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Author: admin, 16.02.2014. Category: Vegetable Garden

In India, rice and wheat comprise 70 percent of agricultural produce by area, but less than 25 percent by value. Government data shows that the consumption of wheat and rice has been declining around 1-2 percent in both urban and rural India, while the demand for fruits and vegetables has been rising by 2-3 percent annually. Furthermore, detailed studies across the country have also shown that while farmers just about break even (gross return compared to gross costs) on cultivating wheat and rice, growing fruits and vegetables is a profitable undertaking (gross returns are on average double the costs). In other words, if Indian consumers are demanding more fruits and vegetables, and these crops are more lucrative anyway, why do Indian farmers keep growing more and more wheat and rice?
Out of intellectual as well as professional curiosity, I have being digging deeper into this question, with the help of field visits and people working in the agricultural sector. Minimum support price: Wheat and rice come with a government minimum support price, and fruits and vegetables don’t. Risk of crop failure: Pulses, fruits and vegetables are more vulnerable to adverse weather, leading to higher risk of failure.
Care and effort required in cultivation: Wheat and rice require less care and effort to grow than vegetables. Need to sell quickly due to lack of storage facilities: India has about 5400 cold storage units, the majority of which are appropriate for potatoes. Price volatility: Fruits and vegetables experience a much higher degree of price volatility than grains.
Price realization due to spoilage: Lack of proper storage and transport facilities has yet another impact – spoilage of produce resulting in lower price realization due to poorer quality of produce by the time it reaches markets. Dignity of transaction: Recent discussions with farmers revealed another reason for medium to large land-holding farmers not growing vegetables. Almost all of the reasons listed above relate to risk – either production risk, logistics risk or market risk. Typical solutions to risk management are insurance products, but typical crop insurance products cover only a limited subset of these risks. So, what are the mechanisms and institutions needed to address the plethora of risks, to enable farmers to produce the crops people want to eat more of, which also happen to be the crops that give higher margins to farmers? Switching to a crop that has not been typically grown in the area brings in additional sets of challenges.
Second, the farmer has to learn how to grow the new crop (or new variety of the same crop).
Third, buyers for the new crop need to either already exist at the local mandi (wholesale market), or brought to the local market, or the produce shipped to wherever the buyers are. Note: Published here is an updated version of the article that was earlier published in Fellowconnect magazine.
One avenue worth exploring, is to route some funds to demonstration plots at the block level. Other than through financial services I feel that there needs to be a deeper debate on what interventions (if any) are required to make things easier for farmers (without distorting the underlying market itself). In terms of information and learning, most social sector organizations find that identifying progressive farmers and forming farmer groups around them is the most effective strategy. One of the most market distorting interventions already happening is the huge subsidy on macro-fertilizers and PDS procurement at set prices for rice and wheat. This infact has prepared the launch pad for the second green revolution, which aims not only development of the agriculture per se but also the overall development of the farming community. One route for the latter I explored at work, was using a composite of compost with fertilizer.
A major glitch with the extensive govt network of support officers is the lack of exposure, backed with support to innovation. I realize some that some of the above are general statements, but these can be validated through pretty low cost, street-smart research. Thank you for this thought provoking article and the contributors to this discussion on the socio economic factors behind crop selection by Indian Farmers.
Second major glitch is that farmers linkage right now is through the existing trade that also functions, as you at IFMR will be aware, as a de facto banker to these families. My interactions with big retail as well as food companies also lead to similar conclusions. What to do with demand and supply when a farmer is repeatedly growing rice in his land as it is convenient to marketing(as he perceive) and very used to the process followed during the cultivation. Horticulture crops especially vegetables are also grown closer to towns and cities due to their perishability and lack of adequate cool chains. We also found that production and price risk is a big issue and there is very little institutional support for sharing the risk.
But tat is what i heard rrom most of medium and big farmers.let govt revoke all popilist schemes and then see the difference. How Do India’s Payments Banks Measure Against Key Principles for Financial Inclusion? 1 Shares Share Tweet1 +1 Stumble Pin EmailDrinking natural juice that you have made yourself has many health benefits.
To make sure you continue to repeat this healthy habit, keep your juicer in sight on a kitchen cabinet. If you are new to juicing, it is important for you to realize that you need to use only fresh vegetables and fruits.
When you begin making juice it is essential that you use the entire piece of fruit or vegetable, skin and all. If you prefer to prepare your juice ahead of time, you will need to take some necessary steps to keep it from turning odd colors and looking bland. Fruits are the ovary of a plant, while vegetables are any other edible part of a plant that does not contain seeds. The answer to this question is actually a bit complicated, thanks to some disagreements among botanists about the term “vegetable” and the efforts of the grocery industry, which have further clouded the difference between fruits and vegetables. Some examples of fruits include well-known specimens like apricots, cherries, blueberries, and apples, but tomatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, and zucchini are also considered to be fruits botanically, even though many people refer to these fruits as “vegetables” because they are savory, rather than sweet. The difference between fruits and vegetables should be fairly clear now; basically, if it has seeds, it's a fruit, and if it doesn't, it's a vegetable. Some botanists also dislike the term “vegetable,” because they consider it rather vague and imprecise, and they would prefer it if crops were not arbitrarily broken up into the categories of fruits and vegetables. I am teaching TEFL in Thailand to young children and this week it's about fruit and vegetables.
If somebody knows more about plants than me and I say something completely wrong (like corn and pinecone being related) I'm just going on hunches.
Anyone who thinks bananas don't have seeds or that zucchinis are vegetables should take a class in plant terminology and you will learn that bananas do have seeds, but that they are all clones and can no longer be grown from seed, and that zucchinis are fruits.
Why do people read a scientifically factual article and then try to figure half-cocked, unscientific ways to disprove said article? I find it amazing that, despite how clearly this article explains the differences - both in grocery terms and in technicality - that people would still argue.
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This again begs the question: Why aren’t farmers shifting to growing more fruits and vegetables? Besides fruits and vegetables, there are also other crops that generate a higher income than wheat and rice.


While I am sure farmers have not created a detailed profit and loss statement for growing wheat versus okra, it is unlikely that farmers are completely ignorant.
Here are the results from my own observations and discussions with agri-sector professionals and experts.
Rather than pay for crop insurance (where it is available), farmers prefer to simply avoid these crops.
Higher care for crops means reduced availability of farmers for alternate income-generating activities, whether crafts or wage labour. Part of the reason for this is the high level of mismatch between demand and supply of fruits and vegetables. For example, I saw cracked coconuts at a sorting-grading facility – damage that could easily have been avoided with proper packing (and better roads).
Repeatedly, farmers told me that they store grains and sell them off as and when the need for cash arises. Only two non-risk reasons can be seen in the list besides dignity of transaction: the opportunity cost of choosing crops which require greater care, and use of stored crops as financial assets. And in any case, insurance subscriptions in India have been much lower than hoped for by policy makers and non-profits alike.
Or, if we expand our thinking to non-food crops, we can ask: what mechanisms and institutions will help farmers shift to more lucrative crops with growing market demand? First, it goes without saying that the soil and climate have to be conducive to cultivation of the new crop. For example, I visited farmers who were growing baby corn for the first time and had let the cobs grow too much simply because they did not know when to harvest it. For example, a few organizations working on transitioning farmers to organic farming are experimenting with providing a financial safety net during the first three years of transition and low yields before the produce can be certified as organic. The govt system (notwithstanding its various drawbacks) can attract private players (traders, processors, banks) and farmers to demonstrate that lucrative crops can be produced of reasonable quality. However, it will work just like the milk collection systems – a minimum quantity in an area gets the chiller!
This approach also allows households to make choices that are best fits for them rather than go along with everybody else’s choices. However, this is a relative concept, because, price of the agricultural output depends upon various factors.
There is a partnership between IFMR Trust and ICAAP in Thanjavur for improving rice yields in the entire district but perhaps more could be done. Given the high quality of agri-scientists available plus farmers’ own knowledge, this part is more easily handled. This de facto also becomes, seed capital – or one time grant that subsidizes the risks. Luckily, south India has a better density of these chains plus the distances enhance viabilty compared to many other parts of India.
Organized sector systems that don’t replace this with procurement + finance are going to find it hard to crack this leg of the market. They still acquire at farm gate, lend through banking linkage at slightly better rates, they can be entrusted with credit evaluation (this is what they do anyway) – but through means that upgrade the system.
In fact, I am working with several (social) entrepreneurs who act as modern, efficient intermediaries. Should be a good challenge coming up with several options that can fit different circumstances. Typically vegetables are grown in small holder plots or in one small segment of the farmer’s land in addition to food crops.
We did a set of case studies of progressive small and marginal farmers from different parts of India (Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, North-eastern States) in collaboration with some grassroots organizations and donor agencies to understand when do small and marginal farmers actually take up high-value agriculture successfully? Farmers resort to crop diversification, growing crops with multiple harvests, and keeping a large buffer to deal with the risk. They tend to be rich in fiber and antioxidants, the natural nutrients your body needs and craves.
There are many more fruits and vegetables that can help you improve your health when using them to make juice. In order to keep the naturally bold colors of fresh juice from turning odd colors, use lemon juice.
She has also worked with various health institutes which has encouraged her to write numerous articles on Eye Care Optometrist. Simply put, a fruit is the ovary of a plant, which means that it may contain seeds, while a vegetable is a plant part, which does not contain seeds, although some vegetables may be used in plant reproduction. This is the result of convenience labeling used in the grocery industry, where fruits and vegetables are differentiated on the basis of whether they are sweet or savory, rather than with the use of any firm botanical criteria. Broccoli, for example is a vegetable which appears in the form of a flower, while celery is a stalk vegetable, and celeriac is a root vegetable. However, there are some interesting little facts about fruit which may interest you; for example, all nuts are technically fruits, in addition to being classified as nuts, because they are plant ovaries. However, this nomenclature is likely here to stay, imperfect as it may be, so botanical sticklers may want to get used to hearing “fruits and vegetables” when produce is under discussion. Imagine trying to classify all the types of music in existence today into rock and pop - it wouldn't work. I don't understand why it bothers people so much to have to rethink a completely irrelevant part of their lives.
I love travelling and learning about different cultures, and I document it on here on The Culture Map! Yet, the land area dedicated to wheat and rice has not seen a significant decrease in the last decade. Having gone through these reports and data, I have been wondering why, despite all this, do farmers choose to grow mostly wheat and rice? They probably do have a rough idea of probable market prices, input costs and likely profits. The need to sell immediately means that they are at the mercy of current market prices, unlike grains that can be held on to for a longer time.
Another reason is the inefficiency of markets in matching supply and demand in different parts of the country. When selling wheat, a large landholder farmer can arrive in the mandi with a truck-load full of wheat and be treated with respect. In principle, the latter can be addressed with better financial access for small holder farmers. These kinds of arrangements could be considered in this context as well and would help encourage farmers to switch to new kinds of crops.
To my mind, this is an excellent illustration of income smoothing by households in the absence of better ways to manage risk.
I worry about too aggressive an intervention directly in product markets — they end up distorting both markets as pushing households in directions that may not be best suited for them. I am very happy to hear that Safal continues to add value although in a different way than was originally envisaged.
The overall results of such an arrangement may be a kind of corporatization of agriculture by involving farmers as the main stakeholders along with the best practices adopted by the non farming corporate entity. The overusage of fertilizers and such methods is something I have feedback from fertilizer company executives – besides of course research on soil quality in TN, Punjab states like that. However, fertilizer subsidy is so high it pushed compost prices to unviable levels (since the comparison for adopting a new method is on nutrient content of the two)!


Its pretty likely that with a high quality team like that, you’d have tread these paths.
One add-on gain is that status that they will gain – my experience on garbage collection systems in cities suggest that this is an incentive for many businessmen. From previous generations his family accustomed to the same monotonous process of cultivation. If India is opening up to big retail chains, as I hear it is, then Indian farmers will need some help to deal with the stores’ dominance of the market. We also found that adoption of cash crops becomes easier when a cluster develops with a number of farmers growing crops for the market. He sees F&V as gamble some times onion rates touches sky and some times falls like hell. Although it may not seem like juice is very fulfilling, it can and does replace a whole meal and can keep those cravings for junk food at bay.
A high quality juicer that can operate at low speeds will help you create a glass of juice that is full of nutrients. Vegetables like potatoes are technically tubers, not roots, meaning that they are specially designed plant structures which store nutrients for the parent plant; tubers are also capable of budding into new plants. In the case of nuts, instead of eating the fleshy casing which surrounds the seed, we eat the seed. A fruit is a sub-category of vegetable in that it is any vegetable which contains seeds on the edible part. Perennial plants, like trees, brushes, and vines were fruit-baring because the original plant goes through a dormant cycle and then bears fruit again. But none the less what ever you call it it still does the same thing and serves the same purpose. The part of the pineapple that we eat doesn't contain the seeds but pineapple is the reproductive part of the plant. If it's sweet or sour and generally not cooked like apples, lemons, etc., it's a fruit only.
There are herbaceous banana plants, herbaceous referring to the stalk of the plant, but they are botanically a fruit. I shudder to think of the day some people need to re-evaluate religion or politics, when they can't even reevaluate edible plant products. Even cold storage would extend the life of fresh produce by only so much (unless processed, of course). But if he arrives with a small vehicle of veggies, he will be treated just like small and marginal farmers without much respect and dignity.
I asked a savvy farmer group why they grow the same crop that everyone else does and they replied that since the region is known for cauliflower, it is the cauliflower buyers who come to their local mandi. I’m sure banks could push in some seed funding for these initiatives on a commercial basis. See Morduch, Jonathan, 1995, Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 9, 103-114 for a detailed discussion on this. An excellent example in this regard is the initiatives made by the Jain Irrigation in the state of Maharashtra in promoting the scientific farming of crops especially banana & sugar cane by way of establishing model demonstration plots in the villages, which attracts other farmers also in adopting hi tech agriculture. Its possible to convert agriculture into a good, sustainable business that supports the farming community. Farm gate procurement that enables sorting will distinguish quality and the price accompanying it. From the article it appears that the farmers are to some extent thinking collectively about their position.
Following question is who will provide him with this information so as he makes a decision? If you are an older person and the effects of aging are making you feel depressed, create a juicing habit. Juicers that operate at extremely high speeds tend to obliterate the nutrients before you get to consume them. Kids can be in charge of washing the fruits and vegetables while you prepare them for the juicer.
In order to keep your dark green leafy vegetables fresh longer, store them in zippered bags once you have cleaned them and dried them off. Lemon juice will not change the flavor either; it just preserves the natural color of the fruits and vegetables. While the vegetables plants were annual, because the original plant dies and the seeds create a new plant. If it has seeds but it's savory, not sweet, and generally cooked like beans, corn, tomato, etc., it's a fruit and a vegetable. Our work at IFMR Trust is aimed at providing households better access to liquidity and risk management services so that they may make growth-maximising choices without having to avoid risks altogether. Right now, the arthiyas and others who procure, and they do fulfill an important service, base prices on the worst quality of the lot – resulting in poorer prices!
However, in places like TN, with strong community groups of women, it should be more doable.
We can’t generalized a conclusion looking at the status farmer(s)of Punjab and apply it across the geography. When you look at the amount of food you are using in your glass of juice, it will make sense.
Material shown by Get Holistic Health is for educational purposes only and isn't meant to substitute for the recommendation of a doctor and other medical professional. Sometimes I think corn and pine cones have to be somehow related because I have a sample of an eaten corn on the cob and a sample of what I think is left over of a pine cone after an animal ate the scales.
Interventions in crop switching (such as organic farming) work well when a new market-facing intermediary is created to procure the produce directly, or act as a sourcing agent for other buyers.
1 more at Safal Market (despite all their vocal complaints) than procure from a mandi because of the dignity of the transaction! Last but not the least, the soil quality has been degraded by increasing use of pesticides year after year. A glass of veggie juice can improve your memory, combat the effects of growing older due to excessive free radicals in your system and ease joint pain. Legumes and berries and nuts (although it depends on the nut) are individual sub-categories of a fruit, which, as I stated, is a sub-category of a vegetable, therefore making them vegetables.
There are plenty of green fruits that no one usually considers to be a vegetable while many fruits also do not taste sweet. We know that in general interventions that target marginalized women have a disporportionate positive impact on household development indicators. Using different vegetables and fruits in your homemade juice can help ward off constipation. For dietary purposes, use negative caloric type foods such as cabbage, herbs, kale, broccoli and other leafy greens. Remember, the grocery store isn't the business of botany; they are in the business of food. A strawberry and a pea pod are both botanical fruits, but are completely different from the perspective of how we eat them.



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