Techie turned agriculturist Yathish Shetty’s online-portal for farmers

Chetana Nayak K
February 9,2019

Considering the benefits brought by online platform to retailers, this techie-turned farmer’s portal not only brings organic produce directly to the consumers, but also claims to increase farmers profitability by doing away with 'middle-men'.

Having been employed in IT firms for close to a decade, Yathish Shetty Bondala says that he yearned to get back to farming. "I come from a agrarian background, so farming has always been my passion. Having learnt of the benefits of organic farming from my father, I was always keen on promotion of such crops,” Yathish said.

Followed by the demise of his father Padmanabha Shetty, Yathish in 2015 decided to quit from his job at Hewlett Packard (HP) and returned back to his native to continue farming only for self-satisfaction, he says. “We are able to raise high-quality yields of Pineapple, Tapioca, Drumsticks, Cucumber, Basella alba (Basale Soppu). We even took-up Beekeeping and were able to harvest honey aswell. All this by using only organic methods of cultivation and manure” he says.

However, during the course of interaction with other farmers in the locality, Yathish realised that unlike his venture, the other farmers were not able to get good returns for similar kind of produce. Having resided in big cities like Bengaluru himself, Yathish says he knew of urbanites preference to organic crops over their chemical based counterpart, so it was a bit puzzling. Soon, Yathish realised that gullible farmers were victims of middle-men or brokers, who used to misguide the producers with price, weighing, and demand pattern of the consumers. “There was absolute lack of transparency in the marketing process, the expectation of the middle-men from the farmers crops were very high, but they paid in a unfair manner and always walked away with Lion’s share of the income,” Yathish says.

In consultation with his Techie wife Shridevi D N and cousin Rajath Shetty, the trio initially launched a Whatsapp in 2016, ‘Tulu Nadu Organic Producers’ and aggregate the list of farmers and sellers (No Middlemen/Brokers). But in a matter of a year, the membership of the total participants drastically increased, Yathish and his team soon realised that they had to accommodate direct transaction and they had to evolve to a website to channelize the trade in a systematic manner. Subsequently on May 2018, they soon started the a portal https://www.localfarmers.in/ for collective marketing.

“We have kept a simple interface, where information of agricultural products are displayed, some of them in Kannada aswell. Here the farmer have the option of fixing the price, including the transportation expense and all the other relevant details. The buyers of both individuals or wholesale can choose and order online” the 33-year old says.

The selected product can be paid via Unified Payment Interface (UPI) interface and at present is available for delivery at South Bengaluru, Dakshina Kannada  and Udupi district. “We will map other areas for supply soon,” Yathish says. .

The site also has displayed few home-made products like Halwa, Paneer, spices (without preservatives) and farm products like Ghee, Honey, Fruits, compost are available. Alternatively, the names of the retailers and their local establishments are also displayed, the customers can directly purchase from the store. “The customers are not charged for displaying the product, but if the products is sold through the site, a processing fee of 2.5%-5% is charged. But if their transaction is offline, they have no commitment to us,” Yathish says.

Further the agro-based food aggregation site is awaiting approval of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) soon for displaying other variants of home-made products.

For now close 50 locals farmers, including from Dakshina Kannada, Kasargod, Udupi district have listed their produce and its ‘organic-stalls’ have already been featured at IT campuses such as Infosys, local parks and trade-fairs, that has generated a lot of enthusiasm.

In its pipeline, the self-funded venture plans to provide certification and training for farmers in computers, digital marketing tools and keep them abreast with the best practices of organic farming.

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UN report warns of 'significant number of ISIS terrorists' in Karnataka, Kerala

News Network
July 25,2020

United Nations, Jul 25: UN report on terrorism has warned that there are “significant numbers” of ISIS terrorists in Kerala and Karnataka, noting that the al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent terror group, which reportedly has between 150 and 200 militants from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, is planning attacks in the region.

The 26th report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team concerning ISIS, al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities said that the al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) operates under the Taliban umbrella from Nimruz, Helmand and Kandahar provinces of Afghanistan.

“The group reportedly has between 150 and 200 members from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Pakistan. The current leader of AQIS is Osama Mahmood…, who succeeded the late Asim Umar… AQIS is reportedly planning retaliation operations in the region to avenge the death of its former leader,” it said.

According to the report, “One member state reported that the ISIL Indian affiliate (Hind Wilayah), which was announced on May 10, 2019, has between 180 and 200 members”.

It said that there are “significant numbers of ISIL operatives in Kerala and Karnataka states.”

In May last year, the Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) terror group claimed to have established a new "province" in India, the first of its kind announcement that came after clashes between militants and security forces in Kashmir.

The dreaded terror outfit, through its Amaq News Agency, had said that the Arabic name of the new branch is "Wilayah of Hind" (India Province).

A senior Jammu and Kashmir police officer had rejected the claim.

Previously, ISIS attacks in Kashmir were linked to its so-called Khorasan Province branch, which was set up in 2015 to cover "Afghanistan, Pakistan and nearby lands". 

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Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa tests positive for covid-19, hospitalized

coastaldigest.com news network
August 3,2020

Bengaluru, Aug 3: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa tweeted late Sunday night that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. 

In a brief post on Twitter, Mr Yediyurappa said that he was fine but had been hospitalised on the advice of doctors. While his daughter Padmavathi has also tested positive for the virus, the Chief Minister's son, Vijayendra, has tested negative.

The Chief Minister's media team has said he has been admitted to Manipal Hospital. Mr Yediyurappa, 77, also requested those who had come in contact with him to be wary of Covid symptoms and self-isolate.

"I have tested positive for coronavirus. Whilst I am fine, I am being hospitalised as a precaution on recommendation of doctors. I request those who have come in contact with me recently to be observant and exercise self-quarantine," the Chief Minister's tweet read.

The testing of the Chief Minister was done as part of the routine weekly tests he undergoes along with his staff. The results of Mr Yediyurappa's gunmen and security staff, around 50 of them, are expected today.

Staff members at Mr Yediyurappa's home office, Krishna, had tested positive early last month. 

At that time Mr Yediyurappa said: "I am going to discharge my duties from home from today for the next few days in view of some of the staff in the office-cum-residence Krishna testing positive".

Mr Yediyurappa had also met Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala in Bengaluru on Friday. State Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai was also present at the meeting.

The Chief Minister is the second high-profile political leader to confirm testing positive for COVID-19 today; hours earlier Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted similar news.

Mr Shah, 55, too said he was "fine" and that he had been hospitalised on the "advice of doctors".

The minister also asked all those who had been in contact with him over the last few days to "please isolate yourself and get your tests done".

The Home Minister was at a cabinet meet last week, at which top colleagues, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman were present.

All Covid norms, including social distancing, were followed at that meeting, sources said.

Last month Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tested positive for the virus as well. He has been in hospital since then and tweeted today to say that he was well and, minutes after Mr Yediyurappa tweeted his Covid positive status, he posted a get-well-soon message.

"I pray to God for your speedy recovery, Yediyurappaji," Mr Chouhan wrote.

Mr Chouhan had tweeted a message for Mr Shah too. "Home Minister Amit Shah, may God help you recover soon, so you can serve the nation with full energy. Our best wishes are with you," his tweet read.

Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah also tweeted, saying: "I wish BS Yediyurappa a speedy recovery and to return with good health to continue his work for the people".

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit also tested positive today, Chennai's Kauvery Hospital, where he has been admitted, said. He is asymptomatic and clinically stable.

On Sunday morning the virus claimed the life of a UP minister - Kamal Rani Varun, 62, died at Lucknow's Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences.

Over the last 24 hours, 54,735 cases were reported, taking the total number of cases to 17,50,723, data from the Health Ministry showed.

The continuing spike in cases over the past weeks comes as India gradually re-opens its economy after more than four months of the world's strictest lockdown. Unlock3, the third phase of easing of restrictions, came into effect on Saturday.

It took just 185 days for India to cross the 17-lakh mark after the first case was reported in Kerala in January; it took 110 days to record the first 1 lakh cases. More than 60 per cent of total cases in the country and over 50 per cent of total deaths have been recorded in July.

Also Read: Karnataka CM is in clinically stable condition: Manipal Hospital

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JD(S) MLA B Satyanarayana passes away

News Network
August 4,2020

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Bengaluru, Aug 4: Janata Dal (Secular) leader and MLA Satyanarayana passed away today due to multiple organ failure. He was 67.

Satyanarayana was representing Tumakuru’s Sira constituency in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. He is survived by five daughters and one son.

It is learnt that he was suffering from multiple organ ailments from the past few days and was recently admitted to Manipal Hospital in the city. He breathed his last at 12:20 p.m.

He contested from JDS and worked three times as MLA and 2 times as MP. He was the chairman of KSRTC during the coalition government led by HD Kumaraswamy.

Former Prime Minister HD Devegowda mourned his death and said, “It is a shock to hear the demise of former minister and my close friend. We are friends from the past 3 decades and I cannot recall the days without him.”

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President DK Shivakumar said, “Satyanarayana was concerned for the farmers and he was a gentleman. Hearing the news hurts me and this is an irreparable loss to the political field.”

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