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GRANITE E-Newsletter January  2008


Continuing Success of Precision Farming in Tamil Nadu

New innovations and technologies for increasing crop yield have mostly been the fort of agricultural scientists and researchers. Precision Farming Technology is one such innovation that has been introduced for the first time in the country by scientists from the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore. Precision farming promises to increase the yield of crops, and practically any crop variety can be cultivated under this system.
(The Hindu, January 31, 2008)

Meet Tech-Savvy Indian Farmers!

Intellicon does wonders for farmers in Rajasthan. Technology is moving ahead and so have the farmers in Rajasthan, all credit to the two-way Aethra video conferencing system. Aethra is represented in India by Intellicon, a telecommunication and data capture solutions company. The video conferencing system has recently been installed by the Rajasthan government in Krishi Vidya Kendras (KVKs) in 10 districts. The system connects 11 locations spread across Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture & Technology in Rajasthan. The farmers are now using video conferencing to procure good quality seeds, fertilisers and for others inputs.
(www.efytimes.com, January 28, 2008)

 Global Conference on Crop Protection Begins

First International Conference on Agrochemicals Protecting Crop, Health and Natural Environment was inaugurated in New Delhi. Inaugurating the three-day conference India’s Minister of State for Agriculture Kanti Lal Bhuria said, for attaining sustainable agriculture, crops must be protected from the onslaught of various pests and diseases. For achieving this target, he said, economically viable pest management strategies need to be put in place so as to meet present and future requirement of food.
(www.commodityonline.com, January 08, 2008)

Tough Phase Continues for Textile Units

Following the negative trends in the domestic textile industry, the Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA) has sought relief from the Central Government for both exporting and domestic units. The association argued that many mills could become unsustainable due to high cotton prices, unless a one-year moratorium to repay loans would be granted. Further suggestions included a mechanism to ensure advantages for the domestic industry with regards to home-grown cotton as well as a reduced import duty on cotton.
(www.bharattextile.com,  January 15, 2008)

Weaker US Demand Hits Indian Textile Industry

With the cost of Indian textile and garments on the rise, US customers are shifting their orders to countries with weaker currencies such as Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Bangladesh. Around 55 million jobs in India depend on the industry, an estimated 500,000 jobs have been cut during the last year since the rupee rose 13-15 percent. Ajay Sahai, director-general of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) stated that textile exports have dropped about 8 percent so far this fiscal year instead of the projected target of 18 percent growth.
(Financial Times, January 31, 2008)

Tamil Nadu: Textile Industry Facing Acute Shortage of Skilled Labour

The Kancheepuram silk weaving looms are witnessing an acute shortage of skilled labour as weavers increasingly abandon their ancestral occupation for more sophisticated jobs. The once thriving business in the state is facing a haunting problem. The local weavers point out that the occupation does not offer sufficient income any more as wages offered do not match the work they do. However, mills owners find it hard to increase the wages due to the appreciation of the rupee.
(www.bharattextile.com, January 15, 2008)

India Consolidates Textile Exports to New Markets

According to official data, exports of Indian textiles, including readymade garments, have consolidated their presence in the tough markets of Europe in the past two years. Considerable rises in market shares could be achieved in Belgium, Sweden, the Netherlands and Portugal. In the product basket, apparels and clothing accessories continued to be on the top rung of the ladder with export earnings worth US$6.4bn, representing an increase of 8 percent.
(www.sify.com, January 23, 2008)

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