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    Dean of the Agriculture College, Kalaburagi, Jayaprakash R. Patil addressing A press conference in Kalaburagi on Wednesday.

    Dean of the Agriculture College, Kalaburagi, Jayaprakash R. Patil addressing A press conference in Kalaburagi on Wednesday.

    The Kalaburagi red gram, “Gulbarga Tur Dal”, which is known internationally for its superior quality, will soon be added to the list of Karnataka producers with the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

    Dean of Agriculture College Jayaprakash R. Patil and senior agriculture scientist Raju Teggalli, addressing presspersons at the Agriculture Research Station in Kalaburagi on Wednesday, said that the University of Agriculture Sciences (UAS) Raichur and the Karnataka Red Gram Development Board, with the help of ICRISAT, Intellectual Property Facilitation Centre (IPFC), Hyderabad, filed an application with the Geographical Indications (GI) Registry in September 2017. Geographical Indication (GI) tag for “Gulbarga Tur Dal” will be awarded within a month from now.

    Dr. Patil said that the red gram grown here has distinctive features having to do with this region’s unique soil and climatic conditions. The prominent characteristics of the crop grown in Kalaburagi district are good taste and aroma compared to those grown elsewhere. It consumes less time to cook when compared to tur dal grown in other regions.

    Dr. Teggalli added that initially conferring of GI status may not work wonders for the farmers of the district, but in the long run, farmers and manufactures will be able to get better price for the brand in the market.

    Red gram is considered to be the main kharif crop in the region. Of the total 9 lakh hectares of red gram cultivated across the State, 3.7 lakh hectares under red gram is in Kalaburagi district.

    Farm scientist Muniswamy said that securing GI for the product will help farmers in getting premium price and creating international demand for produces. “The ultimate beneficiaries of this whole process are farmers,” he added.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Karnataka / by Staff Reporter / Kalaburagi – January 10th, 2018

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    January 10th, 2018adminAgriculture, Business & Economy

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    UHS-B promoting cultivation of jujube that grows well in dry areas of north Karnataka

    The University of Horticulture Sciences-Bagalkot (UHS-B) is extensively promoting jujube (botanical name Ziziphus) in north Karnataka, mainly in Vijayapura and Bagalkot, because of the suitability of climate for this tasty fruit.

    A blend of sweet and sour tastes, jujube is a tropical fruit and best suitable for dry land areas. Keeping this in mind, the university’s centre located at Tidagundi village of Vijayapura taluk has been promoting and popularising some eight varieties of jujubes in the region.

    “This fruit is cost-effective and can be cultivated in areas that have limited water resources. Since Vijayapura and Bagalkot have limited access to irrigation, this crop comes as a boon to farmers there,” said Siddanna Thoke, Assistant Professor, Department of Fruits of the university. Having set up a stall in the Krishi Mela which started on the premises of Regional Agriculture Research Station at Hittanahalli village of the taluk on Sunday, Mr. Thoke said farmers who have limited land can cultivate this crop for higher earning. Around 110 saplings could be planted in an acre and the total cost per acre comes to around ₹20,000.

    Fruit bearing starts in the first year itself but the quantity increases only from the second year.

    The plant could last for at least two decades and it gives fruits till these many years. “Each acre could produce about 10 tonnes of fruits, and a farmer could earn at least ₹1.5 lakh/annum from an acre of plantation.”

    Mr. Thoke said that the university is promoting varieties such as Chuhara, Mehroon, Dondon, Ilachi, Kadaka, Umran, and Apalbare. The most popular among them are Mehroon and Kadaka.

    Claiming that the crop has minimum pest problem and needs limited water, that too only for the first two years, Mr. Thoke called it as a “future crop” as it does not require spaying of chemical pesticides.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Karnataka / by Firoz Rozindar / Viyayapura – January 10th, 2018

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    Visitors at the two-day Millet Mela that was inaugurated in Mysuru on Wednesday.

    Visitors at the two-day Millet Mela that was inaugurated in Mysuru on Wednesday.

    People can now look forward to certified organic produce that will be promoted under the brand names Siri and Shreshta in the State.

    This is a bid to ensure quality and authenticity of the produce, which will be certified by the Karnataka State Organic Certification Agency (KSOCA), which was established for the purpose and duly accredited as per the National Programme for Organic Productions, Government of India.

    The certification and branding will help filter fake organic produce from the market. H.A. Suresh, assistant director of KSOCA, told The Hindu on the sidelines of the Millet Mela here on Wednesday that as per the new norms of the food safety regulator, organic produce should also sport a common logo which was unveiled recently. The produce will be branded and marketed by the organic federation constituted on the lines of the Karnataka Milk Federation, he said.

    Over the past three years, ever since the KSOCA was established, an increasing number of farmers have shown an inclination to switch to the organic mode. As on date, there are 566 farmer groups, each with at least 100 members, across the State.

    Besides this, there are four horticultural groups, while 100 individuals have taken to organic practices ina agriculture“Karnataka is among the leading States promoting organic farming. Area under organic production is 81,000 hectares,” said S.S. Parashivamurthy, quality manager at KSOCA.

    The production is around 1.64 lakh tonnes of agricultural produce and it is expected to increase with additional area being brought under organic cultivation, he said.

    “The Mysuru-T. Narsipur-H.D. Kote-Kollegal-Chamarajanagar belt has a good number of organic farmers and similar groups are active in Belagavi, Dharwad, coastal regions and parts of north and central Karnataka,” Mr. Suresh said.

    In Nanjangud, a cluster of villages was identified where 48 farmers are practising organic farming on 100 acres of land, according to the group president Rangaswamy Naik. “Though the yield was initially low, it was compensated by the decline in investment and good income,” said Mr. Naik.

    Horse gram, green gram, black gram and chilli are being cultivated under organic conditions. The KSOCA is confident of promoting organic farming as a viable practice and of increase the coverage area.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Karnataka / by R. Krishna Kumar / Mysuru – December 27th, 2017

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    December 27th, 2017adminAgriculture, Business & Economy
    Eggs stored in a coldstorage unit of the Sericulture Department in Hassan.Prakash Hassan

    Eggs stored in a coldstorage unit of the Sericulture Department in Hassan.Prakash Hassan

    This year alone, 392 farmers got into sericulture in the district

    Hassan district has emerged as one of the major districts in the State in silk production.

    This year alone, 392 farmers got into sericulture. “In sericulture, farmers do not face losses, provided they give constant attention and work hard,” said H.D. Shivananjaiah, Deputy Director (Extension) of Sericulture in Hassan.

    The department had set a target of bringing 250 hectares more into sericulture in the district in the current fiscal year. By November itself, the department succeeded in extend sericulture to 243 hectares.

    With that, the total sericulture area in the district has gone up to 1,404 hectares and number of farmers producing silk is 2,244.

    “A few years ago, the number of farmers in sericulture in the district was very high, but the production was low. In the recent years, the production has gone up owing to advances in technology. Many people gave up this as it demanded constant vigil and hard work,” the official told The Hindu.

    In the current year, silk production in the district has reached 425 tonnes as against the annual target of 700 tonnes. The department is sure of reaching the target by the end of March 2018.

    “The factor that attracts people to sericulture is the price they get in the cocoon market. Last year, the price per kg went up to 3,200,” the official said.

    The department has chosen a few places to produce basic seed cocoons required for the production of disease-free layings.

    Hassan is also one such area designated for production of bivoltine seed cocoon. Sericulturists from Hassan and neighbouring districts approach the cold storage unit at the grainage (seed production centre) for the eggs. “Farmers are advised to carry eggs in evening or early morning hours as eggs should not be exposed to high temperature. We have a cold storage unit, where we store eggs for next four-five months. We have already stored eggs required up to March 2018,” said Annaji Rao, Deputy Director in-charge of production of seed cocoons.

    The cold storage unit was set up in 1985. Eggs are kept in compartments with temperatures varying from 25C to 2.5C.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> National> Karnataka / by Special Correspondent / Hassan – December 02nd, 2017

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    December 25th, 2017adminAgriculture, Science & Technology

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    Mother Teresa Peace Park has an avenue with over a 100 trees created from tissue culture

    A walk through Tissue Culture Avenue at St. Aloysius College in Mangaluru is a revelation. The avenue has endangered trees created from tissue culture. Over 100 trees have been produced by tissue culture at Dr Kupper’s biotechnology lab in St. Aloysius College.

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    “These trees form an important lung space on Light House Hill,” Fr Leo D’Souza, director of the lab said. “Research students use biotechnology to clone endangered species, some of which are hyper endemic. I vividly remember the day we planted the first cloned cashew sapling in the world in 1989.”

    Tissue Culture Avenue is at Mother Teresa Peace Park and is a haven for collegians doing last-minute preparation and revision. With the fast-approaching festive season, youngsters are also rehearsing carols. Ashwin, a student who was hanging out with his friends, was overwhelmed on learning of the history of the avenue. He hugged the 50-foot-matchwood tree saying, “I never knew you were here.”

    Smitha Hegde, a researcher and former associate professor said the matchwood tree (scientific name ailanthus) was planted 26 years ago. In an article in the golden jubilee souvenir of the St. Aloysius Evening College, she writes how Fr D’Souza motivated students to clone endemic trees of the Western Ghats including the Flame of the Forest.

    The millingtonia hortensis (akasha mallige) creates a carpet of white, fragrant flowers every morning. Students enjoy studying under this tree. Smitha describes the gnetum ula as a “living fossil. The tree has conical bunches of flowers. It grows on other trees.”

    The trees have plates with the names of the researchers and students who have contributed to the development of the tree. These are painted regularly to motivate the students and researchers to keep up the good work.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Life & Style / by M Raghuram / December 25th, 2017

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    December 16th, 2017adminAgriculture, Records, All
    Rajappa, a paddy grower, with black rice variety at his farm in Huluse village in Somwarpet taluk. | Photo Credit: SpecialArrangement

    Rajappa, a paddy grower, with black rice variety at his farm in Huluse village in Somwarpet taluk. | Photo Credit: SpecialArrangement

    Nearly 700 of them have been growing indigenous rice varieties in Hassan

    A good number of farmers in the Malnad areas of Hassan district are cultivating native varieties of paddy, thanks to the encouragement by the Department of Agriculture promoting organic farming.

    Nearly 700 farmers have been growing native paddy varieties and are happy with the earnings. As they are certified organic growers, their produce is attracting demand.

    “When we began field work in 2007, traditional varieties of paddy were cultivated hardly in 100 acres,” recalled Jayaprasad Ballekere, chief executive officer of Bhoomi Sustainable Development Society. The Agriculture Department had involved the non-government organisation to promote organic farming in Sakleshpur, Alur taluks of Hassan and Somwarpet of Kodagu. “A majority of farmers were after hybrid and improved varieties of paddy. Following constant efforts, now native varieties are grown in more than 1,500 acres in the three taluks,” he said.

    Rajamudi considered good for diabetics, Navara with medicinal value, Ghamsala a scented variety, Rathna Choodi, Netti Bilakki, Holesalu Chippuga, Kempakki (red rice), and Kappu Akki (black rice) are the native varieties of paddy.

    “Holesalu Chippuga is the best variety for puffed rice. Last year, I sold paddy at ₹4,500 per quintal. Almost the entire yield goes to places like Sangli in Maharashtra and Davangere, where there are many puffed rice producing units,” said Y.C. Rudrappa, a progressive farmer of Yedehalli in Sakleshpur. He has been cultivating Holesalu Chippuga variety in eight acres of his land.

    Alur, Sakleshpur and Somwarpet taluks are known for heavy rainfall, which is well-suited for traditional varieties.

    Lesser duration

    “Traditional varieties take 150-160 days for harvest and is suitable for this area. However, the duration of hybrid and improved varieties is about 120-130 days,” said Mr. Jayaprasad. The organic farmers of Hassan and Kodagu districts have formed a federation to market their produces. Mr. Rudrappa, who is chairman of the federation, said more than 3,500 farmers are part of it. The Agriculture Department and NABARD have helped the formation of the Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) and promote organically grown produce. V.G. Bhat, District Development Manager of NABARD, told The Hindu: “The bank has been encouraging organic farming. We have provided ₹9 lakh for the FPO. The response has been impressive.”

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Karnataka / by Satish G.T. / Hassan – December 15th, 2017

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    December 6th, 2017adminAgriculture, Business & Economy
    The unique jackfruit variety has coppery red flakes.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

    The unique jackfruit variety has coppery red flakes. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

    A single jackfruit tree will fetch ₹10 lakh for a farmer in Karnataka

    Forty-year-old S.S. Paramesha of Chelur village in Karnataka’s Tumakuru district is proud that his jackfruit tree “has made it big.” Planted 35 years ago by his father S.K. Siddappa, it produces a unique variety of jackfruit, with deep, coppery red flakes that are not only tasty but also have high nutritive value. Now it turns out it also has a high market value.

    “All of us knew that it was a unique variety as there was a great demand for the fruits from this tree from all our friends and relatives. But we always gave them away as gifts. We never sold a single one,” recalls Paramesha. But now the farmer is set earn ₹10 lakh from this tree over the next one year.

    Since Paramesha does not have the wherewithal to multiply this variety, the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with him under which its scientists will multiply it through grafting. IIHR will not only sell these saplings under its banner but will also provide 75% of the proceeds to the farmer. It has also nominated Paramesha as “the custodian of genetic diversity” for this particular variety, and named it ‘Siddu’ after his father.

    According to IIHR Director M.R. Dinesh, the institute has already received an order for 10,000 saplings, and the formal sales will commence in two months. Paramesha stands to earn over ₹10 lakh from the sales of these 10,000 saplings. According to Karunakaran, head of IIHR’s Tumakuru-based Central Horticultural Experimental Station (CHES) and the scientist who identified this unique tree, the biggest advantage of this variety is that it yields very small fruits with an average weight of 2.44 kg, as against the 10-20 kg of normal varieties. “The main problem with normal jackfruit varieties is that the fruit is difficult to carry owing to its weight. But it is easy to carry ‘Siddu’ as it is lighter,” he says.

    While the health benefits of ‘Siddu’ jackfruit are still being analysed, the bio-chemical analysis has revealed that it has high lycopin content of 2 mg per 100 gm of pulp, as against 0.2 mg in normal varieties. It is also rich in anti-oxidants, the scientist points out.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bengaluru / by B.S. Satish Kumar / Bengaluru – December 04th, 2017

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    November 18th, 2017adminAgriculture, Business & Economy
    Kadaknath chickens are famous because their feathers, skin, blood and flesh are all black

    Kadaknath chickens are famous because their feathers, skin, blood and flesh are all black

    Three Kadaknath chickens were the cynosure at the annual Krishi Mela held at the University of Agricultural Sciences on Friday. The arrival of these rare chickens was doubtful until the last minute. And when they arrived, everyone, including the farmers who came to the mela, could not stop clicking photographs of these black beauties.

    Kadaknath are famous because everything from their feathers, skin, blood and flesh is black in colour. They are native to only one district of Madhya Pradesh and are reared by the Bheel and Bhilala tribes there.

    Grown up Kadaknath hens normally weigh one kg and cocks can weigh up to 1.5 kg. The hens lay 80 eggs annually.

    Protein content in this breed is 25 per cent higher and it also boasts lower cholesterol content. Kadaknath chickens also have 18 amino acids and vitamins including B1, B6, B12, C and E. But their biggest claim to fame is their alleged aphrodisiac properties.

    The mela attracted farmers in their thousands on the second day on Friday. The mela is on till Sunday. Many new technologies introduced in agriculture sector are also on display at the mela.

    Equipment such as coconut and areca nut dehusker machines; sunflower, maize and groundnut decorticators have attracted farmers as present day agriculture is facing shortage of labour.

    Apart from farmers, professionals who are interested in agriculture were in attendance.

    “The mela will definitely help farmers as all information regarding introduction of new technologies will be available here. Such melas will help those who are planning to venture into agriculture,” said Chandrashekhar, a farmer from Chamarajanagar.

    source: http://www.bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com / BangaloreMirror.com / Home> Bangalore> Others / by Bangalore Mirror Bureau / November 18th, 2017

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    Alyia Phelps-Gardiner Krumbiegel   | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K

    Alyia Phelps-Gardiner Krumbiegel | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K

    Following a report in The Hindu about the crumbling state of Krumbiegel Hall, Alyia Phelps-Gardiner Krumbiegel, Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel’s great granddaughter, expresses her displeasure over the neglect of the historical structure.

    In her letter to The Hindu, Ms. Krumbiegel writes about how her forefather realised that he had found home when he first touched Indian soil at the age of 26. Excerpts from the letter:

    My great grandfather was a master at economic botanyencouraging the exchange of plants and seeds. He continued this at Lalbagh Botanical Garden. His very last planning assignment for the Indian government when he was 90-years-old was to plan the Rajghat memorial gardens (New Delhi). Royalty protected him when the British saw an enemy in every German. He gave Karnataka so much.

    The lecture hall which he spent so much time in was renamed Krumbiegel Hall in his honour. Which now brings me to the sad state of how Lalbagh (authorities) have treated a building named in honour of one of the five superintendents who made substantial differences to Lalbagh and Bangalore.

    Was Krumbiegel Hall a heritage building or was is it not a heritage building? In 2013, it seemed to be a heritage building.

    I really have heard it all ….. assurance that it was under restoration. Broken promises.

    ‘Whatever he touched he adorned’ is written on his tombstone. But, a man who gave so much to the country he found a home in – he always wanted independence for India and was never afraid to voice these views while he lived and breathed India — his life’s work is slowly being wiped away to be memories in the wind.

    Krumbiegel Hall runs deep in my veins. I’m very hopeful that the department will recognise that Krumbiegel Hall needs to be rebuilt with the original frontage restored and reinstated once again.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bengaluru / November 16th, 2017

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    Lalbagh Botanical Garden. (TOI Photo)

    Lalbagh Botanical Garden. (TOI Photo)

    Bengaluru :

    Lalbagh Botanical Garden in Bengaluru is hoping to create history on December 9, when ten thousand high school students will stand still as trees and hug each other.

    Under the ‘My Tree, My Life’ programme, students from classes 8, 9 and 10, across 60 city schools, are being trained and taught about the environment and the importance of trees.

    On the day of the event, students will first be taught the basics about trees, types of trees, how they grow, their reproduction, among others things. After that, they will form a human chain and stand still for two minutes.

    “The aim of this programme is to make children aware about the environment. In addition, Lalbagh will get special recognition. While joining the Guinness book of records, information about Lalbagh’s birth and growth will be recorded,” said Dr AN Yallappa Reddy, Chairman of the Environmental and Parks Technical Committee.

    The event, which will be recorded by officers of the Guinness World Records, is being organized in association with the state’s horticulture department and the Rotary Club. The programme will be headed by Dr Reddy.

    Entry to the garden will be restricted between 10am and 12 noon on the day of the event.

    “The police and traffic departments have assured us of all help,” officials said.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Bangalore News / by Vijaya Karnataka / October 23rd, 2017

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