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Thursday / July 18. 2024

To generate a deeper impact on society where agriculture is properly valued and food is sustainable

Texas-based National Sorghum Producers announced that global agrochemical company UPL NA, Inc. has joined the NSP Industry Partner program as a sponsor. National Sorghum Producers represents U.S. sorghum producers and serves as the voice of the sorghum industry coast to coast through legislative and regulatory representation and education.

UPL joins NSP as a Contributor level sponsor. The company believes it will generate a deeper impact on society where agriculture is properly valued, food is sustainable, and farmers grow and prosper. The company provides the companion herbicide IMIFLEX™ to Alta Seeds igrowth® herbicide-tolerant sorghum and strives to be a leader in technology growth and innovation through the production of more sustainable food products.

“We are very excited to add a new partner to our valued industry program with the addition of UPL,” NSP Industry Relations Director Jamaca Battin said. “This company provides critical products to sorghum farmers, and we look forward to strengthening our relationship with UPL NA, Inc. for the betterment of the sorghum industry.”

“UPL is a leader in providing innovative and sustainable solutions for sorghum growers, and we’re committed to industry collaborations to accelerate progress in agriculture and throughout the food system,” says Joe Vassios, Food Value Chain Lead for UPL North America. “Through our partnership with NSP, we are extremely pleased to invest in the future of sorghum and work together to build a successful future for growers and the industry.”

Support from industry partners like UPL help NSP better advocate for, promote and defend sorghum farmers and the industry.

To generate a deeper impact on society

Corteva, Inc. and Symborg have announced that Corteva has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Symborg, an expert in microbiological technologies based in Murcia, Spain. Symborg possesses a diversified existing portfolio, an emerging biocontrol pipeline, and a skilled employee base with robust technical knowledge and demand generation expertise.  

“Acquiring Symborg is a significant next step in Corteva’s strategy to accelerate the development of a best-in-class biologicals portfolio, as a valuable part of our integrated solutions we offer to our customers,” said Robert King, Executive Vice President, Crop Protection Business Unit, Corteva Agriscience. “Over the past three years, Corteva has established licensing and distribution agreements with the top biological companies, which we selected after evaluating technologies and demonstrating customer acceptance. This acquisition shows Corteva’s progression towards further establishing itself as a technology leader in this rapid growth segment.”

Corteva first collaborated with Symborg to scale up and bring farmers Utrisha™ N and BlueN™ nutrient efficiency optimiser as part of a distribution agreement between the two companies. The natural-origin biostimulant enables plants to fix nitrogen from the air and make it available to the plant, providing an alternative, supplemental nitrogen source and potentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fertiliser use.

“Supporting farmers worldwide with our cutting-edge biobased solutions has always been the Symborg motto,” said Jesús Juárez, founding partner and CEO at Symborg. “That spirit together with a highly skilled team, led us to become a key player towards sustainable agriculture. The integration with Corteva is an opportunity to reinforce our impact in the field helping farmers facing current and future challenges. And beyond, it is an opportunity to become the answer to safe and sustainable food that society is demanding. Symborg and Corteva share values and market vision, becoming the perfect match to design the future of agriculture.”

Closing of the acquisition is subject to customary conditions. Following the close, Symborg locations in Murcia, Spain and subsidiaries in the United States, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Brazil, France, Turkey, China and Australia will become key elements of Corteva’s Biologicals Portfolio. Financial terms and conditions of the agreement were not disclosed.

Corteva, Inc. and Symborg have announced that

Intensity and scale of development in India has earned a place of pride for Indians located in Indonesia

Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar interacted with the Indian Diaspora at Bali, Indonesia, under the banner of Balinese & Indian Friendship Association (BIFA). 

Ms Neeta Malhotra of BIFA greeted the Minister and expressed gratitude for meeting with them. Tomar narrated the success in the agriculture sector and the programmes like PM Kisan, crop insurance, organic farming, natural farming, value chain integration, farmers producer organisations, Ayushman Bharat, etc that has transformed the life and the living of the people in rural India. 

Agriculture has proven its role as a saviour to Indian economy and helped providing over 800 million people free food during Covid-19 and post Covid under PM Garib Kalyan Yojna.

The representatives of BIFA thanked the Tomar for his visit and meeting, they also appreciated the intensity and scale of development that is being done in India which has earned place of pride for the Indians located in Indonesia. 

They also sought technical support for agriculture especially for fresh food on the concept of farm to table. 

Intensity and scale of development in India

One of the world’s highest-resolution soil mapping services to be piloted in continental and Eastern Europe

Syngenta has unveiled one of the world’s highest-resolution soil mapping services, Interra® Scan, at Fields of Innovation 2022, Europe’s premier agricultural innovation event. Given the current economic situation and the cost of lime, fertilizers and seeds, this can offer immediate economic value to growers, as well as a potential long-term solution that may help them to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change through regenerative agricultural practices.

Interra® Scan offers high-resolution soil mapping for up to 27 layers of information, providing growers with precise information on soil health. “Interra® Scan produces high-resolution maps accessible by growers’ computers via the Interra® Scan platform. Mark Hall, Head of Sustainable and Responsible Business EAME informed, “Its detection technology provides mapping of all common nutrient properties including, pH, soil texture, organic matter, carbon, and cation exchange capacity, as well as elevation and plant water availability – all together, it offers over 800 data reference points per hectare. It is the equivalent of a complete medical check-up for humans, but for soil.”

The map allows growers to understand the texture, nutrient and carbon content of their soils in order to optimize nutrition and carbon capture. The methodology used by Interra® Scan also enables a much-wider operating window for soil scans compared to other soil scanning systems. It is not affected by soil moisture, compaction, crop cover or cultivation state, meaning there are very few limitations to when it can be used.

Speaking about the new technology, Alexandra Brand, Regional Director of Crop Protection, EAME, said: “Our interest in precision soil mapping technology is increasing because soil health is the basis for plant health. Understanding the variability in nutrients and textural-based properties of the field’s soil results in better optimization of input (fertilizer, seed, etc.) placement for economic and environmental gain.”

By providing an accurate baseline measurement of both organic and active carbon in the soil, Interra® Scan can enable growers to adjust their farming systems leading to long-term soil health benefits. “Healthy soils can not only improve food production but also mitigate climate change. They have a critical role to play as a natural carbon sink. Investment in precision innovations like Interra® Scan means growers will be able to avoid treating the entire field in the same way by making informed decisions about exactly what to apply where and how much,” Alexandra Brand explained.

One of the world’s highest-resolution soil mapping

Supplement very effective in mitigating daily enteric methane emission from ruminants by 20 per cent

The ICAR-National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology, Bengaluru commercialised the anti-methanogenic feed supplement ‘Harit Dhara’ to BAIF Development Research Foundation, Pune on a non-exclusive basis through AgrInnovate India. 

Dr Raghavendra Bhatta, Inventor and Director, ICAR-NIANP, Bengaluru and Bharat Kakade, President, BAIF Development Research Foundation, signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) on behalf of their respective organisations for the licensing and commercial manufacturing of the anti-methanogenic feed supplement.

The product has been developed through systematic and comprehensive research for more than a decade and the supplement is very effective in mitigating the daily enteric methane emission from ruminants by about 20 percent. 

BAIF is planning to adopt the Harit Dhara technology across 10 states of India for the effective mitigation of daily enteric methane emissions thereby improving livestock productivity.

The ‘Harit Dhara’ is a patent-applied technology. 

Supplement very effective in mitigating daily

SAT protects rice crops from yellow stem borer and brown plant hopper infestation and increases yield by 3 to 5 per cent

Corteva Agriscience, a global pure-play agriculture company, which was earlier the agriculture division of DowDuPoint, is planning to launch the “Seed Applied Technology”, seed treatment solutions to the rice and corn crops in India which will be extended to other crops subsequently.  In India, Seed Applied Technology (SAT) product is currently under registration process with Central Insecticides Board & Registration Committee and company has initiated field trials with rice farmers. The company has launched the SAT product in Thailand and China and set to be rolled out in Indonesia, will be for paddy and maize crops.

Corteva’s Seed treatments involves the application of chemical or biological substances, such as fungicides or insecticides, directly to the surface of a seed, safeguarding the seeds and seedlings against insects, fungal diseases, and soil-borne pathogens. As yellow stem borer and brown plant hopper and leaf folder infestation are common in rice cultivation Corteva’s seed-applied treatment is a convenient solution that protects rice seedlings from damage from this infestation and has demonstrated very good performance.

Seed treatments help improve seed and plant health, as well as germination rates; protect plants from the start when they are most vulnerable to insects and disease; and increase the likelihood of quality and improved harvest. Seed treatments contribute to reducing a farmer’s environmental footprint as well. With seeds already protected against various threats, farmers may not need to apply as much crop protection product once the plant emerges.

Commenting on its commitment to the Indian market and the SAT at Toopran Research Centre located in Wargal Mandal of Telangana, Rahoul Sawani, President – South Asia – Corteva Agriscience, said, “Farmers are dealing with a growing set of challenges at the farm and field level and over the last few years we have seen unpredictable weather further affecting the yield and profitability of farmers. Advances in seed treatments are a vital tool for effectively addressing these challenges, by helping farmers get their crops off to the best start and achieve a successful harvest. We continue to invest in launching new technologies to increase yields, improve livelihoods, and ensure sustained food security in the country.”

 Prasanta Patra, Regional Commercialization & Business Lead, Seed Applied Technologies Portfolio APAC, Corteva Agriscience said, “Seed Applied Technology (SAT) is at a nascent stage in India, especially for rice.  Corteva’s seed-applied solutions will help provide farmers with the tools they need for more sustainable food production. Because Seed Applied Technology involves treating the seed rather than applying crop protection solutions in the field, they can help lower the environmental exposure to chemicals in agriculture.”

Corteva Agriscience, a global pure-play agriculture company, has been providing farmers around the world with the most complete portfolio of agri-products including high-quality seeds, crop protection, and digital solutions. Currently, Company has three production and manufacturing facilities and five research and development facilities in India.

                                                                                                                      By Dipti Barve


SAT protects rice crops from yellow stem

The agreement will reduce Supply and Price volatility and ensure stable long-term supply of Potassic fertiliser to India

India’s fertiliser companies- Coromandel International, Chambal Fertilisers and Indian Potash Limited signed an MoU with Canpotex, Canada. The MoU was presented to Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers . Canpotex, Canada is amongst the largest suppliers of Potash globally, exporting around 130 LMT of product annually.

“The MOU will reduce both supply and price volatility and ensure stable long-term supply of Potassic fertiliser to India. Government of India has been encouraging the domestic fertiliser industry for establishing supply linkages through long term partnerships with resource rich nations. Given India’s high dependence on imports of raw material and fertiliser minerals, these partnerships provide secured availability of fertilisers and raw materials over a period of time and also offer price stability in volatile market conditions. This supply partnership is expected to improve the fertiliser availability within the country and reduce supply side and price vulnerabilities”. Said Dr Mansukh Mandaviya. 

Dr Mandaviya stated that “This is a significant initiative as it will improve the availability of MOP for the farming community, uphold their welfare and contribute towards ensuring food security in the country”. 

He added that this MOU will lead to “strengthening of our mutual relationship and furthering bilateral relations between the two countries”.

The agreement will reduce Supply and Price

India has been advocating the values of living in harmony with nature since ancient times

Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, presenting India’s point of view, addresses various sessions at the G-20 meeting in Bali, Indonesia. Tomar said that Government of India, under leadership of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is addressing the sustainability challenges facing agriculture and food systems and several important initiatives have been taken to address these issues. He said that the Government of India is committed to the benefit of small and marginal farmers and many important schemes are being run for their welfare.

Tomar said that India will enable farmers to respond to current and future crises by improving their access to inputs, technology and markets.

India is committed to further the economic well-being of its farmers by organising small and marginal farmers into groups, promoting agri-startups and investments in agricultural infrastructure, launching the world’s largest crop insurance programme and conducting various activities like facilitating digitisation of agriculture. 

Tomar said that India is promoting millet cultivation considering millet’s tolerance towards harsh climatic conditions as well as their nutritional value. In the concluding session Tomar said that India has been advocating the values of living in harmony with nature since ancient times.

India has been advocating the values of

The species is described based on specimens collected through exploration of the river from Mettur dam, and in the upstream of Shivanasamudra falls, Chamarajanagar, Karnataka.

The ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources, Lucknow has discovered a new catfish species of the genus Pangasius (Valenciennes, 1840), from the river Cauvery, in peninsular India and named as P icaria.

The species is described based on specimens collected through exploration of the river from Mettur dam, and in the upstream of Shivanasamudra falls, Chamarajanagar, Karnataka. Pangasius icaria is named after the parent organisation Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and uses its abbreviated form. 

The researchers used extensive morphological analysis, skeleton radiography and advanced molecular markers combined with species delimitation computational techniques to conclude that the Pangasius specimens from river Cauvery are distinct from other species of genus Pangasius and named as P icaria. 

The new species can be distinguished from its congeners, known from south and southeast Asia, by presence of widely placed, small rounded vomerine and palatine tooth plates, longer maxillary and mandibular barbels, more vertebrae count and smaller caudal peduncle depth. 

This discovery is a new opportunity for future research on conservation of the species and evaluation of the new fish genetic resources for its characteristics and utilisation potential.

The species is described based on specimens

 This development will catalyse higher yield, better varieties, higher income for farmers while tremendously boosting the export value for Indian pomegranates in the world market

In a path-breaking development for genome research and horticultural science in India, a team of scientists has completed the genome sequencing for pomegranate, known as a wonder fruit to many. For the first time anywhere in the India, the ICAR-NRCP team at Solapur, Maharashtra has been able to identify all the bases of DNA material in perfect sequence in the process unlocking several genetic mysteries such as identifying particular genes responsible for sweetness, seed softness or colour of the fruit, those responsible for disease and pest resistance, and those for the enlargement of the fruit size, among others. The fruit used has been cv. Bhagawa, an Indian pomegranate.

The ICAR-NRCP announced the release of Reference Quality Genome Assembly of Indian pomegranate cv. Bhagawa . The team involved in this landmark research comprised Dr N.V. Singh, Dr P. Roopa Sowjanya, Dr Shilpa Parashuram, Dr. P.G. Patil and Dr. R.A. Marathe, all at ICAR-NRCP, Solapur. It has taken the team six years in accomplishing full genomic sequencing of this Indian pomegranate. The reference-quality genome assembly of the ‘Bhagawa’ developed by ICAR-NRCP under aegis of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi is a huge reservoir of publicly accessible genomic resources for pomegranate researchers across the globe and will provide a great impetus to the pomegranate improvement programme in India. These genomic resources will assist the pomegranate genetic improvement programmes of different research organizations including ICAR-NRCP through genomics assisted trait mapping, breeding and genome editing applications to develop improved varieties with resistance/tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses.

The genome sequencing experiment was executed at Nucleome Informatics, a Hyderabad based genomics lab. Nucleome is the only laboratory from Asia which is affiliated with the world’s largest and prestigious genomics program ‘The Vertebrate Genome Project’ to sequence 70000 vertebrate genomes. 

“Being a high value crop, until now, due to lack of resistant pomegranate varieties against major pests and diseases, there has been very high dependence on chemical pesticides for managing biotic stresses. However, now that we have managed to sequence the whole genome of this fruit, this will open up incredible avenues for vastly improving yield, growing much better and safer varieties for human nutritional needs, and all this at a much faster rate,” said Dr R. A. Marathe, Director, ICAR-NRCP.

“Pomegranate supports the livelihood security of an estimated 2.5 lakh farm families mostly in climatically and edaphically-challenged regions.  Now with the achievement of this sequencing and development of even higher quality fruits, India’s export value for pomegranate in the international market will multiply several-fold in a very short period of time,” said Dr. A.K. Singh, DDG (Horticultural Science), ICAR, New Delhi.

 Dushyant Singh Baghel, CEO Nucleome Informatics said, “This is an example of public private partnership in genomics research. With the availability of skilled genomics experts and advanced genomics technologies Scientists can develop genomes and discover useful genes in crops faster.”

 This development will catalyse higher yield, better

Leading agricultural drone manufacturer IoTechWorld Avigation Private Limited has revealed that it is aiming a multi-fold growth in both values and volume terms in the current fiscal. The Gurugram-headquartered company is targeting to sell more than 1,000 kisan drones during 2022-23 and is eyeing to capture a good share in the market, estimated to be Rs 5000 crore by 2025-26. 

To fund its growth, India’s first type certified drone manufacturer is in advanced talks with investors to raise funds, which will be utilised for expansion. Last year, the company raised around Rs 30 crore from leading agrochemical company Dhanuka Agritech. The company has also been selected for the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Drone & Drone components by the government of India.

According to Deepak Bhardwaj and Anoop Upadhyay, Co-founders, IoTechWorld Avigation, the company is working to make all components indigenous within one to two years and is also developing village level entrepreneurs and service partners to increase employment.  “Clearly, the growth opportunity is humungous and IoTechWorld Avigation is likely to gain major share of the kisan drone market,” the founders added.

So far, the company has conducted many campaigns and drone yatra of 15000 km across India for educating farmers on the benefits of using drones in agriculture. It has centres in 12 states and will open a Remote Pilot Training Organisation (RPTO) with different state governments to offer low-cost pilot license course.

“IoTechWorld Avigation has launched a bike back drone model and new Lithium Ion batteries to reduce the cost of operating and increase the mobility of drones. ICAR, KVKs, state agri universities have procured drones from us and now we are enabling them so that they can give demonstration and can educate the local farmers,” said Bhardwaj and Upadhyay.

“Our company is working with almost all major plant protection chemical manufacturing companies and working to increase the bio-efficacy of all plant protection chemicals. We are also empanelled with various state governments like Madhya Pradesh,” they added.

As per a recent report by FICCI–EY, the drone market is likely to become $30 billion by 2030 and agriculture drone market is estimated to contribute around 30 per cent of the overall market share.

Leading agricultural drone manufacturer IoTechWorld Avigation Private

WRMS will empower the onion farmers by providing them with rule engine-based farm level SecuFarm advisory services

WRMS, an agriculture and dairy risk management company, has recently signed an MOU with NIFCO – Nilo Kheri Farmer Producer Company in Karnal Haryana. Through this partnership, WRMS will empower the onion farmers of the Rambha region of the Karnal district by providing them with rule engine-based farm level SecuFarm advisory services. With SecuFarm, these onion farmers will get farm level crop management advisory which will help them achieve water management, yield enhancement, use of climate smart agro chemicals, early detection & control of pest attacks, real time weather advisory for timely decision making, and post-harvest market linkages.

The initiative will begin on 50 acres in the Haryana region of Karnal (Rambha), where smallholder onion growers will receive cutting-edge digital agricultural services from the seed selection stage to the post-harvest market linkages.

Under the SecuFarm service, farmers will receive a free-soil testing service to identify the nutrients missing from the soil and will be given appropriate treatments. In order to reduce crop loss, farmers will receive farm-level crop advice to make sure their crop illnesses are addressed quickly. Additionally, WRMS will give them access to weather forecasts via automatic weather stations so that the farmers can decide how best to safeguard their harvest. A smart irrigation system is another SecuFarm service that helps farmers irrigate their farms according to both the weather forecast and the recommended level of soil moisture in their soil. Consequently, it will help conserve both water and energy.

Speaking on the occasion, Director of NIFCO, Dr Sardar Singh, said, “We are extremely excited with our association with WRMS as we are confident that SecuFarm services will increase the crop yield of our onion farmers and educate them on sustainable farming practices”.

Rahul Babele, State Head, Haryana (WRMS) also commented that, “We see immense possibility in our association with NIFCO. Having worked with farmers of crops like cotton, paddy, tomato, and potato in Haryana, we understand the key challenges faced by them in the state. This learning will help us serve the onion farmers of NIFCO even better and provide them with digital SecuFarm services that will help them combat those challenges.”

WRMS will empower the onion farmers by

Syngenta Crop Protection, a global leader in agricultural innovation, is launching the world’s first commercial digital solution to diagnose infestations of plant-parasitic nematodes in soyabean crops by analysing photographs taken from satellites.

Plant-parasitic nematodes are microscopic parasites living in the soil that feed on plant roots, opening pathways to further fungal infections and threatening plant health, crop quality and yield. These harmful nematodes account for as much as $ 150 billion in crop losses globally each year.

The new digital tool uses a unique, proprietary algorithm to analyse images of fields obtained by satellites, allowing it to identify areas of high infestations of plant-parasitic nematodes in crops and estimate potential losses caused by these microscopic parasites.  Using the tool, farmers can make quick adjustments to their field management practices, helping them avoid losses in yield, as well as optimising the use of inputs, improving the sustainability of their farms.

Syngenta will first market this service to soybean farmers in Brazil, where the company already offers an extensive range of advanced digital solutions. Soybean is one of the most important crops in the world for its vital role in food production, and Brazil accounts for approximately 35 per cent of global soybean production. In Brazil, plant-parasitic nematodes cause estimated losses in soybean production amounting to more than $5.4 billion a year. So far, the threat from harmful nematodes has been largely invisible and insufficiently understood, and estimates say that Brazilian farmers lose as much as 30 per cent of their yield in highly infested areas.

“Harmful nematodes that devastate crops are a major threat to farmers and food security, and Syngenta is using cutting-edge digital solutions to help combat these pests,” said Jeff Rowe, President Global Crop Protection. “We are excited to be launching this product in Brazil, and there is great potential to scale this solution to other countries and crops and transform the decision-making capabilities for growers.”

This first-of-its-kind innovation is the culmination of a multi-year collaboration with Swiss-based AgTech startup Gamaya SA – a spin-off from Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne – bringing together its highly specialised expertise in algorithm development together with Syngenta’s agronomic and crop knowledge. Syngenta is integrating this advanced digital solution within its own digital technology platform, CROPWISE™.

“At Syngenta, we will continue to invest in machine learning and data science, to develop further breakthrough offers for farmers,” said Feroz Sheikh, Chief Information and Digital Officer of Syngenta Group. “The technology is a great addition to our CROPWISETM platform, which already digitally connects almost 200 million acres of land, and underlines our commitment to invest in and partner with providers in the AgTech space.”

The introduction of the digital diagnosis and mapping tool for harmful nematodes comes as Syngenta launches TYMIRIUM® technology globally, its next-generation nematicide and fungicide for both seed and soil uses that can help farmers maximise crop output while preserving soil biodiversity and health.

Syngenta Crop Protection, a global leader in

Household economy of rural women to get a boost

Ornamental fish farming is an enterprise which will boost the household economy of rural women and will play a significant role in the Indian export as well as domestic market. 

To popularise ornamental farming activity among the women of Sundarbans, ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore has initiated promotion of ornamental farming in the Pachapara-Narayantala village involving five Self Help Groups with 50 Scheduled caste (SC) women beneficiaries.

Under the SC Programme 50 beneficiaries were selected on a mission mode approach in a cluster basis for hands on training, demonstration as well as providing initial inputs such as 500 Litre Fiber tank, aerator and other accessories like thermostat, live-bearer fish fingerlings, ornamental fish feed.

Dr B K Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI inaugurated the mass awareness cum training cum input distribution to empower rural women of Pachapara-Narayantala village, South 24 Parganas in association with Kultali Milon Tirtha Society and Rotary International. 

Das stressed upon various aspects of ornamental fish farming and its avenue to boost the rural economy and household income for a long run without any labour migration, which will provide additional income of Rs. 500-2000/ family/month when adopted

ICAR-CIFRI has also adopted 50  families from this area, who are now scaling up and getting their livelihood from this source.

The innovative approach developed by the ICAR-CIFRI to create an ornamental fish village is a step towards developing rural enterprise among the women to address the SDG- 5 of UN.

Household economy of rural women to get