Indice Rural Tue, 11 Jan 2022 00:30:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Indice Rural 32 32 Let Women Connect Agriculture to Nature’s Laboratory – Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism Mon, 10 Jan 2022 19:27:38 +0000

Veena Parmar
During the conclave on natural agriculture on December 22, 2021 in Anand, Gujarat, Prime Minister Modi said the time had come to correct the mistakes of the past before they became gangrene, adding that it was urgent to remove agriculture chemical and physical labs and connect it. with the laboratory of nature.
70% of the population of our country is engaged in agriculture of which more than 2/3 are small farmers. Most of J&K UT is hilly and forested. Therefore, the majority of farmers in our UT are marginal and small. Fertile farmland is a rarity in hilly areas and another remarkable rarity in our UT concerns women on large farms. Why there are no great women in agriculture or agribusiness at J&K despite the fact that J&K is a great producer of Bastmati rice, the most delicious of apples, dried fruits and saffron, to speak by little, with another despite being an important segment of agricultural activity at J&K. All tea production in India and saffron production in Kashmir is run by women. Women enjoy sowing and harvesting grains and pulses as much as men, which was evident during the year of farmers’ protests in the capital and elsewhere wherever the protests took place. The participation of women in the aforementioned agitation, in large numbers, and the great enthusiasm they have shown for the repeal of the laws prove that women constitute an important segment of the farming community. However, they are not formally recognized as farmers. As for recognition and land ownership, it is still the domain of men.
Paddy, maize and wheat are the main crops for J&K. The rest of the agricultural products come from outside. The growing burden of feeding the growing mouths that are adding by the thousands every second to India’s more than 1.3 billion people is a great challenge in the country. He calls for revolutionary measures to increase agricultural production.
After Section 370, many developments are underway at J&K and recently signed memoranda of understanding worth 18,700 crore for development projects. Therefore, the population in terms of mouths to feed will increase dramatically. If due attention is given to this aspect, J&K must increase agricultural production. Of course, farmers should be concerned about increasing their production, but there are various contingencies that discourage them from doing so. One of them is the threat of monkeys. There is no solution to this nightmare in sight. In addition, irrigation facilities are limited to the plains only. The rest of the area depends on the rain. The long-pending Kandi Canal is due to be inaugurated by PM on his next visit to J&K. Corn is eaten and destroyed by monkeys and pigs. The fruits are eaten and destroyed by the monkeys. Therefore, a solution to these problems is urgently needed. It is the responsibility of the government and the agriculture department to help and guide the farmers to switch to alternatives or to solve the problem in the context of Prime Minister Modi’s statement to double the income of farmers from by 2022.
The main disadvantage of women’s participation in the commotion is that farmland is as dear to women as an ornament. They are wary of their responsibilities in the peasant family. They do not want to see agriculture mortgaged by wealthy businessmen. Where agriculture is the sole source of a family’s livelihood, women are more in the foreground. This is more common in the Kandi and Hilly areas of J&K and is well known. While the men go out to earn money for family expenses, the women take over the work in the fields in the absence of the men and carry out all agricultural activities from sowing to harvesting, including irrigation. , weeding, fertilizing, harvesting, processing and even sale or storage outside of livestock farming. Their indulgence to this extent is no small task. Yet, they are not considered part of the nation’s agricultural economy. If India is to grow faster economically, it is imperative that women are part of agricultural and economic development initiatives in India and given landowner status (antonym of owner) and family land registers have both men and women as owners. .
More and more farmers are leaving agriculture and turning to other professions. But the women in the country are not detached from agriculture. They regularly carry out agricultural activities. Contrary to this, young people are simply not interested in farming because for them it is seen as an unpaid profession. It is a myth. The lie may be the influence of social media suggesting immense opportunities in other industries. If women are encouraged in agriculture, it is likely that sons will begin to help mothers in the fields and be motivated. Otherwise, agriculture will suffer, which will negatively affect the national economy.
J & K’s geography is full of diversity with various agro-opportunities. But he is under tension. In most places, it is hostage to migrant labor in addition to contingencies. During the harvest season, they return and agricultural activities suffer. This is also the reason why women can be a substitute in difficult circumstances.
This year’s theme for National Farmers’ Day was “Farmer Power; To bring prosperity to the nation ‘. The theme shows that if the agricultural sector and farmers are empowered, the nation will grow. The majority of the rural population, including women, are engaged in this sector. Therefore, the theme for next year’s Farmers Day should be: “Power of Women Farmers; Make the nation prosperous ”.
Other reasons to encourage women to adopt agriculture in J&K are: –
Avenue of Employment. There are few employment options for women. Instead of pushing them towards low-wage MGNREGAs, we might as well attract them to agribusiness to increase their income. There is a shortage of storage facilities. Women entrepreneurs should be encouraged and supported to open storage facilities for agricultural products.
Horticulture. He has great potential at J&K, especially Jammu. Apple’s summer has shown encouraging prospects. If the monkey threat is taken care of, Summer Apple can increase their income. Lemon, amla, and citrus also have huge potential in Jammu.
Floriculture. Jammu is a city of temples. Local flower production does not meet the requirement. Therefore, the flowers are imported. Therefore, this cash crop can be easily undertaken by women.
Breeding. Women are familiar with poultry and dairy products because almost all households in rural areas have livestock. The need for milk and meat / mutton is increasing. Thus, women have the opportunity to engage in poultry farming and dairy farming to increase their income.
Vegetables. Their production is much less compared to their consumption. Organic vegetables are in great demand these days. Inspired by PM’s desire to connect agriculture with nature, women can get into organic farming. The production of mushrooms and honey are other crops that women can easily manage.
Time. Traditionally, for women, the day begins before sunrise and ends well after sunset. They can give agriculture time. They should be recognized for their hard work. Patriarchal traditions and gender inequality deny it.
Institutional support. As women are not recognized as farmers, they are denied support from banks, insurance companies, cooperatives and departments.
The addition of women in agriculture is essential in order to accelerate the rate of growth of the agricultural sector and the economy of the country. They should be helped technologically and financially to start agricultural businesses. Their formal recognition as farmers and their joint ownership of land will help empower women farmers and be a partner in connecting agriculture to nature.

Agriculture is the heart of the rural community of NI – Poots Mon, 10 Jan 2022 16:18:47 +0000

Agriculture is the heart of the rural community of Northern Ireland and action is needed to ensure that it continues to develop and maintain a viable, profitable and environmentally friendly food industry.

This was the message of Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots, in his address to the Oxford Agricultural Conference 2022, where he participated in a panel discussion on the future of agriculture, environment and policy rural areas in the four regions of the United Kingdom.

Minister Poots was accompanied by George Eustice, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, England and Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Wales .

Minister Poots said: “Green growth means using the shift from a society with high greenhouse gas emissions to one with low greenhouse gas emissions to improve the quality of life of people through green jobs and a clean, resilient environment. Northern Ireland recently closed its doors and this strategy aims to take a holistic approach to properly tackle the climate crisis by balancing climate action with the environment and the economy in a way that benefits everyone. “

The 76th Oxford Agriculture Conference, held virtually this year, is the UK’s premier international conference for agriculture and agribusiness. Its aim is to explore the different approaches adopted across the UK; the emphasis on promoting public goods as opposed to production, the need to address biodiversity and climate challenges and the importance of supporting rural communities. The theme of this year’s conference is “Roads to Resilience”.

Continuing, the Minister said: ‘After leaving the EU I now have a unique opportunity to redefine agricultural policy in Northern Ireland for the first time in almost 50 years and my aim is to integrate better policy. adapted to local needs and which will ensure and guarantee the long-term sustainability of the entire industry. In August, I published the Future Agricultural Policy Framework Portfolio for Northern Ireland, setting out my vision for the future direction of agricultural support. In it, I stated that “business as usual for many farms will not be an option” – higher productivity growth in our agribusiness, through science, innovation and knowledge transfer, must be carried out in a manner compatible with improving environmental sustainability.

“Many farmers are already investing in green technologies and adopting environmentally friendly farming practices, but there is still a long way to go. We must ensure that excess nutrients do not seep into our waterways, that ammonia emissions are reduced to restore the health of vulnerable habitats. , we need to end our dependence on fossil fuels and find less harmful ways to heat our homes and businesses and power our vehicles, to ensure that agriculture plays its fair share in our journey to net zero carbon and that loss of biodiversity is halted and reversed. “

Other topics covered during the debate included the development of new technologies such as gene editing, as well as issues surrounding the supply chain and the future of the UK Single Market.

On potential future trade deals, the minister warned of the high level of risk these could pose to farmers in Northern Ireland and the UK, saying that “the greatest impact on producers is ‘Northern Ireland free trade agreements is the loss of UK market share given that Northern Ireland is a net exporter of agri-food products and Britain is our largest market, accounting for around 70% of the value of beef and sheep meat processed in NI.

“While some aspects of the new agreements will benefit exporters from Northern Ireland, I am concerned that the new agreements do not provide adequate protection for British agricultural producers. The UK-UK Free Trade Agreement Australia is of concern, in particular the size of the tariff rate quotas that have been agreed upon for beef and mutton products, as these quotas are, in my opinion, too large to offer protection to domestic producers and after 15 years it there will be no more quotas will be abolished after five years.

Concluding Minister Poots said: “My ambition is for Northern Ireland to be a world-class food region, recognized for its sustainability, quality, safety, authenticity and knowledge-based approach. When it comes to the recovery and the future of COVID-19, we also have an opportunity to transform our food system for future generations and to help achieve health, social, environmental and economic goals. There are significant challenges, but I think there is also huge potential as we continue to innovate and think differently. With well-designed policy interventions and innovation, all of this can be achieved without compromising the economic viability of the agriculture / agri-food sector. “

Vermont Council for Rural Development Presents Community Visit Plan to Concord | Local news Sun, 09 Jan 2022 18:00:00 +0000

CONCORD – The Concord Planning and Zoning Council proposed to the city’s board of directors that the Vermont Council for Rural Development (VCRD) be brought into the community to conduct a series of brainstorming meetings, which would begin with a dinner get-together, coming up with the best ideas on how to spend the nearly $ 365,000 in federal funds the city received in the form of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grants.

The grants send injections of financial support to strengthen towns and villages during the ongoing pandemic and can be used for a variety of possible projects. Members of the city’s planning council were asked to help come up with ideas.

City zoning administrator Audra Girouard said on Friday: “The city has received half of the expected ARPA funds: $ 63,388.43 for the city part and $ 118,806.52 for the county funds.”

“The Select Board asked the Planning Commission to draw up a list of possible projects for these funds. The Planning Commission spoke to the Vermont Council on Rural Development about our community’s participation in their comments. The final decision on how to spend the funds will be made by the board of directors, ”according to Girouard.

Planning and Zoning Board Chairman Dale Urie said at the Jan. 4 board meeting that his board wanted to bring the discussion to a larger group and do it through the process. Brainstorming community that the nonprofit VCRD has brought to many cities in Vermont, including the Northeast Kingdom.

Uriah addressed the board at their meeting, via Zoom, and introduced VCRD’s community and policy manager, Jenna Koloski, to explain how the series and the community visit process would work, telling the advice that there is no cost to the city other than requesting that a community kickoff dinner be organized.

As the discussion began, one of the possible projects mentioned by the group was that ARPA funds had been referenced as a possible source of funding to redo the Miles Pond pavilion, or work for the museum. and the elevator in this historic building.

Calling on the VCRD to help community leaders and residents consider top priorities, “We thought this was a great idea,” Uriah said, and members of planning and zoning met with Koloski earlier to hear. how the process works and invited her to share the details. this month with the select jury.

Koloski told the board: “We only work where we are invited by board members. “

She said council staff were working to facilitate a community process. The nonprofit group is licensed under the Federal Farm Bill to do its work and has a unique board structure, comprising members of the governor’s office, federal officials, representatives from business, community and government. non-profit organizations, as well as the federal delegation. The agency is non-partisan.

Koloski guided the board through what the VCRD calls its community visitation process, which she said the group has been offering for about 20 years, and in which some 83 communities have participated. possible together from all walks of life… (ask) what are your ideas for the future of the city?

The series of meetings and the eventual creation of volunteer-led working groups, with the support of staff and agencies who can help link to the additional funding hoped for, also results in a roadmap that pulls together the work produced. through the series of meetings.

“We are helping the community decide which priorities they want to work on today,” Koloski said. She said the working groups and action plans developed at the end of the process also include advice helping to identify “potential resources to achieve these priorities”.

The process is a series of 3 months. A steering committee meeting with representatives from across the community takes place before that, Koloski said. Uriah offered to help coordinate the process with support from the Planning and Zoning Council.

Koloski said: “We don’t know what’s best for the community we’re working on – what does Concord want to talk about now? “

She said the brainstorming meetings will see residents discussing challenges, ideas for the future and more. She said the council will bring in leading state experts on generated topics, and those officials will be “mostly sitting there listening, not giving speeches,” but will serve as a resource for the people of Concord. as they seek to identify several of the areas. they identify collectively as immediate priorities for work or planning.

“We ask for volunteers to come forward to help,” Koloski said.

The process results in a final action plan and report “that captures all of this… cities have completed major water and sewerage projects, revitalized streetscapes of villages…” and some communities identified the need to bring more residents together for events “to bring people together; there is a range of what communities decide to do, ”Koloski said.

Uriah said that as the chairman of the city’s planning and zoning council, he thinks it’s important to get as much feedback from citizens as possible to help decide “how to invest those dollars.”

Koloski said the council had “a waiting list of communities interested in this process.” She said she didn’t need a decision at last Tuesday’s meeting.

Uriah proposed from his board, “We could organize the process.”

Koloski said, “What we don’t want to do is come into a community and do more work for the board. None of these decisions (which result from the community visit process) are an official decision or a community vote to spend anything that would depend on city support (and some official process).

Uriah said if the Concord Select board decides to invite the board to bring the community touring process to Concord, he hopes this will take place in the summer months, when more people are in town. and available to participate; the town has many owners of second homes with properties here including on the pond and lake.

“I recently moved to Concord,” said Uriah, who lives in Shadow Lake. “I wish I could meet more people and get more feedback from more people in town. I think that the more ideas there are, the better the choices the Select Board can make for the orientation of the city.

Contacted on Sunday, Uriah said: “I just hope the board is interested in using this as an opportunity to come together as a city, in a low stake, low pressure way to meet new people, see people that we haven’t seen in a while and to get the opinion of the people of the city. The board does a great job running the city, but it’s an opportunity to get possibly more ideas from more people in this proven process It is also an opportunity for the Planning and Zoning Council to update the Concord urban plan.

How the Vikings stormed the coast of Norfolk before trading the fighting for agriculture Sun, 09 Jan 2022 15:05:14 +0000

If you’ve ever been on the coast of the Flegg District (Scratby and Hemsby) here in Norfolk, try imagining rowboats pulling the shore and hordes of Vikings heading your way!

Over a thousand years ago in 840 AD, “the great pagan army” or the Vikings trod these lands before setting out to conquer the rest of East Anglia, wreaking havoc in their wake.

They attacked rural towns and villages upstream of the Yare River before crossing the Wensum River to attack strongholds.

Read more: “Norwich’s Hidden Main Street That Has Been Lost in Time”

They have marked our landscape. While we remember them most famous for killing East Anglian King Edmund, sacking Thetford and much later burning Norwich, it is what happened after the violence and destruction that is most surprisingly – they settled down.

Violence and destruction

The burning of a Viking longboat was a pagan funeral tradition. East Anglia has a deep history with the Vikings, especially the Danes.

One of the greatest historical documents we have on the Vikings in England is “The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles,” written by monks between 871 and 899. The chronicle details the event of the East Anglian invasion:

“And in the same year came a great pagan army into England, and established their winter quarters in East Anglia, where they were soon on horseback; and the inhabitants made peace with them.

After arriving on the shores of Norfolk, the focus in the early years was the usual Vikings’ interest – gold, silver, and slaves.

In 864-5 a Viking army wintered at Thetford in Norfolk. From there they began a campaign of conquest across England.

Edmund was the King of East Anglia (the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk). After attempting to make peace with the Danes and their leader Ivar the Boneless, he encountered them in combat at Hoxne, Suffolk, in 869/70.

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The Danes were victorious and the last king of East Anglian was killed. The Danes now had full reign of the kingdom of East Anglia. King Edmund later became a saint and is still honored at Bury St Edmunds.

The following years saw the destruction of monasteries including the monastery of St. Etheldreda in Ely, Dummuc and Elmham, towns and villages.

This reign of destruction ended thanks to Alfred the Great, the first king of the English.

He raised an army against the Danish army and the Viking King Guthrum. At the Treaty of Wedmore in 886, after years of fighting, Guthrum agreed to convert to Christianity. He was baptized Athelstan and a border was established separating his land from that of King Alfred.

This boundary stretched from the River Lea in Essex to Bedford, then along the valley of the Ouse. This neighborhood became known as Danelaw.

Viking neighbors

Anglo-Saxon village reproduction
Anglo-Saxon village and country park of West Stow in West Suffolk. This park is a reproduction of what an Anglo-Saxon village would have looked like.

Viking settlement can be seen across Norfolk County through the place names.

Rather romantic, the name Flegg itself is an echo of an Old Norse word Flaeg, a marsh plant that still grows here; considered the swamp iris. The settlements here are almost entirely named using words of ancient Scandinavian origin.

Thwaite (meaning a glade in Old Norse), Pockthorpes (fairy establishments), Winterton (headland), Toft Monks (dwelling), are all examples of Viking settlement names.

So what were the Vikings actually doing in Norfolk?

Well, most surprisingly, they let go of their axes and battle shields and became peaceful farmers.

The East of England developed an Anglo-Scandinavian society with a mixed identity that continued even after Wessex finally conquered the Danelaw.

Read more: “Where to go to learn about your family’s history in Norfolk”

The “Danish Law” still worked even after its official “end”. The two different languages ​​of Old Norse and Old English were mutually intelligible; and mixed marriages would have helped to bring communities together. Because the Danes converted to Christianity so quickly, the church was able to accept the new leaders and live together.

Historians believe that the Danish and East English invaders lived rather peacefully and quickly integrated into a multicultural society. The Danes were also great traders and merchants and helped East Anglia to become a wealthy kingdom and Norwich to become a very wealthy city.

Many East Anglians with deep ancestral roots in the region today have at least a small percentage of Scandinavian DNA.

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Too much meat? Spain’s factory farming debate creates beef Sun, 09 Jan 2022 13:34:14 +0000

Published on:

Madrid (AFP) – Debate over the environmental impact of Spain’s huge factory farming sector is intensifying in the country, Europe’s largest meat consumer, and dividing its ruling coalition.

In an interview published in the British daily The Guardian, the Minister of the Consumption Alberto Garzon unleashed against the Spanish “so-called mega-farms”, calling them unsustainable.

“They find a village in a depopulated part of Spain and put 4,000, 5,000 or 10,000 head of cattle there,” he said.

“They pollute the soil, they pollute the water and then they export this shoddy meat from these mistreated animals.”

Garzon is the coordinator of the small United Left party, a junior member of the minority coalition government led by Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, and his comments angered farmers.

“There are no mistreated animals in Spain, Minister,” UPA union, which represents small producers, said in a statement.

He said Garzon’s statements were “based on lies, clumsy, myopic and could have adverse effects on Spanish meat exports.”

Debate over the environmental impact of Spain’s huge factory farming sector intensifies OSCAR DEL POZO AFP

Pablo Casado, the leader of the main conservative opposition Popular Party (PP) which is strong in some rural areas, also weighed in, calling Garzon’s remarks “an attack on pastoralists and farmers and the image of our country. country”.

Government spokeswoman Isabel Rodriguez said Garzon was speaking in a personal capacity.

She added that the government “supports the livestock sector, which contributes decisively to our exports.”

The debate risks deepening the rift between the Socialists and left-wing coalition partner Podemos ahead of elections in the Castile and León region, north of Madrid, as the PP leads the polls.

‘Bigger and bigger’

Garzon had already been criticized in July for urging Spaniards to reduce their meat consumption, prompting Sanchez to say that for him “nothing beats a well-done steak”.

Comments by Spain's Consumer Minister Alberto Garzon angered farmers
Comments by Spain’s Consumer Minister Alberto Garzon angered farmers PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU AFP / File

For Salvador Calvet, professor at the University of Valencia who studies the sector, the outcry over Garzon’s remarks is due to the cultural and economic weight of breeding, which supports “many families”.

It is responsible for some 2.5 million jobs in the country and accounts for nine billion euros ($ 10 billion) in annual exports, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO ).

And it’s booming. Meat production has increased tenfold in Spain over the past 60 years, a larger increase than in most other European countries, according to a database from the University of Oxford.

Although there are fewer farms, their size is “getting bigger and bigger,” Calvet said.

The sector’s growth is fueled by external demand, especially from China, as well as Spain, where ham, chorizo ​​sausages and other animal products are a key part of the diet. many people.

Each Spaniard eats an average of 98.8 kilograms (218 pounds) of meat per year, compared to a global average of 42 kilograms, according to FAO figures.

Spain is the biggest consumer of meat in Europe
Spain is the biggest consumer of meat in Europe Josep LAGO AFP / File

This makes Spain the biggest consumer of meat in Europe, ahead of Portugal with 98.7 kilograms and Poland with 88.5 kilograms.

“Legitimate debate”

This level of consumption rises to more than 270 grams per day, “while international scientific recommendations recommend 300 grams of consumption per week,” the environmental group Greenpeace said in a statement.

He warned that the consequences of this overconsumption are “devastating”.

Greenpeace was one of several environmental groups that backed Garzon, who also came under fire for banning ads for sugary foods aimed at children and for cracking down on the betting industry.

“There is a legitimate debate” about the environmental impact of animal husbandry but the reality is “complex and nuanced,” Calvet said.

Breeders have “improved” their practices in recent years but they could still do more, he added.

Farm subsidy scheme “risks increasing UK dependence on food imports” | Agriculture Sun, 09 Jan 2022 04:37:00 +0000

Government plans for a post-Brexit program to support UK agriculture are based on little more than ‘blind optimism’ and risk increasing UK dependence on food imports, warned a parliamentary inquiry.

The EU subsidy scheme – known as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and worth £ 3 billion a year to UK farmers – was one of the long-standing complaints of Eurosceptics, who saw Britain’s ability to develop its own agenda. payments as one of the main benefits of Brexit. The ministers said the new program would be used to increase the environmental benefits of agriculture.

However, MEPs from the powerful multi-party Public Accounts Committee (PAC) found that there remained a crippling lack of detail regarding environmental land management (ELM) programs designed to replace EU payments. They said that, by the government’s own admission, “its confidence in the project looks like blind optimism.” The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) had given no explanation as to how the impact of the new scheme on English farmers would be mitigated, warning some would see their income coming from the payments direct cuts by more than half by 2024-25.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Conservative Vice President of the PAC and longtime Brexit supporter, said there was still “no clear plan” to replace the PAC, more than five years after the EU referendum . He warned that some small farms with “very thin margins” could go bankrupt.

“Farmers, especially the next generation on whom we will depend to achieve our combined goals of food production and the environment, have been left in the dark. It is simply not true that Defra’s own failures in business planning undermine crucial certainty for a critical national sector, ”he said.

“The UK is also already a large net importer of food and we have heard that the vague ambition of ELMs to ‘maximize the value of landscape to society’ could actually mean that this is increasing further. The recent energy price crisis should be a salutary warning of the potential risks to food availability and affordability if the UK becomes even more dependent on imports. “

“The government has still not clarified how food production fits into its proposed new programs,” the NFU said. Photograph: oversnap / Getty Images

The new program aims to provide ‘public money for public goods’, with farmers funded to restore nature, nourish the soil, improve air and water quality, and provide habitat for wildlife. thanks to ELMs. The National Farmers Union, however, said the report should mark a “wake-up call” for the government and said farmers had been left in an untenable position for lack of information.

“We are very concerned that not all farmers will be able to get involved,” said Tom Bradshaw, vice president of the union. “The government has still not clarified how food production fits into the proposed new programs. It needs to be fixed now, if they expect farmers to join in. As the CAP points out, we might just end up increasing imports of food produced to lower environmental standards.

“It is crucial that Defra conducts and publishes the results of impact assessments to understand the true impact of the proposed changes, which we have repeatedly requested but not achieved.

Dustin Benton, policy director at environmental think tank Green Alliance, said it was not clear the new program would help the government meet its own climate and nature goals. “We need ministers to say how ELMs will help achieve net zero carbon and restore nature so that farmers can plan their businesses,” he said. “Without it, the green Brexit promised by the government seems more and more out of sight.”

Doug Parr, chief scientist for Greenpeace UK, said the program could have unintended consequences for consumers and the planet: costs, replaces foods that could be grown in a nature-friendly way here.

“Working in this way is inefficient, unnecessary for UK land managers and increases the potential for perverse outcomes, such as increased deforestation abroad,” he said.

George Eustice, Secretary of the Environment, said: “We do not agree with many of the points raised by the committee which do not take into account recent developments. Farm incomes have improved dramatically since the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016 and there will never be a better time to improve the way we reward farmers.

“In December, I presented the full details of the incentive for sustainable agriculture, including full payment rates, and we published an in-depth analysis of UK food security and agricultural production. Over the past week, we shared more details on local nature and landscape recovery programs and announced a major increase in payment rates for farmers involved in existing agri-environmental programs.

]]> Whitmer establishes new rural development office Sun, 09 Jan 2022 02:47:28 +0000

Governor Gretchen Whitmer hosted a virtual panel discussion to highlight her latest executive directive establishing the Office of Rural Development within the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). The panel discussion included MDARD Director Gary McDowell, Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO Quentin L. Messer, Jr., and several key rural stakeholder groups.

From my first day on the job, I have focused on the significant structural challenges our state faces as we grow Michigan’s economy, create well-paying jobs, and build the industries of the future, which include our strong food businesses and agricultural “, declared Governor Whitmer. “The Office of Rural Development will be a critical part in how we meet these challenges, create a resilient and equitable Michigan while opening the door to exciting new opportunities within our rural communities. We will continue to build on our economic momentum starting in 2021, when we created 145,000 jobs, and will pursue a holistic approach to growing our economy.

The Rural Development Office will assist MDARD in its continued mission to focus on economic, social and educational needs in rural areas while being a key connection point for leaders and stakeholders in rural communities across the state and in putting Michigan front and center. Additionally, the office will be a crucial part of MDARD’s workforce initiative to encourage job seekers and new talent to investigate careers related to food and agriculture.

“Michigan’s food and farm businesses are a powerhouse for the economic engine of the state. I am delighted that the Rural Development Office is building on this foundation, ”said Gary McDowell, Director of MDARD. “This office will focus on a variety of issues, including investing in small and local businesses, securing new and expanding broadband access, and providing critical jobs along the chain. food supply. “

“The creation of this office is an exciting victory for all of Michigan, but especially for our friends and neighbors in rural communities across our state who deserve to have more coordinated and easier to navigate access to government, resources, programs. and opportunities. Michigan’s farms and other rural businesses are the backbone of these communities and provide jobs and civic activity sponsorships essential to make Michigan what it is, ”said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “We look forward to expanding our partnership with this new office over the next several years as we continue our efforts to create an economy where everyone in our state is visible, participating and thriving.”

The Rural Development Office will have, among others, the following responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and other stakeholders on rural economic development;
  • Work with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority to facilitate the development of affordable rural housing;
  • Promote sustainability, environmental preservation and the development of green energy;
  • Address the ramifications of population and demographic trends in rural Michigan;
  • Analyze and provide advice on educational issues affecting rural communities;
  • Work with the Michigan High Speed ​​Internet Office to facilitate the expansion of high speed Internet connections in rural communities; and,
  • Coordinate with tribal leaders in this state on issues facing rural Michigan.

“Rural communities are essential to the economic success of our state and they cannot be left behind,” said Chuck Lippstreu, President of the Michigan Agri-Business Association. “The creation of this new office of rural development demonstrates a significant commitment by our state government to help address the many enduring and unique challenges facing rural Michigan residents and businesses on Main Street.

“I thank Governor Whitmer for taking steps to establish the Office of Rural Development. Those of us who live and work in rural Michigan often feel left behind when it comes to state initiatives, ”said Wilfred Cwikiel, Director General, Beaver Island Community School. “The Office of Rural Development will ensure that the needs of rural Michigan residents, whether educational, economic, environmental or health-related, are at the forefront. “

“I am very happy to hear that Governor Whitmer has established an office for rural development,” said David B. Jahn, President and CEO of War Memorial Hospital. “This will provide much needed assistance and support for rural health issues, which are very different from the issues facing urban health care providers. Connectivity to remote rural areas will only improve the quality of care that everyone in Michigan should be able to access. “

“It is encouraging that Governor Whitmer’s first executive directive for 2022 focuses on the formal establishment of the rural development office within the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development,” said David Emmel, President, Northern Lakes Economic Alliance. “Building a strong and sustainable economic development ecosystem focused on the unique needs of rural Michigan communities is something that will benefit people in rural Michigan and set the stage for communities and individuals to achieve economic potential and prosperity. increased. Our economic alliance, like so many others, looks forward to working closely with MRARD Director Gary McDowell, MEDC CEO Quentin Messer Jr. and their teams, to bring this directive into action. “

InvestUP joins a diverse set of stakeholders statewide in congratulating Governor Whitmer for establishing the Michigan Office or Rural Development to help build prosperity in rural communities across the state “, said Marty Fittante, CEO Invest UP. “The Office is a major victory for the communities, businesses and institutions of the UP by focusing systematically, singularly and systematically on solutions to the compelling, unique and complex challenges that lie behind the challenges facing our rural communities. . Executive Order 2022-1 builds on the partnership that worked together on this initiative, including Governor Whitmer, Chief Executive Officer Gary McDowell, senior administrative staff, the Upper Peninsula Legislative Delegation, in particular Senator McBroom , and local UP and state economic and community development organizations. We are grateful to the Governor for her leadership and to Director McDowell for her continued commitment to making the Office of Rural Development a reality, a reality that positions Michigan as a national leader in rural prosperity.

“Housing development in Michigan becomes more and more difficult as you move into smaller counties and communities in our state,” said Yarrow Brown, Executive Director, Housing North. “Housing North is pleased to support the opening of the Office of Rural Development and to contribute to the Office’s goal of facilitating the development of affordable rural housing. “

“The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance applauds the establishment of this office and looks forward to working together as close partners in the important work ahead,” said Sarah Van Horn, President of the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance and President of the Charlevoix Chamber of Commerce. “This office can lead efforts to create more specific tools and programs to help rural communities and businesses thrive so Michigan can be a national leader in rural economic growth and stability.”

A new senior officer at MDARD, the Rural Development Assistant, will head the office and be the state point of contact for community leaders on pressing rural issues. The person designated as Rural Development Assistant will have demonstrated competence in the issues facing rural Michigan.

See a copy of the executive directive here:

ED 2022-01 MI Office of Rural Development (final signed) .pdf

See the opening remarks of the rural roundtable here.

Jim Brown: Inflation will be the next agriculture crossover to bear Sat, 08 Jan 2022 16:00:00 +0000 Another year has passed, but they keep coming – and I can tell you the older you get, the faster they go!

We can only hope that we are all ready to enjoy the coming year. I think many of us are here today for two reasons: vaccines and penicillin, which was the wonder drug after WWII and still is today. It saved my life when I was nine years old from pneumonia and many more lives since, just like vaccines from past and present, against the dreaded Covid-19 virus.

So what lies in store for Scottish agriculture in 2022?

One of the challenges and probably the most difficult to overcome is the 20% inflation for most of our industry. The last time we got anything near that number was in the 1970s and early 1980s.

If that happened today, many farms would go bankrupt. There is a farming generation today that only experienced interest rates closer to zero than 5%, which it was when I started farming in 1963.

I mentioned a few months ago that the Bank of England is between a rock and a hard place – it’s damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t. I’m concerned that the cost of borrowing may only go one way and that is not good news for agriculture.

Labor, or its cost, will be the next biggest challenge caused by Westminster’s dumb immigration policies due to Brexit. It can only lead our industry in one direction, which is more mechanization. I am not in the field of polytunnels, but I have no doubt that my colleague James Porter will tell us soon how all fruits and vegetables will be mechanically processed.

Maybe poly-tunnels will all go away and be replaced by combines? So what does the year ahead hold for the all-grain producer?

After consulting with two farmer friends I am told that if grain prices stay around £ 250 a tonne, £ 650 for fertilizer will not be a problem. They expect yields to go down and we all know what happens when we produce less – the value of our product increases, as it does now that Russian Putin has full control over oil and gas stocks in the world. ‘Europe.

By accident I saw Westminster Rural Minister George Eustice being interviewed by the Farm Committee, chaired by Neil Parish. Well, I have never heard so much nonsense in my life from a so called Minister of Agriculture! No wonder it is known in some circles as Useless!

One thing is certain, if Eustice and the Boris (now controlled by a petticoat?) Are still in power (which seems unlikely), England will be transformed into an animal park. Certainly, listening to Eustice’s response, it appears that the plan is to abolish all agricultural support by 2027.

It might not be bad news if we head to the New World of consumers paying the true price of food, but the challenge politicians will face will be convincing voters that it is the right one. way forward!

Now I know the so-called politicians who run the country believe that when it comes to food it is available at low prices elsewhere in the world. Well, they better stop dreaming! This is certainly not the case.

All the talk about cheap Australian beef is nonsense. My Australian beef finishing friends are paid at least 50p per kg more than here. It’s not the price of Australian beef that worries me, it’s the consistency of its quality, which we will have no chance of competing with.

Quite simply, it’s because we have too many races and our ranking system is outdated and a joke elsewhere in the real world.

So with a new grain value of £ 250 per tonne, who will lose out? Poultry, pork, dairy, and beef in that order.

I don’t know enough about poultry or pigs to comment much, other than looking at China! When it comes to pigs, they control the values ​​of the world.

My fellow scribe Pat Wilson, who milks the cows, argued that she needed a 5ppl increase, but I can tell Pat if her milk was going to Scotland’s lowest payer she would need some at least 7p per liter more! I’ll let you guess the processor!

Regarding beef, I see an economist from Northern Ireland saying that the UK break-even price per kg must be 434 pence. If we take into account the investment and the repayment of the loans, then 450p will be needed. If that doesn’t happen, Scottish government officials, who are calling for a reduction in cattle numbers, won’t even have to get up in the morning for it to happen.

What about the current price of beef? Those of us in the game know that there is no more Scotch Bounty, it is now English! In the last two months you can earn up to 20p per kg more for cattle in England than in Scotland. Hence the reason why we have so many English buyers here in our auction markets with an ever increasing number of Scottish cattle going south to be sold.

So why did we lose the bounty? Is it QMS, or is it the reality that we only have a few processors and almost all of them are Irish owned, resulting in a lack of competition. Is an Irish cartel now in charge?

And, are the Scottish auction markets too expensive to sell? The reality is that Scottish auction markets are about to be the most expensive in the world to sell stores or fat cattle. Can anyone tell me why? Are there arguments in favor of a degressive commission or a fee cap? The auction markets are certainly showing vast increases in profits!

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I’ve changed roles over the past few months as my other half had hip replacement surgery in October. then it was more difficult because I had to go and buy provisions. It was an education.

Historically, I only went to supermarkets to do research for this column, for which I just needed paper and pen. It was a whole new game. Shopping list, pen, mask, hand sanitizer and cart, and after I finished my list (including several phone calls home!) I had to use “plastic” to foot the bill, never having done it before.

All my life I have used a Clydesdale Bank checkbook and had cash in my hip pocket. Fortunately, most of the staff at check-out were very helpful. First, I tried the big four supermarkets to see which I liked best and where I could get everything on the list in one stop. The winner was Morrisons, but being someone who hates standing in line, that’s where he got a yellow card.

The good news is the boss is now back after a successful surgery and doing his shopping again. His main complaint was that the prices had all increased slightly and that a few items were missing from time to time.

Where does the future support for Scottish agriculture stand? Our Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon will try to follow the EU’s agenda, which is quite different from England as closely as possible, meaning that there will no longer be any UK policy on supporting the EU. agriculture, but one thing is certain, it will be less.

My other prediction is that the so-called No. 10 leader will be replaced by Liz Truss as he is forced to continue his blunders, when he eventually falls on his sword!

A statistic from last year – my precipitation is the seventh lowest reading at 34.75 inches and my 30-year average is 38 inches. I last cut my lawn on December 10th and if the unusual temperatures persist it looks like I will have to mow it again in January.

So keep having fun, because this is not a repeat – and be thankful for living in this lovely little country!

Ministers share different visions | Life on the farm Sat, 08 Jan 2022 08:04:32 +0000
Minister Edwin Poots.  Photograph by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Minister Edwin Poots. Photograph by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Edwin Poots, Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs for Northern Ireland, said their future agricultural policy proposals focused on environmentally friendly agriculture.

“Improving our peatlands and hedges and allowing more tree planting are all key parts of how we want to tackle the problem of climate change. We also want to be smarter in the way we cultivate.

“Instead of just being a producer of milk or meat, we need to see this animal as a producer of renewable energy. The methane currently released into the environment must be captured and reused and we must have more anaerobic digestion on our farms. “

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Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice has said that meeting climate ambitions will require change.

“Simply put, our vision is for a more sustainable agricultural industry where we produce a significant amount of our own food.

“National food production is an essential part of our food security and that is why we will monitor it every three years.

“Our policy will put in place powerful incentives to support sustainable agriculture. This includes sensitive management of hedges allowing hedges to recover, recognizing them as the single most important green building element in the agricultural landscape, and good soil management with an emphasis on soil health and biodiversity. . But it should also be noted that there will be some change in land use.

The land use changes include targets of 10,000 hectares of new woodland creation per year and the ambition to restore 300,000 hectares of habitats to their natural state.

With 50% of farmers already engaged in some sort of rural stewardship, Mr Eustice announced that Countryside Stewardship Scheme (CSS) payment rates would increase to 30%. In addition, any breeder who is currently a BPS applicant will be entitled to a funded visit from a veterinarian once a year to set up an animal health strategy.

Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, outlined their plans for Welsh farmers to be leaders in sustainable food production.

“For us, we’re going to create a new farm support system so that we can really maximize the power of nature throughout farming. Our farm bill is essential to meet these ambitions.

‘Welsh farmers can continue to produce high quality food, while maintaining these very high production standards, but what we are proposing is to ask our farmers to go further and we will provide support – to both financial and advisory – through the sustainable agriculture program to target results in relation to environmental issues. At the moment, farmers are currently not being rewarded for clean air, clean water and flood mitigation, so this is what we will be looking at as part of our sustainable agriculture agenda.

Meanwhile, Edwin Poots posted a New Years message detailing his priorities for the coming period.

He explained: ‘Agriculture is the lifeblood of our rural economy – feeding our people and many others beyond our shores, with the sector generating over £ 5 billion for our economy and all of the food supply chain employing more than 100,000 people. It is vital for all that we succeed in a sustainable and global way.

“I recently launched a consultation on Future Agricultural Policy Proposals for Northern Ireland, which offers for the first time in almost 50 years a unique opportunity to collectively redefine our agricultural policy and target support to respond more effectively to our local priorities.

“I want us all to work together to develop a sustainable agricultural industry in which all farmers are equitably supported to make the most of the assets at their disposal and to invest in all forms of capital; physical, human and environmental; in their farms.

Edwin Poots continued, “I also want to continue to develop support programs that provide all of our farmers with the opportunity to become more efficient, resilient and environmentally friendly and to maximize returns for themselves and for society. assets available to them.

“Climate change is the defining crisis of our time globally and nationally and is a key priority for my department and the Northern Ireland executive. In 2021, the spotlight is on Glasgow with the COP26 conference.

“Helping introduce Northern Ireland to COP26 has been a privilege. This allowed us to share our experiences, including the development of the NI Executive cross-cutting and multi-decade green growth strategy project. This sets our long-term vision and a strong framework to tackle the climate crisis, help us meet our goals and make our fair contribution to the UK’s goal of achieving net zero by 2050. J ‘ I also launched a consultation on our very first Environmental Strategy at COP26.

You can see the full article on page 37.

Prince Charles aims to find ‘new talent’ at Dumfries House School of Agriculture | Royal | News Fri, 07 Jan 2022 07:11:00 +0000

Prince Charles, 73, is known for his longtime support for the environment and rural life. But the Prince of Wales is now hoping to provide further support by training a new generation of young farmers at a proposed school in Scotland.

The Prince’s Foundation has submitted plans to build the single-story agricultural school near Cumnock to the East Ayrshire Council.

The school building would be located next to a working farm on the 2,000-acre Dumfries House grounds.

The move could give UK agriculture a boost, which has faced challenges in recent years.

The Guardian revealed in 2021 that more than 110,000 small family farms had been lost in the UK since 1990.

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A design statement submitted by the Charles Foundation to the Scottish Authority said: “The underlying principle is to bring new talent into the agricultural and rural sector, specifically targeting those currently unrelated to it. .

“In addition, the programs will continue to promote the broader principle of encouraging people to enjoy the benefits of spending time in the countryside.

“The service would be practical, allowing students to immerse themselves in their field, thus giving them maximum opportunities to develop their knowledge, skills and passion for the industry.

“The aim of the courses would be to generate interest in potential careers and to further study towards higher level qualifications and specializations.

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“The Princely Foundation also recognizes the need to transmit traditional and rural know-how (laying of hedges, dry stone walls, fences, drainage, butchery, etc.) within the existing workforce.

“Target groups include high school students aged 14 and over, school leavers showing an interest in onshore careers, adult learners looking for new careers as well as agricultural and industry workers. rural people seeking to improve themselves.

“Across all programs, including student events and sector workshops, the goal is to engage with the region of 1,800 people in any given year. “

Gordon Neil, Executive Director of the Prince’s Foundation, added: “The foundation recognizes the need to impart traditional and rural skills, such as hedging, drystone walls, fencing, drainage and butchery, to the within the existing workforce, and our proposal for a new facility adjacent to Home Farm on the Dumfries House estate will further expand the offer of agricultural education. “

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Charles led a consortium that bought the Dumfries house for £ 45million in 2007.

The Telegraph reports that his charitable foundation has contributed £ 20million to save Scottish property.

The estate then opened to the public in 2008 and has undergone extensive restoration work.