Agriculture Current Affair 30 September 2022

Team of scientists from ICAR completes genome sequencing for pomegranate

A team of scientists from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) – National Research Centre on Pomegranate (NRCP). has completed the genome sequencing for pomegranate, known as a wonder fruit to many. For the uninitiated, this means that for the first time anywhere in the India, the ICAR-NRCP team at Solapur, Maharashtra has been able to identify all the bases of DNA material in perfect sequence in the process unlocking several genetic mysteries such as identifying particular genes responsible for sweetness, seed softness or colour of the fruit, those responsible for disease and pest resistance, and those for the enlargement of the fruit size, among others.

The team involved in this landmark research comprised Dr. N.V. Singh, Dr. P. Roopa Sowjanya, Dr. Shilpa Parashuram, Dr. P.G. Patil and Dr. R.A. Marathe, all at ICAR-NRCP, Solapur. It has taken the team six years in accomplishing full genomic sequencing of this Indian pomegranate. The reference-quality genome assembly of the ‘Bhagawa’ developed by ICAR-NRCP under aegis of Indian Council of Agricultural Research is a huge reservoir of publicly accessible genomic resources for pomegranate researchers across the globe and will provide a great impetus to the pomegranate improvement programme in India. These genomic resources will assist the pomegranate genetic improvement programmes of different research organizations including ICAR-NRCP through genomics assisted trait mapping, breeding and genome editing applications to develop improved varieties with resistance/tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses.

Monsoon 2022: Strong finish but crucial regional deficits

Rainfall this monsoon season in India was about 7% more than normal. But an uneven distribution of rains means several regions received deficient rainfall. Some other regions have seen normal-to-surplus overall showers during the July-September rainy season, but faced a shortfall during the crucial sowing season, which could hurt crop output. For instance, the paddy acreage is 5.5% lower than last year. According to the first advance estimate released by the government last week, the kharif season food grain output is estimated at 149.9 million tonnes, lower than last year’s output of 156 million tonnes. Shambhavi Anand reviews the situation as the southwest monsoon season draws to an end.

Govt asks customs to allow export of rice consignments with limited quantity of broken rice

With rice export consignments being held up at ports due to presence of limited quantity of broken rice, the commerce ministry has asked customs officials to clear such shipments as per grading rules of the foodgrain. The government imposed a ban on the export of broken rice with effect from September 9 to increase domestic availability.

In a trade notice on Wednesday, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said that representations have been received from trade and industry seeking attention towards the problems being faced by exporters in clearing the consignments of other categories of rice due to presence of certain content of broken rice in the said consignments.

“Considering the hardships faced by the trade community and in order to facilitate exports, it is clarified that wherever difficulty is being faced, the limit of tolerance of broken rice in consignments of rice for export may be allowed in terms of The Rice Grading and Marketing Rules, 1939,” it said.

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