Agri Stimulus Newsletter – September 2020

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Industry Speaks


Improving Dairy Productivity by Efficient Nutrition Management using Forage Crops

About Dairy industry – India is the global leader in milk production
With a high Bovine population of 300 Million and an annual output of 188 Million Tons, India ranks 1st and accounts for 21% of world milk Production. Urbanization & improved purchasing power is boosting the demand for milk and milk products. However, milk productivity per animal is lower for Indian bovines at 1,360 L compared to world average at 2,300 L.

Key challenges faced by Dairy farmers
  • Low productivity of dairy sector because of nutritional gaps arising out of inadequate nutrition from green fodder, along with dry residues and concentrates, concentrates (Feed costs accounts for 60-70% of total milk production cost), feeding & dependence on concentrates (Feed costs accounts for 60 -70% of total milk production cost),
  • Generating sustainable revenues from dairy because of high cost of feeding & dependence on
  • Shortages and irregular availability of green fodder (India’s average deficit of green fodder is 11.24%),
  • Only 5% of gross cropped area is used for Forages, therefore, farmers require more yield from limited available land, and
  • High animal health maintenance costs due imbalanced nutrition.
  • Milking animal gives 20 litres/day
  • Feed requirement calculated based on the body weight of 450- 500 kg
Cattle Feeding pattern
Diet ComponentsActual RequirementsFarmer’s practice
KgDry Matter received (kg)Cost (₹)KgDry matter receivedCost (₹)Daily extra expenses (₹)
Green Fodder4086015322.5 
Dry Fodder22103315
Cattle Feed/ Concentrate65.41801010300
Total 15.4250 16337.687.5

Lack of awareness about the role of green forages in improving dairy green forages in improving dairy productivity is also one of the key reasons for high dependency on feeds. Fodder production is one of the neglected areas adversely impacting the productivity and profitability of dairy. It is estimated that there will be a 40% gap in demand and supply of green fodder in the country by 2025. The reason for this is inadequate fodder seed production, market linkages, and very low seed replacement rate. Green fodder is an economically viable solution of improving nutrition and productivity of daily animals as microbes in green fodder help in improving the digestibility of mixed feeding system in India. By balancing the quantity of Green Fodder, the dependence on Concentrates can be reduced, resulting in savings of ₹ 90 per animal per day, leading to reduction of ₹ 4.5 / Litre in the cost of Production.

Role of Private Companies

Private companies have a critical role to play in making available high yielding certified seeds of green fodder crops to help increased the forage crop productivity and reduce the demand supply gap in the country.

Some of major companies engaged in R&D and marketing of forage crops in India are Advanta Seeds, Foragen Seeds, Mangalam Seeds, Malav Seeds Pvt. Ltd. etc. Advanta is one of the leading companies in Forage landscape and has worked closely with farmers to improve the livelihoods of dairy farmers. The private companies ensure the year-round availability of green fodder though their range of forage crop seeds that meet the requirements of crop type, seasonality, single cut, multi cut, and usage. Some of the focus technologies of private companies for improvement in fodder crop quality and nutrition are:

  • Improve the digestibility of forages,
  • Increase biomass in forage crops by reducing internodal distance that also facilitates mechanization, and
  • Reducing the Hydrogen Cyanine to minimize or completely mitigate the risk of animal poisoning even with early harvesting

Some private companies like Advanta Seeds, Foragen Seeds, etc. have also integrated online sale of the forage seeds through e-commerce players and mobile applications enabling the ease of access to quality seeds for farmers.


Private sector is well placed in the country to bridge the demand supply gap in fodder crops of the country by providing high yielding varieties/ hybrids that grow year-round, mature early and can be mechanically harvested. Such varieties/hybrids will help reduce the cost of production for dairy farmers and increase productivity and profitability of dairy cattle in the country. Some studies by private players like Advanta Seeds have shown that the new generation forage crops can achieve nearly 100% increase in the yield of green fodder, 25% increase in milk production, improve their health by enhancing nutrition, reduce heat stress in the cattle and reduce overall cost of production for dairy business.


Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Telangana sanctioned ₹19,444 crore for kharif procurement :
To assist State Marketing Federations and facilitate timely paddy procurement operations through respective cooperative organizations, the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) has sanctioned INR 9,000 crore to Chhattisgarh, INR 5,500 crore to Telangana and INR 5,444 crore to Haryana. This timely step by NCDC will provide the much needed financial support to the paddy farmers in these three states during this pandemic that accounts for 75% of the total paddy production in the country.
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New Stripe rust resistant genes identified in Wheat Varieties:
US Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) and Washington State University in a recent study have successfully identified 37 Stripe resistant genes of which 10 of them are new genes using genotyping by multiplex sequencing (GMS) technique and molecular markers. GMS method was found to be comparatively quite cheaper than wheat SNP Chips and other methods.
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Agriculture; the only sector to grow amid COVID-19 pandemic:
Despite the fall in overall Indian GDP by 23.9%, agriculture has achieved a bright spot by showing a growth of 3.4% in the first quarter of 2020 compared to last year. Government has increased its spending in farm sector to generate benefits for the country’s economy. The sector has also attracted huge private investments.
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Two transgenic brinjal varieties approved for confined field trials :
Government has approved confined field trials for two transgenic brinjal varieties in eight states during 2020-23 but with the condition of taking no-objection certificate from the states. These varieties contain Bt Cry1Fa1gene (Event 142) and are developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research-National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology.
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Corteva AgriScience drives maize dense planting by encouraging the use of mechanical planters :
Corteva will subsidise the mechanical planters by half for the farmers of Madhya Pradesh and has tied up with a company to produce the machines which can reduce the variability of yield in a plot. Over 12,000 tribal farming families will be covered in the two districts of Madhya Pradesh.
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IRRI and Bioseed partner for hybrid rice development:
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Bioseed Research India have joined hands to jointly develop elite hybrid rice. This partnership is beneficial for both the stakeholders and also for farmers as it provides Bioseed an opportunity to leverage IRRI’s well established facilities and helps to increase its research capacity is South East Asia to accelerate the development of value-added crops.
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Blending of mustard oil is prohibited from Oct 1 :
Government has approved confined field trials for two transgenic brinjal varieties in eight states during 2020-23 but with the condition of taking no-objection certificate from the states. These varieties contain Bt Cry1Fa1gene (Event 142) and are developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research-National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology.
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Acardia Biosciences acquired hemp seedling company Industrial Seed Innovations (ISI) :
Acardia Biosciences acquired Oregon-based Industrial Seed Innovations (ISI) which specialize in organically grown, high Cannabidiol (CBD) feminized hemp seeds and seedlings. Acardia will now have robust catalogue of hemp seeds to address larger customers.
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Bayer and Kezzler collaborate to protect farmers from counterfeit seeds:
Bayer, a market leader - collaborates with Kezzler, a global leader in supply chain traceability and serialization technology. Bayer will leverage Kezzler’s managed SaaS platform to provide supply chain visibility, traceability and enhanced affiliate management. The Kezzler platform will eliminate the risk of counterfeit goods, which can lead to substantially lower yields and have a detrimental effect on the environment.
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Indian cotton exports seen rising owing to lower prices and increased global demand:
Amid the current pandemic and the global tensions with China, India is emerging as the go to option for importing cotton. Compared to last year’s export of 50 lakh bales (2019- 20), exports are likely to rise to 60 – 65 lakh bales. Due to the lower cost of cotton in the global market, and US ban on cotton from China, it is predicted that the cotton exports from India will rise.
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Sathguru Services
Sathguru offers a whole spectrum of services for the Agri-input companies
Case Studies & Blogs

Operations optimization in retail and farm service for leading agri-chemical company

Augmenting innovative and relevant technology across the agri value chain leading to strategic growth for a progressive agribusiness company based in south India

Disruptive Technology for Nitrogen Fixation in agriculture

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