Agriculture allied activities
Allied activities are the important components of the agriculture sector and have a high revenue earning potential which is still not fully utilised in India. In this section, we will provide you with updates on allied activities of the agriculture sector.
Allied activities News/updates
Union Minister inaugurates “e-SANTA Marketplace”
What is the News?
The Union Commerce and Industry Minister virtually inaugurated e-SANTA.
- e-SANTA stands for Electronic Solution for Augmenting NaCSA farmer’s trade-in Aquaculture.
- Purpose: e-SANTA is an electronic marketplace providing a platform to connect aqua farmers and buyers. Further, The platform will also act as an alternative marketing tool between farmers & buyers by eliminating middlemen.
Benefits of e-SANTA Platform:
- Firstly, Enhances the life of Farmers: The platform will RAISE the lives & income of farmers by:
- Reducing Risk
- Awareness of Products & Markets
- Increase in Income
- Shielding Against Wrong Practice
- Ease of Processes.
- Secondly, Promotes Transparency: The platform promotes transparency as the process is completely paperless and an end-to-end electronic trade between Farmers and exporters.
- Thirdly, Greater Control: The farmers have the freedom to list their products and quote their price. While the exporters have the freedom to list their requirements and also to choose the products based on their requirements.
- Fourthly, The platform is available in many languages which will help the local population.
About National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture(NaCSA):
- National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture is an extension arm of Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), Ministry of Commerce & Industry Govt. of India.
- Objective: The objectives of NaCSA are to encourage and uplift the small and marginal farmers through the organization of clusters and maintaining Best Management Practices in shrimp culture.
“Shaphari Scheme” – Centre to Certify Shrimp Farms
What is the News?
Marine Products Export Development Authority(MPEDA) launches a certification scheme for aquaculture called the “Shaphari Scheme”.
About Shaphari Scheme:
- Shaphari is a Sanskrit word that means the superior quality of fishery products suitable for human consumption.
- Purpose: It is an Antibiotics free Certification Scheme. It certifies hatcheries and farms for the production of antibiotic-free shrimp products. By doing that, it aims to:
- enhance the consumer confidence,
- meet international standards
- promote hassle-free export
- Moreover, the entire certification process will be online to minimize human errors and ensure higher credibility and transparency.
- Based on: The scheme is based on the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization’s technical guidelines on aquaculture certification.
- Components: The scheme will have two components:
- Certifying hatcheries for the quality of their seeds and
- Separately approving shrimp farms that adopt the requisite good practices.
- Significance: The certification of fish hatcheries under the Shaphari Scheme will help farmers easily identify good quality seed producers. Those who successfully clear multiple audits of their operations shall receive a certificate for a period of two years.
Reasons to launch this scheme:
- Firstly, India is the second-largest fish producer in the world.
- Secondly, Fish Sector provides employment to 14 million people in harvesting, processing packaging, and distribution.
- Thirdly, Frozen shrimp is the largest exported item from India. It constitutes 50.58% in quantity and 73.2% in terms of total U.S. dollar earnings from the sector during 2019-20.
- Fourthly, India exported frozen shrimp worth almost $5 billion in 2019-20 to the U.S. and China — its biggest buyers.
- Fifthly, Major Producing States: Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu are the major shrimp producing States.
- However, a combination of factors had hurt export volumes in recent months. This includes container shortages and incidents of rejection of seafood consignments because of food safety concerns. Hence, the scheme was launched.
Source: The Hindu
Government launches “Madhukranti portal” and “Honey Corners” of NAFED
What is the News?
The Union Agriculture Minister has launched the “MadhuKranti portal” and “Honey Corners” of NAFED.
About MadhuKranti portal:
- Madhukranti portal is an initiative of the National Bee Board under the National Beekeeping and Honey Mission.
- Purpose: The purpose is to develop an online registration to achieve a traceability source of Honey and other beehive products on a digital platform.
- The portal will enable the consumers/public to know about the source of honey and assure the quality of the products.
About National Beekeeping & Honey Mission(NBHM):”
- National Beekeeping & Honey Mission(NBHM) was launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare as part of the AtmaNirbhar Bharat scheme.
- Aim: The aim is to promote & develop scientific beekeeping in the country to achieve the goal of ‘Sweet Revolution’.
- Implementation: The National Bee Board (NBB) will implement the mission. Further, it is a Central Sector Scheme and is 100% funded by the Central Govt.
About Honey Corners:
- Honey Corners: They are special spaces for the sale of honey. The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) operates it.
- Significance: NAFED has developed 14-15 honey corners. NAFED will also develop more honey corners in future. This will promote market support for honey.
- National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation(NAFED) is an apex organization of marketing cooperatives for agricultural produce in India.
- Founded in: It was founded in 1958. It is registered under the Multi-State Co-operative Societies Act, 2002.
- Firstly, to organize, promote and develop marketing, processing and storage of agricultural, horticultural and forest produce.
- Secondly, to distribute agricultural machinery and other inputs, undertake inter-state, import and export trade, wholesale or retail as the case may be.
- And lastly, to act and assist with technical advice in agricultural production for the promotion and the working of its members, partners, etc.
White Revolution in India and Women Empowerment
Synopsis: Dairy cooperatives models adopted by India during Operation Flood improved women development in India
Introduction: Women dairy farmers’ contribution to India’s white revolution is immense. That itself is a great reason for India to celebrate Women’s History Month in March.
What is the White revolution?
- Firstly, Operation Flood led to the White revolution. It aimed to make India a self-dependent nation in milk production.
- Secondly, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) launched it in 1970. Dr Verghese Kurien is the father of the White Revolution in India.
- Thirdly, Operation Flood promoted the AMUL model. Under this model, milk is procured from farmers’ co-operatives. The excess milk is converted to skimmed milk powder and get utilized during the lean season. The milk is distributed through an organized retail network.
- Fourthly, so far operation flood is the world’s biggest dairy development program. The Operation flood made India the world’s largest producer of milk.
Role of cooperatives in Operation Flood:
In India Majority of the dairy farmers own only small landholdings(households with two to five cows). But due to the development of co-operatives under Operation Flood, they were able to improve a lot. This includes,
- The small dairy farmers were able to avoid middlemen.
- They also started getting a guaranteed minimum procurement price for milk.
- It enhanced the knowledge and bargaining power of small and marginal farmers.
Achievement of women dairy farmers:
Apart from the general benefits, women dairy farmers achieved many significant achievements. This includes,
- According to the latest data, there are more than 1,90,000 dairy cooperative societies across the country. Approximately 6 million of their members are women members.
- A study conducted on Women Dairy Cooperative Society (WDCS) members in Rajasthan shows certain striking development among women. Such as,
- 31% of the women dairy farmers in Rajasthan converted their mud houses to cement structures.
- 39% of women dairy farmers in Rajasthan constructed concrete sheds for their cattle
- Women-led cooperatives provide fertile ground for the capacity building of rural women in a leadership position.
For example, A woman dairy farmer who not even visited the school joined a Dairy cooperative. Now she is the main breadwinner in her family and bought 25 acres of land with the income she earned through dairy farming.
- Apart from that, Women dairy farmers also broke the traditional practices of patriarchal society.
All these developments are demonstrated through the testimonials on International Women’s Day. It was conducted by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
Financial success of women-led dairy unions and companies:
- During the early years of Operation Flood, the National Dairy Development Board worked on setting up women-led producer enterprises. This includes companies like Shreeja Mahila Milk Producer Company. The company started with 24 women, but now it has more than 90,000 members. The company now has a turnover of approximately ₹450 crores/year.
- In 2019, Amul released a list of 10 women dairy farmers who became a millionaire by selling milk.
The women development achieved by the women dairy farmers in India is huge. They achieved this feat even without getting any formal education.
A study by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) indicates that 93% of women who succeeded received both financial support and training. Instead, the success rate is only 57% if they receive financial aid alone.
So the government has to understand this and start providing training to the remaining women dairy farmers. As this will be the only way to improve women’s empowerment.
Source: The Hindu
KVIC launches “Project REHAB”
What is the News?
Khadi and Village Industries Commission(KVIC) has launched a unique project called Project REHAB (Reducing Elephant – Human Attacks using Bees).
About Project REHAB:
- Under this project, bee boxes would get used as a fence to prevent the attack of elephants.
- Aim: The aim is to create “bee-fences” to mitigate human– elephant conflicts in the country. It will reduce the loss of lives of both, humans and elephants.
- Where was it launched? It was launched as a pilot project at four places. These places are located on the periphery of Nagarhole National Park in Karnataka.
- Sub Mission: The project has gotten launched as a sub-mission of KVIC’s National Honey Mission.
National Honey Mission:
- Launched by: Khadi and Village Industries Commission(KVIC)
- To provide sustainable employment and income to rural and urban unemployed youth.
- To conserve the honeybee habitat and tapping untapped natural resources.
- Moreover, to promote beekeeping for increasing crop productivity and pollination services avenue for beekeepers and farmers.
Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund
About Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund
- Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development (AHIDF) is a Central Sector Scheme. It was launched by the Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, and Dairying.
- Aim: To facilitate incentivization of investments for
- Dairy processing and value addition infrastructure
- Meat processing and value addition infrastructure and
- Animal Feed Plant.
- To help increase milk and meat processing capacity and increase exports from these sectors
- To develop entrepreneurship and generate employment
- It would increase the price realization for the producer
- To make available quality concentrated animals feed to cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat, pig to poultry.
- Eligibility: The following entities will be eligible under AHIDF
- Farmer Producer Organization(FPO)
- Private companies
- Individual entrepreneurs
- Section 8 companies
- Micro Small and Medium Enterprises.
- Benefits under the scheme:
- Loan Contribution: The beneficiaries are to contribute a minimum of 10% margin money as an investment. The balance of 90% would be the loan component to be made available by scheduled banks.
- Interest Subvention: The Government of India will provide a 3% interest subvention to eligible beneficiaries.
- Loan Moratorium: There will be a 2 years moratorium period for the principal loan amount and 6 years repayment period thereafter.
- Credit Guarantee Fund: NABARD would maintain a Credit Guarantee Fund. It would provide a Credit guarantee to those sanctioned projects which are covered under MSME defined ceilings. Guarantee Coverage would be up to 25% of the Credit facility of the borrower.
Source: The Hindu
TIFAC launches SAKSHAM Portal and Seaweed Mission
What is the news?
Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) celebrated its 34th Foundation Day. The theme of the Foundation day was: “Technology, Innovation and Economy for Atma Nirbhar Bharat”.
- It is an autonomous technology think tank under the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Ministry of Science and Technology. It was set up in 1988.
- Mandate: TIFAC identifies the technological priorities of the future like cyber-physical systems, quantum computing, green chemistry and water.
- TIFAC launched 2 initiatives: 1) SAKSHAM Portal, 2) Seaweed Mission
- Need of the Portal: The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled the labour force to return to their native lands due to loss of jobs.
- Aim: It is a dynamic job portal for mapping the skills of Shramiks (labour) vis-à-vis requirements of the MSMEs across the country.
- Features of the Portal:
- This portal will facilitate placement of 10 lakh blue-collar jobs by directly connecting Shramiks with MSMEs.
- It will help eliminate middlemen/ labour contractors. It will also help in the identification of skill proficiency level and development of Skill Cards for Shramik.
- Likewise, it will also reduce the hardship of Shramiks(labour) in finding jobs in nearby MSMEs.
- Why was this mission launched? Out of the global seaweed production, China produces 57%, Indonesia 28%. Whereas, India is having a mere share of 0.01-0.02%.
- Purpose: Under the mission, TIFAC will demonstrate a model for commercial farming of seaweeds, and it’s processing for value addition. It will boost the national economy.
- Benefits of Cultivating Seaweed:
- It is estimated that if seaweed cultivation is done in 10 million hectares or 5% of the EEZ area of India, it can provide employment to 50 million people.
- Additional benefits of Seaweed cultivation;
- Improves national GDP;
- improves ocean productivity;
- Reduce algal blooms and sequester millions of tons of CO2;
- Create a healthier ocean and can also use to produce bioethanol.
Bengaluru scientists develop “Arka Shubha variety of Marigold”
What is the News?
Indian Institute of Horticultural Research(IIHR) has come out with a new variety of Marigold flower called “Arka Shubha variety of Marigold”.
- It is mostly herbaceous plants belonging to the sunflower family Asteraceae.
- The flowers are native to the Americas, growing naturally from the southwestern United States into South America. However, some species have become naturalized around the world.
Significance of Arka Shubha variety of Marigold:
- Generally, flowers lose their value if they get spoiled either due to rain or delay in harvest. However, from this variety, crude carotene can be extracted, even if flowers are spoilt.
- The Arka Shubha variety of marigold has a carotene content of 2.8%. It is more than other marigold varieties(1.4%) and is also the highest carotene content from a plant source.
- Carotene is mainly used in the pharmaceutical sector. Presently, India imports most of its carotene from China and other countries.
- Ornamental Purposes: These flowers can be sold for ornamental purposes too.
- Poultry Sector: This variety is of use in the poultry sector as well. Its petals could be used as feed to get quality yolk. It can also be used as feed for sheep too.
Source: The Hindu
What are the benefits of “Seaweed Farming”?
What is the news?
In Budget 2021, the Finance Minister has proposed to set up a multi-purpose seaweed park in Tamil Nadu. It will be a part of the Seaweed Farming promotion in India.
- What is Seaweed? It is the name given to the many species of marine algae and plants. These species grow in water bodies such as rivers, seas and oceans. The practice of cultivating and harvesting seaweed is known as Seaweed Farming.
- Seaweed Species in India: The commercially exploited seaweed species in India mainly include Kappaphycus alvarezii, Gracilaria edulis, Gelidiella acerosa, Sargassum spp. and Turbinaria spp.
- Uses of Seaweed Farming:
- They are rich in vitamins and minerals and are consumed as food in various parts of the world
- They are used for the production of phytochemicals namely agar, carrageenan, and alginate. These phytochemicals are widely used as gelling, stabilizing, and thickening agents in several industries of food, confectionery, pharmaceutical, etc.
- Furthermore, they are used for the production of polysaccharides, fertilizer. They are also used in high-value products such as nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals for use against various lifestyle diseases.
Modernisation of the fishing harbour
The Finance Minister has announced modernisation of five fishing harbours.
- Which are those five fishing harbours? Kochi (Kerala), Chennai (Tamil Nadu) Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Paradip (Odisha) and Petuaghat (West Bengal).
- These fishing harbours will be developed as hubs of economic activity by developing inland fishing and fish-landing centres along the banks of rivers and waterways.
Source: The Hindu
Lumpy skin disease in cattle
News: The Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) has been detected in Indian bovines in the State of Tamil Nadu.
- Lumpy Skin Disease: It is an infectious disease in cattle caused by a virus of the family Poxviridae, also known as the Neethling virus.
- Vector: Blood-feeding insects such as mosquitos and flies act as mechanical vectors to spread the disease. The outbreak of the disease is associated with high temperature and high humidity.
- Origin: Lumpy skin disease was first seen as an epidemic in Zambia in 1929. In India, the case was first reported from Odisha in August 2019 and currently, it has spread to 15 states within just 16 months.
- Symptoms: The disease is characterized by fever, enlarged superficial lymph nodes and multiple nodules on the skin and mucous membranes. Infected cattle also may develop edematous swelling in their limbs and exhibit lameness.
- Mortality Rate: Morbidity varies between 2 and 45% and the mortality rate is usually less than 10%.
- Treatment: There is no treatment for the virus, so prevention by vaccination is the most effective means of control.
- Implications: The virus has important economic implications since affected animals tend to have permanent damage to their skin, lowering the commercial value of their hide.
Union Minister to launch “Khadi Prakritik Paint” developed by KVIC
News: Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways will be launching an innovative new called “Khadi Prakritik Paint”.
- Khadi Prakritik Paint: It has been conceptualized by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) and later developed by Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute, Jaipur (a KVIC unit).
- Key Characteristics:
- It is a first-of-its-kind eco-friendly, non-toxic paint with anti-fungal, antibacterial properties.
- Based on cow dung as its main ingredient, the paint is cost-effective and odorless and has been certified by Bureau of Indian Standards.
- The paint is free from heavy metals like lead, mercury, chromium, arsenic, cadmium and others.
- Forms: The paint is available in two forms – distemper paint and plastic emulsion paint.
- Production of Khadi Prakritik Paint is aligned with the Prime Minister’s vision of increasing farmer’s income. The paint is estimated to generate additional income of Rs 30,000 (approx) per annum per animal to farmers/ gaushalas.
- It will be a boost to the local manufacturing and will create sustainable local employment through technology transfer.
- This technology will increase consumption of cow dung as a raw material for eco-friendly products and will generate additional revenue to farmers and gaushalas. Utilization of cow dung will also clean the environment and prevent clogging of drains.
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Karnataka’s cow protection bill
Context: The Karnataka’s cow protection bill, like similar laws in other states affects rural economy.
- Recently, Karnataka state’s Vidhan Sabha passed the contentious cattle protection bill that had been passed by the state assembly 10 years ago which could not enter the statute book because the governor refused assent.
What are the issues involved?
- Lack of debate: The Speaker did not give the opposition adequate time to voice their opinion.
- Disturbs existing network: The relationship between the farmer and the butcher is threatened as witnessed in similar stares like Uttar Pradesh.
- Indiscriminate powers to law agency: The proposed law stipulates a prison term of three to five years and fines ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh for purchasing or disposing of cattle for slaughter and gives the police sweeping powers to search premises and vehicles.
- Affects farmers whose livelihood is dependent on Livestock: the cow becomes virtually uneconomical for the farmer after eight years when its milk output falls. Also, such animals along with male cattle not required for draught and breeding purposes.
- Misuse of law: As observed by Allahabad High Court, The Act is being used against innocent persons.
- It is a comprehensive breed improvement marketplace and information portal for direct use of farmers.
- Features: The app will provide solutions on the aspects of:
- Managing livestock including buying and selling of disease-free germplasm in all forms (semen, embryos, etc.).
- Availability of quality breeding services (Artificial Insemination, veterinary first aid, vaccination, treatment, etc.).
- Guiding farmers for animal nutrition and treatment of animals using appropriate ayurvedic medicine/ethnoveterinary medicine.
- Providing a mechanism to send alerts and inform farmers about various government schemes and campaigns in the area.
Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana
Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana
- It is a flagship scheme for focused and sustainable development of the fisheries sector in the country as a part of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
- Nodal Ministry: Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries.
- Enhance fish production by an additional 70 lakh tonne and increase fisheries export earnings to Rs.1,00,000 crore by 2024-25.
- Double the incomes of fishers and fish farmers.
- Reduce post-harvest losses from 20-25% to about 10%.
- Generate an additional 55 lakhs direct and indirect gainful employment opportunities in the fisheries sector and allied activities.
- Investment and Duration: An estimated investment of Rs. 20,050 crores for a period of 5 years from financial year (FY) 2020-21 to FY 2024-25 in all States/Union Territories.
- Components: The scheme has two components — Central Sector Scheme (CS) and Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS).
- Other significant Features:
- The scheme Adopt ‘Cluster or Area-based Approaches’ and create fisheries clusters through backward and forward linkages.
- It focuses especially on employment generation activities such as seaweed and ornamental fish cultivation.
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