Category Archives: Agriculture

An eventful year for the seed sector in Telangana

Seed exported to a few OECD countries for the first time this year

The year that is coming to an end has been the most eventful for the seed sector of Telangana since it has seen the State taking the leadership role at the national level and also making a mark at the international level with export of seed under the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) programme.

Setting the house in order first, the State government ensured timely availability of seed before the commencement of every agriculture season for the last three years, although the problem of inferior quality seed raised its head every now and then. As it had little or no powers to deal with the spurious seed issue/offenders, the State government amended an existing law bringing the subject under the purview of Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act.

Admitting that all incidents of farmers suffering losses due to spurious seed may not have been addressed, a senior officer of the Agriculture Department said: “A good beginning has been made this year by making two seed companies pay compensation to chilli farmers in Gadwal, Khammam and Warangal (Rural) districts after they suffered crop loss due to inferior quality seed”.

On the other hand, the Telangana government hosted stakeholders’ conferences on OECD seed certification twice and national meeting of public sector seed entities towards improving the quality of seed to international standards. It was decided to promote inter-State sale of seed by public sector entities to make them affordable to the farming community.

“We have mooted setting up seed export promotion council and a centre of excellence to promote seed exports through single window system to OECD countries in South and South East Asia and Africa and the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare is examining it,” Agriculture Production Commissioner C. Parthasarathi, who has been recently appointed as co-chairman of the national task force on OECD seed schemes, said when contacted.

After becoming the nodal agency for OECD seed certification for four States, Telangana State Seed and Organic Certification Agency (TSSOCA) has achieved the distinction of exporting sorghum and paddy seed for the first time to Sudan, Philippines, Vietnam and Egypt. “About 17,000 qunitals seed raised with international standards in 2,271 acres in Telangana has been exported to those countries and we have plans to increase it to 50,000 quintals this year from over 6,000 acres,” Director of TSSOCA K. Keshavulu explained.

One more recognition that has come to the Telangana State seed sector this year is selection of Mr. Keshavulu as the chairman of the advisory council of the International Seed Testing Association to coordinate the international seed agencies and the seed industry. The Union Agriculture Ministry has already appointed him as the nodal officer for taking up a field-level study for the country’s membership in the Europe Equivalence.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by B. Chandrashekhar / Hyderabad – December 29th, 2017

State gets palmyrah centre

The Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI), a premier research institute established by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for coconut, arecanut and cocoa crops, has sanctioned a “voluntary centre for palmyrah in Telangana”.

The voluntary centre is a research centre to which only funding is given by ICAR initially.

The centre will start functioning at the Horticultural Research Station of Sri Konda Laxman Telangana State Horticultural University at Konda Mallepalli in Nalgonda district.

In a communication sent to Vice Chancellor of the horticultural university earlier this week, Project Coordinator (Palms) H.R. Maheshwarappa of the Kasaragod-based research institute stated that the voluntary centre has been sanctioned for carrying out location specific research on palmyrah palm in Telangana State. The centre would get 75% funding as grant from the ICAR.

The CPCRI has also asked the Vice Chancellor to identify a scientist for taking up research on palmyrah and that the plan of work would be intimated in due course of time after completion of formalities.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Special Correspondent / Hyderabad – December 22nd, 2017

CCMB-IIRR tie-up for low GI rice

Scientists at a meeting in the city on Monday.Arrangement

New variety suitable for diabetics

Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in association with the Indian Institute of Rice Research (IIRR) has come out with an Improved Samba Masuri (ISM) which is not only resistant to bacteria blight but also has a low Glycemic Index (GI) considered suitable for those with diabetes.

National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), a constituent of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), has done extensive human trials on the new variety and had come to the conclusion that ISM has low GI of 50.99 which is among the lowest value for several rice varieties tested and usually in the range of 53 to 69, explained IIRR director P. Ananda Kumar and his colleague R.M. Sundaram, CCMB’s Ramesh Sonti, Vishnupriya and others on Monday.

GI value of a food is determined by feeding 10 or more healthy people a portion of the food containing 50 grams of digestible (available) carbohydrate and then measuring the effect on their blood glucose levels over the next two hours.

Consumption of food with low GI results in slow release of glucose into the bloodstream reducing the ill-effects of diabetes.

Plus, ISM also has desirable attributes like better yield and fine grain type enhancing market potential and profit for farmers, they told a press conference.

With financial support from National Agricultural Technology Project of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and CSIR800 program of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) work began in 1999 and completed in 2006, it was validated in 10 different locations for two years across the country. It was released in 2008. “We did molecular breeding in CCMB and actual traditional rice breeding at the rice research institute. Its not a transgenic plant. It is already been grown in 1.50 lakh hectares last year in seven rice breeding states including Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, TS, TN, UP, etc.,” the scientists said. Farmers in several rice growing States have testified to the improved yield of up to 40% because of successful tackling of Bacteria Blight. In two/three years time, the scientists are confident of coming out with a new variety of rice which can not only give high yields but also be resistant to three different pests affecting rice crop with field trials currently on.

CCMB Director Rakesh Kumar Misra said ISM development was an excellent example of inter-institutional collaboration. Two firms have expressed interest in commercial production of the seed and scientists expect more farmers to take to it in the coming years.

source: / The Hindu / Home> National> Telangana / by Special Correspondent / Hyderabad – November 21st, 2017

Hyderabad firm opens store for purified vegetables

25 more stores to be opened in one year

YentraTech Controls Pvt Ltd has opened the first in a chain of stores that will retail vegetables, fruits, meat and pulses purified using a technology developed by the company.

Addressing presspersons at Purin Foods store at Jubilee Hills, Chairman Prasad Yerramsetty said the company planned to open 25 stores in one year in the city. The estimated investment on them would be around ₹10 crore. In the next phase, Purin Foods outlets would be expanded to Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru and Chennai.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Special Correspondent / Hyderabad – February 25th, 2017

Techie who extols benefits of organic milk

Maintaining purity The organic farm set up by Kotesh Mukkamala. | Photo Credit: Arranged

Techie sets up farm not just to supply milk, but also to breed the best bovines

Just like his love for IT profession, his passion for organic milk is unadulterated. He doesn’t want to milk profits from his supply, but purely believes in maintaining the purity of nature’s gift to mankind.

No wonder this IT professional with a comfortable job in the United States has set up an organic farm not just for supplying healthy and unadulterated milk but also to breed the best bovine in the country. “To maintain purity we grow fodder on the 9 acres farm on the outskirts of the city for the 150 animals consisting of 70 cows and 80 buffaloes,” says Kotesh Mukkamala, an IT professional in the USA.

On the eight acres of the 9 acres land, he cultivates green fodder recommended by NG Ranga University to feed the animals year round. The remaining acre is used for housing cattle, staff and other infrastructure. As the grass grown in the cities is produced in the drainage segregation area and is infested with synthetics and human waste here only ground and rain water is used. Cultivation is pesticide and chemical fertiliser-free. Diet of the animals is balanced with the right quantities of protein and fodder.

His passion is also driven by the growing craze for organic milk in cities. Kotesh’s Organics Dairy currently services about 300 plus customers supplying 500 plus litres a day. Importantly, milk is delivered within two hours of milking and it never undergoes any processing.

Interestingly, lot of IT and data is used in enhancing the milking capacity of the animals and maintaining quality. “We have established data points and capture mechanisms at various levels like recording milk production patterns during different months, patterns of cattle coming in to heat during different seasons, onset of diseases and they are effectively tackled.

Mr. Kotesh says he has Murrah breed buffaloes procured from several villages in Haryana, the Jaffrabadi breed buffaloes from areas around Bhavnagar in Gujarat. The Holstein cows are from the Kolar area apart from the Ongole cows, Kankrejs, Holsteins, Girs, Ratis, Punganoors, Jerseys, Khillaris and Shahiwals.

After his success with milk, Kotesh wants to get into the breeding domain and supply the best quality semen from the top bulls breed with proper data collection and proven records. “The goal is to supply quality semen doses at optimal pricing to the farmers and help improve the average yield of animals across the country by at least 20% in the next 5 years. This would help make quality milk affordable and available to the poorest of the poor. The plan would encompass training the farmers on the best practices.”

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by R Ravikanth Reddy / Hyderabad – February 23rd, 2017

Radio Kisan Diwas celebrated at AIR

or farmers: Visitors taking a look at old radio sets at the AIR office in Adilabad on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: S. HARPAL SINGH;S. HARPAL SINGH – S_ HARPAL SINGH

All India Radio, Adilabad, celebrated Radio Kisan Diwas on Wednesday, the date on which it started the ‘Kisan Vani’ programme. Agriculture came to be the central theme of the programme, and its manifestation in local ethos was showcased as part of the celebration.

While the Adivasi Thotti troupe of Pendur Tukaramsang a Gondi folk song in which gods order a Gond king to cultivate millets, the local Burrakatha troupe sang songs related to agriculture.

Telangana Grameena Bank, Adilabad, regional manager P.R.V. Ramchander Rao spoke about his experiences. The AIR felicitated progressive farmers, including those who take up organic farming, from Adilabad and neighbouring districts. The farmers too spoke about their experiences.

Millet food prepared by Ram Babu of Hyderabad and the exhibition of old radio sets, however, became the centre of attraction. Mr. Babu is an expert in millet food and its correlation with Ayurveda and the human body.

Scientists from Adilabad Agriculture Research Station, Kisan Vikas Kendra, District Agriculture Advisory, and Transfer of Technology Centre attended the programme. AIR Adilabad deputy director Sumanaspati Reddy and deputy director of Vijaya Dairy Madhusudan also participated.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by Special Correspondent / Adilabad – February 15th, 2017

New turmeric variety to benefit State’s farmers


Hyderabad :

A variety of turmeric named Pitambar, which gives better yield and has more percentage of commercially viable curcumin, was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on Monday during the platinum jubilee celebrations of Council of Scientific and Industry Research (CSIR). Around 200 farmers from the two Telugu states attended the programme through video conferencing at IICT, Tarnaka.

With Telangana being one of the largest producers of turmeric, farmers are willing to adopt the variety, said C Parthasarathi, principal secretary of Agriculture Marketing and Co-Operation department. The seed variety would be handed over to farmers next year. After launch of the variety, two farmers from Andhra Pradesh who interacted with PM Modi through video conference, said they would adopt the variety.

“The pharmaceutical importance of turmeric is due to its curcuminoids which are credited with anti-inflammatory, hypo-cholesterolemic, anti-oxidant, anti-parasitic, anti-spasmodic, anti-microbial, anti-rheumatic, anti-aging and anti-cancer properties,” a note said. Since curcumin is the main molecule for the increasing demand of turmeric, several varieties of turmeric with ncreased curcumin content and rhizome biomass have been developed. While curcumin content in these varieties ranges from three to nine per cent, in the Pitambar variety, the percentage is around 12.5 per cent. Turmeric with high content of the chemical is preferred by European nations and North America.

“Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), a CSIR institute, did research for eight years to come out with the new variety. India produces 80 per cent of turmeric in the world. In the country, out of 4.5 lakh hectares where turmeric is cultivated, 1.30 lakh hectares is in Telangana,” Parthasarathi said after the PM launched the Pitambar variety. He said other varieties take around nine months for harvesting while Pitambar takes 180 to 190 days. Private industries which process turmeric will sell products at Spice Park in Nizamabad. “After processing the products, export and sale value will be more if curcumin content is more. To establish a relationship between the Spice Park and produce, improved varieties from Tamil Nadu have been brought. If Pitambar variety is brought and 12 per cent curcumin containing turmeric is produced, the park will have a good future,” Parthasarathi said.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Telangana / by Express News Service / September 27th, 2016

Farmers urged to grow Apple ber instead of cottoa

A box of apple ber produced at Dammapet mandal in Khammam which will be sent to Hyderabad where there is a heavy demand for the fruit | express photo
A box of apple ber produced at Dammapet mandal in Khammam which will be sent to Hyderabad where there is a heavy demand for the fruit | express photo

Khammam :

To reduce dependency on cotton crop cultivation, the horticulture department is introducing and providing a 60 per cent subsidy on a new fruit crop Apple Ber (Jujube Berry), for the benefit of farmers in the district.

Horticulture department officials are planning to take up Apple Ber plantation in 50 acres on an experimental basis and will increase the cultivable area, based on farmers’ response. The fruit is in huge demand in the local market, and also in Hyderabad. At present, traders are importing Apple Ber from Maharashtra.

Assistant director of Horticulture department K Suryanarayana said Apple Ber plantation is a commercial crop and would benefit farmers. He added that some farmers have already planted 10 acres of the crop in Dammapet mandal of the district.

“We are encouraging farmers to cultivate Apple Ber fruit crop as it will offer more benefits than a cotton crop and consume less water,” he said.

The horticulture department is also encouraging farmers to grow vegetable crops, whose cultivation is going on in 3,000 acres in the district. The department is further aiming to cross the 10,000-acre mark by motivating farmers.

Horticulture officials are providing 50 pc subsidy on seeds to cultivate vegetables in the district, said AD Suryanarayana.

All about Apple Ber

Red soil suitable for cultivation, consumes less water Already being cultivated in outskirts of Hyderabad, Mahbubnagar, Medak, Warangal and is now being introduced in Khammam

Rs 1 to Rs 1.5 lakh is what farmers can earn from a single acre of the fruit by investing upto a maximum of Rs 60,000 160 saplings are needed for raising a plantation in an acre Rs 30 each is the price at which the horticulture department is distributing the plant for whereas it is being sold at Rs 70 to Rs 80 in the open market 20 years is the crop life of Apple Ber and it starts bearing fruit from the second year

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Telangana / by B Satyanarayana Reddy / May 21st, 2016

At Malkanoor, farmers reap the benefits of dairy farming

Even as acute drought conditions in the State are forcing migration of farm labour in search of employment, this village in Bheemadevarapalli mandal has set an example by overcoming drought by taking to dairy sector as an alternate source of income.

An upland village sans irrigation sources, Mulkanoor has become a role model in the cooperative movement since 1956 with the launch of the Mulkanoor Cooperative Rural Bank and Marketing Society and has farmers who have overcome drought, thanks to the dairy units.

A majority of the population here, comprising about 10,000 people, took to dairy in the past two years to mitigate drought and are reaping the benefits. They supply over 1,500 litres of milk a day to the cooperative dairy and Karimnagar dairy. Besides, some hundreds of litres of milk per day are consumed locally, for a healthy life.

“I was unable to raise any crop on my three acres of land as the well got dried up due to drought since the last two years. I bought two milch animals by taking loan from the cooperative bank and am earning Rs. 200 per day by selling milk after covering input costs of fodder and cattle feed. My animals have stopped my migration from village and I am leading a comfortable life, says Chitkuri Yadagiri, happily.

“The dairy units are a ray of hope for farmers throughout the year. It protects the farmer during the drought and otherwise also by providing nutritious milk and manure,” says Bollampalli Swaroopa, who is rearing a milch animal, that fetches her daily income of Rs. 100 to Rs. 150. Recollecting the olden days where the dairy units were part of agriculture, she called upon farmers to take up dairy units for regular source of income even if there is no drought.

Village sarpanch Vanga Ravi proudly said there was no migration of labour ever since the dairy units have come up. He said farmers had taken to fodder cultivation with available water sources and reaping the benefits. Mulkanoor Cooperative Rural Bank chairman and former legislator A. Praveen Reddy said: We encourage farmers to take up dairy units by providing financial assistance as additional income generating source. Incidentally, they are a hit with farmers repaying the loans too.”

There has been no migration of labour ever since the dairy units have come up / Vanga Ravi, Village sarpanch.

source: / The Hindi / Home> National> Telangana / by K.M. Dayashankar / Mulkanoor (Karimnagar Dist) – May 06th, 2016

The Agrihub, Online Agri Marketing Platform Launched

Hyderabad :

The Agrihub, the first agriculture-specific online discovery platform, was launched here on Monday. The platform, launched at the Agri Horti Tech International Exhibition, provides authentic product information on the best brands in conventional and hi-tech agriculture and connects companies or brands, distributors and retailers to cater to the needs of farmers in India.

Sidharth Kumar, co-founder of TheAgrihub, said: “One of the leading causes of inefficiency in farming is the lack of proper knowledge and access to correct resources. We, as urban customer, have option to select things we need from five various platforms but farmers, who feed the world, do not have a single website from where they can get authentic information. With this platform, TheAgrihub has a vision to expose its users to the best of global technologies enabling the growth of farmer as well as agriculture as a whole.”

“The objective of TheAgrihub is to bring agricultural products sourcing for B2B and B2C on fingertips, help them track innovations or products and also find suppliers next door to facilitate educated decisions on purchase. ‘If you are in the field of agriculture, you have to be on TheAgrihub platform’ is what our team wishes to promote.”

The platform has already signed up with over 3,600 hi-tech agricultural farmers and many prominent brands. Seeds and plants of fruits, flowers and vegetables, irrigation products, fertilisers and plant protection products, farm tools and equipment, polyhouse are some of the products listed on the platform.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Telangana / by Express News Service / April 26th, 2016