Tuesday, November 22, 2016

US-India agriculture training programme begins

US ambassador to India Richard R Verma at CCS National Institute of Agricultural Marketing in Jaipur on Thursday 
US ambassador to India Richard R Verma at CCS National Institute of Agricultural Marketing in Jaipur on Thursday
JAIPUR: The US ambassador to India Richard R Verma inaugurated the third US-India triangular training on `Emerging Trends in Fruits and Vegetable Marketing' at the CCS National Institute of Agricultural Marketing in Jaipur on Thursday. The training is part of a $4 mil lion collaborative partnership between the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and India's ministry of agriculture. Twentyeight participants, including policy makers and farmers from nine countries - Afghanistan, Botswana, Cambodia, Mongolia, Kenya, Malawi, Liberia, Ghana, and Mozambique, are taking part in the training, scheduled to go on till November 30.

The training seeks to provide an understanding of new trends, approaches and procedures in marketing fruits and vegetables so that producers and businesses in Asia and Africa can participate in global markets and make use of emerging opportunities to increase their income. Speaking at the event, ambassador Verma emphasized the commitment of US and India to work together to alleviate poverty and hunger.
"The NIAM session will teach participants the latest global trends in fruit and vegetable marketing, food safety and quality requirements, and the use of technology as an enabling force. Collectively, these strategies have the potential to create an environment conducive for investments and entrepreneurial development," he said.

Irina Garg, director general, NIAM, said that even today a large number of people across nations were either undernourished or malnourished. It's therefore imperative that this problem is addressed.

The commitment of US to this programme is historical and comes from its philosophy enshrined in the Declaration of Independence wherein `life, liberty and pursuit of happiness' have been recognized as inalienable rights of mankind, Garg added.

Source : TOI

Agriculture produce market committees, farmers bring good crops and cheque fears

 Agriculture Produce Market Committees. 
AHMEDABAD: Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMC) across Saurashtra and parts of North and Central Gujarat remained closed on Friday while some in North Gujarat began trading. However, APMC trading did not have much impact on prices of commodities. In the Modasa APMC, around 2,500 quintal of groundnut and cotton were traded and the market opened on a high note. There were fears of reduction in price, but in fact the quality of crops raised prices. Groundnut and cotton fetched prices on par with the minimum support price announced by the government.

"At Prantij, which is the biggest market for trading of paddy, price was around Rs 300 for 20 kg; the MSP is Rs 294," said C G Patel the secretary of Prantij APMC. Farmers were accepting cheques for 90% of payment. According to market sources, if the entire trading were to be conducted with cash, a marketyard would need at least 2 crore per day, which was not possible because of the recent cash crisis.

Mahesh Patel, the secretary of Gondal APMC, said that farmers were not willing to sell their produce if payments were made with cheques; farmers said cheques would take three days to clear. Moreover, they said, they would have to queue up for hours outside banks to withdraw just Rs 24,000 a week. "This amount is not adequate to meet transport expenses and wages of labourers," Patel said. Bhikhabhai Gajeram, the secretary of Junagadh APMC, said: "Traders in APMC are finding it difficult to purchase." He said oil millers, whose entire business was conducted with cash, were not willing to pay through cheques. "Hence when there is no buying, APMC traders are not purchasing from farmers," Gajeram said. A B Pandya, the secretary of Amreli APMC, said farmers feared that some cheques may be dishonoured. They were also concerned that traders could cheat them. However, in Ahmedabad, some traders were doing business with cheques

Source : TOI 

'Digital tech game changer in agriculture'

Representative image. 

Digital technology is going to be next game changer in this field of agriculture, said Salil Singhal, co-chair, CII, national council on agriculture, chairman and managing director, PI Industries, India. Singhal was addressing participants at a conference on "Digital Pathways in Agriculture, Integrating Advanced Technologies in Indian Agriculture" organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at Hotel Taj here on Saturday.

Participants from various fields stressed the need for augmentation of digital technology, research and academics while keeping in view the growing needs of farmers in the age of technological advancement.

Singhal said the aim behind holding the conference is welfare of farmers. He also said instead of aiming at merely increasing productivity of farmers, initiatives need to be taken to increase the income of farmers. "There is an acute shortage of labour in agriculture sector in the rural areas as several youngsters and others prefer to migrate towards urban areas. We need to double the productivity as well as income of farmers and digital technology is going to be next game changer in this field."

Highlighting the importance of digital technology in agri-farming, he cited examples of US and Israel where farmers with the use of precision farming have been able to be ensure their livelihood. He also suggested that to ensure maximum number of farmers avail the benefits of digital technology, more emphasis could be given on the usage of graphics and images as was being done in Japan. "Even those farmers who cannot read would be able to take the benefit," he said.

Source: Times of India