Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals

ISAP Monthly E-newsletter, Volume 3, Issue: 10 (July, 2011)


- ISAP File

- Do you know..!

- Who’s who in Agriculture?

- Science & Technology

- News Highlights

- Quotes


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ISAP Activities- Updates




OCP- AES project in Karnataka

For kharif 2011 season, 3000 soil samples from project farmers’ fields were collected and sent to for analysis. The soil health cards for farmers, prepared last year will be updated with fresh data on soil analysis. A feature of this year’s project activities involves cluster approach for farm demonstrations wherein, five one-acre demos per village have been established instead of one demo per village last year. Seeds, fertilizers and seed treatment kits for setting up field demonstrations in 500 acres have been distributed to selected farmers. GPS technology has also been introduced to map / monitor project farmers’ coordinates (longitude. latitude) and operations being carried out by them. This year’s farm level interventions include agri infrastructure demos like modern nursery for growing pigeonpea transplanting materials. The varieties TS3R and BSMR-736 have been sown in Sewanagar (Bhalki),  Yarandgi (Baswakalayan) and Bhoganhalli (Afzalpur). Each nursery can cater to at least 25 acre area with 60,000 saplings ready for transplantation.


As a part of infrastructure development in project area, a novel low cost ‘Farm Mechanisation Technology Center’ (FMTC) has been established at village Ankalga, Afzalpur taluqa in Gulbarga in collaboration with a Farmer Group, which has put up part of the cost towards this Center.  A Tractor, Cultivator, MB Plough, Rotovator, Thresher, Sprayer and other essential / useful farm implements / accessories / attachments are included in this set up. The centre will provide service on hire-basis to farmers around the center.


Water and soil conservation being thrust areas in rainfed farming practices, 3 farm ponds have also been established as part of infrastructure support to farming.  A 100x100x9 ft (30x30x3 meters) farmpond has been developed at vill. Ahmedabad (in  Bhalki, Dist. Bidar)  on rainfed land. This water harvesting structure will provide life saving irrigation to the owner and help recharge 8 borewells & 4 open wells in the vicinity, helping to irrigate additional 15-25 acres. One of the farm ponds (vill. Tadkal, Tq. Aland, in Gulbarga), size 60x75x9 ft, has come up at the site of a farmer owing open well with dwindling recharge over the last few years. This structure will recharge 1 borewell and 1 open well, benefiting farmers for irrigating 8-10 acres of land.  One more farm pond (vill. Fatehpur, Tq. Raichur) of size 100x100x8 ft has been established on dryland. This farm pond will recharge only 1 borwell owned by government. It is likely to provide additional irrigation on 10-12 acres of land.


Yet another infrastructural demo in the OCP-AES area is exemplified by  developing fertigation facilities on on selected plots of ten farmers, which is under process.


Mr. Rajeev Dar, Chairman ISAP,  Dr. Satish Chandra, Director ISAP, Dr. K.L. Chawla, Soil Expert and Mr. Ved Prakash Sharma, Sr. project Manager visited OCP project geographies where they conducted an intensive dialogue with project farmers. A training was organized for 75 of the lead farmers at KVK, Gulbarga where in addition to ISAP experts, Dr. Yelshetty - Director ARS Gulbarga and Dr. Pandit- Agronomist in KVK Gulbarga contributed towards capacity building of participants as ‘master trainers’.  Mr. Dar motivated the OCP field team and lead farmers on ISAP commitment, project objectives and goals to improve soil health and increase the production of pulses for the livelihood support to small & marginal farmers.



 Mr Rajeev Dar, Chairman ISAP with the group of lead farmers who attended "Master Trainer" capacity building program at Gulbarga on 16 June 2011


Mr Rajeev Dar visiting the pigeonpea nursery facility created under the control of a farmer group in Basavkalyan, Bidar


 Mr P.Madhavrao Kulkarni of Basavkalyan showing Mr Rajeev Dar, Chairman ISAP, different kinds of water conservation measures being adopted by his group under the OCP project 


Dr S Chandra, Director ISAP, addressing the lead farmers during a training session under "Master Trainer" capacity builiding program at Gulbarga 


Project SHARE – Update

During kharif 2011 season 500 acre hybrid maize demos, 200 acre demo of BG II-Cotton  in Adilabad  and 150 acre BG II-Cotton Amrawati have been set up. Sowing is in progress in irrigated fields in Amrawati while the rainfed farmers are eagerly awaiting rains. The rainfall pattern in Adiulabad has prompted farmers to sow cotton but the moisture has not apparently been conducive to good germination. Resowing in Adilabad in many cases may have therefore become necessary. Nearly 200 demos in Rajashan are under sowing operations  at farmers’ fields. In addition to maize, 25 BG-II Cotton demonstrations have also been put up in Rajasthan within the Project SHARE geography


During kharif 2011 season 500 acre hybrid maize demos, 200 acre demo on BG II-Cotton  in Adilabad  and 150 acre BG II-Cotton Amrawati have been set up. Sowing in rainfed and irrigated fields in Amrawati has been completed. 60% of the sowing in Adilabad too has been completed. As many as 200 demos in Rajashan have been planned and the sowing operations are on at farmers’ fields. In addition to maize, 25 BG-II Cotton demonstrations have also been put up in Rajasthan within the Project SHARE geography.


All 10,000 farmers in the three states, have been trained on corn and cotton pre-sowing activities, input sourcing, Integrated nutrient management, soil health, sowing methods, irrigation, Good Agriculture Practices and contingent plans to cope up with inconsistencies / vagaries of monsoon.


To augment the water resources of project farmers, a huge emphasis is being placed on conservation of rain water in ponds / water bodies.  Construction of a watershed demo unit at Ajni vill., Nandgaon block, Amrawati  has been completed. This water harvesting unit would benefit 15-20 SHARE farmers. Another    farm pond of size 60x60x2.5 m at Salaiguda vill, Utnoor block, Adilabad has also been completed. This water harvesting will benefit farmers by providing irrigation to 60 acres of land.


Water harvesting on a community basis has been attempted in the Project SHARE geograpghy in Rajasthan. A farm pond  of size   100 x 100 x 10 cubic ft    at Amalda vill., Jahajpur block, Bhilwara has been completed.  Anicut  constructed at Village Gudha Block Jahajpur Distt. Bhilwara has received a good amount of water and is nearly full to 1.5 meters with a 5 meter wide catchment running to about 2 km behind the anicut barrier (viz., about 15,000 m3 of water storage) which will benefit 200 farmers of three  villages running parallel to this water body. Also it will recharge about 100 open wells in its vicinity.


Augmentation of the input resources is being attempted under the project in all the concerned districts. Gangaram Dhakad a project farmer at Kabri vill. in Jahajpur  has begun active production of vermicompost in 2 beds of size 15x3.5x2 ft in Amrawati. Like wise, another farmer in Adilabad has begun the production of vermicompost in 3 beds of size 15x3.5x2 ft and is going to use the manure in his fields during kharif 2011.


Social development activity for women farmers are also continuing well in each of the four districts. One of the group in Adilabad has been linked with local bank - Deccan gramin Bank for financial support and services.


A new initiative for disseminating information through SMS to project farmers has been taken by SHARE team in Amrawati. Farmers’ contact numbers were collected and the information provided by Agriculture Department and Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee was disseminated among farmers through SMS. The farmers’ response to this new service facility is  being monitored.




 Demo of water harvesting structure with anicut, created  at Anjani village, Nandgaon Khandesar, Amravati, under Project SHARE


Developing a farm pond (demo) at Salaiguda, Utnoor, Adilabad to augment resource enhancement. The pond receives inflow from the watershed source towards bottom right.


Water harvesting infrastructure (anicut) developed at Gudha (Jahazpur, Bhilwara) before the rain 


 Water harvesting infrastructure (anicut) developed at Gudha (Jahazpur, Bhilwara) after the rain


The 2nd India Certified Crop Adviser (ICCA) Exam successfully held on 12th June, 2011


As many as 81 Working Professionals from the Agri and allied Industry took the ICCA exam which was held at three different centers across India.  Major Agri-input companies of the private sector who sponsored their candidates for the exam were Tata Chemicals, DCM Shriram Chemicals Ltd.(DSCL), Monsanto India, Deepak Fertilizer and Chemicals Ltd. (DFCL), Coromandel International limited(CIL), Pioneer Hybrid India(PHI),Shriram Bioseeds Genetics India Ltd(SBGI) , Nagarjuna Fertilisers and Chemicals Limited (NFCL), Hariyali Kisaan Bazaar(HKB), International Plant Nutrition Institute(IPNI), Dhanuka Agritech Ltd.,

 P.I. Industries Ltd.,  Raasi Seeds etc. In a formal feed back form meant to assess the response of the Participants, a general  perception of the ICCA program by candidates came out to be  ‘good,  motivational and knowledge development tool’.

In addition to the working professionals, those who appeared for exam included entrepreneurs who are into agri input business and dealing with the farmers on regular basis.



- Program being rapidly recognized and appreciated by the Industry as a potent professional knowledge enhancement tool

- Major Agri input giants like TATA Chemicals Ltd.(TCL) and DCM Shriram Chemicals Ltd.(DSCL) have made ICCA as one of the parameter in the Employee Goal Sheet

- Certified Crop Advisers (CCAs) getting an edge over the rest and getting better chances towards career advancement in the leading Agri Business Companies

or Further details of the program click on the following link:

Delhi centre of ICCA Examination held on June 12, 2011

Chandigarh centre of ICCA Examination held on June 12, 2011




Agri-clinic & Agribusiness Program

ISAP is running Entrepreneurship Development Program in 9 states under the aegis of MANAGE. This training is provided to unemployed agriculture and allied sector graduates. After training, ISAP provides active hand-holding support to these trained agripreneurs for the setting up their own business venture. ISAP has so far trained 2181 agripreneurs in Assam, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, J&K, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland and Punjab. Some of the agripreneurs have established their independent business successfully. We share one such success story with our readers in ISAP newsletters

Success  Story (Punjab)

Dawinder Singh, an Agriculture graduate from Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) undertook training of ACABC from ISAP center, Amritsar in 2010 (ID- PUN0597). Here, he learnt about Organic farming, integrated pest management and other essential technical skills required to run an enterprise. Subsequent to his training, he started his own venture named Punjab Agro Tech at his native village Kahnuwal in district Gurdaspur with an investment of INR 5 lakh.  He got loan of this amount from Oriental Bank of Commerce, Gurdaspur, for which back-end subsidy was provided by NABARD. He’s getting overwhelming response from the farmers, who take consultancy from his centre. ISAP wishes Mr Singh all success in his venture.

Dawinder Singh at ACABC in VPO Kahnuwal,Gurdaspur


Do you know!

Tomato - Tamatar - Pomodaro

Tomatoes are believed to have originated in Peru. The original Aztec name for this wonderful vegetable is “xitomatl,” which means “plump thing with a navel”. It is called tomato in English, tomate in French, German & Spanish , tomaat in Dutch, tamatar in hindi and pomodoro in Italian.   The heaviest tomato on record weighed in at 3.51 kg. A “delicious” variety, it was grown grown by Gordon Graham of Edmond, Oklahoma in 1986

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest tomato tree grows at Walt Disney World Resort’s experimental greenhouse and yields a harvest of more than 32,000 tomatoes. Today, the plant produces thousands of golf ball-sized tomatoes that are served at Walt Disney World's restaurants.




Who’s who in Agriculture?

P. K. Venugopalan Nambiar


PK Venugopalan Nambiar was a renowned scientist known for his excellent work in pepper research. Mr Nambiar is credited with development of first hybrid of black pepper i.e. Panniyur-1. He developed this variety during his stint as Head of Pepper Research Station, Panniyur (Kerala). The hybrid Panniyur-1 was released for commercial cultivation in 1971 and is now most popular and cultivated variety in India and other major producing countries of black pepper. Dr Nambiar was honoured with Sugandha Bharathi Award by Indian Society of Spices, Calicut in 2002 in recognition of his contribution in spices research & development.

Science & Technology

Bio-coating for larger shelf life of mango

Scientists at Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) have a task at hand – how to improve shelf-life of some select fruits including mango and guava. Dr Ramesh Kumar, scientist (Horticulture), CIPHET, Abohar has shared some aspects of this technique, being developed at the Institute. One of the ways this problem is being tackled, according to Dr Ramesh is to dip the fruits in a starch-based solution, air-drying the fruit and keeping them at  normal (ambient) temperature. The layer of starch forms  what can be termed as bio-coating of the fruit. Cooling it results in formation of transparent film. These coatings are less permeable to gases like oxygen, but more permeable to water vapours in comparison to commercial wax coating. While this technology may increase the                                                          shelf life of mango by four days as compared to wax coating, its effect on quality parameters is yet to be tested.



News Highlights

Indonesia lifting embargo on Dutch onion disappoints Indian exporters

Indian onion exporters are upset with the news of Indonesia lifting embargo on onion import from the Netherlands. Indonesia had banned its import from Netherlands in 2009 after finding a consignment infected with stem nematode. Subsequent to this ban, Indonesian importers started sourcing their requirement of dehydrated white onion from exporters of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Though Indian quotes are competitive in comparison to the quotes for Dutch dehydrated onions, but Indonesian processors prefer the latter for its better quality. Further, process of dehydration is superior in case of Dutch onion. Indian products tend to lose 8-10% of their weight during shipment period. Further, arrivals of onion in Holland coincide with peak demand season in Indonesia.

Cherries crop fall in HP

Adverse weather situation in crucial growth stages of cherry in Himachal Pradesh is feared to have badly affected its crop this year. Although flowering was better than the regular pattern in March, but weather turn in month of April proved to be a nightmare for cherry growers. Frequent changes in climatic situation in April had adverse impact on the cherry crop, which is now feared to drop to half of its production last year. Cherry is grown in high altitude regions ranging 6000-8000 feet above sea level like Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Chamba and Kinnaur. There are almost 20 varieties, which are grown in the state and nearly 10,000 farmers are engaged in the cultivation of Cherry in Himachal Pradesh.

HP govt to clear dues of individual apple growers

State government of Himachal Pradesh has released a sum of Rs 34 crore to state nodal agencies to clear the pending payments of individual apple growers. This amount is provided to Himfed and HPMC, which makes procurement of apple under Market Intervention Scheme (MIS). Hon’ble Minister for Horticulture, Himachal Pradesh, Sh Narinder Bragta informed that Rs 10 crore had been given last year to these agencies for clearing the payments of farmers. Now, the nodal agencies are also required to immediately clear the pending payment up to Rs 10,000/- to the various individual growers.


CISH holds global conference on mangoes in Lucknow

Central Institute for Subtropical Horticulture (CISH) organized a 4-day global conference on mangoes at Lucknow in association with Society for Development of Subtropical Horticulture (SDSH) and International Society for Horticulture Sciences, Belgium. Title and theme of this conference was ‘Global Confrence on augmenting production and utilization of mango: Biotic and abiotic stresses’. This conference was focused on techniques and research to increase production of mangoes. Addressing the media persons on the eve of  the conference, Dr HP Singh, Deputy Director General (Horticulture), ICAR, said that Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is working on a project of producing mangoes in different seasons in different parts of the country. Dr Singh informed that with varied climatic zones in our country, mango can be produced seven months in a year. In Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu), mango is harvested in November, in Ratnagiri (Maharashtra) in January-February and in north India, it is harvested in June-July. Discussions featured during this event included:   i) desapping the ripened mangoes to increase their shelf-life;  ii) effect of climate change on horticulture;  iii)  marketing of hybrid mangoes;  iv) packing of mangoes with eco-friendly bags and  v) efficient cultivation of mangoes. Nearly 500 varieties from different regions were displayed in this show by various farmers and institutions.


Malihabad Farmers’ Society on job of preserving genetic diversity of mangoes

There are nearly 1000 varieties of mango in India, but only 30 varieties are grown on commercial scale in different states. Most of its varieties are on verge of getting extinct. A group of 125 farmers from Malihabad (near Lucknow , U.P.) has made a society that will work on preserving the genetic diversity of mangoes. This society has recently organized a mango show with the support of Central Institute of Subtropical Horticulture (CISH). In this show, more than 300 endangered varieties of mango were on display. Some of these rare varieties include ‘Paan’ mango (a heart shaped mango), ‘husn-earazard amen, surkha, chand gola, tuhru, mujjad amen, ramkela, seb jannat, desi bambai, zardalu, tukami heera, desi mitthu, etc. But farmers are losing interest in these varieties due to lack of commercial viability. Farmers in these regions mainly grow more popular varieties like Dussehri, Langda, Chausa etc.

Samastipur farmer receives Best Mango Grower award

Sudhanshu Kumar, an innovative farmer from Bihar, bagged a prestigious award of ‘Best Mango Grower’. Mr Kumar, a Delhi University alumnus has an 8-acre orchard at Nayanagar village in Samastipur district. This award is given by the Central Institute for Sub-tropical Research (CISR) in association with Society for Development of Subtropical Horticulture (SDSH) during Global Conference on Mango at Lucknow. Mr Sudhanshu told that with the use of advanced cropping techniques, he has been able to scale his turnover from a mere Rs 10,000 to Rs 6 lakh in just eight years. Mr Sudhanshu sells his produce directly to exporters. Farmers in his village now follow his methods.

NHM initiates project to augment vegetable supply in Metros

To ensure vegetables supply in urban belts, National Horticulture Mission (NHM) has envisaged an ambitious project called the Vegetable Initiative for Urban Clusters. This project was launched under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna. Union government had allocated huge budget to the tune of Rs 300 crore for 2010-11 for this project. Objective of this program is to ensure adequate production and better returns to the farmers and assured supply at reasonable price to the consumers. NHM, Pune is going to start this for Mumbai. NHM has identified locations for developing vegetable clusters for this project. For this, it has identified four districts namely Thane, Raigad, Pune and Nashik as potential producing regions for vegetable, which can be supplied to Mumbai. NHM Pune has received a grant of Rs 17 crore from the Union Government for this project, which should help augmenting supply of at least 10% of vegetable to Mumbai through this project.

Good mango crop in Theni, Tamil Nadu

Farmers in Theni district of Tamil Nadu are more than happy for their mango crop. Weather has been perfect for mango throughout the season this year. Theni is located in southern part of Tamil Nadu. Other crops grown in this district are cardamom, cotton, coffee seeds and tea. Mango is cultivated in 6000 hectares in this district. Main mango producing regions in Theni district are Periakulam, Bodinayakkanur, Thevaram, Cumbum and Cumbum Anumanthampatti in Cumbum valley. Different varieties grown in this region include Banganapalli (3000 hectares), Kallamai (2000 hectares) and Neelam and Sendura varieties (1200 hectares). Harvesting of mangoes in the district is in full swing and will likely to continue by second fortnight of July.

India agrees to slash import duty on American pistachio

India has acceded to slash import duty on American pistachio from 30 per cent to 10 per cent, says a US trade office release. This indeed is good news for pistachio growers in United State. India is a potential market of pistachio. Annual consumption of pistachio in India is around 4.5 million kg. India mainly imports it from Afghanistan and Iran. Globally, Iran ranks first in pistachio production. In 2009-10, India imported pistachio worth USD 57.98 million and nearly 30% of it was imported from United States.



Litchi growers in gloom due to record production

Bihar is witnessing record production of litchi this year resulting in distress selling by the state farmers. Production of litchi this year has touched record 3.5 lakh tonnes versus 1.5 lakh tonne produced last year. Production in Muzaffarpur alone is 80,000 tonnes. Litchi, which is being sold at around Rs 100/kg in metros (Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai etc), realization against it is lower than Rs 10/kg at farm gate.


"Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bands."


-       Thomas Jefferson

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Wishing you all a great Month ahead





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