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BHUBANESWAR: Incessant rain of three successive days triggered flash flood fear in the Baitarani, Vansadhara rivers and their tributaries on Monday. Parts of five districts, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Keonjhar, Gajapati and Kalahandi, are likely to be affected by it.

Heavy rain also inundated several low-lying areas and cut off road communication. According to reports, both Baitarani and Vansadhara were flowing close to the danger level by evening and may cross the red mark. The water level in other major rivers also witnessed a rising trend.

Read Full Report in The TOI

The district administration of Kalahandi has come out with a contingency plan even as long dry spell and erratic monsoon rains have adversely affected both paddy and cotton farming.

“Keeping the erratic monsoon and scanty rainfall so far, we have prepared a contingency plan to tackle the situation.  We will provide all sorts of assistance to the farmers to tide over the situation,” said deputy director of agriculture (DDA), Mr Laxman Kumar Paltasingh.

While the district administration had set a target to distribute about 61,133 quintals of paddy seed during the Kharif season, about 58,000 paddy seed, which is around 95 per cent of the target, has so far been disbursed.

Read the full report in The Statesman

Condition set to worsen if there is no rainfall in the days to come

It will take at least a few days of continuous rainfall for the groundwater in Adilabad to get recharged to a desired level given the current precarious situation, according to experts. This year, the level at which groundwater is available has plunged deeper than the depths at which it was available in summer and continues to sink further thanks to the prolonging dry spell.

Rainfall has occurred across the district on Wednesday, a few places received spells of heavy rainfall too, but the intensity and quantum was not enough for proper percolation. “It will take some more spells of heavy rain before the soil gets saturated and allow deeper percolation,” opines the Deputy Director of Groundwater Department in Adilabad G. Kumaraswamy as he sums up the situation.

Read Full Report in The Hindu

 

Many places in Adilabad district received good rainfall, the first of the season, on Friday bringing the cheer among the farming community and public.

The spell which started on Thursday evening continued the next day too.

Among the places which received good rainfall are the 10 mandals in Adilabad Assembly constituency with Boath recording nearly 10 cm until 8 a.m. on Friday. Adilabad town and mandal received about 6 cm during the same period.

The hilly areas of Jainoor and Kerameri too received rainfall in excess of 5 cm. The phenomenon brought down the deficit in rainfall from over 50 p.c. to about 46 p.c.

Against a normal of 26.3 cm rainfall for the period between June 1 and July 6, the rainfall received was 14.2 cm. Last year too, the deficit during the corresponding stood at 36 per cent.

Read report in The Hindu

Early last year, Scott Tannen and his wife, Missy Tannen, were shopping for sheets when they experienced firsthand the confusion that comes in trying to find quality sheets.

“I just wanted a beautiful, soft set of white sheets,” MissyTannen said. “Every display was full of nebulous buzzwords like 'thread count,' and the prices seemed really high. The longer I stared at the shelves, the more confused I became. I had no confidence that I would walk out of the store with something great.”

Motivated by that shopping experience, the couple founded Boll & Branch in January in an effort to offer 100% organic cotton sheets directly to consumers from Chetna Organic, an Indian cooperative that supports sustainable farming and community development.

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Farmers in India have suffered the abuse and unscrupulous money lenders and middlemen. Cotton farmers have found themselves under crushing debt, unable to pay back lenders. The major reasons to borrow money is to buy pesticides to spread over the yearly crop. The cost of the pesticide is inflated, forcing them to borrow more than they can pay back launching them into a cycle of debt, continuing to borrow money for pesticide, pay it back, then borrowing more money, to again buy more pesticide. Tens of thousands of farmers across India's agricultural sector have committed suicide over the past two decades...

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PACT Apparel Introduces New Organic Cotton, Fair Trade Certified(TM) Line

Whole Foods Market Is the Exclusive Launch Partner

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Mar 07, 2014 (Marketwired via COMTEX) -- PACT, an ethical and organic apparel brand, announced today that it is launching a line of organic cotton apparel manufactured in a Fair Trade Certified(TM) facility. The line will include 19 product styles featuring 78 different items. A preview of the line featuring custom designed women's t-shirts for Spring retailing at $14.99 launches March 7, 2014 exclusively at select Whole Foods Markets.

 

On July 1, 2014, the Fair Trade Certified line will be expanded to include its famous underwear, leggings, camisoles, men's t-shirts, long johns and baby products. The expanded line will be available at retailers across the US and on www.wearPACT.com . This is the first Fair Trade Certified line for PACT whose mission is to design and produce clothes that make the world a better place.

From seed-to-shelf, PACT follows every step of the manufacturing process in a supply chain that is fully GOTS and Fair Trade Certified by third party auditors. All of the cotton for PACT's Fair Trade Certified line is sourced from Chetna Organic -- a cooperative of 15,000 organic cotton farmers in India who practice non-GMO organic agriculture. Chetna works to improve livelihood options of smallholder farmers by making their farm systems more sustainable and profitable, and by creating access to ethical markets in cotton.

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Fairtrade International’s Reykia Fick met with the Fairtrade cotton cooperative Chetna Organic’s CEO, Arun Ambatipudi and Technical Head (Entomology), Ram Prasad Sana at the Textile Sustainability Conference in Istanbul.

“Having control over seed is the essence of Fairtrade. Fairtrade is not only about pricing. It is about farmers’ ownership over agriculture. Without seed there is no agriculture. The most basic human right is control over seed.”

 

Read Full Interview

"This appetite for higher yields, led to indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, devastating soil health in the process. Like most other villages in the region, even here, small and marginal farmers could not withstand the “mighty will” of the State to impose a regime of subsidised chemical fertilizers and pesticides,” says Mr. Ambadass Sonkamble, Block co-ordinator, Chetna Organic, Secunderabad.

 

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Climate change has spawned debate as well as initiatives such as planting saplings, cultivating kitchen gardens, household energy conservation and so on.
At the grassroots level, a few farmers are doing their bit to preserve traditional and local varieties of seeds.
“These farmers are commonly called ‘Custodian farmers’. They preserve traditional seeds and make sure that they don’t disappear amongst the variety of hybrid seeds available in the market which farmers prefer because of the promise of high yield,” says M. Palanisamy, Programme Director, Rainfed Farming Development Programme at the Dhan Foundation in Madurai.
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