Farm inputs given to eight farmers

  The move is aimed at increasing the area under red gram cultivation

Tirunelveli: Collector M. Jayaraman distributed farm inputs to the tune of Rs. 5, 000 each to eight farmers here on Monday.

In a bid to increase the area under red gram cultivation, the inputs were being provided under intensification of red gram cultivation through demonstration scheme under National Agriculture Development Programme (NADP).

The distribution of inputs included quality seeds of high yielding varieties of red gram, micro nutrient mixtures, bio fertilizers, seed treatment chemicals, weedicides and plant protection chemicals.

Task forceconstituted

In order to meet the gap in production and demand, the state government has constituted a special task force for preparing an action plan to enhance pulse production.

According to a press release, allocation was given for eight hectares of red gram demonstrations under NADP in the district. Joint Director of Agriculture, S. Subramanian, Deputy Director of Agriculture, S. Devasahayam and PA to Collector (Agriculture) M. Duraipandian were present.

From THE HINDU

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Area under precision farming to increase

COIMBATORE: Area under precision farming in the State will increase by about 10,000 hectares this financial year. With this the total area under the farming technology will cross 40,000 ha.

Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugam told the Assembly recently that the Government had allocated Rs. 27.37 crore to bring 8,500 ha under agriculture crops and a little more under horticulture crops.

The Government provides 50 per cent of Rs. 1.30 lakh – the cost of implementing precision farming on a hectare – as subsidy.

The reason: studies have revealed that there is a 30–50 per cent increase in yield, improvement in quality of produce, uniformity in growth and extended harvest.

According to E. Vadivel, professor at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University who supervised the implementation of the project in Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts, precision farming is optimising the use of water, fertilizer and pesticide to match the growth of each crop.

A team of experts from the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University implemented the project on a pilot basis on 400 hectares.

The result of the study was so good that in 2007-08 the Government brought around 12,000 hectares under precision farming.

Karthik Madhavan From THE HINDU

To beat the heat

A vendor selling palmyrah fruits in Coimbatore. — Photo: M. Periasamy.

From THE HINDU

Jaipur: Savour unique rural lifestyle, via farm tourism

JAIPUR: The West is travelling back in time to savour the inimitable lifestyle of rural India. Laura, a high school graduate from Germany, was catching up on siesta after helping separate wheat from chaff and laying water pipes at a farm. Another farm tourism enthusiast, 18-year-old Carlson from North California was back after milking cows at a farm resort. But they are no exception in their choice of a vacation in Rajasthan. Scores of travellers from the West opt for farm tourism over leisure.

Considering the appeal the oriental carries for the occidental, special initiative had been made for the growth of newer niche tourism products like rural tourism, eco-tourism, adventure tourism and camp tourism etc. This also witnessed the emergence of a new segment of tented accommodation which provides an altogether new experience. The Union ministry of tourism has introduced voluntary schemes for project approval and classification of operational tented accommodation in the country.

The Commonwealth Games would be a good opportunity to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the rural India to the international community. Under the Rural Tourism’ initiative Sahaj Morarka Foundation is working towards providing an authentic India experience to tourists from across the world in pristine rural settings.

“We had recently created some itineraries for vacation planners through the agrarian, invigorating and pollution free countryside. The six to 12 days itineraries focus on the Desert Trail’, The Jungles of Rajasthan’, The Rajasthan Roller Coaster’ etc. These would be absolutely tailor-made for the visitors during the Games,” said Vigyan Gadodia, promoter and director, Sahaj Agrofarm India.

The NGO has broadly categorised the rural experience under three segments. Volunteering for India, experiencing rural India & rural lifestyle, which is a popular programme with international guests to experience Indian rural life up close and personal.

The concept at Saharia, another organisation in rural farming, is to educate the villagers and tourists on the benefits of organic farming by returning back to nature and old Indian traditional agricultural practices. Volunteers from India and abroad and World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) members get to stay free of cost at the farm and contribute their bit to the organic farming practices and methodology.

From TOI

WWF – Water footprint of beer more on the farm than in the brewery

Stockholm, Sweden: The total water involved in producing beer is overwhelmingly used on the farm rather than in the brewery, according to a report presented to World Water Week by major brewer SAB Miller and leading global environment organization WWF.

Water footprinting: Identifying and addressing water risks in the value chain evaluated the water footprints – a way of understanding water use through the whole value chain – of SAB Miller beers produced in South Africa and the Czech Republic.

Better understanding the quantity, efficiency and geography of water use is enabling the two organizations to understand the impacts of water use, improve water management and work with communities and governments to protect watersheds.

The new report reveals that in South Africa, the total water footprint is equivalent to 155 litres of water for every 1 litre of beer such as Castle lager and Carling Black Label, with the vast majority of water use (98.3%) associated with crop cultivation, both local and imported.

For Plzensky Prazdroj, SABMiller’s Czech operation which produces Pilsner Urquell – the original pilsener beer which provided the blueprint for the majority of the world’s commercial beers – agriculture is again the most significant component; accounting for over 90% of the total water footprint.

Pilsener Urqell, which more than 160 years ago supplied the blueprint for the majority of the worlds commercial beers, has now become the subject of the first public corporate water footprint study.

Pilsener Urqell, which more than 160 years ago supplied the blueprint for the majority of the world's commercial beers, has now become the subject of the first public corporate water footprint study.

However, the overall water footprint of Czech beer production is significantly smaller at 45 litres of water to every 1 litre of beer, with the differences due mainly to a greater reliance on irrigation in South Africa and the proportion and origin of imported crops.

In comparison with other beverages, beer’s water footprint is relatively small, with a recent Pacific Institute study finding that coffee, wine and apple juice all have water footprints more than three times that of beer.

However, the water footprint figure itself does not give the whole picture. More important is the context – where the water is used, what proportion of the area’s total water resource it represents, and whether water scarcity creates risks to the environment, communities and businesses now or in the future..

“The water footprints of SABMiller’s beers in South Africa and the Czech Republic are the first detailed corporate water footprints to be published and are progressive in the way they examine the impact of water use within these countries,” said Stuart Orr, WWF’s freshwater footprint manager.

“Most important is that this information is now used to ensure that their business partners – particularly farmers – are encouraged to use water more efficiently.”

In South Africa, SAB Ltd is working with barley farmers to improve irrigation and yields, and with WWF the company is now considering how to develop this further to protect the watersheds within which it operates.

“Water footprinting enables SABMiller to understand which parts of our supply chain might face water scarcity, or poor water quality, in the future, and means that we can plan now to deal with these future challenges,” said SABMiller head of sustainable development, Andy Wales.

“We will build on our existing partnerships with WWF in South Africa, Colombia, and Honduras to create further local watershed protection projects to reduce risk whilst protecting the environment”

From WWF