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APEDA requests Padma Shri awardee Pappammal to be Ambassador of Organic Producers


Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), which falls under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has requested Padma Shri awardee Pappammal to be the "Ambassador of Organic Producers" to inspire other progressive farmers in the country.

In a letter to Coimbatore-based Pappammal, APEDA Chairman Dr M Angamuthu said, "As an admiration for the overwhelming dedication and commitment in practising organic farming and guiding farmers, kindly accept our request as "Ambassador of Organic Producers" in order to inspire other progressive farmers in the country to adopt organic farming and accomplish a monumental feat such as yours."

Stating that he was delighted by Smt Pappammal's passion in undertaking organic farming especially by growing Millets, Pulses, Corn and recently Banana in 2.5 acres of land and the untiring efforts in nurturing the nature from a very young age, Dr Angamuthu said she has achieved excellence in the field.


Richness of Tamil Nadu tribes available for World


More than 35 immunity-boosting tribal products have found a place in Tribes India outlets and website in the 8th edition of "From Our Home to your Home" campaign. The campaign had been launched 8 weeks ago by TRIFED under Ministry of Tribal Affairs in order to source as many effective, natural, and attractive products from diverse indigenous tribes across the country so that these can reach a wide variety of audience. 

Key among the products this week are the natural, fresh, organic produce from the Malayali tribes of Tamil Nadu, such as Giant Rock Bee Honey, honey, variants of millet rice, tamarind and black pepper. Malayali is a tribal group from the Eastern Ghats in North Tamil Nadu. With a population of around 3,58,000 people, they are the largest Scheduled tribes in that region. The tribals are usually hill farmers and they cultivate different types of millet.

Among the other products sourced include vibrant and eye-catching micro-beaded jewellery (mainly neckpieces) from the Patelia tribe from Madhya Pradesh. While agriculture is their mainstay, their handiwork is exceptional too as can be gauged from the beautiful, colourful pieces made by the artisans of Jhabua. Other products include organic varieties of dals and spices locally sourced from the Vasava tribes of Gujarat and an assortment of produce – such as honey, jams and two unique variants of rice from the Kharwar and Oraon tribes of Jharkhand and some interesting wooden products (chakla and belan) and attractive metal jalis from the AdimJanjati tribes and Lohra tribes of Jharkhand.

All new products introduced over the past weeks are available in 125 Tribes India outlets, Tribes India mobile vans and on online platforms such as the Tribes India E-marketplace ( and e-tailers. 

With a variety of natural and sustainable produce and products, the Tribes India e-marketplace offers a glimpse into the age-old traditions of our tribal brethren. Do check out  Buy Local Buy Tribal!

#TamilNadu #TRIFED #VocalForLocal

India gets 100th Kisan Rail


Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the 100th Kisan Rail from Sangola in Maharashtra to Shalimar in West Bengal on 28th of December 2020 via video conferencing. Union Ministers, Mr Narendra Singh Tomar and Mr Piyush Goyal were also present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister termed the Kisan Rail Service as a major step towards increasing the income of the farmers of the country. He expressed happiness that even during the Corona pandemic, 100 Kisan Rails were launched in the last 4 months. He said this service will bring a major change in the economy related to farming and will also increase the strength of the country's cold supply chain. He said no minimum quantity has been fixed to transport through Kisan Rail so that, even the smallest produce will be able to reach the big market properly at a low price.

The Prime Minister said the Kisan Rail project not only shows the commitment of the Government to serve the farmers but also serves as a proof of how fast our farmers are ready for new possibilities. He said farmers can now sell their crops in other states as well, in which farmers' rail (Kisan Rail) and agriculture flights (Krishi Udaan) have a big role. He said that Kisan Rail is a mobile cold storage to move perishable things like fruits, vegetables, milk, fish, etc., with complete security. "India always had a large railway network, even before independence. Cold storage technology was also available. Only now this strength is being harnessed properly through Kisan Rail," the Prime Minister added.

Perishable rail cargo centres are being constructed in the vicinity of railway stations where farmers can store their produce. The effort is to supply as many fruits and vegetables as possible to the household. Extra produce should reach the entrepreneurs engaged in the production of juice, pickle, sauce, chips etc., the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister remarked that the Government's priority is focussed on storage-linked infrastructure and processing industries associated with value addition in farming products. He said about 6,500 such projects have been approved under Mega Food Parks, Cold Chain Infrastructure and Agro Processing Cluster, under the PM Krishi Sampada Yojana. Rs 10,000 crore have been sanctioned for micro food processing industries under AatmaNirbhar Abhiyan package.

PM Modi said that it is the participation and support of the rural people, farmers and youth that makes the government's efforts successful. Farmer Recent reforms will lead to expansion of agribusiness and these groups will be the biggest beneficiaries. Private investment in agriculture will support the government's effort to help these groups.

#Maharashtra #KisanRail #WestBengal

Centre ready to give assurance on MSP, Procurement


Appealing to the Farmers Union leaders to continue dialogue and to find an amicable solution, Union Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar along with Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Railways and Commerce, Piyush Goyal outlined the various suggestions that have been given to farmers in a proposal to address their concerns about the Farm Acts. They were speaking to media at a Press Conference in New Delhi yesterday. 

They said the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities Amendment Act 2020 are the biggest agricultural reforms in the country so far. The reforms will provide farmers market freedom, encourage entrepreneurship, access to technology and they will transform agriculture, they said. 

The Ministers said that Union Government is willing to give assurance on MSP and procurement. Government is willing to ensure a level playing field in transactions inside and outside the existing APMC Mandi’s. Government has said farmers can approach civil courts in disputes besides the SDM courts, Government is willing to address concerns regarding penalty for stubble burning and in the proposed electricity amendment Bill. It has also assured that farmers land will be protected under the new farm Acts, the Ministers added.

#FarmerBills #Farmer

Saffron bowl of India extends to North East

The saffron bowl, which was so far confined to Kashmir, may soon expand to the North East of India. 

Plants from seeds transported from Kashmir to Sikkim and acclimatized there are now flowering in Yangyang in the Southern part of the North-East state, a government release issued today informed.

Saffron production has long been restricted to a limited geographical area in the Union territory of Jammu & Kashmir. Pampore region, in India, commonly known as Saffron bowl of Kashmir, is the main contributor to saffron production, followed by Budgam, Srinagar, and Kishtiwar districts. 

Saffron has traditionally been associated with the famous Kashmiri cuisine. It's medicinal values were considered as part of the rich cultural heritage of Kashmir. As saffron growing was confined to very specific areas in Kashmir, its production remained limited. Though the National Mission on Saffron focused on several measures to improve its farming, the measures were still limited to the specified areas of Kashmir.

North East Centre For Technology Application and Reach (NECTAR), an autonomous body under the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India supported a pilot project to explore the feasibility of growing saffron in North East region of India, with the same quality and higher quantity.

The Botany and Horticulture department of Sikkim Central University carried out tests to understand the soil and actual pH conditions of Yangyang of Sikkim and found it comparable to saffron growing places of Kashmir. Saffron seed/corms were purchased and air transported from Kashmir to Yangyang site by the department. One saffron grower was engaged and stationed to look after the complete growing process, along with the faculty of the university.

The corms were irrigated during the month of September and October, which ensured timely corm sprouting and good flower yields. The matching of climatic and geographical conditions between Pampore (Kashmir) and Yangyang (Sikkim) led to the successful sample farming of Saffron in Yangyang.

The project also focused on post-harvest management and value addition of saffron so that quality saffron drying and efficient post-harvest processing can improve saffron recovery, thereby improving its production.

Further, detailed analysis and testing of all parameters, including soil testing, quality, quantity, and possible value addition are planned, for immediate results and extrapolation of the project to other parts of the North East Region along with Micro Food Enterprises.

#NorthEast #Saffron

Procurement for Kharif Marketing Season 2020-21 as of 26th October 2020

The Union Government is continuing to procure Kharif 2020-21 crops at its MSP from farmers as per its existing MSP Schemes, as was done in previous seasons.

Paddy procurement for Kharif 2020-21 is progressing well in the procuring States and UTs of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala and Gujarat with purchase of over 159.55 LMTs of paddy up to 26th October 2020 against the last year's corresponding purchase of 134.52 LMT which is an increase of 18.61 per cent over last year.

According to an official release, out of the total purchase of 159.55 LMT, Punjab alone has contributed 107.81 LMT which is 67.57 per cent of total procurement.

About 13.64 lakh farmers have already been benefitted from the ongoing KMS procurement operations with MSP value of Rs 30123.73 crore.

Further, based on the proposal from the States, approval was accorded for procurement of 45.10 LMT of Pulse and Oilseeds of Kharif Marketing Season 2020 for the States of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh under Price Support Scheme (PSS). Further, sanction for procurement of 1.23 LMT of Copra (the perennial crop) for the States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala was also given.

For other States/UTs, approval will also be accorded on receipt of proposals for the procurement of Pulses, Oilseeds and Copra under PSS so that procurement of FAQ grade of these crops can be made at notified MSP for the year 2020-21 directly from the registered farmers, if the market rate goes below MSP during the notified harvesting period in the respective States/UTs by the Central Nodal Agencies through State nominated procuring agencies.

Up to 26th October 2020, the Government through its Nodal Agencies has procured 1543.11 MT of Moong, Urad and Groundnut Pods having MSP value of Rs 10.08 Crores benefitting 1247 farmers in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Haryana. Similarly, 5089 MT of copra (the perennial crop) having MSP value of Rs 52.40 crore has been procured benefitting 3961 farmers in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. In respect of Copra and Urad, rates are ruling above MSP in most of the major producing States. The respective State/UTs Governments are making necessary arrangements for the commencement of procurement from the date as decided by the respective States based on the arrivals in respect of  Kharif  Pulses and Oilseeds.

Seed cotton (Kapas) procurement operations under MSP are going on smoothly in the states of Punjab Haryana, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Till 26th October 2020, a quantity of 3,98,683 cotton bales valuing Rs 1,17,675 lakh has been procured benefitting 76512 farmers.

#Farmers #MSP #KharifCrops

Himachal welcomes Heeng

It will come as a huge surprise for many that Heeng (asafoetida), an inseparable ingredient of Indian kitchens was not being produced in India till now.  

Yes, asafoetida, which is one of the top condiments and is a high-value spice crop in India, is largely imported from the other countries. Currently, India imports about 1200 tonnes of raw asafoetida annually from Afghanistan, Iran and Uzbekistan and spends approximately 100 million USD per year. 

Lack of planting material of Ferula assa-foetida plants in India was a major bottleneck in the cultivation of this crop. However, this scenario is set to witness a change now as the first seedling of Asafoetida was planted by Dr Sanjay Kumar, Director, CSIR-IHBT on 15th October 2020 at farmer's field in village Kwaring of Lahaul valley Himachal Pradesh to mark the initiation of cultivation of Asafoetida in India. 

"Due to efforts of CSIR constituent laboratory, Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT), Palampur, a historical shift in farming practices is in the offing with farmers of the remote Lahaul valley in Himachal Pradesh taking up cultivation of asafoetida (Heeng) to utilize vast expanses of wasteland in the cold desert conditions of the region. CSIR-IHBT brought in seeds of asafoetida and developed its agro-technology," 
a release issued today stated. 

The release informed that since asafoetida is a major condiment in Indian cuisines, team CSIR-IHBT made relentless efforts for introduction of this important crop in the country. The institute introduced six accessions of seeds from Iran through ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic 
Resources, New Delhi in October 2018. ICAR-NBPGR confirmed that in the past thirty years, this has been the first attempt for introduction of asafoetida (Ferula assa-foetida) seeds in the country.  

CSIR-IHBT raised the plants of Heeng at CeHAB, Ribling, Lahaul & Spiti, H.P. under the vigil of NBPGR. The plant prefers cold and dry conditions for its growth and takes approximately five years for the production of oleo-gum resin in its roots, therefore cold desert areas of Indian Himalayan region are suitable for cultivation of asafoetida. 

Raw asafoetida is extracted from the fleshy roots of Ferula assa-foetida as an oleo-gum resin.

Although there are about 130 species of Ferula found in the world, only Ferula assa-foetida is the economically important species used for the production of asafoetida.


March 6th, 2020 - Himachal Pradesh CM announced the introduction and cultivation of Heeng in the state in his budget speech, 
June 6th, 2020 - MoU between CSIR-IHBT and State Department of Agriculture, Himachal Pradesh was signed on  for a joint collaboration for the cultivation of Heeng in the State. 
July 20 to 22, 2020 - Capacity-building program was organized for officers of the State Department of Agriculture
October 15th 2020 - Plantation done by CSIR in Himachal PradeshMarch

#HimachalPradesh #Agriculture #CSIR

Procurement for Kharif Marketing Season 2020-21

Centre has stated that Minimum Support Price (MSP) is a key element in the food security system and the Government is committed to continuing with it.

Procurement for Kharif Marketing Season 2020-21 by Government up to 16th of October 2020 is as follows:


Quantity - 76,77,553 metric tonnes

No of farmers benefited - 6,69,887

MSP Value - Rs 14,495.22 Crore

Moong and Urad

Quantity - 723.79 metric tonnes

No of farmers benefited - 681

MSP Value - Rs 5.21 Crore


Quantity - 5,089 metric tonnes

No of farmers benefited - 3,961

MSP Value - Rs 52.40 Crore

Cotton Seeds

Quantity - 1,50,654 bales

No of farmers benefited - 30,139

MSP Value - Rs 425.56 Crore

#Farmers #MSP #KharifCrops

Haryana farmers get free cotton plucking machines

National Fertilizers Limited distributed 95 cotton plucking machines free of cost to the farmers in Haryana under its Corporate Social Responsibility, a government press release said today.

The machines designed to make plucking of cotton faster and cleaner, were distributed in two separate programms in Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Sadalpur, Hisar and Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Bhiwani. 

More than 500 such cotton plucking machines have been distributed in the country by NFL to farmers of states viz. Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana etc.

#NationalFertilizersLimited #Haryana

PM Modi dedicates 17 biofortified crop varieties to nation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi released commemorative coins of Rs 75 denomination to mark the 75th Anniversary of FAO today through video conferencing.  

He dedicated to the nation, 17 recently developed biofortified varieties of crops. 

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said over the years, FAO helped to increase agricultural production and eradicate hunger all over the world, including India and has played a huge role in increasing nutrition and its service is respected by more than 130 crore Indians. He said this year's Nobel Peace Prize to the World Food Program is also a major achievement for the FAO. He remarked that India is happy with the partnership and engagement which has been historic. 

The Prime Minister said the world food program was started by FAO under the leadership of Dr Binay Ranjan Sen when he was the Director General in FAO. He had felt the pain of famine and starvation very closely and the scale of his work is still useful for the whole world. He said the FAO has also closely watched India's fight against malnutrition in the past decades but its scope had many constraints. He said for reasons such as getting pregnant at a young age, lack of education, lack of information, inadequate access to drinking water, lack of cleanliness, etc. we could not get the expected results. 

The Prime Minister expressed thanks to FAO for fully supporting India's proposal to declare 2023 as the International Year of Millets. He said this will encourage intake of nutritious food, increase their availability further and benefit small farmers a lot. He said the small and medium farmers mostly grow coarse grains on their land where there is a problem of water and the land is not so fertile. He added this will benefit not only India but the whole world. 

The Prime Minister remarked the common variety of some crops lacks some micronutrients and thus biofortified varieties were developed to overcome these shortcomings. He added today 17 bio-fortified seed varieties of several local and traditional crops including wheat and paddy are being made available to the farmers which is an important step to strengthen the nutrition campaign. 

The Prime Minister said experts around the world were concerned about starvation and malnutrition in India owing to the Corona pandemic. He said amid these concerns, during the past 7-8 months, India has distributed food grains worth about Rs 1.5 crore to the 80-crore poor free of cost, to fight starvation and malnutrition. He further said special care was taken to include rice or wheat along with lentils in the ration, as India’s commitment towards food security. 

The Prime Minister said to give strength to small farmers, a large network of Farmer Producer Organizations i.e. FPOs are being developed in the country. Grain wastage has always been a major problem in India and amendments in the Essential Commodities Act will change this condition. Now the government as well as private players would get more opportunity to build better infrastructure in villages. 

The Prime Minister concluded when the Indian farmers become strong their income will increase, so the campaign against malnutrition will get equal strength. He wished that increasing synergy between India and FAO will give further momentum to the campaign. 

#NarendraModi #FOA