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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Seedstock Digest – Sustainable Ag and Tech News

March 21, 2011 |

Husk Power Systems (HPS), a startup company based in India, has developed a renewable energy system, which uses the discarded husks of rice grains to generate electricity. When heated, rice husks release gas that can be harnessed to power generators. A small HPS processing plant can provide electricity to several hundred households. The husk power project is subsidized by the Indian government, which has set a goal of deriving 15 percent of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2020. Read the full article: Indian Electricity Initiative Shines New Light on Farm Garbage. Read More

SIMLESA – Increasing Food Security through Sustainable Agriculture Initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa

March 18, 2011 |

SIMLESA, which stands for Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Cropping Systems for Food Security in Eastern and Southern Africa, is a four-year program whose overall objective is to sustainably increase the productivity of selected maize-legume systems in eastern and southern Africa by 30% from the 2009 average for each target country by the year 2020.  The program with funding from the Australian government is comprised of scientists from Malawi, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Kenya. Read More

Startup Profile: Biogas & Electric – Supporting Sustainable Ag through NOx Emission Reduction

March 16, 2011 |

Seedstock is always interested in learning more about who’s out there starting companies in the sustainable agriculture space.   Today we were fortunate enough to speak with Seth Burns, CEO of San Diego, CA based Biogas & Electric LLC.

Burns is a fourth generation cattle rancher with an MBA who hails from Big Timber, Montana and possesses firsthand knowledge of the potential for biogas, (the gas produced by the biological breakdown of organic matter such as livestock waste in the absence of oxygen), to promote sustainable agriculture.   Read More

$24 Billion Needed for Sustainable Agriculture Initiative in India

March 14, 2011 |

According to the Hindustani Times, India’s agriculture ministry says that it needs 1,08,000 crore (~$24 billion) over the next 5 years for implementing the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture under the Prime Minister’s National Action Plan on Climate Change.

A majority of the money, over 60%, will be put toward the development of new technologies, crop varieties, and practices to mitigate climate change. Read More

The Market Opportunity for Sustainable Agriculture in the US

March 11, 2011 |

In 2011, according to the USDA, net farm income will rise by nearly 20%.  Gross farm income will reach $400 billion, and for the first time in history total farm production expenses in the US will exceed $300 billion.

These numbers stand as a testament to the enormity of the agriculture market in the US.

However, numerous short-term and long-term challenges and problem areas exist that, whether they are addressed or not, will invariably impact the growth or contraction of the agriculture market both in the US and Worldwide. Read More