Sunday, February 28, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Some Small Success Stories – January –February-2010

Spreading SRI technique in Rice Production:

        For the last 2 years, one of our main campaigns was to introduce the SRI techniques (The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is a method of increasing the yield of rice produced in farming. It was developed in 1983 by the French Jesuit Father Henri de Laulanie in Madagascar.) This year we are very successful in spreading this in Balti – Nityanandakati and Bithari-Hakimpur GPs under the Swarupnagar Block of N24 Pgs. So far 14 farmers had practiced this in 12 Bighas of land. Mr. Sankar Das, Sub-Divisional Agriculture Development Officer, Mr. Amal Mondal, Block Agriculture Development Officer & Local KPs( agriculture- assistant) had visited our farmers plots and had request our staff, Tarun to campaign for it in the entire block … ...
Fertilizer merchant joined with us…..

        We have an agriculture training school in Nabatkati of Balti – Nityanandakati GP under the Swarupnagar Block of N24 Pgs. There are a number of farmers who produce the manures and pest controllers in their homes and are independent in farming. Local fertilizer merchants were not happy with us. But six month ago one of the fertilizer merchants, Prakash came to our school and got some idea on bio compost making. He made one chamber beside his shop in Nabatkati Bazar and was very successful in producing pit-compost from there. He collected the unsold vegetable waste and gathered these in his chamber. Now he has joined with us… and planning to produce vermicompost on commercial basis. He has started selling vermicompost and PSB, Neem oil from his shop….....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

High Protein, Low Priority

Low Pulse
Savvy Soumya Misra
Surendra Nath has switched to eating grass-pea, though he knows it is not good for health. But so is tobacco, he argues. He cannot do without pulses and pigeon-pea selling at Rs 100 a kg is beyond his means. The 45-year-old electrician-cum-security-in-charge at a housing society in east Delhi earns Rs 5,000 a month and has a seven-member family to support. “My wife insists on cooking pulses at least once a day, so we have switched to khesari(grass-pea), the cheapest availabledal, that too at Rs 60 a kg,” he said.Nath belongs to Bihar, where pulses, especially pigeon-pea (known as tur orarhar in India), form an integral part of the diet. Only cattle and the poorest of the poor would eat grass-pea since it can cause neurological disorders like paralysis and stunted growth on regular consumption over a long period.
Nath recalls a saying in Bihari, “ tudup taari, bel khesari ”, which means, “while the backward caste people consumed intoxicants, the ox consumed grass-pea”. To keep good health he tries larding his conversation with humour. “Now that we are on khesari, there is nothing for the ox,” he said. In several villages in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh people now keep pigeon-pea for special occasions; peas and potatoes are the new staple.Pulses were displaced from their prime position in many an Indian platter when their prices doubled a year ago. Pigeon pea, which cost Rs 50 a kg earlier, was for Rs 120. Greengram saw a similar price rise and most other pulses were above Rs 70 a kg. While the poor cut down on pulses, their main source of protein, the middle class grudgingly stuck to its preferred pulses. “Adjustments are made in other expenses; rice, wheat and pulses are the basic requirements,” said Sonila Sinha, a teacher in Delhi’s suburb Noida and mother of two growing children. Pulses are essential for protein, body’s building blocks, she stressed. Though rice and wheat have some protein, they do not have the right amino acids. The only other source of protein in human diet is animal protein, like chicken and egg. Since the majority in India are vegetarian that source is out of question. “With rising prices we are robbed of the pulse protein as well,” said Veena Shatrugna, a nutritionist formerly with the National Institute of Nutrition in Hyderabad.

Why prices jumped
Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar blamed the jump in pulse prices on flagging imports, low production and increased purchasing power of the Indian consumer. The reduction in global production and high international prices slowed down the import of pulses in the past two years.
In 2007-08, India imported 2.85 million tonnes of pulses and next year, 2.32 million tonnes. This year imports were delayed because of late payment to exporters and low stocks with main exporting countries. “We expect imports of four million tonnes by the end of this year since there is a shortage within the country,” said K C Bhartiya, chairperson of the Pulses Importers Association.
Since India is the biggest consumer of pulses, demand within the country influences international prices. Some pulse-exporting countries factor Indian demand in their production. India is also the biggest producer of pulses.

Report from: Propoor News