Agriculture Current Affair 18 April 2020

Bt technology has made cotton farming more sustainable

When it comes to the contribution of Bt technology towards yield increase in cotton vis-à-vis other agri-inputs, the field evidences squarely differ from the findings of Keshav R Kranthi and Glenn Davis Stone, published in Nature Plants, March 2020, and their contentions as published in the article ‘Bt cotton only increased cost of cultivation: Study’, in BusinessLine dated March 18, 2020.

In the latter, Kranthi articulated three ‘misconceptions’: i) Bt cotton alone increased yields, ii) Cotton hybrids are superior to the other varieties in providing yields, and iii) No increase in yield is possible without new Bt/GM technology.

Ensuring uninterrupted supply of foodgrains in TN: Food Corporation

Food Corporation of India (FCI) has said that it is ensuring uninterrupted supply of foodgrains in Tamil Nadu and urged the organisations that are engaged in relief operations in the State, to make full use of the supply meant for them under a programme.

A new beneficiary scheme has been introduced by the Centre for the supply of foodgrains to charitable institutions/NGOs (engaged in relief operations by providing cooked meals for various needy people including migrant labour/ vulnerable groups) at a subsidised rate of ₹21 per kg for wheat and ₹22 per kg for rice.

“NGOs and other institutions could come forward and make full use of the scheme. This will give further impetus to the endeavours of the Government striving to ensure that nobody remains hungry during these tough times,” said R D Nazeem, Executive Director-South Zone, FCI in a statement.

Bumper wheat harvest helps rabi output touch 150 mt this year

Record rabi production of nearly 150 million tonnes (mt) would take India’s annual foodgrain output to an all-time high 292 mt in 2019-20 even as the country eyes a whopping target of 298 mt in the coming crop year.

According to the second advance crop estimates released by the Agriculture Ministry at the national kharif conference on Thursday, bumper wheat production of 106.21 mt this year would help the country achieve rabi output of 149.6 mt compared to 139 mt in the previous rabi season. Wheat production last year was around 99 mt.

The rabi prospects looked up this year mainly because of the excess monsoon rainfall the country received last year, filling reservoirs in most parts of the country.

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