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The National Bee Board (NBB) organised a workshop on ‘Strengthening of Export Potential of Honey’ at Vaikunth Mehta National Institute of Cooperative Management (VAMNICOM), Pune, Maharashtra. Dr Abhilaksh Likhi, additional secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, chaired the workshop. Dr Likhi launched bee wax products manufactured by FPOs during the workshop wherein it was also decided to establish a cooperative honey project at VAMNICOM.  The workshop also gave a platform for honey processors, exporters, FPOs and agri start ups to share their experiences about the future strategies for export promotion of honey.

India is one of the major honey exporting countries in the world and has exported 74,413 MT of honey worth Rs. 1221.17 crore during 2021-22. More than 50 per cent of the honey production in India is being exported to about 83 countries including major markets like USA, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh and Canada.  Some of the major varieties of honey exported are mustard honey, eucalyptus honey, lychee honey, sunflower honey, pongamia honey, multi-flora Himalayan honey, acacia honey and wild flora honey. 

India has around 12,699 beekeepers and 19.34 lakh honey bee colonies registered with the National Bee Board at present and produces about 1,33,200 metric tonne of honey, as per the 2021-22 second advance estimate. A total 102 projects worth Rs. 133.31 crore have been sanctioned under the National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM) till date. Under the scheme of ‘Formation of 10,000 Farmer Producer Organisations’, 100 FPOs of beekeepers/ honey producers have been allotted to TRIFED (14), NAFED (60) and NDDB (26) for the implementation of activities under NBHM. The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare has also developed an online portal, Madhukranti, to maintain traceability records of honey and other beehive products.

The National Bee Board (NBB) organised a

Hyderabad-based 3F Oil Palm Pvt. Ltd, a leading oil palm company in India, announced that it will kick off its investment in the northeast by setting up an integrated oil palm factory in Arunachal Pradesh. The ceremony will take place on September 30, 2022 at Roing in lower Dibang Valley. The company had already acquired 120 acre of land for the project in February this year with all the necessary approvals and statutory clearances. The integrated oil palm project will consist of a state-of-the-art oil palm factory (palm oil processing and refinery), a zero-discharge effluent plant, a power plant based on palm waste, and other buildings and godowns for support functions. The addition of this factory will supplement the existing company operations including nursery, area expansion/crop maintenance, FFB harvesting and collection and other ancillary farmer services. The factory is set to be developed in two phases and phase 1 is expected to be commissioned by September 2023. The first phase of the project is expected to generate local employment to over 300 people. 

3F Oil Palm Pvt Ltd has a total oil palm area under planting of around 2,000 hectare spread across a farmer base of 500 farmers, with 100 per cent satellite traceability. The company is the first in the state to import high quality hybrid variety imported seed sprouts from selected identified countries, for the benefit of the farmers. It is also the first to be allotted a fertiliser distribution license for timely and cost-effective supply of fertilisers. Both of these initiatives are expected to significantly increase farmer yields and promote ease of planting. The company is expected to add 5000 Ha per year over the next five years.

Speaking on the occasion, Sanjay Goenka, CEO and MD, 3F Oil Palm Limited, said, “We are very delighted and excited about our upcoming integrated oil palm factory in Arunachal Pradesh. Since the plantations are at a nascent stage, our factory will be running at extremely low-capacity utilisation. The primary reason for expediting this investment is to build farmer confidence so that they are encouraged to take up oil palm cultivation at a large scale. Due to the proactive leadership of the government of Arunachal Pradesh and the newly formulated NMEO (OP) policy, we believe that the state can be at the forefront of the Prime Minister’s vision of aatmanirbharta in edible oils.”

3F Oil Palm has a strong presence with contract plantations and factories in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, and Gujarat and has a strong growth plan for the Northeastern region – Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.

Hyderabad-based 3F Oil Palm Pvt. Ltd, a

The Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) has received an overwhelming response towards the technical bids of Design, Build, Fund, Own & Operate (DBFOT) tender under the Hub and Spoke Model. Taking into consideration modernisation of foodgrain storage infrastructure in the country, a new model for development of grain Silos across the country i.e. The Hub & Spoke Model in Public Private Partnership (PPP) Mode has been proposed.
A Total of 38 bids have been received against four bundles comprising 14 locations in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Punjab, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. In all, 15 prospective parties have shown interest and submitted their bids. The Technical Evaluation is expected to be completed in by the first week of September. Under the Hub and Spoke Model, the Department proposes to develop a capacity of 111.125 LMT of Hub and Spoke Model Silos at 249 locations across the country under Design, Build, Fund, Own & Transfer and Design, Build, Fund, Own & Operate, through Food Corporation of India (FCI), the implementing agency.

The Department of Food and Public Distribution

Bayer has recently launched ‘ForGround’, a farmer-first digital platform in the United States which promises to transform the way farms of all sizes can more easily make the transition to sustainable agricultural practices. ForGround offers tools, resources, and discounts to advance the adoption of climate smart practices that can transform value chains.
Potential benefits from transitioning to regenerative agriculture includes: 

  • Improved soil health
  • Reduced water uses
  • Fewer inputs 
  • Increased weather resiliency
  • Less soil erosion

The platform is built on Bayer’s years of experience and knowledge in this area to leverage digital infrastructure which allows companies to create, manage and track progress, taking advantage of Bayer’s Climate FieldView™ Platform footprint and data capabilities. It enables farmers to participate in this increasingly transparent supply chain where consumers are interested in knowing how their food is produced.
“As a global leader in agriculture, Bayer is uniquely positioned to help drive lasting change by working directly with farmers and businesses through leveraging our global scale to reduce our impact on the planet and support farms for generations to come”, said Leo Bastos, Head of Global Commercial Ecosystems, Bayer CropScience.

Bayer has recently launched ‘ForGround’, a farmer-first

The Assam Rural Infrastructure and Agricultural Services (ARIAS) Society, Government of Assam, has signed extension of collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) for transforming the rice-based agrifood systems in Assam under the World Bank funded Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project (APART).

The project focuses on promoting climate-resilient production and processing of prioritised agriculture and allied commodities, investment promotion, agri-entrepreneurship development, efficient marketing including market- intelligence and credit linkage.

IRRI provides technical support to the Assam Agricultural University and Department of Agriculture for implementing the rice value chain activities under the project. 

The second phase of the IRRI-APART collaboration focuses on  developing the rice value chain of Assam and strengthening technology flow through ICT- and GIS-enabled agro-advisory systems, knowledge dissemination, and catalysing adoption.

It aims to upgrade the rice value chain by supporting Farmer Producer Companies through business models and disseminating and scaling out sustainable, resource-efficient, and climate-smart technologies suited to rice-based systems of Assam.

The Assam Rural Infrastructure and Agricultural Services

The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya (CSKHPKV), Palampur, Himachal Pradesh in the presence of Dr Satbir Singh Gosal, Vice Chancellor, PAU and Dr Harinder Kumar Chaudhary, Vice Chancellor, CSKHPKV.  

The main objective of this MoU is to promote and enhance scientific and academic interaction between both the universities and to strengthen ties among researchers, farmers and students of these universities.

Dr Ajmer Singh Dhatt, Director of Research, PAU, said that this association leads for joint evaluation and screening of crop varieties under different climatic conditions available in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. 

Synthesis of research proposals based upon emergent needs will also be a part of this MoU, he adds. In addition, joint experimentation to address common agricultural issues of the border districts of both the states, collaboration in research programmes of postgraduate students in different disciplines of agriculture and allied fields, and cooperation for sharing of scientific knowledge, library, laboratories and field facilities will be the focus areas, he informs.

The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana recently

Nitin Gadkari , Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, while addressing the felicitation programme of National Cogeneration Awards 2022 in Mumbai gave out a few clarion calls for the agri sector. He said, “Over-production of sugar is a problem for the economy; we spend Rs 15 lakh crore” per year for import of petroleum products, hence we need to diversify the agriculture sector towards energy and power sectors”. 

The minister exhorted the industry of the crucial need to focus on alternative fuels with the help of futuristic technologies. “While 65 to 70 per cent of our population depends on agriculture, our agricultural growth rate is 12 to 13 per cent only; the sugarcane industry and farmers are a growth engine for our industry. And the next move should be cogeneration to increase revenue from sugar. The industry should produce less sugar and produce more by-products, embracing the vision for futuristic technologies and using the power of leadership to convert knowledge into wealth. This will enable the farmers to become not only food growers, but energy producers as well,” Gadkari said.

The minister highlighted that while our requirement was 280 lakh tonnes of sugar this year, the production was more than 360 lakh tonnes; this could be utilised due to the situation in Brazil.  However, we need to divert production towards ethanol as the ethanol requirement is very high. “Last year’s capacity was 400 crore litres of ethanol; we have taken a lot of initiatives to increase ethanol production. Now is the time for the industry to plan demand for ethanol, using technologies such as power generators run by bioethanol,” pointed out Gadkari.

The minister reminded the industry that there is scope of using harvesting technologies for cutting of sugarcane. “Harvesting machines can use ethanol as a fuel, making the circular economy possible.”

Gadkari said that the sugar industry faces many problems and that we need rationalisation of power purchase rates; some states are not giving rates as per the central government policy, this is one reason why the sugarcane industry is not economically viable. The minister also urged the industry to raise this matter at appropriate forums.

Nitin Gadkari , Union Minister for Road

The National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE) recently felicitated Anand Chandra, Executive Director & Co-Founder, Arya.ag, India’s largest and fastest-growing integrated grain commerce platform as its outstanding alumni, for his achievements and contributions in agriculture. Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar was the Chief Guest for the Convocation and Shri Manoj Ahuja, Secretary (A&FW), GoI was the Guest of Honour.

Arya.ag, co-founded by Anand Chandra in 2013 holds the unique distinction of being the only profitable agritech startup at scale in India. Be it concentrating on the near-farm primary and secondary markets or innovating on the first-of-its-kind price-risk mitigation model for FPOs or deployment of hermetic storage technology, Arya’s aim to impact rural lives and improve livelihoods is always technology driven.
Anand Chandra, Executive Director & Co-founder, Arya.ag, said, “I feel truly humbled and honoured by this recognition. At MANAGE, you learn life tools like grit, resilience, and efficiency, but you also leave with a strong sense of community and social responsibility. The entrepreneurial mindset we develop at MANAGE enables us to impact the world around us. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to my Alma Mater for recognising our efforts at Arya to bring a positive change in the farming community.”
Dr K Anand Reddy, Principal Coordinator PGDM (ABM), MANAGE, added, “MANAGE is proud to honour outstanding MANAGE Alumni who have been serving the farming community through their own Agri-Ventures. We recognise the impact of Arya.ag on the agri community and congratulate Anand and the other recipients”.

The National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management

CropLife India, an association of 16 R&D driven crop science companies, and the leading voice of the plant science industry in India, recently held a farmers’ education drive on Chili Thrips Management in Andhra Pradesh. The inauguration ceremony was held in Guntur; Dr Sujatha, Deputy Director of Horticulture, Government of Andhra Pradesh, being the Chief Guest. Present on the occasion are officials and entomologists of Dr YSR Horticulture University of Andhra Pradesh, Scientists of Krishi Vigyan Kendra and Extension Officers, Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), distributors, retailers, member companies and other officials.

Dr  Sujatha, Deputy Director of Horticulture, Government of Andhra Pradesh spoke, “CropLife India will receive the full support of our State and District administrations in outreach to farmers on various aspects of the campaign. The campaign will explore all the possible avenues of outreach to farmers and spray-men through Field Training, cultural events, School Programmes, etc.; which will induce peer-to-peer learning among farmers and their families.

The programme covers a wide range of topics such as transportation and secure storage of Crop Protection products, understanding the label, judicious and responsible use of Crop Protection products, personal health and hygiene, use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), correct spraying techniques, maintaining sprayers and nozzles and triple rinsing of used empty containers.

CropLife India, an association of 16 R&D

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets, with 72 countries supporting India’s proposal at the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. To commemorate this, the University of Agricultural Sciences, Raichur and NABARD recently held a two-day Millets Conclave in collaboration with the agriculture and allied departments.

Issues related to nutritious cereal production and value addition were discussed with the farmers, FPOs, entrepreneurs, Agri startups, investors, exporters, agricultural scientists, NABARD and lead banks and agricultural development departments.

On this occasion, the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced several awards including three first prizes of one crore rupees each as an incentive to Agri Startups participating in the Millets Innovation Challenge, while Narendra Singh Tomar, the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare said, “The time has come to give Millets a respectable place in the plate of food not only in India but across the world. We have to bring forth the importance of nutritious grains to the world”.

Promotion of millets not only meets the food requirements, but will also give an opportunity to new startups to bring their products to the world. Which increases employment opportunities, especially women can engage themselves in work from millet production to processing. Today, India is the major producer of millets in the world, with Karnataka being a major contributor. Millet production is beneficial to the farmers. It requires very little water, and can be produced even on rocky land.

Under the Millet Innovation Challenge, the Finance Minister bestows Rs one crore each to Agri Startups for their distinctive contribution. Besides, awards of Rs 20 lakh are given to 15 Agri Startups and Rs 10 lakh each to 15 other Agri Startups. She also announced a fund of Rs 25 crore to the University of Agricultural Sciences, Raichur from NABARD for millet research.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has

Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, inaugurated four new facilities at the Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI), in Jodhpur, ‎Rajasthan‎. The institute has been rendering excellent services for more than 60 years under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Kailash Chaudhary were special guests on this occasion.
Tomar, in his address, said that CAZRI, an institute of excellence of the ICAR, has been doing innovations and research in agriculture for the farmers of the arid region for more than 60 years, which is an example for our desert areas as well as for the whole world. Due to the research work done by CAZRI such as dune stabilisation, sprinkler and drip irrigation system and new varieties of crops, grasses and fruits, farmers’ income is increasing. Work like solar energy, reduction in the cost of farming and livestock management by CAZRI will also be beneficial for the farmers of dry areas. Due to the new technologies and research achievements being developed by CAZRI from time to time, the institute has bagged eight out of 10 national awards of ICAR in the last six years.
The minister also inaugurated the newly constructed auditorium, agri-business nurturing centre, environment-friendly waste water treatment plant and indoor sports hall at CAZRI. He also honoured progressive farmers during the programme.
Tomar informed that in the last eight years, many schemes have been launched under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for improving agriculture, providing income support and technology support to the farmers, which will successfully help India in producing every crop and agricultural product.

Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Agriculture and Farmers

ADAMA, a leading global crop protection company, recently, participated in the 10th Tecnobio CANA , ‘The biological control event’ in Ribeirão Preto (SP), Brazil. This year, the company launched Protege , a microbiological fungicide and nematicide whose main focus is soybean and sugarcane crops. “At the event, we showed the benefits of using this biosolution in the cultivation of sugarcane”.
The main event focused on the biological control of pests, diseases and weeds, in addition to other related practices. The event saw participation of around 350 people, including pesticide and biological products companies, farmers and mill owners.
ADAMA believes in the combination of chemical and biological products for better crop management and therefore has been investing more and more, and significantly and consistently, in the biosolutions portfolio. According to the Brazilian Society of Nematology (SBN), the impact of nematodes on sugarcane alone can reach 12 billion reals per year and therefore they are considered a major threat to agricultural production in Brazil and require special attention from producers.
Protege has different modes of action on nematodes, due to its triple combination of bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis + Bacillus velezensis + Bacillus amyloliquefaciens ), it provide control of these parasites and protection of sugarcane productivity. The biosolution also brings practicality of use and compatibility with other pesticides.
Vinicius Boleta, Product Manager at ADAMA, said, “Protege has an innovative , formulation, delivering vigour to the cane fields, plant health and profitability”.
Brazil is the world’s largest producer of sugarcane and, in the 2020/21 harvest, was responsible for the production of 654.5 million tonne for the production of 41.2 million tonne of sugar and 29.7 billion tonne of sugar litres of ethanol, according to the Institute of Agricultural Economics (IEA).

ADAMA, a leading global crop protection company,

Harvesting Farmer Network (HFN), a leading agriculture technology platform in India, has raised $4 million from Social Capital, a Silicon Valley-based technology investment firm managed by Chamath Palihapitiya. This is the first institutional round raised by HFN, which will be used to reach more than 120 million smallholder farmers across India, as well as explore opportunities in India’s rural markets.

HFN helps smallholder farmers (defined by the UN as a farmer owning less than 2 hectare of land) in India to increase their income by empowering them with a collective bargaining platform. Through HFN’s platform, farmers are able to buy farm inputs, access financial services such as loans and insurance, as well as sell their crops to national and international customers enabling them to scale and grow their businesses.

Founded by Ruchit Garg during COVID-19, HFN was created to reduce the friction between farmers and buyers, initially by enabling them to connect directly on Twitter. Since then, more than $500 million of crops, consisting of over 360 crop varieties, have been listed on HFN’s digital platform from every state across India. These crops have been sold domestically as well as to international markets. A global agricultural powerhouse, India produces more than $275 billion of crops annually.

As of August 2022, more than 3.7 million farmers are digitally connected to the HFN platform, witnessing a 2.5X increase in their crop earnings. Recently, many forward-thinking farmers have even launched offline centres known as “HFN Kisan Centres” to help fellow local farmers sell their crops and buy staple inputs such as seeds and fertiliser at affordable prices.

Ruchit G Garg, Founder CEO of HFN, said: “At HFN, our goal is to help farmers realise their full potential by reducing the plethora of inefficiencies across the agriculture value chain. Simple and widely-available technologies like WhatsApp and Twitter have allowed us to create massive data-driven farmer co-operatives, which allows farmers to negotiate better rates for farm inputs and more competitive prices for outputs.”

Jay Zaveri, Partner at Social Capital, said: “India is one of the bread baskets of the world and we’re excited to partner with HFN to bring a safe, secure, and empowering platform to the more than 120 million smallholder farmers across India. Our goal is to enable Indian households to access high-quality farm produce and for farmers to build a profitable livelihood through HFN.”

HFN plans to use the new funding to rapidly expand its footprint across India, and over the next 12 months, it expects to connect farmers in every single one of India’s 708 districts across the country.

Harvesting Farmer Network (HFN), a leading agriculture

Bayer has launched Roundup Top in Argentina as the most concentrated glyphosate herbicide on the market. It is reportedly delivering very good performance among those who have already accessed this new product. Roundup Top addresses the issue of sustainability. Being the most concentrated liquid product on the market, it reduces the amount of plastic utilised for drums. Also, by changing the colour of the container for a white one, the segregation of the containers is improved. 

Alejandro Sebastian Gómez, Herbicides Manager – Regional Marketing Conosur en Bayer Crop Science, Argentina, reveals, “This herbicide is specifically for the pre-emergent and post-emergent control of annual and perennial weeds, both grasses and broadleaf, it is absorbed by leaves and green tissues, taking it to the roots, ensuring its effectiveness”. Gómez adds, “Important trials have been carried out to prove the efficacy of the product, we have done them with fallow land, within what are the main weeds and we have seen differences in performance, with much better results.” He also details that synergy can be done with the rest of the Bayer portfolio

Bayer has also decided to give a guarantee on Roundup Top. Gómez explains, “The producer will find the guarantee and even a refund in the terms and conditions in the event that the product does not meet the agreed conditions. That benefit is unique to the Roundup line. ″

The Bayer manager detailed what is coming for the firm for the remainder of 2022. In the context of the current instability in the country, Bayer is in a good market position since Roundup is produced by them in Argentina, therefore the bet is to continue growing ’with enormous challenges’. 

Bayer has launched Roundup Top in Argentina