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Expert calls for paradigm shift in agriculture research

‘Undue emphasis being laid on genetically modified crops’ Sage advice:Center for Sustainable Agriculture Executive Director G.V. Ramanjaneyulu addressing a seminar at Regional Agricultural Research Station in Guntur on Friday.—Photo: T. Vijaya Kumar The Green Revolution in India was possible due to import of advanced technologies from developed countries, mainly the U.S., and a dominant role played by the government, which extended remarkable assistance to farmers in producing crops and selling them at remunerative price. In the post-Green Revolution scenario, India continued to adopt technologies that were best suited for large land holdings such as those in the U.S., where agriculture was heavily subsidised and the regulatory agencies played their role […]

Emulate DDS: Minister

Staff Reporter Decorated bullock-carts being taken in a procession at DDS programme on bio-diversity at Pastapur in Medak on Monday. —PHOTO: MOHD ARIF Finally, women working to protect nature and making efforts for self-sustenance under the guidance of Deccan Development Society (DDS) led by its director P.V. Satheesh, are set get due recognition. Major Industries Minister J. Geeta Reddy, who participated as a chief guest in the concluding programme of the Bio-diversity Festival at this remote village in Medak district on Monday said that it had been decided to emulate the example of millet cultivation with organic forming across the district. The farmers from other areas would be called here […]

Monsanto guilty of chemical poisoning

Reuters, February 13 2012 A French court on Monday declared US biotech giant Monsanto guilty of chemical poisoning of a French farmer, a judgment that could lend weight to other health claims against pesticides. In the first such case heard in court in France, grain grower Paul Francois, 47, says he suffered neurological problems including memory loss, headaches and stammering after inhaling Monsanto’s Lasso weedkiller in 2004. He blames the agri-business giant for not providing adequate warnings on the product label. The ruling was given by a court in Lyon, southeast France, which ordered an expert opinion of Francois’s losses to establish the amount of damages. “It is a […]

TNAU develops ready-to-cook pearl millet mix

Times of India, 11 February 2012 COIMBATORE: The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University has been granted a patent for producing a ready-to-cook mix from pearl millet (cumbu). The Patent Office of Chennai, Government of India, granted the first of its kind patent on January 12. Pearl millet (cumbu in Tamil and bajra in the North) is an important millet occupying more than 55% of the global production. Because of the availability of rice in ready-to-cook form, the usage of millets has got decreased. Moreover, the traditional method of preparing food from pearl millet involves a cumbersome process, which is another reason for decline in consumption of pearl millet. Therefore, TNAU […]

Small seed firms want mandatory allocation of crop technology

K. V. Kurmanath Hyderabad, Jan. 30: The Seed Bill might have been put on the backburner; but small and medium seed companies feel that it is only a temporary respite. They feel that the Bill, when passed by the Lok Sabha, could adversely impact their business prospects. In a detailed note on the Bill to be circulated among its members, they said that “new technologies are coming up in large numbers with patent protection. This is fraught with danger as patentees are out to exploit their patents to the hilt, charging huge royalties on seed technologies”. This segment plays an important role in the Rs 8,000-crore seed industry, catering to […]

Monsanto spent $2 million lobbying US gov’t in 3Q WASHINGTON Monsanto Co. spent $2 million in the third quarter to lobby the federal government on issues including regulations for genetically engineered crops and patent reforms, according to a recent disclosure report. That’s slightly more than the $1.9 million Monsanto spent a year earlier and up almost 18 percent from the $1.7 million it spent during previous quarter. The world’s largest seed company lobbied Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture over regulations that would affect the distribution of genetically engineered crops like the company’s Roundup Ready sugar beets and alfalfa, according to the disclosure the company filed Oct. 18 with the House clerk’s office. The company also lobbied […]

Experts voice apprehension over food security : 100 yrs of paddy research and beyond COIMBATORE, JAN. 9: Government officials and ICAR experts today urged rice scientists to wake up to reality and ensure food security for all in the coming years. In a nutshell, the officials, while stating that the foodgrain production scenario looked comfortable at present, voiced apprehension about the future in view of the erratic weather patterns on the one hand and the need for meeting the demands from the rising population on the other. Mr V. Venkatachalam, Special Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, said that while there has been a four-fold increase in rice production from 1950 onwards, the challenge would be in […]

Shameless ICAR: India to push Rs 8,200-cr ‘super Bt cotton’

Brushing aside an embarrassing scandal in government-funded Bt cotton research as a one-off case, the agriculture ministry has said it would continue to aggressively push public research in genetic engineering. In the pipeline is the hunt for a next-generation “super Bt cotton”, a project worth Rs 8,200 crore. Two Bt cotton variants claimed by government scientists as “indigenous technology” were found to be based on US biotech giant Monsanto’s Bt cotton gene, putting the credibility of the government-funded farm science under a cloud. In a meeting chaired by agriculture minister Sharad Pawar recently, the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) has given the go-ahead for a multi-pronged project to develop a […]

Central team visits Karnataka to assess drought impact

The Hindu Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda at the Legislative Assembly on Dec. 13, 2011. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy A central team arrived on Wednesday to assess the impact of drought in parts of Karnataka, where the Government has declared 99 taluks as drought-hit. Replying to a debate on the drought situation in the Legislative Assembly, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said once the team files the report with the Centre after the two-day visit, the State would take out an all-party delegation to the Union Government to press for grant of funds towards drought-relief works. He announced sanctioning of Rs 36 crore for drilling borewells in drought-hit areas. Mr. […]

Naidu alleges, Nearly 17,000 farmer suicides in AP during Cong rule

Naidu alleges, Nearly 17,000 farmer suicides in Cong rule Nov 22 ,2011 00:28 AM On Monday TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu claimed that nearly 17,000 farmers have committed suicide in the State since 2004. Talking to reporters after holding a round-table conference in the national capital, the TDP chief alleged that the Congress party has completely ignored the welfare of farmers. He alleged that nearly 17,000 farmers have committed suicide since the Congress party came to power in 2004. Naidu said that farmers have stopped agriculture production on nearly 3 lakh acres of land in different districts in the State. He said the farmers were forced to declare Crop Holiday after they […]

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