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Interviews



 
  • Q. With the new govt now stepped in, what are your expectations? Will it take the Indian agriculture to new heights?

    A. New government at the centre is taking agriculture on top priority as it clearly reflects from the budget presented in the parliament in the month of July in which important schemes like Pradhan Mantri Krishi SichaiYojna (allocation Rs. 1000/- crores under ministry of water resources), national crop insurance programme (2823/- crores), soil health card, price stabilization fund for cereals and vegetables, development of indigenous breeds in animals, two central agricultural and horticultural universities (200/- crores), national live stock mission, blue revolution, agriculture education to improve quality of human resource, etc. have been launched for the fast growth of agricultural sector in the country. Definitely the new government is keen in boosting overall fast growth in agriculture in the country.
  • Q. India is very famous for its spices. What do you think India’s position vis-à-vis in world spices market? What is the latest scenario?

    A. India is pre-dominant in seed spice market. Altogether, Indian subcontinent is naturally gifted with the most congenial climatic conditions prevailing in the arid and semi-arid regions of the country to raise high quality seed spices. Henceforth, the natural geographical location of India will remain a strength for us to sustain in the world market over the time in future. For eg.,cumin requires a dry cold weather conditions which are present in only few countries like India and Middle East regions, but due to high civil disturbances in the Middle East countries like Syria, Egypt, Iran the production share of cumin from these countries has been affected significantly. This has opened market for Indian cumin. In the last one year the export of cumin has gone three times from 35000 tonnes to 90,000 tonnes. The changing food habits, high migration rate of Indian in developing countries, popularization of seed spice essential oil and oleoresins in food, herbal medicine etc. have offered a huge market world over of Indian spices. The demand of organic seed spices is also rising due to high consciousness for having safer food products free from hazardous chemicals etc. These all facts and figures suggest that Indian spices have a br
  • Q. Your centre has performed an incredible role in seed spices. How do you see the future of seed spices in India?

    A. National Research Centre on Seed Spices has stepped into research and development activities in the year 2000. In the last decade significant progress has been made, the centre has identified thirteen high yielding varieties of both major and minor seed spice crops, developed efficient production and protection technologies for cultivation, developed protected cultivation models for nursery raising, offseason cultivation etc., developed intercropping models taking both vegetables and arid fruits. A diversified research approach has been followed by the centre to develop efficient and sustainable technologies for increasing the per unit income of seed spice growers. There is still a long way to go for betterment of seed spice growers. The present scenario suggests that Indian seed spices are having a very strong future demand both in terms of quality and quantity. Seed spice crops are cultivated on marginal lands of arid and semi-arid regions under limited water and per unit production have very high benefit: cost ratio. Indian spices possess an international trade name, therefore these all factors cumulatively depicts that Indian spice will flourish and will always be in demand both in Indian and abroad. But despite these grow
  • Q. What is the current status of spice seed, especially with respect to export?

    A. As already said that India is the world leader in seed spice production, our food habit are mostly spice based hence we consume about 90 of the annual production and only 10 % is left for export sharing, but interestingly the 10 % exported produce meet nearly 50 % of world demand. Day by day export is increasing, It is first time in the history of Spices export the growth in volume registered an all-time growth of 26%. But along with demand a pressure is also developing simultaneously for producing safer produce free of hazardous chemicals. Henceforth the future need is to develop Good Agricultural Practices for seed spice cultivation to sustain the international world demand.
  • Q. What do you think the technologies or innovations need to disseminate among farmers to enhance production of seed spices?

    A. Yes, there are many technologies or innovation that needs to be disseminated among farmers. In the past 39 years numerous varieties high yielding varieties have been developed but still the seed replacement rate is very poor. The production technologies followed are also traditional. Farmers prefer broadcasting, they hesitate to adopt seed drills for line sowing, and line sown crop can be better managed for weed and offers safe space for other farm operations. Farmers depend on local market the present yield gap can be effectively covered by dissemination of the existing package of practices developed.
  • Q. Is there any scope for farmers to grow more varieties in India?

    A. Yes, the seed replacement rate of improved varieties in these crops are very poor. Already developed high yielding varieties needs more and more of popularization and adoption. Even non-traditional areas can be explored for cultivation of seed spices. Altogether there is tremendous scope for promotion of high yielding varieties of seed spices in the country.
  • Q. Your institutions are collaborating with no. of universities or research institutes, what do think about its future prospects or benefit to the students?

    A. Yes, NRCSS has developed strong collaboration with various universities and research institutes. This association is of mutual gain both for the seed spice research and students. An understanding of these crops at graduation and post-graduation level will help to develop a strong scientific team of scholars which can be part of the R & D programme going across the country in various states and also in ICAR institutes.
  • Q. Your institution has come up with varieties of seed spices crop to cure diseases. What do you think about it?

    A. Yes, NRCSS has identified 13 high yielding varieties of both major (4) and minor (6) seed spice crops. All these varieties are high yielding and tolerant to major diseases and pests. Few varieties are under pipeline having strong tolerance like., AFg-M-1 and AFg-M-2 mutants in fenugreek tolerant against powdery mildew; AA-93 of ajwain is nearly 35-40 days early than existing high yielding and local varieties and is also tolerant to both major biotic and abiotic stresses; Ajmer Green-1 of coriander suitable for green leaves offseason cultivation during peak summer months is found to be resistant against powdery mildew.
  • Q. Any innovation in agriculture which you would like to share and how other states can learn from it?

    A. There are many innovations in agriculture that can have strong impact in overall development of agriculture in the country of which few are worth to be mentioned. 1. Low pressure drip irrigation system: Water is the most limiting factor in agriculture so better water management is the most critical issue for sustainability of agriculture in the country.The low pressure drip irrigation system is found to be highly suitable for the marginal and small farmers having limited water availability and want to cultivate horticultural crops, the system is very simple and energy efficient. This model has already transformed the livelihood of tribal farmers of Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh by intervention of low pressure drip in vegetable cultivation in small land holdings. 2. Low cost plug tray nursery raising technology: It is an simple technology for rearing virus free healthy seedling both for the season and offseason vegetable crops. 3. Soil solarization by using transparent plastic sheets: It is a better technology which can solve the problem of soil borne fundus and nematodes upto a higher extent. 4. Seed priming and pelleting: Small seeds like that of seed spice and few vegetables face problem in germination due to depth of sow
By Neha Gandhi
info@indiagri.in
Interviews

DROUGHT PROOF INDIA

25 Aug 2017


Radha Mohan Singh
Union Agriculture Minister
 

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Name : Radha Mohan Singh

Designation : Union Agriculture Minister

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Name : Dr NC Patel

Designation : Vice Chancellor, Anand Agricultural University

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Name : Dr ML Choudhary

Designation : VC, Bihar Agriculture University, Sabour, Bhagalpu

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Name : Sandeep Sabharwal

Designation : CEO, Sohanlal Commodity Management

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Name : Mr. Amit Mehra

Designation : CEO and Founder, Reuters Market Light (RML)

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EDITOR'S NOTE

19 Jan 2016

Crop insurance scheme brings cheers

In view of the growing volatility in the agriculture sector caused by vagaries of nature as well as market fluctuations, it is heartening to see the new Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)