Stevia: The Sweet Leaf

Stevia: the sweet leaf, also known as the honey herb, is nowadays being used as an alternative for sugar. It is also used to treat a gamut of problems from diabetes obesity, hypertension, physical fatigue, and heart burn to even dental decay as the leaves are endowed with significant medicinal properties. A native of Paraguay and named after the Spanish botanist P. J. Esteve, the plant has been used as a natural sweetener for centuries in South America, especially by the Guarani Indians in Paraguay....

Crops # Education


Ashwagandha, also known as the Indian ginseng, is renowned for its medicinal value and considered a true gift of nature. A rejuvenative herb, it promotes energy and vitality and has been used for centuries for its restorative properties to remedy conditions of weakness. This 'White Cherry' improves the body's ability to adapt to various types of stress. It is especially beneficial in disorders such as arthritis, hypertension, diabetes and general debility. It is known as Asgandh, Punir and Askandhatilti...


Phytoliths: Aid to bio-sequestration

Increased carbon dioxide concentration in the environment is currently a major problem. Since nature has significantly occluded carbon by burying it into the soil for millions of years in the form of fossil phytoliths, this can serve as a probable method of carbon bio-sequestration.


Is Pulses Revolution a possibility?

The neglect of pulses saw them being relegated to marginal lands during the Green Revolution, even as rice and wheat production grew manifold. As India grapples with a demand-supply gap it is time, through technological breakthroughs, right policies and incentives to farmers to bridge this gap. The widening gap between demand and supply of pulses in India and the resulting inflation and increasing imports has highlighted the neglect that these protein-rich leguminous crops suffered for decades,...

Crops | VOL. 16, ISSUE 96, May-June 2016

Changing Climate and Traditional Crops

Changing climate has impacted several traditional crops in India which have ecological, nutritional and economic benefits. There is an urgent need for technological and financial initiatives to prevent the ultimate disappearance of these crops.

Crops | VOL. 16, ISSUE 95, March-April 2016

Small Holders and Bengal’s Tea Industry

Recent data indicates that tea cultivation is becoming increasingly popular with small and marginal holders. However, small tea growers often face problems due to fluctuating prices, and hence, need to be supported technically and financially to deal with an unstable market.

Crops | VOL. 15, ISSUE 94 January-February 2016

Agricultural Biotechnologies

Application of biotechnology in agriculture and husbandry might be the next step to food security in India. Proper infrastructure, technology and market systems are crucial to materialise.

Crops | VOL. 15, ISSUE 94 January-February 2016

Climate Change and Wheat

Over the last two decades, there is a decline in the average yield in wheat production. A close examination of the weather data indicates that this decline may be related to climate change.

Crops | VOL.14, ISSUE 83, March-April 2014

Karnataka bans Mahyco seeds

Mahyco, one of the largest private sector seed companies in India, faces a ban following the sale of spurious Bt Cotton seeds to farmers. Karnataka failed to recognise early warnings and now over 54,000 farmers are put to distress.


Perspectives on Fertiliser Usage

With remarkable growth after the introduction of fertiliser responsive high yielding varieties of paddy and wheat in the mid 1960s, per hectare fertiliser consumption increased from 5 kg in 1965-66 to 141 kg in 2010-11. Government and industry made concerted efforts to promote balanced use of fertilisers by targeting to achieve the ideal nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) ratio of 4:2:1 at the national level. Balanced fertiliser usage was however, severely hit with the government’s decision to decontrol phosphatic and potassic fertiliser which distorted nutrient prices and aggravated imbalanced fertiliser use.