Honey is where the money is

Today Nirania has about 70 bee colonies and has also brought out a organic honey brand, Himbee, which sells at Rs 300 a kg in the market.

“For the past few training sessions, I have been observing that honeybee farming is popular not only with landless farmers but also with people in white-collar jobs, who are coming for the training camps,” said Dr Yuvraj Pandha, assistant professor at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Ferozepur.

Dyan Singh, 30, is another such beekeeper. Working as an inclusive education volunteer at a government school, he rears his colonies in 25 boxes and sells his honey among his friends at Rs 300 a kg. His additional income comes to around Rs 80,000 a year as of now.


Beekeeping catching on in Jammu and Kashmir

A projected honey output over 500 tonnes, 7,500 beekeepers and growing, with 29,850 bee colonies between them. Beekeeping has been catching on in Jammu and Kashmir, with production having jumped from 300 tonnes in 2010 to 597 last year.

It’s a trend that also creates job avenues for the unemployed, say officials, pointing out that many educated youths are among those setting up bee colonies in the countryside because of its promise. Honey has not only a local market but also demand nationally and and internationally. In the last six years, 1,067 tonnes was exported out of the valley.


Dripping with irrigation success

Studies have shown that drip use increases productivity by 27 per cent in cotton and 52 per cent in banana. Also, huge quantities of water are saved (citrus 61 per cent, sugarcane 56, cotton 53, banana 45).

Rapidly growing adoption of micro-irrigation systems (drip and sprinkler) over the past seven years in Maharashtra has brought nearly 12 lakh hectares under its coverage, which is about one-third of the country’s total micro-irrigated area and also one-third of the state’s total irrigated area, which varies between 35 and 40 lakh hectares in a net cropped area of 175 lakh hectares. This has not just improved farm productivity but also saved precious water.

Complete story at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/dripping-with-irrigation-success/1022033/0

‘Jan satyagraha’: 50,000 landless people march from Gwalior to Delhi for rights

Gwalior: In a unique protest of its kind, 50,000 landless people from 26 states under the banner of an NGO Ekta Parishad, have started a jan satyagraha (people’s movement) today and are walking from Gwalior to Delhi. They say the distance, about 320 km, will be covered by October 29.

The satyagrahis (protesters) are demanding a national land reform policy and plan to hand over a memorandum to the Centre to highlight the problems of landless poor.

The Centre had appointed Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and junior minister in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Jyotiraditya Scindia, to hold talks with activists led by Ekta Parishad chairman PV Rajagopal on the issue.

Complete story at: http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/jan-satyagraha-50-000-landless-people-march-from-gwalior-to-delhi-for-rights-274827

Four-fold jump in the sale of organic goods in India

The domestic organic products market has witnessed a four-fold growth in the past two years. Sale of organic products is expected to touch Rs 3,700 cr by year end, which is four times more than Rs 964 cr sales in 2010, according to International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture (ICCOA).

“While conventional trade has registered a growth of 2% to 3%, the organic sector is growing by an average 20% per year,” said Gaurav Marya, chief executive officer of Francorp, the Indian franchise of international organic product major Moraka.

Complete story at: http://www.sunday-guardian.com/business/four-fold-jump-in-the-sale-of-organic-goods

Naysayers notwithstanding, the organic juggernaut rolls on

With a growth rate of nearly 25%, the organic food movement has nothing to fear. Studies like these are fake exercises of pseudo scientists who work for companies like Monsanto — Dr Vandana Shiva Of Navdanya

The raging debate notwithstanding, stakeholders of the organic food industry in India are upbeat about the domestic growth, which has seen exponential growth in the last five years. According to APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority), the nodal accreditation agency for organic farmers and operators, the presence of organic produce in the domestic market has grown substantially in retail. “At present, 5.56 million hectares of land is under organic certification and over five lakh farmers are registered with us in addition to several thousand grower groups and individual promoters,” says Dr P.V.S.M. Gouri of APEDA.

India’s total organic export, inclusive of food, products, textiles and dairy, for 2011-12 was worth Rs 1,800 crore. However, Gouri explains that while till about a few years ago, 70% of the organic produce was being exported to Europe and the US, now almost 60% is retained for domestic use. “Sales have never been this good. More and more retailers and producers are now entering the fray with an ever-increasing inventory of products like cereals, herbs, spices, fresh fruit, vegetables and a whole range of products,” she adds.

Complete story at: http://www.sunday-guardian.com/young-restless/naysayers-notwithstanding-the-organic-juggernaut-rolls-on

Sikkim aims to become ‘fully organic’ by 2015

Gangtok: Sikkim, which started eco-friendly farming from a small area of land about a decade ago, is set to become a fully organic state by 2015, a senior state official has said.

“The entire state will be converted into a certified organic state by 2015. Our schemes and policies are well tuned to realise that goal,” Sikkim Agriculture Secretary Vishal Chauhan said in Gangtok.

According to him, structured organic farming started in the state in 2003 when the government set up the dedicated Sikkim State Organic Board to promote farm techniques that prohibit the use of manufactured synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

“Our Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling, had also introduced a resolution in the assembly seeking to convert entire farming in the state to organic. Now, our farming relies on techniques such as green manure, compost, biological pest control and crop rotation.”

Over 8,000 hectares of land was covered under organic farming between 2003 to 2009. In a bid to make the state fully organic, various state government agencies have been working in coordination.

Complete story at: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/sikkim-aims-to-become-fully-organic-by-2015/283912-3-230.html