctive characteristic of ‘Punjab Basmati 7′ is that it has a heavy fragrance, similar to conventional basmati varieties. The other characteristics, such as grain dimensions, milling quality, and cooking quality, are comparable to Pusa Basmati 1121, the most common Basmati variety,” he says.

“In test trials under direct seeded conditions, ‘Punjab Basmati 7′ yielded 17.7% more than the check variety, Pusa Basmati 1121, while it has also been recommended for planting under direct sowing technology to save water,” says Dr Buta Singh Dhillon, another rice expert. “Punjab Basmati 7′ is a viable option for basmati farmers and other stakeholders,” he says, citing qualities such as higher yield, shorter length, heavy aroma, and good milling.

Both provincial test stations, seed farms, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, and Farmer Advisory Service Centres of PAU have seeds of ‘Punjab Basmati 7′ and other basmati and non-basmati varieties.

Virtual Classroom & Agri- Diksha Web Education Channel Inaugurated by Narendra Tomar

Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, virtually inaugurated the “Virtual Classroom” & “Agri-Diksha Web Education Channel”. The Union Minister also launched the “Exploration Centre & Drone Remote Sensing Laboratory” and “Manual on Drone Remote Sensing” during the occasion. Tomar praised the hard work of all the scientists of the Council. The Union Minister highlighted the quality research and advanced agricultural education that can make agriculture a medium of employment.

Tomar applauded the responsible efforts by the academicians and scientists of the Pusa Institute along with Krishi Vigyan Kendra, State Agricultural Universities and Education Division of the Council. He stressed the pivotal role of various digital platforms to effectively implement the various Central Government Schemes at the ground level. The Union Minister stated that digital media help connect with a wide range of people at a given time. He also said that the two programs would be a milestone in uplifting the livelihood standards of the Agri-students and farmers to a large extent.

Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, said that the new technological venture by the Council in the arena of agricultural researches and education is incredible. The Minister regarded the conduct of virtual meets as a perfect way to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Rupala also urged that besides using the ICAR Apps for research purposes, the same should also enhance livelihood.

Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary (DARE) & Director General (ICAR), regarded the Digital India initiative as a revolution towards agricultural education and quality research. Mentioning the features of the new Virtual Classroom & Agri-Diksha Web Education Channel and the Drone Remote Sensing Laboratory, the DG emphasized that the initiatives will prove helpful in revolutionizing the quality research, agricultural education, and farmers’ lives.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Sanjay Kumar Singh, Additional Secretary (DARE) & Secretary (ICAR), highlighted the features and activities of the NAHEP and the New Education Policy. He also underlined the positive effects of the scheme on the students.

Outlining the Krishi-Megh Scheme of the National Agricultural Higher Education Project, Dr. R.C. Agrawal, Deputy Director General (Agricultural Education), ICAR, apprised the dignitaries about the various features of the new Virtual Classroom & Agri-Diksha Web Education Channel. He stated the facilities would provide under the Krishi-Megh Platform only. The DDG emphasized that the scheme will be beneficial for the students.

Dr. Ashok Kumar Singh, Director, ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, accentuated the establishment of Exploration Centre under the World Bank-funded NAHEP to make the availability of advanced technologies, namely – biotechnology, Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, big data, etc., under one roof.

Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Director, ICAR-Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute, New Delhi, proposed the vote of thanks.

Indigo Rose, the First Antioxidant-Rich Purple Tomato, Gets Its Hybrid

Ten years ago, Jim Myers, a prominent vegetable breeder, and professor at the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences developed Indigo Rose, which is the first antioxidant-rich purple tomato. Now, Oregon State University (OSU) has developed Midnight Roma, a cross between Oregon Star and Indigo Rose.  

Oregon Star is a huge fleshy tomato excellent for paste or slicing. It features high flavor. Indigo Rose is a dark purple tomato loaded with anthocyanins, which is the same antioxidant present in blueberries.  

Both tomato hybrids are developed in OSU. 

According to Jim Myers, “we were selecting for a really dark indigo-type processing tomato. Ultimately, we got a really nice one. Anybody into home canning would be interested. Chefs like  it for making sauces.” 

While developing Midnight Roma, Myers focused on disease resistance and flavor. The idea was to create a tomato that tastes better than other paste tomatoes. 

Features of Midnight Roma  

  • Midnight Roma is resistant to verticillium wilt. 
  • This is a semi-determinate variety, which means the fruits (tomatoes) ripen together at the same time, making it a great variety for preservation. 
  • The purple skin of tomatoes is rich in anthocyanins. So, if you want to reap the benefits of these antioxidants, you must cook it without peeling and the processing should also be done by including tomato skin. 
  • Midnight Roma darkens in a manner similar to Indigo Rose. Sunlight is crucial for making the skin purple. Myers suggests using a trellis and pruning extra leaves to let the maximum amount of sunlight to reach tomato skin. 

Good News! Punjab Government agrees to implement Direct Bank Transfer for Farmers.

Punjab farmers should expect direct online MSP payments starting with the forthcoming procurement season, after the Centre dismissed the state’s request for yet another DBT exemption on Thursday.

After a nearly two-hour meeting with Food Minister Piyush Goyal, who categorically assured the state that the Centre will allow procurements and repay relevant costs only if the state pays directly to farmers rather than through arhtiyas, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal said, “We have no alternative and choice.”

“Our petitions for relief from the DBT route have been denied by the minister, and we now have no alternative. If the state wants to pay farmers by arhtiyas, the minister said it would have to make its own procurement arrangements. So we don’t have a choice,” Badal said.

Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Punjab’s food minister, said the state would find a way to pay farmers directly and have some security for arhtiyas. According to him, the CM has scheduled a meeting with arhtiyas for tomorrow. In the meantime, the Centre has decided to give Punjab a six-month extension to link its land records to the national e-procurement platform.

The Centre announced today that 15 procuring states had begun making DBT payments to farmers, and that Punjab, which had previously received three waivers, would not be eligible for any more.

Taste the Tanginess of “Superfood”, Amla with Niche Agriculture Limited

Cultivated all through India and adjacent nations, “AMLA” has picked up a following all through the world as a “superfruit.” It’s no astonishing — a 100-gram serving of new amla berries contains the amount of Vitamin C equivalent to 20 oranges.

Amla is endemic and primitive to the sub-continent of India. Botanically Amla is referred to as Phyllanthus Emblica and is deciduous in nature. In India, Amla is considered both therapeutic and sanctified. This produce is exclusively popular within the East and is employed in Ayurveda for the preparation of medicines. In India, the Amla tree is cultivated in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu. 

Amla plant has an approximate height of 8-18 meters. The tree has a crooked trunk with smooth exfoliating bark that is greyish brown in colour. This tree is usually grown in a subtropical, tropical, dry arid, and semi-arid climate. The minimum annual rainfall required for Amla cultivation is around 600-800 mm. The tender Amla plants are delicate to parched, hot and withered conditions. Mature Amla trees can tolerate freezing and high temperatures around 46˚C. The plants do not nurture in frigid temperatures and frost. 

Niche Agriculture Limited grows Amla on its farms in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Niche Farms are well adapted to dry regions and the farm’s soil is purely sandy and has moderate alkalinity which is ideal for growing amla. Niche Agriculture uses 15 kg of decomposed organic farm manure and 0.5 kg of phosphorous and mulched with pruned branches and organic materials to increase the production. Niche farms use drip irrigation which is considered the best technique for amla orchards. Also, organic pesticides are being utilized for the common pests and diseases that infect the Amla plants and helps in controlling fungal diseases. Niche agriculture Limited grows finest quality of Amla in the pristine environment and is a global exporter of this fruit. 

The powerhouse of antioxidants and vitamin C, Niche amla prevents the formation of cancer cells and is an amazing immune booster. It is low on calories and loaded with a host of phenolic phytochemicals like flavonoids, anthocyanins, and a potent source of Vitamin A. For improving liver function, boosting vitality and providing energy, and for numerous healing benefits including prevention of cancer, delayed aging, fighting inflammation, and boosting memory, Niche Amla is best to eat which will shields the body against harmful bacteria and inflammation. 

With a view of “Live Evergreen”, Niche Agriculture Limited grows the best nourishing, opulent, organic, pulpy, delicious, healthy, and preservative-free, green coloured translucent fruit, Amla that serves immense health benefits building immunity and metabolism. Niche Amla has twice the antioxidant power compared to 17 pomegranates which help in weight loss, improving the digestive processes, and is rich in fibre content.  


Meet Telangana Farmer Who Grows 110 Varieties of Rice, Creates Wonders With Organic Farming

A farmer, who resides in Chinthalur village of Telangana’s Nizamabad district, has done a very progressive task by developing as many as 110 varieties of rice, which was not possible even for scientists. By adopting a noted method of organic farming, he is doing wonders in the field of cultivation.

The farmer, identified as Nagula Chinna Gangaram, has became an ideal to others by not using fertilisers. He has also received an award from Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on December 16 last year and Rythu Nestham award for his expertise in modern farming with an old practice.

Since organic farming is considered good for health, he completely avoids use of chemicals and pesticides. He rather uses only organic fertilisers.

He has achieved a rare record by developing 110 varieties of rice belonging to different countries in his agricultural land. He has developed a variety of rice crops called Rubired rice with six percent fiber, after getting the same from Thailand. He produced them including Layicha, Makike Samba, and others for improving health and overcome related problems.

Gangaram got this inspiration for organic farming from natural farming expert Subhash Palekar. He also read books by another agriculturist Rajiv Dixit on organic farming and practiced it by collecting a huge variety of rice from across the country.