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Agro Products
ICRISAT breeding superior sugarcane varieties

ICRISAT (International Crop Research Institute Semi Arid Tropics) Hyderabad has been compiling and documenting India’s best sugarcane growing and management practices. SSI looks to be a step in that direction. With its resources and reach, ICRISAT has done and is taking ahead Sweet Sorghum, another similar crop. SS genes were used in Sugarcane in Japan.

The enhancement in sugarcane production can be achieved by research work in Genetics, Cytogenetics including introduction of Improved Varieties, Inter Specific Hybrids, Newer Planting Techniques, Fertiliser inputs, and water application at tiller stage, Weed Control, Ratoon Management, Crop Physiology and Protection.

To develop and propagate a new variety it takes almost 10-14 years in making and in South India, farmers are still using some varieties for over 30 years. Success of a Varietal trial depends on confidence of the stakeholders, i.e. industry and farmers.

Two major research institutes under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, namely, the Sugarcane Breeding Institute (SBI), Coimbatore, and the Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research (IISR), Lucknow, are already engaged in front-line areas of basic and strategic research. including breeding superior sugarcane varieties/ genotypes, genetic improvement of sugarcane, improved production technologies, development of appropriate machinery, management of cane under stress, management of rations, development of technology for quality seed production, farming system research, and sugarcane post- harvest technology.

Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI) in Pune is an autonomous body, established by the sugarcane grower members of the co-operative sugar factories in Maharashtra with an active and generous support of the state government; it serves the needs of Maharashtra and adjacent regions. All these three have been serving three regions of Indian sugar industry.

"Royal Tea" launched by Twinings Tea

Twinings India, a part of Associated British Foods (ABF), United Kingdom, has launched Royal Tea. The company said that new "Royal Tea" contained full flavoured blend of Assam and South Indian teas

Twinings Royal Tea offers you an enchanting tea drinking experience. Twinings Royal Tea is initially available in all high-end retail outlets, grocery stores; supermarket in major cities including Delhi, NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Lucknow and Ahmedabad.

Extensive use of Cotton Hybrid Seeds

In the agricultural and the gardening sector, hybrid seeds are a variety of seeds which are created by simulated cross-pollination of plants. Hybrid seeds are produced from naturally out-breeding crops, from which inbred lines are produced by repeated self-pollination.

India is the first country to introduce hybrid cottonseeds for commercial cultivation. The public sector in India has played a crucial in developing and propagating the use of hybrids seeds. The world first cotton hybrid H4 was introduced in 1970 by the government Cotton Research Station situated at Surat in the state of Gujarat. This hybrid cotton by virtue of its high yield potential and adaptability became popular among the farmers initially in Gujarat and later on in states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamilnadu.

State Seed Corporations produce and market only public hybrids. The hybrids developed by public sector agencies are registered and notified to enable certification by State Seed Certification Agencies. Private seed companies produce and market both public bred hybrids as well as hybrids developed by them. The foundation seeds of public hybrids are made available by the government for any one (both public and private seed companies) who wants to multiply them and market to the farmers. In contrast, the proprietary or research hybrids are developed by private companies themselves and they alone will have patent rights over production and marketing of that seed.

Spices exporters exploring global market

The Indian spice exporters are exploring new destinations for exports due to stiff competition from several Asian countries.

India is losing its presence in the international market as far as exports of major spices such as black pepper, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon are concerned. The country is facing tough competition from countries like China, Brazil, Guatemala, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

In view of such tough competition, Indian exporters have no other option but to explore new destinations for exports of new spices. They have now ventured into Latin American countries, East European and Islamic countries.

Mumbai is a major exporting hub for spices and the region accounts for a whopping share of 45 per cent in volume of the total exports during the last financial year when the country’s exports crossed the Rs 4,500 crore mark. The western region, which accounts for 45 per cent of total spices exports from India, expected a 10 per cent CAGR growth.

Meanwhile, the Spices Board has honoured the Western India-based leading exporter, Jabs International, with the award of “Topmost Exporter of Spices” for the year 2007-08 and 2008-09.

Agro Tech Foods launches Sundrop 'Freshlite'

Agro Tech Foods Ltd, an affiliate of ConAgra Foods, US, has introduced new edible oil - 'Sundrop Freshlite'. The product Sundrop Freshlite is low in saturated fat and its Good Inherent Stability (GIS) delays the rate of oxidation, which helps keep food fresh for a longer duration.

Sundrop Freshlite is a scientific blend of Canola Oil and Sunflower Oil, which has the recommended ratio of Omega 6 and Omega 3 to provide nutrition and help maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. It shares many benefits of Olive oil as it is rich in MUFA.

Sundrop is a leading brand in the branded foods industry in India. Agro Tech Foods Ltd (ATFL) is a public limited company engaged in the business of branded foods in India. ATFL is affiliated to ConAgra Foods Inc. of USA, which is one of the world's largest food companies. Sundrop, Act II and Crystal are some of the company's brands.
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