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Cash time for Bihar farmers: mills begin sugarcane crushing

  Good news: mills get to work! Patna: after discussions with the state government, sugar mills owners in Bihar have decided to keep cane prices unchanged for the sugarcane crushing season and sugar mills in Bihar decided to start crushing on Thursday. Earlier, the Bihar Sugar Mills Association had asked for a cash subsidy of Rs 30 a quintal for farmers, underlining the huge losses mills incurred last year due to the fall in sugar prices and the recovery rate. “However, after the assurances on tax rebate and the request of Cane Development Minister Awadhesh Prasad Kushwaha, we kept... 

West Champaran farmer’s Basmati rice heading for export markets

  Basmati plant: promising produce Patna: The Don region of Champaran is famous for producing a wide range of aromatic rice because of its rare soil and soothing climate. But the one developed by Sushil Chhapolia is said to be better in terms of aroma and flavour. The rice has been developed on the “zero budgeting system”. Instead of using any chemical fertiliser during cultivation, entrepreneur Chhapolia has taken help of gau-mutra (cow’s urine), milk and mattha (curd blend) for growing the aromatic basmati rice. The rice is grown on a three-acre farm in Silvatia Bagro village under... 

Muzaffarpur gets a fertilizer plant: Indo-Gulf Fertilizer enters Bihar

  Agri industry: Bihar farmers to benefit Muzaffarpur: according to reports, the Indo-Gulf Fertilizer Company from the A B Birla Group will start a Rs 18-crore compact fertilizer plant at Bela Industrial Estate during the current financial year and start production from next year. According to the executive director of Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority (BIADA), Akhilanand the company will manufacture composite fertilizer according to suitability and requirement of soil and crops in Bihar. Farmers will not have to collect different fertilizers from different places for their crops.... 

Post–Phailin, Bihar faces heavy rains, floods, Dussehra washout!

  2013 Bihar rainfall: first scant then too much! Patna: the unceasing rainfall in the aftermath of the cyclone Phailin has created considerable alarm in Bihar. This is apart from the rains having successfully dampened the Durga Pooja festival. Roads in Patna remained largely empty during the peak of the festival, except for those ready to brave the rains – a most unusual sight in Bihar when even walking on the roads can be a difficult task during the pooja. Thousands of vendors of eatables, toys and fancy items who invested in the event are now left with heavy losses. The moderate rains... 

Batras [बतरस]: Do malnutrition and poverty always go hand in hand: tales from Bihar

By Ratnakar Tripathy Pulses: a must, a must! This is just a footnote to what is now turning into a substantial national debate on poverty and malnutrition in India. This is also a much delayed piece in the sense, I have for too long been wanting to write a dietary history of my village in East Champaran, Bihar, without having written anything at all – the reason being a certain diffidence about writing on matters that have become the monopoly of the experts. The kind of time we live in, even a packet of potato chips carries information on its chemical breakdown with percentages for each component. My... 

‘Bihar will lead second green revolution’, they say: without regular power supply?

  Bihar: is green revolution round the corner? Patna: on the same day when Bihar has declared 33 of its districts to be drought-affected, the state got some good news and encouragement from a central minister and a top bureaucrat. The question is whether it is all rhetoric or substance since the regular supply of electricity to the villages is what will lend substance to the dream. Soon Bihar will become Punjab and second green revolution will start from these areas, said Dr Ashok Gulati, chairman, Commission for Agriculture Cost & Price at the 3rd Crop Summit held in Bihar. With the... 

Bihar to provide land to investors, get stakes in their projects in return: new model?

    Bihar: how to get land for industry? Patna: The Bihar government is now mulling a unique proposition under which it would provide land to investors in return of stakes in their projects. According to the state government officials, the profits earned from these projects will be spent on the development of the local area. Under this proposed scheme, the state government is pondering on a proposal to provide government land to entrepreneurs in return of stakes in their projects. In last seven and half years, the state government has received investment proposals worth Rs 3 lakh... 

Onions and elections: a story with many layers!

  I Onion’s cruel smile! Middlemen picking your pockets? New Delhi: A National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) report on onion production and marketing shows that the farmer makes a profit of just Rs. 3.60 for every kg he sells. According to the NABARD study, in an ideal situation – with no hoarding or unfair practices, and wastage at the “normal” 25% of the 150 million tonne crop – onions should be available at Rs. 14 per kg, with the farmer getting a selling price of Rs. 8 and making just under half of that as profit. But as the number... 

Bihar loses Rs. 10,700 crore annually for lack of cold chain: Assocham estimate!

  Cold chain: after good roads! New Delhi: it seems all the stories on Bihar’s development head one single way- to power. If shortage of power is a bad enough handicap for industries and agriculture, you may add storage as one more issue. Lack of storage for perishables is of course something we may talk about only as the roads in Bihar have become far better and numerous, allowing for the rapid movement of goods and people. the news is – Bihar incurs a post-harvest fruits and vegetable loss of over Rs. 10,700 crore annually, apex industry body Assocham said on Tuesday. “Gujarat... 

N-Fix: new technology may enable all plant cells to fix atmospheric Nitrogen!

    The Nitrogen cycle: a technique to master! In a major scientific breakthrough, a leading world expert in nitrogen and plant science, Professor Edward Cocking, director of The University of Nottingham’s Centre for Crop Nitrogen Fixation, has developed a unique method of putting nitrogen-fixing bacteria into the cells of plant roots. His major breakthrough came when he found a specific strain of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in sugar-cane which he discovered could intracellularly colonise all major crop plants. This ground-breaking development potentially provides every cell in the... 
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