In 2018, the general production volumes of agricultural commodities in Russia in all categories of agricultural households totaled nearly 5.12 trln RUR in current prices, a decrease of 0.6% (or down 88 bln RUR) compared with the figures in the previous year. The figures decreased for the first time since 2012, reported the Federal State Statistics Service. At the same time, last year the production of livestock goods increased by 1.3% compared with 2017 (to almost 2.551 trln RUR), while plant growing goods — down 2.4% (to 2.569 trln RUR).
Colorado's farming and ranching communities are facing a season of economic losses, after summer drought dried up grass for cattle, killed crops and kept thousands of acres from being planted. Drought in Colorado has a widespread impact on an economy where tourism and recreation play important parts, with money-drawing activities like rafting, fishing and skiing. But when it comes to agriculture – a $40 billion industry that generates $7 billion in revenue for the state, ultimately a fraction of Colorado's GDP – Colorado is a state divided.
Unseasonal rain and snowfall is the main reason for agriculture failing in Himachal Pradesh. “Hailstorms or torrential rains are usually destructive to our crops while snowfall is not,” said Uma Devi of Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh, when speaking to Mongabay-India. However, the post-monsoon heavy snowfall in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir, which came in two heavy spells in late September as well as early November 2018, were exceptions, and are now attributed to exacerbated climate change in the Himalayan region.
German farming associations expect losses in the millions, and towns and villages will also have to dig deep to maintain infrastructure as mother nature cranks up the temperature and fails to deliver much-needed water – the town of Bitterfeld-Wolfen in Saxony Anhalt, for example, expects to spend an additional €10,000 to irrigate trees and shrubs alone as well as an additional €30,000 to repair heat-related damage.
In Tamale, Ghana, a US$113million project has been launched to promote and scale up agricultural value chains in the country. The Ghana Sector Investment Programme (GASIP) is a six-year project funded by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) – a United Nations Food Agency – and implemented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA). The project is aimed at supporting infrastructure development, technology transfer, conservation farming and research to ensure the production of quality food crops to meet demands of the market. GASIP is anticipated to help about 12,000 rural households, especially women and young people to improve their economic activities and livelihoods. This is a great step towards realising Ghana’s medium-term agricultural sector investment (METASIP).
Three years ago, the average person had no idea what a drone was – or associated these flying machines with weapons of warfare. Things have changed. Now, unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs (also known as drones) have become one of the world’s most publicised and intriguing technologies, used by people in a wide range of professions, from journalism to humanitarian aid work. Farmers have always needed accurate and up-to-date information on the health of their crops and the environmental condition of the land. Agricultural aircraft have been in use since the 1920s, while agricultural experts increasingly use satellites to assess crop health from the sky.
Zambia's Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Given Lucinda, said that the country has depended on the mining sector for decades and now needs to diversify its economy; agriculture has been earmarked as a key sector for doing this. “Agriculture is the future of Zambia,” said Lucinda. “We have depended on the extractive industries over the last 50 years. I usually ask the question, ‘will copper see us through another 50 years? My categorical answer is No.’”
The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC) is expected to get about 30 per cent higher budgetary allocation at over Rs 20,000 crore for the next fiscal for implementation of key schemes including newly launched crop insurance programme. Under the Union Agriculture Ministry, there are three departments -- Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC), Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries and Department of Agricultural Research and Education. DAC has received an allocation of Rs 15,500 crore for the current fiscal against budget estimate of Rs 16,646 crore.
Italian-based Catanese R&D startup Heli-Lab has launched a drone project that features the use of drones to bring the Internet to areas in Sicily where there is no connection. The remote-controlled drones are employed for a wide range of activities, namely for agricultural, industrial and insurance purposes. The tasks delegated to the drones are different and increase with the ability to equip the APR-specific technology. On the side, the drones are also transformed into real PCs and hot spots, thus collecting a large amount of data in flight and transferring them to the cloud, as well as serving as Internet Access Points.
Drone technology has the potential to change the way farmers scout their fields for situations like disease issues and pest pressure. The technology appears to have come a long way in a relatively short time, but there’s a more basic question to ask first: How does it work? If you’re a farmer who wants to use a drone, it’s like having a 200-foot ladder to survey your field, said business development and marketing manager for Drone Deploy of San Francisco. Usually a farmer would take some pictures of the field, but just pictures won’t get you a lot of useful information.
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