Category Archives: Agriculture

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: http://www.thehindu.com / 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: http://www.thehindu.com / 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: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by Special Correspondent / Adilabad – February 15th, 2017

New turmeric variety to benefit State’s farmers

turmerictelan27sept2016

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: http://www.newindianexpress.com / 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: http://www.newindianexpress.com / 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: http://www.thehindu.com / 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: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Telangana / by Express News Service / April 26th, 2016

Hopped up on Seeds, Crops and Hope

GoodSeeds01TELAN27apr2016

When Narayan Murthy came to India from the United States, he didn’t know that he would end up retracing his roots, in a journey that would last forever.

A management consultant by profession, he is the founder of GoodSeeds, an organisation that sells organic food and home products. And it doesn’t end there.

Narayan works closely with farmers across the region to help them find a platform where they can find buyers and connect with other farmers for better reach and productivity.

Says Narayan, “I left India in 1992 and went to the US for higher studies and a job. I completed an MBA from Booth School of Business, Chicago, after which I started working as a management consultant. I was earning quite a decent package and monetarily I was very sound. But there was a voice in my head which kept on telling me that this is not what I wanted to do. But I didn’t know what it was that I was looking for.” That’s when he decided to come back to India and spend a few years here, “I came back and after a year or so, I realised that it was my roots that I had been missing.”

Narayan Murthy, founder of GoodSeeds, which sells organic food and home products
Narayan Murthy, founder of GoodSeeds, which sells organic food and home products

Originally from Chennai, Hyderabad is now his home. But how did he land up here? He answers with a chuckle, “I got a job here in Microsoft as a strategic planner in 2008. Now this city is my home.”

It so happened that one day his friend complained about how good organic food is not available in Hyderabad. Since Narayan was already wondering what to do with himself, the idea appealed to him. Thus was born GoodSeeds in the year 2012. “The name came about because it was about sowing good ideas about what we eat, drink, who we live with and where we live,” adds Narayan. Sort of an eco-friendly contribution to society.

While the company sells a variety of organic items ranging from organic baby food and organic fruits to organic personal care products, farmers often come to them to gain market connections, “Many farmers get in touch with me. I connect them to the market and customers who choose to buy organic products. This way they are able to connect to other farmers as well. We also help them get access to seed banks, so that they can expand their crop portfolios,” informs Narayan.

GoodSeeds03TELAN27apr2016

He goes with farmers to different areas like Yadagirigutta, Anantapur, outskirts of Mysuru and Tiruchirappalli (Tamil Nadu) for advise and to network. As a result of his efforts, farmers are coming closer and becoming part of co-operatives. Narayan adds further, “It’s beneficial that small farmers become part of small co-operatives. For example at Timbaktu, Anantapur there’s a small co-operative of 40 farmers. A farmer can’t do everything alone. If he tries everything and it goes wrong then unfortunately it will be him who will starve. These days people give their lands to farmers on lease to grow crops. In return, the farmers are paid on a monthly basis. So, even if there’s a drought, farmers will get their money and manage to keep their respect intact, as well.”

They also encourage things like the Sunday organic bazaar held at Saptaparni, Lamakaan, Our Sacred Space and Goethe Zentrum, where farmers sell everything from organic fruit to staples like rice. It’s probably not as fancy as the farmers’ markets in the US, but hey, with people like him around — it may become a reality sooner than you think!

source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Education> Edex / by Saima Afreen / April 25th, 2016

Dual delight intrigues botanists

Bi-coloured wonder:A mahua tree with dual coloured foliage.–Photo: S. Harpal Singh
Bi-coloured wonder:A mahua tree with dual coloured foliage.–Photo: S. Harpal Singh

The mahua or ippa tree can be seen on the Utnoor-Asifabad road in Adilabad

Many miss this natural wonder while zooming past on the Utnoor-Asifabad road in Adilabad, but those who do spot the colourful tree, stop to marvel at its beauty. A majestic mahua or ippa tree, located about 500 metres from Heerapur village in Utnoor mandal, towards Jainoor, is a visual delight and scientific curiosity — half the tree has red-brown leaves while the other half has green leaves.

The tree retains this dual foliage from the end of March for about a month, soon after it sheds its flowers.

Adilabad has an estimated five lakh mahua trees, mostly in the tribal belt. The mahua flowers have medicinal value and form a major non-timber forest produce for the forest dwelling Gond and Kolam tribal communities.

The tree bears two differently coloured leaves at the same time apparently because it has a dual leaf development stage. “This could be because of two different seeds joining at the time of germination but retaining individual characteristics of growth on maturity,” said a forest department official of the rare phenomenon.

The tree is about 40 years old, according to villagers. “It was a young tree when I was a child,” recalled Atram Shankar, a 40-year-old Gond farmer from Hasnapur village, about 2 km from the bi-coloured beauty.

The Forest department has taken note of the tree with the rare foliage and Forest Range Officer of Utnoor, P. Ramesh Rao and others have visited the place to document the occurrence.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> National> Telangana / by S. Harpal Singh / Adilabad – April 18th, 2016

Popularising the farm pond concept

In an effort to popularise farm pond concept, Komatireddy Pratheek Foundation dug up a farm pond at farmer Kola Bikshamaiah’s field at Kakulakondaram village of Nalgonda mandal here on Sunday.

Pratheek Foundation had started closely working with Deshpande Foundation, which has been actively working on rain water harvesting in Nizamabad and Maharastra.

CEO of Pratheek Foundation M.V. Gona Reddy said that they simply want to replicate the work of Deshpande Foundation in the district for the benefit of the farming community.

The chairman of the foundation and Nalgonda MLA Komatireddy Venkat Reddy said they were planning to initiate several skill enhancement programmes for the youth in the district to improve their employability. “They would also concentrate on maternal health, student leadership, micro-entrepreneurship and livelihood opportunities,” he said.

Several skill enhancement programmes planned to improve employability.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> National> Telangana / by Staff Reporter / Nalgonda – April 18th, 2016