Problems and Issues facing Farmers groups and cooperatives in Agricultural marketing

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Posted by admin | Posted in Agri Knowledge | Posted on 07-07-2016

A special write-up by Dr Mandeep Pujara
Co-Chair – Agri Science Initiative
Project Director ATMA- Sustainable Agriculture Development Agency,
Govt. of Punjab, India

 Farmers group and cooperatives: A farmer group/ cooperative is a business organization owned and controlled by its members for their mutual benefit. Members finance their cooperative through equity investments. Control comes via membership rights to vote for and become directors. The directors hire the manager and establish the policy under which the manager operates. While the manager and directors have little direct control over the external environment, they do have control over and the responsibility for how the cooperative adjusts to a continuously changing world environment.

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Ponds once a lifeline of India’s agriculture are being revived by some Punjab farmers

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Posted by admin | Posted in Agri Knowledge | Posted on 07-07-2016

The farm ponds, rediscovered by a few farmers in Patiala region of Punjab, could be the answer to the state’s growing groundwater crisis as they can harvest rainwater and cushion against flooding.  The northern region of India is facing drought for the second consecutive year. The rainfall deficit is hovering around 35 percent in Punjab and Haryana and data shows that the two states have consistently registered below normal rainfall since 1998, which has put a severe strain on their groundwater resource. Last year, the rainfall deficit was over 50 percent and Punjab had asked for assistance from the Centre to the tune of Rs 2,350 crore due to a 15 percent rise in irrigation costs; deepening of dried up borewells also added to this. While the state bought extra power, farmers bought extra diesel to extract groundwater. Thus, the input cost of cultivation went up leading to farm distress and suicides. Read the rest of this entry »

What stops crop diversification and Why don’t Indian farmers grow more fruits and vegetables?

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Posted by admin | Posted in Agri Knowledge, Agri Sci | Posted on 27-06-2016

Out of intellectual as well as professional curiosity, I have being digging deeper into this question. In India, rice and wheat comprise 70 percent of agricultural produce by area, but less than 25 percent by value. In other words, wheat and rice are low value crops to grow compared to other options. Yet, the land area dedicated to wheat and rice has not seen a significant decrease in the last decade.

Government data shows that the consumption of wheat and rice has been declining around 1-2 percent in both urban and rural India, while the demand for fruits and vegetables has been rising by 2-3 percent annually. This again begs the question: Why aren’t farmers shifting to growing more fruits and vegetables? Read the rest of this entry »

Problems of Agriculture in Punjab

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Posted by admin | Posted in Agri Knowledge | Posted on 02-05-2016

Agricultural issues in Punjab

By: Mandeep Pujara
Co-Chair Agri Science Initiative
Project Director ATMA- Sustainable Agriculture Development Agency,
Govt. of Punjab, India

1. Mono-cropping and Faulty Cropping Practices

The primary reason for the looming environmental crisis in Panjab is the introduction of intensive agriculture under the Green Revolution. The double monocropping of winter wheat (kanak) and summer rice (jhona / munji) has increased the grain harvest in Panjab since the sixties. However, this has resulted in water use beyond its sustainability due increased demand for irrigation. In addition, the excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides has added to the environmental degradation. The soils of Punjab have become deficient in micronutrients in a space of 45 years. Intensive agriculture practices have deteriorated the pedosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere of Punjab. Read the rest of this entry »

The State of Food and Agriculture 2013

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Posted by admin | Posted in Agri Knowledge | Posted on 27-08-2013

FAO Report: The State of Food and Agriculture 2013

Food systems for better nutrition

Malnutrition in all its forms – under nutrition, micro-nutrient deficiencies, and overweight and obesity imposes unacceptably high economic and social costs on countries at all income levels. Improving nutrition and reducing these costs requires a multisectoral approach that begins with food and agriculture and includes complementary interventions in public health and education. The traditional role of agriculture in producing food and generating income is fundamental, but the entire food system  from inputs and production, through processing, storage, transport and retailing, to consumption can contribute much more to the eradication of malnutrition.

Agricultural policies and research must continue to support productivity growth for staple foods while paying greater attention to nutrient-dense foods and more sustainable production systems. Traditional and modern supply chains can enhance the availability of a variety of nutritious foods and reduce nutrient waste and losses. Governments, international organizations, the private sector and civil society can help consumers choose healthier diets, reduce waste and contribute to more sustainable use of resources by providing clear, accurate information and ensuring access to diverse and nutritious foods.

Access the full report