- Bihar on the doors of Rainbow revolution says our CM
- Leech therapy getting popular in Bihar
- Litchi output grew over 50 percent in Bihar
- Walmart interested to invest in Bihar
Posted: 23 Jun 2011 06:37 PM PDT
PATNA: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday inaugurated the first-ever three-day international conference on ‘Organic Bihar’ here on Wednesday.
“Bihar is standing at the threshold of Rainbow Revolution which is more holistic than the ill-fated Green Revolution. Bihar’s road map for this revolution will well take care of future needs of environment and human life and also resulting in prosperity for farmers,” Nitish said.
Rainbow Revolution refers to a sustainable agricultural revolution where equal focus is given on minimizing cost of production and increasing produce, environmental impact, and impact of fertilizers on consumers and soil health.
The conference, being attended by agriculture scientists from United States, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Switzerland, saw a lively discussion on various aspects of organic farming in Bihar. The conference is also being attended by 100 and odd farmers.
Referring to the experience of Green Revolution, he said “the states (leading the revolution) exhausted soil fertility. Their soil has got deficient of micro nutrients. Farmers are in the throes of a deep crisis as productivity has gone down heavily due to indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides,” the CM said.
He emphatically said, “Through scientific organic farming, we will change the prevalent notion that food security cannot be achieved without chemical fertilizers.” On the occasion, he also launched an online portal, www.jaibbihar.com, to offer a platform to promote organic produce of Bihar.
The state government will formulate policies on the basis of recommendations made by the delegates at the conference.
To provide a stimulus to Bihar peasants, the government is providing 50% and 75% subsidy to set-up different types of biogas plants, 50% subsidy on bio pesticides and 90% on organic fertilizers.
“Large-scale cultivation of certified organic potatoes in Nalanda has gained international recognition. Organic certification of Muzaffarpur litchis is at an advanced state and the government now plans to bring aromatic rice under organic certification,” the CM, who has earlier served as Union agriculture minister, said.
During the conference, chairman of Gujarat Life Sciences Dr M H Mehta elaborated on food security vis-Ã -vis organic farming. The session, chaired by Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Dr S Ayyappan and co-chaired by agriculture expert Dr A K Singh, also saw Dr. A Thimmaiah, an adviser to the ministry of agriculture and forests, Government of Bhutan, sharing at length Bhutan’s experiences in organic farming. Other speakers also participated in the first session.
In the second technical session, US’ professor of environmental studies Carol Shennam talked at length about soil fertility management in organic farming system. Organic farming expert from Zimbabwe, Tavagwisa Muziri explained nutrient recycling in organic farming. Some other experts talked about pest management for better yield in organic farming.
In the last session too, recommendations and suggestions for adopting holistic organic farming methods to make farmers earn more with less investment, make organic farming sustainable, and to provide a platform to promote organic farming were made.
Bihar agriculture minister Narendra Singh expressed confidence that Bihar will lead the next Green Revolution in the country. “Organic fertilizer has been distributed free among more than 3.30 lakh seed growing farmers in 2010-11,” the minister said, adding “other farmers will be provided 90% subsidy on the purchase of organic fertilizer.”
Posted: 23 Jun 2011 02:36 PM PDT
Rising numbers of patients in Bihar, who have not been cured using conventional medicine, are now going in for “leech therapy”.
Leeches were first used in medicine as early as 200 BC and were common until the mid-1800s when newer therapies took their place.
Describing the therapy as safe, skin specialist Muzafer Islam said that the treatment is again getting popular not just in India but also in the world.
“Leech therapy is getting popular in developed countries like America and England as well. Along with the blood, the leeches suck the pus as well. Also the kind of leeches we use have these special kinds of enzymes that quickly clot the blood sucked out. Post treatment, we don’t have to use any special medicine.
Also, the leeches suck in all the dead cells and tissues as well. In this treatment, patients get instant relief without much pain,” said Islam.
A growing number of patients have been showing interest, as they find the treatment effective, hygienic and clean.
“I have been suffering from Lima for the past 15 years, got it checked by many doctors, tried many cures like allopathic and homeopathic. Eventually, I read about this therapy in the papers and came here.
First a little blood is drawn out through a syringe from the affected area and then a leech is placed on it. I have been getting this treatment done for the past two months and it is giving a lot of relief” said Ramkishor Thakur, a patient.
According to medical experts, over 100 bio-active substances are present in the saliva of a leech that goes into the body of a patient while impure blood is extracted.
The medicinal leeches are brown, red striped and olive coloured. The creatures have two suckers, one at each end and have three jaws.
Posted: 23 Jun 2011 02:33 PM PDT
PUNE: According to the preliminary estimates, litchi production in Bihar, that grows 60 percent of the country’s litchi production, has gone up by 50 percent to 60 percent over the previous year.
“Due to very favourable climatic conditions coupled with intermittent rainfall, litchi production was record high this year,” said Dr Vishal Nath , director, National Research Centre for Litchi , Muzafarrpur.
Rajesh Pardeshi, Pune-based litchi trader said, “Litchi arrivals in Pune have doubled this year as compared to the previous year. The fruit is available for Rs 40-60/kg in the wholesale market.”
Despite bumper production, the prices remained at last year’s level. Farmers got average rate of about Rs 15/kg for the fruit. “Though the production was good, processors did not benefit much as they had to pay about Rs 17/kg,” said Keshav Nandan , secretary, Bihar Litchi Growers’ Association and grower and processor of litchi. Hardly 1 percent of the litchi is processed in the country and some of it is exported to the neighbouring countries. Bihar has 10 to 12 processing units.
The litchi season has almost finished in Bihar. But the juicy fruit will continue to come till the first week of July from Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and other areas. In the retail markets in North India, the fruit was sold for an average price of Rs 50/kg. But in South, the retail price varied between Rs 80/kg to Rs 180/kg depending upon the city it was sold in.
Posted: 23 Jun 2011 02:22 AM PDT
Even as the Centre is considering a calibrated roll out of foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail in large metros, the world's largest retail chain —Walmart — has expressed interest in investing in Bihar. "Last week, people from the American Embassy and Americans visited Bihar and they said that Walmart wants to invest in the state," deputy chief minister of Bihar Sushil Modi said on Tuesday.
However, the state has not taken any decision on the issue, he said.
Walmart has entered India for cash-and-carry format of business through a joint venture with the Bharti Group. The joint-venture, which opened its first store in Amritsar in May 2009, has expanded its cash-and-carry format business to Raipur, Zirakpur, Jalandhar, Kota, Bhopal and Ludhiana.
Under pressure from high food prices, the government is planning to liberalise the FDI regime in multi-brand retail that would allow international players like Walmart to set up shop in the country and help ease supply constraints.
Modi said the state government has not yet firmed up any opinion on the issue. "We have not taken any decision regarding foreign investment in multi-brand retail," he said.
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