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Agri Insurance

Potato Crop Insurance

Salient features of this Policy 1.  Unique parametric insurance based on named perils linked to pla

Thursday, 9 June 2011 Comments

Agri Land

Agri Land

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Arable land — land under annual crops, such as cereals, cotton, other technical crops, potatoes, v

Tuesday, 1 March 2011 Comments

Agri Loans

Slew of agri, dairy sche

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The Karnataka government has allocated Rs 17,857 crore for the development of agriculture, allied

Saturday, 26 February 2011 Comments

Business and Finance

Indian state allows claims against Coca-Cola

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NEW DELHI (AP) — An Indian state has passed a law allowing residents to seek compensation from soft drink giant Coca-Cola for alleged environmental damage from a former bottling plant.

Coca-Cola Co.'s Indian subsidiary, Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages, says the legislation passed Thursday by Kerala state is "devoid of facts, scientific data or any input from or consideration given to" the company.

Environmental activists and local residents say the plant in Palakkad district contaminated ground water, caused severe water shortages and leeched dangerous chemicals before it was shut down in 2004.

Coca-Cola denied the allegations. A Kerala committee recommended that a tribunal be set up to hear compensation claims, which the new law facilitates.

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Climate-smart agriculture is needed

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"2011's biggest problem will be food," John Beddington, the UK government's chief scientific adviser, told a meeting in London on 28 February.

Agriculture must become central to future climate-change discussions, he said, because it contributes a "significant" proportion of global carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions.

The need to tackle climate change while producing more food to feed the world's growing population means that "climate-smart agriculture" is the only way forward, he told scientists, farmers and policy experts at the Royal Society, Britain's national academy of science.

Beddington says that the World Bank will attempt to push agriculture up world leaders' agendas when they meet at the end of the year to negotiate a climate deal at the seventeenth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban, South Africa.

Between 70% and 80% of agricultural greenhouse-gas emissions, such as nitrous oxide, come from the production and use of nitrogen fertilizers. So future rises in food production must be achieved without corresponding boosts in fertilizer use, added Gordon Conway, professor of international development at Imperial College London.

Conway heralded the 'fertilizer trees' Faidherbia albida as the future, particularly for farmers in Africa. These trees, which reintroduce nitrogen to the soil, have been shown to quadruple African maize yields in soils with no artificial fertilizer added.

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But David Powlson, a retired soil scientist with a visiting professorship at the University of Reading, UK, urged caution. He says that countries' fertilizer use should differ according to their stages of development, particularly in Africa, which has soils that are starved of key nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus.

The overuse of nitrogen fertilizers elsewhere in the world, such as in China, "should not be used as an excuse not to give nitrogen fertilizers to Africa", he says.

Keith Goulding, a soil chemist at the agricultural research centre Rothamsted Research, in Harpenden, UK, and his colleagues are researching other methods of mitigating greenhouse-gas emissions from agriculture. "We are looking at ways of controlling the loss of nitrogen from the soil," he told the conference.

Goulding and his team are studying the soil microbes that convert nitrogen (from nitrogen-based fertilizers) into nitrous oxide, which is released into the atmosphere. In particular, they hope to manage the microbes, or their genes, so that less nitrogen is lost from the soil.

Preliminary results show that as nitrogen concentrations in the soil rise, there is a change in copy-number of some microbial genes that encode enzymes key to nitrogen escaping from soils. But in test soils with or without added fertilizer, there is little difference in which microbial genes are present, the researchers found. "The genes present are not necessarily the ones that are active," says Goulding. Researchers are now looking to identify the activity of these genes, not merely their presence or copy-number.

In a related experiment, they also found that soils release more nitrous oxide if they are dry and then suddenly become wet — a situation that may become more frequent with climate change. The researchers recommend that farmers keep soil moist to help keep nitrous oxide emissions down.

A group of thirteen scientists, including Beddington, began work last month to figure out how to achieve sustainable agriculture that contributes to food security, while tackling climate change. The scientists, who are working together as the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change, held their first meeting in Washington DC on 15 February. They will deliver their findings in a report to world leaders at the UNFCCC meeting at the end of the year in Durban.

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Agriculture report every year

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The government will bring out a report on the state of agriculture every year before the Budget, said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday.

Addressing a delegation of farmer leaders, the Prime Minister said he would convene a joint meeting with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar after the Budget session to discuss issues relating to farmers.

Reiterating the government’s deep concern for farmers’ welfare, he said “farmers interests were paramount and would be fully protected at all times”.

The government had substantially enhanced the minimum support prices over the past 5-6 years and will continue to strive to protect farmers’ interests through the MSP mechanism, he said.

Regarding land acquisition, he said a separate meeting would be held with the ministry of Rural Development and farmers’ organisations.

The delegation raised a number of issues, including remunerative prices for farm produce, amendment to the Land Acquisition Act, loans, other than crop loans, at four per cent interest and effective implementation of the MSP.

Health insurance for farmers, ensuring farmers’ interests while framing the Seed Bill, separate budget for agriculture along the lines of railways budget, due consideration of sensitivities about GM crops and protecting the interests of Indian farmers while engaging with WTO were other issues raised by the delegation.


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Agriculture sector to be the main focus in 12th Planning Commission

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COIMBATORE: Dr. K Kasthurirangan, member of Planning Commission, recently issued a statement declaring that the agenda of upcoming 12th Planning Commission would be mainly on managing a consistent growth pattern in the sector of agriculture.

The commission has already started drafting few policies in order to accomplish the same. The statement was issued by Dr. Kasthurirangan as a part of his speech at a recent press conference attended by him at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU). "Having available lands, the country needs to double the agricultural productivity using the modern technology so that the country achieves food security," said, Dr. K. Kasthurirangan from Planning Commission.

As per the information, the registered agriculture gross domestic product (GDP) for 10th five year plan was a mere three percent, while in 11th five year plan, it rose just by 0.5 percent. In addition, the present existing average production level in India is a mere two metric tons per hectare in comparison to four metric tons per hectare observed across the globe.


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'Agrovision 2011' for Vidarbha farmers

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NAGPUR: Maharashtra agriculture minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil has inaugurated 'Agrovision 2011'. It is a platform for the farmers of the Vidarbha region. This exhibition was organised by Vidarbha Economic Council, MM Active-Scitec Communications, Ministry of Earth Sciences, and Purthi Power and Sugar Ltd.

There were more than 150 stalls of various manufacturing companies such as tractors, irrigation products, seeds, electric pumps. Along with the private companies and also the government departments have put their stalls of different products. This exhibition also displayed advanced technology for the farmers.

Farmers are of the opinion that they have been suffering heavy losses due to traditional way of farming and advanced technologies can help sustain growth.

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