Agriculture Bytes

Land Degradation Over More than a Quarter of Indias Area

Article 1 of the UN Convention to combat desertification defines land degradation as a “reduction or loss in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas of the biological or economic productivity and complexity of rain-fed cropland, irrigated cropland, or range, pasture, forest and woodlands resulting from land uses or from a process or combination of processes, including processes arising from human activities and habitation patterns, such as: (i) soil erosion caused by wind and / or water; (ii)...

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Water Retention in Soil: Characteristics and Treatment

Water retention in soil can be understood as the water retained by the soil after it runs through the soil pores to join water bodies such as groundwater or surface streams. Pores in the soil can be defined as the air-spaces that exist in between soil particles. Water retention is mainly dependant on the particle size of the soil. The finer the soil particles, the higher the chance that water molecules shall hold on to soil particles, such as in clay, as opposed to sandy soil, that has large and coarse...

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Debating the GM Crops Efficacy

There has been a debate around GM crops for over a decade. While some want their use, there are differential views asking for clarity on issues of safety.

Agriculture Bytes

GM or biosafety: The story of GM Mustard

New Delhi, February 10 (G’nY News Service): As of now, the introduction of GM Mustard has been put on hold. The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) which was supposed to take a decision on whether or not to commercialize genetically modified (GM) mustard by February 5, 2016, has failed to decide, in the face of opposition from many quarters, including former health minister DrAmbumaniRamadoss. Earlier, a moratorium...

Agriculture Bytes

Invasive Species and Wetlands: Focus Ornamental Fish

New Delhi, February 10 (G’nY News Service): The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD 2016) has clearly stated that wetlands are essential for humans to live and prosper. Globally,wetlands are acknowledged as one of the most important bio diverse areas. Besides, more than a billion people depend on wetlands for their sustenance. Wetlands help sustain a wide variety of life on our planet, protect our coastlines, provide natural sponges against river flooding, and store carbon dioxide to regulate...

Agriculture Bytes | VOL. 15, ISSUE 94, January-February 2016

Adoption of low carbon agriculture techniques

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is studying the impact of global warming on agriculture since 2004. Research studies indicate more erratic and intense monsoon rains/unseasonal rains and hailstorm, increasing risk of droughts and floods and rise in temperature including increased frequency of warm days. This leads to projected average reduction of yield by 6 per cent in wheat, 4-6 per cent in rice, 18 per cent in maize, 2.5 per cent in sorghum, 2 per cent in mustard and 2.5 per cent...

Agriculture Bytes | VOL. 15, ISSUE 94 January-February 2016

Increasing Crop Productivity in India

The per hectare productivity of most of the agricultural crops cultivated in India is less as compared to China and many countries in Europe and America. Major reasons for low productivity of agricultural crops in India are varied agro climatic conditions, pre dominantly rain-fed agriculture, inefficient use of irrigation resources, weather extremities, fragmented land holdings, complex diseases and pests scenario, low use of good quality seeds and low adoption of improved package of practices, etc....

Agriculture Bytes | VOL. 15, ISSUE 94 January-February 2016

Detecting milk adulteration

A new technology to analyse and detect adulteration in milk has been developed by CSIR-Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-CEERI), Pilani. This technology is based on acquiring electrochemical fingerprint coupled with multivariate data analysis techniques. There are no systems currently available even globally, based on similar methods. This innovation represents the first fully Indian ‘concept to implementation’ effort in instrumentation related to milk and dairy, addressing...

Agriculture Bytes

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana: Missing the Mark Yet Again

New Delhi, January 13 (G’nY News Service): Lohri, a harvest festival that marks the end of winter, has brought with it a new much debated insurance scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. With unprecedented rains, followed by droughts and fluctuating temperatures, crops have fared poorly the last two years, leading to farmer suicides and hardship for the farming community. In a new development, the Centre today cleared a crop insurance scheme at a cabinet meeting, headed by the Indian...

Agriculture Bytes

Pesticides Report accuses manufacturers of ignoring farmers’ safety

New Delhi, October 19 (G’nY News Service): An Ad hoc Monitoring Report prepared by the Pesticides Action Network-Asia Pacific (PAN Asia Pacific) along with Kheti Virasat Mission, and others, for submission to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Health Organisation (WHO) has accused Bayer and Syngenta of non-adherence to labelling and safety norms with regard to their pesticides. Information on the claims of (non-)adherence of the two companies in question was gathered inthe...