Thursday, 26 February 2015

நாமக்கல்லில் ரூ.1½ கோடிக்கு பருத்தி ஏலம்

நாமக்கல்லில் 8 ஆயிரத்து 500 மூட்டை பருத்தி ரூ.1½ கோடிக்கு ஏலம் போனது.

பருத்தி ஏலம்

நாமக்கல் - திருச்செங்கோடு ரோட்டில் உள்ள வேளாண்மை உற்பத்தியாளர்கள் கூட்டுறவு விற்பனை சங்க வளாகத்தில் வியாழக்கிழமை தோறும் பருத்தி ஏலம் நடைபெற்று வருகிறது. வழக்கம்போல் நேற்று சங்க தலைவர் தென்னரசு மற்றும் கூட்டுறவு சங்க அதிகாரிகள் முன்னி லையில் பருத்தி ஏலம் நடந்தது.

இந்த பருத்தி ஏலத்துக்கு நாமக்கல், புதுச்சத்திரம், எருமப்பட்டி, சேந்தமங்கலம், நாமகிரிப்பேட்டை, ராசிபுரம், பவித்திரம், வேலகவுண்டம் பட்டி என மாவட்டம் முழுவதும் இருந்தும், அண்டை மாவட்டங்களில் இருந்தும் விவசாயிகள் 8 ஆயிரத்து 500 மூட்டை பருத்தியை விற் பனைக்கு கொண்டு வந்தி ருந்தனர்.

ரூ.1½ கோடிக்கு விற்பனை

இந்த பருத்தி மூட்டைகள் ஏறத்தாழ ரூ.1½ கோடிக்கு ஏலம் போனது. ஆர்.சி.எச்.ரக பருத்தி குவிண்டால் ஒன்றுக்கு ரூ.4 ஆயிரத்து 100 முதல் ரூ.4 ஆயிரத்து 470 வரைக்கும், டி.சி.எச்.ரக பருத்தி குவிண் டால் ஒன்றுக்கு ரூ.4 ஆயிரத்து 200 முதல் ரூ.4 ஆயிரத்து 920 வரைக்கும், சுரபி ரக பருத்தி குவிண்டால் ஒன்றுக்கு ரூ.4 ஆயிரத்து 200 முதல் ரூ.5 ஆயிரத்து 120 வரைக்கும் ஏலம் போனது.

இந்த பருத்தி மூட்டைகளை கோவை, அவினாசி, திருப்பூர், திருச்செங்கோடு, கொங்கணா புரம் உள்ளிட்ட பகுதிகளில் இருந்து வந்த வியாபாரிகள் ஏலம் எடுத்து சென்றனர். 

Source : http://www.dailythanthi.com/News/Districts/Namakal/2015/02/27002257/Business-1-million-Cotton-Auctions.vpf

Horticulture gets a boost with drip irrigation

542 hectares to be covered in Tiruchi district this year

Farmers installing drip irrigation system at a field at Chinnapallipalayam in Tiruchi district.— PHOTO: A. Muralitharan
Farmers installing drip irrigation system at a field at Chinnapallipalayam in Tiruchi district.— PHOTO: A. Muralitharan
Drip irrigation has helped the farmers of the district to take up horticulture cultivation in a big way.
Under the drip irrigation method, water is supplied without much wastage for a long time pointedly to the root of the crops. Tapioca, sugarcane, tuberose, and oil palm are the major crops cultivated in the district using drip irrigation.
Murugesan, son of Subbaiyan, a farmer of Chinnapallipalayam in Thottiyam taluk, said: “I have cultivated “mullikodi” variety of tapioca on 0.85 hectares. I received a subsidy of Rs.85, 400 per hectare under the National Sustainable Agriculture Movement for installing drip irrigation system. I got a yield of 50 tonnes per hectare, and I’m planning to sell tapioca for Rs.5 per kg.”
K.Palraj, deputy director, Agriculture, and Ravichandran, assistant director, Horticulture, said that a target of 542 hectares has been fixed as target for providing drip irrigation this year for horticulture crops and 79 hectares for other crops.
Hundred per cent subsidy is given to small farmers with up to five acres and for marginal farmers with up to 2.5 acres, and 75 per cent subsidy is given for other farmers. Under National Agriculture Development Programme banana bunch cover is given to farmers to avoid insect bite and pecking by birds at the time of ripening of the fruits. A subsidy of Rs.12, 500 per hectare is given for covering the bananas. Horticulture crops are cultivated on 25,000 hectares. Banana, mango, guava, tapioca, onion, brinjal, tomato, bhindi, jasmine, tuberose, rose, chillies, and turmeric are the major horticulture crops cultivated in the district.

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/horticulture-gets-a-boost-with-drip-irrigation/article6939923.ece

Organic farming good for people’s health’

Lest they will face risk of eating harmful food, say agriculture experts

NEED OF THE HOUR:K. Ramasamy, Vice-Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, addressing a symposium in Madurai on Thursday.— Photo: S. James
NEED OF THE HOUR:K. Ramasamy, Vice-Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, addressing a symposium in Madurai on Thursday.— Photo: S. James
Agriculture and agronomy experts have cautioned that if organic cultivation continues to be ignored, people will face the risk of eating harmful food produced on soil where chemicals and pesticides are used indiscriminately.
They have appealed to farmers to switch over to organic agriculture and thereby maintain soil fertility and sustainability.
“Let us have good quality food by adopting good cultivation practices where bio-manure and bio-fertilizers are used. In these days of global warming and planet burning, it is time to prevent contamination of soil by stopping chemical-fed cultivation,” they said here on Thursday.
The experts were speaking at the inauguration of a symposium on ‘Organic agriculture for sustainable food security’organised by Agricultural College and Research Institute (ACRI).
K.K. Krishnamurthi, president, Indian Society for Certification of Organic Products, in his inaugural address, said, “Even though we have good climate and soil, Tamil Nadu is lagging in organic culture. Microbes are important for soil life and the natural way of doing agriculture is the best way to sustain it, instead of depending on pesticides, chemicals and fertilizers.”
K. Shiva Shankar, founder, Environmental Protection Institute, Bangalore, said only one per cent of agricultural land in the world was under organic farming. “If farmers go the organic way, 10 per cent of cost will fall. Their their profit will go up,” he said.
K. Ramasamy, Vice-Chancellor, TNAU, said the university had launched a residential programme in sustainable agriculture to train farmers on how to grow high-value crops and market their produce easily. It would be offered at the ACRI here.
R. John Sureshkumar, senior programme officer, Change Alliance, New Delhi, said the course was offered through the open and distance learning wing. “It is a 90-day residential course to train unemployed youth in farming. They will be taught sustainable agricultural practices,” he said.
C. Chinnusamy, Dean, ACRI, and T. Myrtle Grace, Head, Department of Agronomy, said the two-day conference was held in commemoration of the golden jubilee celebrations of the institute.

Source : http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/organic-farming-good-for-peoples-health/article6939700.ece

Advantage of rain-fed farming neglected

Cultivation in irrigated lands is easy compared to rain-fed lands, as farmers are completely dependent on the rains. In an effort to come to the rescue of rain-fed irrigation farming community, the Karnataka Government has taken up promoting millets in a large way.
As part of that millets were introduced in the PDS supply system and being given at the cost of rice under the Public Distribution System. However, this is not being accorded priority in Telangana State.
Two districts – Hassan and Bijapur, where rain-fed farming is taken up in large areas, were identified by Karnataka Government to procure millets – jowar and ragi - from the farmers. While the minimum support price (MSP) offered by the Union Government for millets was Rs.1,550 per quintal, the Karnataka Government has been extending an incentive of Rs.450 making it Rs. 2,000 per quintal.
“Weather conditions are worse in our state. About 70 per cent of the farming in Karnataka is rain-fed and that is why we are according top priority for farming and trying to help them out through programmes like Bhuchetana,” said Karnataka Agriculture Minister Krishna Byregowda, who was at the International Crops Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) at Patancheru.
The Government of Karnataka got prepared to procure as much quantity of millets as possible from the farmers. “The millets have enormous calorific/nutritional value. Even the fodder is good for cattle and that is one of the reasons for promoting millets. We are also focusing not only on procurement, but also on consumption of millets,” says Mr. Byregowda.
Source : http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/advantage-of-rainfed-farming-neglected/article6937229.ece?topicpage=true&topicId=1333

New turmeric finds takers in Erode


Demand for new turmeric increased in Erode markets on Wednesday with all produce on offer getting traded.
“All the 1,500 bags of new turmeric which arrived were sold. In addition, 5,700 bags of old turmeric arrived and of these, 2,700 were sold. The price of old turmeric was up Rs. 100 a quintal and new turmeric by Rs. 200,” said RKV Ravishankar, President, Erode Turmeric Merchants Association.
He said receipt of new orders from North India has been delayed and traders are hopeful of getting fresh upcountry orders within a week’s time.
Salem Turmeric which is the best in quality was sold at Rs. 9,200-9,400 a quintal at Erode, but only 20 bags arrived.
At the Erode Turmeric Merchants Association sales yard, the finger turmeric was sold at Rs. 6,194-8,616 a quintal; the root variety Rs. 6,010-8,139.
New turmeric: The finger variety fetched Rs. 6,588-8,769 and the root variety Rs. 7,010-8,239. Of the 2,306 bags that arrived, 832 were sold. At the Regulated Market Committee, the finger turmeric was sold at Rs.7,499-8,588; the root turmeric Rs. 7,277-8,341. Of the 843 bags on sale, 677 were traded. At the Erode Cooperative Marketing Society, the finger turmeric went for Rs. 7,369-8,589 and the root variety Rs. 7,369-8,311. Of the 905 bags on offer, 809 were picked up.
At the Gobichettipalayam Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Society, finger turmeric was sold at Rs.7,200-8,569 All the 145 bags found takers.



Source : http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/todays-paper/tp-agri-biz-and-commodity/new-turmeric-
finds-takers-in-erode/article6934384.ece

Now, farmers can get information on crop management through SMS


Farmers in Dakshina Kannada can now get information on horticultural crop management through SMS.
The Department of Horticulture launched the service about 10 days ago, according to Yogesh H.R., Deputy Director.
Farmers would have to register their names and cellphone numbers with the department by calling 0824-2412628 or sending SMS to 9480354968, he told The Hindu .
They would get information on seasonal crops on a daily basis — one SMS a day on a particular crop. For example, now it is the season of growing mangoes and cashew. If tea mosquito bug hits cashew or mango hopper attacks mango orchards, a 10-line SMS, mostly in Kannada and sometimes in English, would be sent to the farmers on the disease or pest control measures for cashew on one day and for mango the next day. Pepper, cocoa and arecanut too were covered under the service, Mr. Yogesh said.
During monsoon, farmers would be informed about steps to control ‘kole roga’ (fruit rot disease) and black pod disease (pot rotting).
Information would be provided on containing areca palm bugs too. He said this service would be used for providing information on drip irrigation and about any new horticultural schemes or any programmes of the government.
“With changing technology and times, it is the fastest way of communicating with farmers. The farmers’ portal of the Union government will be used for providing the service. The rights of using the service and uploading content reserves with the Deputy Director,” Mr. Yogesh said.
He said that farmers could also use the numbers to seek information about the management of any particular disease or report about spread or diseases in their plantation.
To register, call Ph: 0824-2412628 or send SMS to 9480354968

Source : http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/now-farmers-can-get-information-on-crop-management-through-sms/article6911395.ece?topicpage=true&topicId=1333

Controlling rhizome rot in ginger


Rhizome rot, also called soft rot, is one of the most devastating diseases of ginger. Initial symptoms of the disease appear as light yellowing of leaf tips which gradually spread down to the leaf blade and leaf sheath along the margin.
During early stages, the middle portion of the lamina remains green while the margin turns yellow. Subsequently the yellowing spreads to all leaves followed by drooping, withering and drying. Infected shoot can be easily pulled out from the soil.
Management practices

Use of healthy rhizome is one of the most important preventive measures.
Cultivars such as Maran, Nadiya and Narasapattom are reported to be resistant to this infestation.
Water-logging in the field must be avoided. A raised bed of 30 cm height and 1m width is recommended. Provide proper drainage and keep land free from weeds at all times.
Collect the diseased material as and when the disease is noticed and burn them. Plan early planting during April. Crop rotation with non- host crops like leguminous crops, maize, ragi, paddy will not only benefit the soil nutrient supplementation but also keep the diseases under check.
Seed rhizome dip treatment with Trichoderma harzianum l0 gm per litre of cow dung slurry, before sowing is effective. One per cent of bordeaux mixture spray just after extraction is also effective.
Drenching the seeds with bordeaux mixture in 25 litres of water dissolved in six kg of copper sulphate solution and again after germination at 2-3 weeks interval gives partial control.
Seed treatment

Rhizomes treated with (Trichoderma bio-control agent) at rate of 5gm / kg of rhizome for 30 minutes proves effective. Application of Trichoderma bio-control agent (2.5 kg mixed with 50 kg FYM) 10-15 days before sowing and oil cakes making are recommended.
Soil drenching with Mancozeb (0.3 per cent) or Metalaxyl at 500 ppm is recommended in epidemic disease areas.
(Dr. Anup Das, Senior Scientist (Agronomy), Division of Natural Resource Management, ICAR Research Complex for NEH region, Umiam - 793 103, Meghalaya, mobile: 09436336070 and Dr. Utpal Dey, ICAR Mob: 8119934883, email: utpaldey86@gmail.com)
Source : http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/controlling-rhizome-rot-in-ginger/article6909417.ece?topicpage=true&topicId=1333

Lowering the mortality rate of buffalo calves


Calf mortality is a common occurrence in buffalo rearing. Poor and unscientific management in calf rearing practices such as delayed and under or over feeding of colostrums, prolonged suckling duration, not practising weaning , deworming and dusting schedule regularly are some of the common issues.
Right feeding
Buffalo farmers are feeding less or more quantity of colostrum which affects the immunity of the calf and ultimately increases the percentage of calf mortality, due to naval illness and white scours.
To overcome this, farmers should feed the colostrum within one to one and half hour of birth and before it is allowed to suckle the mother.
It should be given in a small quantity along with curd or butter-milk in a spoon of edible-oil to help in removal of meconium and creating acidic medium which will not allow E.coli infection in the calf’s stomach.
The ratio is 1 to 1.5 kg for smaller calves and 2.0-2.5 kg for larger calves up to the age of three months to ensure proper growth and vigour.
Buffalo farmers should feed properly balanced diet comprising necessary constituents of energy, proteins and micronutrients so that the calves gain body weight at the rate of 500 gm per day.
Weaning the calves after three months of age with most suitable hygienic maintenance conditions is advised and the umbilicus must be cut with a sterilized blade or scissors and antiseptic applied on the cut portion.
The calf should be kept on a dry, clean and warm floor free from unwanted material and the housing should provide necessary protection against inclement weather and predators.
Prescribed dosage
For the control of endo parasites the animal should be dewormed with a dewormer for the first time after birth at the age of seven days and later repeated after three weeks interval at least up to the six months by using prescribed dose.
Similarly ectoparasites should be controlled by regular spray of insecticides in the animal shed and surroundings.
(Dr. Rajinder Singh Sr.Extension Specialist (Animal Sciences), Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Hisar Extension Centre, Rohtak-124001, email: raja.udaybhar@gmail.com.)
Source : http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/lowering-the-mortality-rate-of-buffalo-calves/article6933486.ece?topicpage=true&topicId=1333

சொட்டுநீர் பாசனத்தில் நீடித்த நவீன கரும்பு சாகுபடி

கரும்பில் இருந்து சர்க்கரை மட்டும் தயாரித்த காலம் கடந்து விட்டது. தற்போது கரும்புச்சாறு கழிவில் மொலாசஸ், சாக்லெட் மற்றும் கரும்பு கையில் இருந்து மின்சாரம், இயற்கை உரம், காகிதம் என கரும்பின் அனைத்து பாகங்களும் பயன்படுகிறது. சமுதாயத்தின் பெரிய பொருளாதார ரீதியாக கரும்பு பயிர் உள்ளது.
"கரும்பு சாகுபடியில் இடுபொருள் மற்றும் நீர்பாசனம் போன்றவற்றை குறைத்து மகசூல் மற்றும் விவசாயிகளின் வருமானத்தை பெருக்கிட "நீடித்த நவீன கரும்பு சாகுபடி' என்ற புதிய தொழில் நுட்பத்தினை தேசிய வேளாண்மைத்துறை அறிமுகம் செய்துள்ளது.
இதை "நபார்டு' வங்கி நிதி உதவியில் சர்க்கரை ஆலைகளுடன் இணைந்து தமிழ்நாடு வேளாண் பல்கலையின் "நீர் நுட்ப மையம்' மூலம் செயல்படுத்தி வருகிறது. இம்முறையில் விழுப்புரம் மாவட்டம் கள்ளக்குறிச்சி அருகே ஏமப்பேர் கிராமத்தில் விவசாயி முத்துக்கவுண்டர் வயலில் "கிரேஸி கரும்பு நாற்று' பண்ணையில் கரும்பு நாற்றுகள் பெருமளவு உற்பத்தி செய்யப்படுகின்றன.
மேலாளர் கிரேஸி விமலா பாய் கூறியதாவது: நீடித்த நவீன கரும்பு சாகுபடி முறையானது கரும்பு சாகுபடியில் ஒரு புதிய அணுகுமுறை மற்றும் நீர் சேமிப்பு வழிகளில் ஒரு புதிய முயற்சி. இந்த முறையில் விளைச்சலை அதிகரிப்பதோடு நீர்நிலை ஆதாரங்கள் முற்றும் சுற்றுச்சூழல் மேம்பாட்டிற்கும் உறுதுணையாய் இத்தொழில் நுட்பம் இருக்கிறது. நீடித்த நவீன கரும்பு சாகுபடியானது குறைந்த அளவு தண்ணீரை உபயோகிப்பது சரியான அளவு ஊட்டச்சத்து மற்றும் பயிர் பராமரிப்பின் மூலம் அதிக மகசூல் பெற வழிவகை செய்யும் ஒரு சாகுபடி முறை.
சாதாரணமாக ஒரு ஏக்கரில் கரும்பு நடவு செய்ய வேண்டுமானால் நான்கு டன்கள் கரும்பு தேவைப்படும். இன்றைய கரும்பு விலை டன் ஒன்றுக்கு ரூ.2,250. இதன்படி நான்கு டன்களுக்கு ரூ.10,200 தேவை. ஆனால் நீடித்த நவீன கரும்பு சாகுபடி முறையில் கரும்பு நாற்றுகள் நடும்பொழுது ஒரு ஏக்கருக்கு சுமார் 5000 நாற்றுகள் போதுமானது. நாற்று ஒன்றின் விலை ரூ.1.40. இதன்படி 5,000 நாற்றுகளுக்கு ரூ.7,000 போதும். மேலும் 30 நாட்கள் வயதுள்ள நாற்றுகளாக நடுகின்றபடியால் ஒரு மாதத்திற்குண்டான பயிர் பராமரிப்பு செலவு குறைவதோடு கரும்பு வெட்டு மாதமும் ஒரு மாத்திற்கு முன்னரே வருகிறது.
கரும்பினை நேரடியாக அப்படியே வயலில் நடும்பொழுது நடும் அனைத்து பருக்களும் அப்படியே முளைக்கும் என்ற உத்திரவாதம் இல்லை. ஆனால் நாற்றுகளாக நடும் பொழுது அனைத்து நாற்றுகளும் முளைப்புத்திறன் கொண்டதாக உள்ளது. கரும்பு கரணையாக நடுகின்றபொழுது உண்டாகும் கூடுதல் பணியாளர்களை விட நாற்றுகளாக நடும் பொழுது குறைவான பணியாளர்களே போதும். ஒரு ஏக்கருக்குண்டான 5,000 நாற்றுகளை ஆறு நபர்கள் நான்கு மணி நேரத்தில் நடவு செய்து விடலாம். மேலும் பருக்கள் அனைத்தும் முறைப்படி விதை நேர்த்தி செய்து நாற்றுகளாக்கப்படுவதால் கரும்பு பயிரில் நோய் தாக்குதலானது பெருமளவு கட்டுப்படுத்தப்படுகிறது.
நீடித்த நவீன கரும்பு சாகுபடி முறையில் கரும்பு நாற்றுகளாக நட்ட வயலில் ஒரு ஏக்கருக்கு கரும்பு மகசூலானது சுமார் 70 டன்கள் வரை கிடைக்கிறது. இதனால் விவசாயிக்கு அதிக லாபம் கிடைப்பதோடு சர்க்கரை ஆலைகளுக்கும் சர்க்கரை கட்டுமானம் அதிகம் கிடைத்து விவசாயிகளுக்கு கரும்புக்கு அதிக விலை கொடுக்க வழிவகை செய்கிறது. நீடித்த நவீன கரும்பு சாகுபடி மூலம் சொட்டு நீர் பாசனம் அமைக்கவும், நாற்றுக்கும் தமிழக அரசின் மானியம் உண்டு. முடிந்த நடவு பருவத்தில் 100 சதவீத மானியத்தில் ஆறு லட்சத்து 25 ஆயிரம் நாற்றுகள் கோவையில் உள்ள தமிழ்நாடு வேளாண் அறிவியல் மையத்தின் நீர்நுட்ப மையம் மூலம் விவசாயிகளுக்கு வழங்கியுள்ளோம் என்றார்.
தொடர்புக்கு 88705 66337 ல் அழுத்தலாம்.
-கா.சுப்பிரமணியன், மதுரை.


Source : http://www.dinamalar.com/supplementary_detail.asp?id=24027&ncat=7

Plant clinic for diagnosing pests and infestations


The M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) along with an international organisation called CABI jointly piloted a project called plant clinic (PC) in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Maharashtra through the institute’s Village Resource Centres located in the regions.
The main aim of setting up such clinics is to diagnose pests and diseases in any crop and render accurate knowledge to the farming community. Basically it is a community-driven model, conducted in a common location, accessible to all categories of farmers in a village.
Need guidance
Farmers need guidance to distinguish the difference between pest and infestations, understand harmful effects of red labelled/banned pesticides, pest resurgence, resistance to pesticides etc.
“The clinic provides an array of technological solutions along with cultural, biological and chemical methods, which are nationally and internationally permissible, ecologically safe and environmentally sustainable for mitigating crop loss and enhancing plant health and economic benefit,” says Ms. Nancy J Anabel, Director, Information and Communications of the Institute.
The clinics are conducted fortnightly and do not cost any money according to her. Persons with agricultural background are chosen and trained by CABI as plant doctors to diagnose the issue and provide appropriate solutions. However, MSSRF encourages progressive farmers, who are reservoirs of pragmatic knowledge and traditional wisdom to be trained and enrolled in this.
A tool kit encompassing lens, microscope, laptop, projector, knife, gloves, tissue and sanitisers along with required templates to collect case history and issue prescriptions are given.
Prescription
Farmers bring their affected crop samples to the clinics to recognise the problem and get technological solutions. Every farmer is provided with a prescription, detailing the case history along with recommendations.
The PC treats the crop samples with the help of the comprehensive factsheets in the local vernacular brought by the farmers.
As farmers are hungry for information regarding their crop details the role of this plant clinic is more important to help offer appropriate knowledge to them to grow healthy crops which in turn generate better revenue.
Presently about 37 plant doctors serve through 14 Plant clinics; 391 clinic sessions have been conducted till now across Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Maharashtra, spanning 62 villages, in which more than 6,000 farmers including 992 women farmers have been reached.
Recently about 46 farmers from Varagoor village, Thanjavur District brought crop samples to the clinic and found them to be affected by rice blast.
After examining the tillers, the plant doctors recommended the right type of spray to be used. Timely application helped them save their crop with additional yield of 5.9 tons in 100 acre.
Case study
Take the case of another woman farmer, Ms. Dhanalakshmi from Pudukuppam, Puducherry, who chose agriculture as a profession, a few years back, struggled due to her no knowledge about the subject and discouragement from others.
“I was confused. I didn’t know whether I had taken the right decision. Thanks to this plant clinic concept I am able to diagnose and spot the pest and infestations if any on my paddy, plantain and mango crops,” she says.
Mr. Arunachalam, Pasupathikovil village in Thanjavur district realized an additional yield of 60 kg / half acre in Gingili crop by preventing 30 per cent yield loss from Jassids and wilt disease attack, when the rest of his fellow farmers realized a mediocre 250 kg /acre.
Another beneficiary
Similarly Mr. Gajanan Shyamraoji Wankhede, in Papal village in Amravati, Maharashtra could address leaf curling infestation in his capsicum and stem borer in his brinjal crop through one of the clinics in his region.
“We welcome farmers across the country to contact us for details on this and are ready to address their queries. If need be, more clinics like this can also be established in other parts of the country as well,” says Ms. Nancy.
For more information contact Ms. Nancy J Anabel, Director, Information and Communications, MSSRF, III Cross Street, Institutional Area, Taramani, Chennai 600 113, email: anabel@mssrf.res.in, mobiles:9444391467 and 9445002060.
Source : http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/plant-clinic-for-diagnosing-pests-and-infestations/article6933482.ece

Monday, 23 February 2015

Five things that agriculture sector expects in Budget

Ajay Modi, special correspondent of Business Today, lists down five key points that Budget 2015-16 should focus on in agriculture sector.

  1. Expand Agriculture Research: Aim at enhancing crop yield by improving productivity.
  2. Augment farm credit: Improve flow of credit to farmers at concessional rates.
  3. Infrastructure focus: Incentives for warehousing and cold chain storage.
  4. Insurance: Schemes for crops insurance to farmers to salvage them in case of crop failure.
  5. Cash subsidy on fertilisers: Direct cash transfer of subsidy to farmers to bring efficiency.
Source: 

Union Budget: Sowing sustainable agriculture

Union Budget, Budget 2015-16
Keeping in consideration other priorities in agriculture, the following five areas must receive attention for FY16 Budget to promote sustainable and resilient agriculture and improve livelihood of smallholders.
Increasing climate change threat and deteriorating soil and water health are posing serious challenge to Indian agriculture. With growing number of smallholders and their declining areas of operations, the problem becomes more complex for their viability. Therefore, future policies and resource allocation should focus on sustainable and resilient agriculture that enhances income of smallholders and reduces their risks. With the budget around the corner, the finance ministry may be allocating resources for various programmes in agriculture sector. Keeping in consideration other priorities in agriculture, the following five areas must receive attention for FY16 Budget to promote sustainable and resilient agriculture and improve livelihood of smallholders.
First, the finance minister must include programmes that can mitigate the climate-change risk for the farmers, especially the smallholders. Every year, farmers in some or the other part of the country face the brunt of climate change. We need to promote climate-smart agriculture that (i) raises agricultural productivity and farm income, (ii) minimises risk that arise due to climate change, and (iii) reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Farm trials and pilots in Haryana, Punjab and Bihar demonstrated that climate-smart agriculture, which is a blend of improved technologies, value-added advisory services, application of information and communication technology, and agricultural insurance, significantly improved the adaptation capacity of farmers against climate change and also minimised greenhouse gas emission. This year’s budget should propose to transform at least 1 lakh vulnerable villages to climate-smart villages. Resources for this programme may be allocated from the already existing programmes, namely the National Food Security Mission, Rastrya Krishi Vikas Yojana and the MGNREGA.
Second, there is a need to promote solar energy for irrigation. India is fortunate to have sufficient sun-shine days to tap solar energy as a viable source of power. The majority of Indian villages, where groundwater is easily accessible, are deprived of electricity to harness this water to increase agricultural production. Bringing together the government of India’s planned mega programme on solar generation to supplement power supply, and linking this with agriculture would also fulfil one of the government’s priorities—that of irrigating each field. Recent IFPRI studies in Bihar and IWMI studies in Gujarat and Rajasthan have shown that solar-driven pumps provided assured irrigation, diversified production portfolio in favour of more remunerative and commercial crops, and enhanced the capacity of farmers to adapt to climate change as well as mitigate the process. The cost recovery of installing solar pumps came about in 3 years with negligible annual operation and maintenance cost. It is proposed that in at least half of the projected climate-smart villages, solar pumps should be made mandatory.
Third, micro-irrigation, in the form of drip and sprinkler irrigation, has vast potential to expand the count of irrigated area in the country.
Earlier, the subsidy-driven programmes for promoting micro-irrigation made some headway in few states but could not fully realise their potential. Studies have shown that the micro-irrigation substantially raised farm income and expanded irrigated area. It improved irrigation efficiency to 70-90%, compared to 30% of conventional irrigation, indicating enormous water-saving. More thrust on micro-irrigation and connecting it with solar pumps will pave the path for achieving the multiple gains of “more crops per drop”.
Fourth, soil test-based nutrient management is critical to improve soil health imbalance. The fertiliser subsidy has distorted the soil nutrient balance, especially in favour of nitrogen (N). Over the years, soil health has deteriorated with acute deficiencies of nutrients (such as zinc, sulphur, boron, and manganese) that has adversely affected crop yields. The Bhoochetna programme in the state of Karnataka is encouraging: its soil-test-based nutrient management approach both reduced fertiliser use and increased the yields of important crops by 25–30%. Although the government of India is promoting soil health cards for soil-test-based nutrient management, its effective implementation is yet to be seen. It would require investment on developing soil-testing laboratories and enhancing skills for soil-testing of various nutrients. Financing to private sector to establish soil-testing labs will go a long way in improving soil health, enhancing nutrient use efficiency and increasing agricultural productivity.
Finally, to improve soil and human health, expanding area under pulses cultivation and increasing the production of these crops is necessary. Consumption of pulses is declining due to growing demand-supply gap and the rising prices. Pulses are a cheap and important source of protein. They help in fixing nitrogenous fertiliser in soil and save more than 30% of the nitrogenous fertiliser for the subsequent crop and thereby help in moderating nitrogenous fertlisers’ use and cutting the subsidy spend . Production of pulses needs to be increased to avoid growing imports and ensure availability to the poor at affordable prices. These five areas are a must for the forthcoming budget to deal with to make agriculture sustainable and resilient. Failing that, any investment in agriculture would not yield the desired dividends.
By P K Joshi
The author is director (South Asia), IFPRI

Source: 

Sugarcane: sowing the seeds of a successful business model

ADDITIONAL ACTIVITY: At the inauguration of a new seedling nursery. Photo; Special Arrangement
The Hindu
ADDITIONAL ACTIVITY: At the inauguration of a new seedling nursery. Photo; Special Arrangement

Income generation is the most important issue for a farmer today as several agriculture produces do not get a good price and marketing facilities are not always readily available. If proper technology is provided on time and implemented with the combination of market avenues it can lead to profitable farming.
In line with this finding, the Water Technology Centre, at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) has developed a technique called seedling production in sugarcane to help sugarcane growers.
Seperate enterprise

This technology has been identified as a separate enterprise and promoted among many nursery growers. In this method the sugarcane buds are grown in portrays and then transplanted when 25-35 days old in the main field under wider spacing combined with sub surface drip irrigation (SSDI).
Though Tamil Nadu ranks first in cane productivity in India (production stand at 105 tonnes a hectare an average) the mills have not been paying money on time to the growers and there is no provision for interest on late payments. And a farmer can sell his cane only to a particular sugar mill and he is at the mercy of the mill owner for accepting his produce and getting some payment on time.
Apart from this there are a host of problems like labour shortage, lack of mechanical availability for planting and harvesting, water and electricity shortage.
“Though the main issue is non payment on time which is largely a government based decision as technical experts we on our part have tried to ease the financial crunch of the farmers by encouraging them to also take up seedling production. Many farmers in the state have taken this up as an additional activity and are earning a better revenue,” explains Dr.B.J. Pandian, Director, Water Technology Centre, TNAU.
Case studies

Mr. B. Jayabal, Thatchan Thottam, Cheyuar, Tiruppur District entered into this line with technology support from the University.
“Within two years, I have produced 5.50 lakh seedlings earning nearly 2.5 lakhs as income. I was advised to develop a business model by printing visiting cards and registered my nursery as a firm to participate in Government programmes on a competitive basis,” he says.
Another producer Mr.T. Marirajan, from Tiruppuvanam in Sivagangai says, “Production for one seedling is only Rs.0.80 and the selling price is Rs.1.40 per seedling. I produce 50,000 seedlings per batch and get Rs.25,000 profit in a month.”
Quite popular

The popularity of this technology is fast catching up even with professionals like Mr. R. Ramesh Kumar an engineer from Papanulam in Tiruppur District.
He runs his production unit like a factory employing 5-6 women labour daily with automated bud chippers and producing 1.00 lakh seedlings in every batch with his available two shade nets.
“In the last one year I have been able to produce more than 10 lakh seedlings earning a net profit of Rs.5 lakhs in a year. I cannot think of getting even half this amount as net income if I had been employed in some engineering firm,” he smiles.
Admitting to the fact that are grievances from farmers across the state on disbursal of money not being done on time Dr. Pandian says, “If these farmers can take up this initiative they can easily overcome their financial strain till the mills disburse the amount.”
Two advantages

This technology has twin advantages. For the farmers it helps achieve higher productivity (under normal planting 105 tonnes are harvested under SSI cultivation 105 to 110 tonnes from a hectare is harvested), better return and saving on water, electricity and labour. For the sugar factories it ensures higher recovery in increase crushing days and additional employment.
For more details on this contact Dr. B.J. Pandian, Director i/c, Water Technology Centre, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore: 641003. email: directorwtc@tnau.ac.in, Phone: 0422 6611278, 6611478, Mobile : 94432 86711.

Source: 

Now, farmers can get information on crop management through SMS

Farmers in Dakshina Kannada can now get information on horticultural crop management through SMS.
The Department of Horticulture launched the service about 10 days ago, according to Yogesh H.R., Deputy Director.
Farmers would have to register their names and cellphone numbers with the department by calling 0824-2412628 or sending SMS to 9480354968, he told The Hindu .
They would get information on seasonal crops on a daily basis — one SMS a day on a particular crop. For example, now it is the season of growing mangoes and cashew. If tea mosquito bug hits cashew or mango hopper attacks mango orchards, a 10-line SMS, mostly in Kannada and sometimes in English, would be sent to the farmers on the disease or pest control measures for cashew on one day and for mango the next day. Pepper, cocoa and arecanut too were covered under the service, Mr. Yogesh said.
During monsoon, farmers would be informed about steps to control ‘kole roga’ (fruit rot disease) and black pod disease (pot rotting).
Information would be provided on containing areca palm bugs too. He said this service would be used for providing information on drip irrigation and about any new horticultural schemes or any programmes of the government.
“With changing technology and times, it is the fastest way of communicating with farmers. The farmers’ portal of the Union government will be used for providing the service. The rights of using the service and uploading content reserves with the Deputy Director,” Mr. Yogesh said.
He said that farmers could also use the numbers to seek information about the management of any particular disease or report about spread or diseases in their plantation.
To register, call Ph: 0824-2412628 or send SMS to 9480354968

Source: 

Controlling rhizome rot in ginger

Rhizome rot, also called soft rot, is one of the most devastating diseases of ginger. Initial symptoms of the disease appear as light yellowing of leaf tips which gradually spread down to the leaf blade and leaf sheath along the margin.
During early stages, the middle portion of the lamina remains green while the margin turns yellow. Subsequently the yellowing spreads to all leaves followed by drooping, withering and drying. Infected shoot can be easily pulled out from the soil.
Management practices

Use of healthy rhizome is one of the most important preventive measures.
Cultivars such as Maran, Nadiya and Narasapattom are reported to be resistant to this infestation.
Water-logging in the field must be avoided. A raised bed of 30 cm height and 1m width is recommended. Provide proper drainage and keep land free from weeds at all times.
Collect the diseased material as and when the disease is noticed and burn them. Plan early planting during April. Crop rotation with non- host crops like leguminous crops, maize, ragi, paddy will not only benefit the soil nutrient supplementation but also keep the diseases under check.
Seed rhizome dip treatment with Trichoderma harzianum l0 gm per litre of cow dung slurry, before sowing is effective. One per cent of bordeaux mixture spray just after extraction is also effective.
Drenching the seeds with bordeaux mixture in 25 litres of water dissolved in six kg of copper sulphate solution and again after germination at 2-3 weeks interval gives partial control.
Seed treatment

Rhizomes treated with (Trichoderma bio-control agent) at rate of 5gm / kg of rhizome for 30 minutes proves effective. Application of Trichoderma bio-control agent (2.5 kg mixed with 50 kg FYM) 10-15 days before sowing and oil cakes making are recommended.
Soil drenching with Mancozeb (0.3 per cent) or Metalaxyl at 500 ppm is recommended in epidemic disease areas.
(Dr. Anup Das, Senior Scientist (Agronomy), Division of Natural Resource Management, ICAR Research Complex for NEH region, Umiam - 793 103, Meghalaya, mobile: 09436336070 and Dr. Utpal Dey, ICAR Mob: 8119934883, email: utpaldey86@gmail.com)

Source: 

Living the green dream

  • Tara Laju. Photo: Nita Sathyendran
    The Hindu
    Tara Laju. Photo: Nita Sathyendran
  • Red amaranthus is one of the many vegetables that Tara Laju grows on her farm. Photo: Nita Sathyendran
    The Hindu
    Red amaranthus is one of the many vegetables that Tara Laju grows on her farm. Photo: Nita Sathyendran
  • Papa's Dairy farm at Mulayara. Photo: Nita Sathyendran
    The Hindu
    Papa's Dairy farm at Mulayara. Photo: Nita Sathyendran
  • Papa's Dairy rears 80 Holstein Freisan cows. Photo: Nita Sathyendran
    The Hindu
    Papa's Dairy rears 80 Holstein Freisan cows. Photo: Nita Sathyendran

Yoga master Tara Laju on why the natural way of life helps her be a successful weekend farmer

It could well be one of those picturesque farms you come across in the hill stations, luscious and green, complete with the occasional moos, quacks and clucks, to add to the rustic charm. But Papa’s Dairy farm, where yoga master and weekend farmer Tara Laju is mistress of all she surveys, is just 13 or so km from the hustle and bustle of the city, in a quiet vale in Mulayara, down the road from Vilapilshala. And Tara is quite unlike any farmer you may have come across in your old James Herriot books. There are no tweeds or gum boots in sight but petite Tara does pack a punch as she traipses up and down the well-tended farm in her heels, instructing farm hands as they plant a new season of vegetables, overseeing the milk processing unit and petting a cow here and a hen there.
“There’s something refreshing about seeing something grow or drinking a quart of fresh milk,” says Tara, proudly pointing to the morning’s harvest of snake gourd. “We are a completely organic farm, and because of that the yields are often quite low. Also, you won’t get the kind of super-size vegetables that we’ve all become used to. The snake gourds are small and the red amaranthus over there won’t grow much bigger than it is now,” she explains.
Papa’s Dairy is three–and–a half acre organic farm where they rear some 80 Holstein Friesian cows, farm eggs from their 50 hens and ducks and grow all manner of vegetables, from bitter gourd and yams to runner beans and brinjal. “It’s a self-sustaining farm. We breed the cows here itself – we have a bull for the purpose. Cow dung is used as fertilizer. We have a water treatment plant on site, the slurry of which is also used as fertilizer,” says Tara.
The farm was started in 2006 by Tara’s husband, Captain Laju Cherian, a commercial pilot, who took voluntary retirement from the Air Force. “He grew up in Angamaly drinking fresh cow milk and wanted our daughter, Sruthi [who is in class 12 in St. Thomas] to grow up on healthy food. That’s why he named the farm as Papa’s Dairy,” explains Tara, who took over the running of the farm in 2010. “I was actually very reluctant to take it all on. I was more or less a city girl. But the farm and the animals grew on me and now it’s become my passion. I am living my husband’s dream!” says Tara.
Things weren't always this smooth, though. “It took me five years of day-night toil to get it running smoothly like this, labour issues being the chief concern. We initially had 150 cows but had to cut down the number to a more manageable size. Now, it’s a completely mechanised operation and we produce some 1,500 litres of milk a day, supplementing the supply by sourcing milk from small time framers in the locality,” she explains. Apart from retailing milk under the Papa’s Dairy brand, they also produce pure ghee, both of which are available in select stores across the district. “The most challenging thing about running a dairy farm is hygiene. You’ve got to be vigilant 24x7 [there are surveillance cameras all around which she can access on her phone] and we have to ensure that the milk processing unit and its surroundings are cleaned top to bottom at least three times a day,” she says.
Tara attributes her success at farming to the natural way of life. She’s been “living and breathing” yoga since she was a child and is a well-known yoga guru, having taught over 3,500 people, since she began taking classes in the city in 2001. “Yoga makes me happy, energetic and confident, which in turn helps me run the farm with a positive outlook. I think the farm is successful because my husband and I don’t think of it as a business as such. In fact, I supply most of the vegetables and eggs to my clients themselves,” she says.
Tara will soon open a vegetable counter at her Yuj Wellness centre in Kanaka Nagar, Nanthancode. “I want to inspire people to take up weekend farming. It’s very rewarding,” she adds.

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CM urges dairy farmers to increase milk production

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy inaugurating a State meet of dairy farmers at Manikkadavu in Kannur on Monday.— PHOTO: S.K. MOHAN
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy inaugurating a State meet of dairy farmers at Manikkadavu in Kannur on Monday.— PHOTO: S.K. MOHAN
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has called upon dairy farmers to initiate steps to achieve self-reliance in milk production within two years.
Addressing dairy farmers at the State Dairy Meet at Manikkadavu here on Monday, the Chief Minister said that the State’s major challenge after achieving self-reliance in milk production was to increase meat and eggs production required by the State. Though the State had recorded achievements in education and development, it was still depending on other States for vegetables, milk, meat and egg.
In milk production, the northern region had increased production to meet the target, while the central and southern regions were trying hard to reach the target.
He also said that the government would explore new marketing avenues for the dairy sector by ensuring value addition and diversification.
Mr. Chandy also presented awards for dairy farmers and dairy farmers’ cooperative societies.
Rural Development Minister K.C. Joseph presided over the function.

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Sell cotton soon after harvest, farmers told

The Agro Marketing Intelligence and Business Promotion Centre (AMI&BPC) has advised farmers to sell cotton upon harvest as its price is expected to hover in the range of Rs.4,100 - 4,300 a quintal during March – April.
The price of masi pattam (summer) cotton crop would be Rs.4,300 - 4,500 a quintal during July-August, the AMI & BPC said in a price advisory. Currently, long staple cotton is ruling around Rs.4,450 – 4,700 a quintal.
The advisory, to help farmers take selling and sowing decisions, was issued based on an analysis of the cotton prices that had prevailed over the past 10 years at the Konganapuram Cooperative Marketing Society and a traders survey conducted by the back office of the AMI & BPC at the Centre for Agricultural and Rural Development Studies (CARDS), Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.
Cotton price has taken a hit owing to global factors such as decline in cotton yarn exports and lesser demand.
Until last year, China bought 60 per cent of India’s cotton but has reduced imports to support its farmers. Also, demand from mills has come down drastically due to reduced exports coupled with financial crunch. All these factors led to fall in cotton prices.
World cotton consumption is expected to grow by 2 per cent in 2015 - 16 due to a moderate improvement in global economic growth as forecast by the International Monetary Fund. However, price of polyester has fallen eroding the price of cotton.
In 2014-15, India’s cotton area and production stood at 13 million hectares and 34.62 million bales.
The Cotton Association of India (CAI) has estimated that low prices and lower demand may discourage farmers leading to reduced cotton cultivation in 2015-16 by 15-20 per cent.
The major sowing season in Tamil Nadu is January-February and August-September, the AMI & BPC said in a press release.

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