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Researchers at Cornell’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) are helping to create robotic tractors and sprayers that do not require human operators. Andrew Landers, a pesticide application engineer at NYSAES is one of the researchers in $3.9 million U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded project to develop, test and evaluate a fleet of autonomous tractors designed for precision agriculture applications.

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The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is planning to expand its scope as development bank. In oder to help self employment generation and to boost industrialisation in rural areas in Orissa, NABARD will extend its assistance in setting up ‘haats’ or rural weekly markets.

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The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) called farmers to adopt Conservation Agriculture (CA) practices to ensure sustainable yield growth and reduce carbon’s footprint. In a keynote speech at the fourth World Congress on Conservation Agriculture (CA), held from 4-7 February 2009, in New Delhi, India, Shivaji Pandey, Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization

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In order to promote the use of ICT to attain agricultural sustainability and competitiveness for the country’s farmers, the Government of Philippines has launched a Knowledge Working Towards Enhancing Agricultural Communities Program or K-Agrinet project.

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A Vietnamese farmer has launched a new website, which has become a useful business tool for coffee growers in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong. The website, www.y5cafe.info appeared for the first time in the form of a blog early last year, with an article on coffee farming techniques. After a three month trial period, the website, which provides free information on the market, coffee prices and transaction methods, as well as coffee farming, processing and crop-protection techniques, was officially launched.

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Scientists from India have launched an ‘agricultural Wikipedia’, an online repository of agricultural information in the country. The government backed initiative, called Agropedia was launched on 12 January 2009. The project will provide information about crops and regions to farmers and agricultural extension workers and also provide information for students and researchers.

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Reuters has achieved one lakh subscription of Reuters Market Light (RML), a market intelligence service to farmers in their local language including crop prices from local markets, local weather forecasts, and relevant agricultural news and crop advisory information.

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The African Soil Information Service has been launched on 13 January 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya that will produce a digital map of 42 African countries revealing soil type and its component nutrients. The information will guide farmers and policymakers on efforts to improve the fertility of Africa’s soil.

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Punjab Agricultural Marketing Board board is on its way to become the first organisation in Punjab to implement the internet-based tendering. Punjab Agricultural Marketing Board has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with state-run Indian Telephone Industries Limited for implementing e-tendering. The system is expected to get functional by February 15, 2009.

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The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has initiated new partnership with a the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) to promote crops and improve fisheries, among other sustainable activities.

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