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The two ministers exchanged perspectives on their respective regions, Ukraine and Indo-Pacific

S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister held wide-ranging discussions with his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen during which new agreements were signed in the field of agriculture and water as well as on mobility.

According to a tweet by S. Jaishankar, the two sides also noted the progress in the I2U2 – India, Israel, US, UAE bloc – as well cooperation in multilateral forums.

The main pillars of the Strategic Partnership are Agriculture, Water, Defence & Security which are taking our ties forward. New agreements in water & agriculture underline the potential to do more.

Both ministers discussed cooperation in high-tech, digital & innovation, as also connectivity, mobility tourism, finance, and health. Also noted was the progress in I2U2 and cooperation in multilateral forums. The two ministers exchanged perspectives on their respective regions, Ukraine and Indo-Pacific.

The Israeli Minister in a tweet said he had held an excellent meeting with EAM Jaishankar, and the two sides are expanding cooperation in the fields of cyber, agriculture and water.

The two ministers exchanged perspectives on their

The declaration highlights the need to strengthen digital Infrastructure including digital e-learning content and deployment of emerging immersive technologies across Agricultural Higher Education Institutions

There is a need to strengthen digital Infrastructure including digital e-learning content and deployment of emerging immersive technologies across Agricultural Higher Education Institutions in India. Institutionalising a system-wide Digital Capacity Building Program across stakeholders to improve systemic digital competence, knowledge and skills is also a necessity.

The Delhi Declaration on Modernisation of Agricultural Education System in alignment with the National Education Policy issued jointly by The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the World Bank highlights the need to incorporate digital resources and tools for effective and accessible teaching and learning in Agriculture. It lays emphasis towards creating a renewed and resilient system for gender-inclusive and sustainable education that will pave the way for India’s agriculture education sector. Multidisciplinary technology-facilitated education should be promoted and the policies on Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Mathematics (STEAM) in agricultural higher education need to be transformed.

The Delhi Declaration was unveiled on the concluding day of the successful three-day International Conference on Blended Learning Ecosystem for Higher Education in Agriculture 2023 hosted jointly by the ICAR and the World Bank. The Conference was held as part of the National Agricultural Higher Education Project’s (NAHEP) Resilient Agricultural Education System (RAES) development initiative.

Undertaken to strengthen the National Agricultural Education System in the country, NAHEP is a five-year project initiated in 2018 with an equal contribution of $82.5 million (about Rs. 600 crores) each from the World Bank and the central government. The World Bank loan is to be repaid over 19 years after a grace period of five years, the purpose of NAHEP is to transform agricultural higher education. The Blended Learning Platform is part of the project.

Speaking at the valedictory session, Dr R B Singh, Former President of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) and Chairman, of the Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board (ASRB) said, “By promoting sustainable development goals through the dissemination of knowledge and skills, we empower the next generation of agricultural leaders to meet the challenges of tomorrow. Let us continue to collaborate across borders and disciplines, to ensure that agriculture remains a force for positive change in the world.”

According to Dr Trilochan Mohapatra, Former Secretary Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE) and Director General, ICAR, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, “Education is the backbone of a thriving agricultural sector. Blended learning offers a powerful tool to bridge the gap between traditional classroom teaching and the demands of a rapidly changing world. I urge all stakeholders to embrace it and integrate it into our education systems. It is important for us to embrace new methods and technologies to strengthen the agriculture education system and develop a skilled workforce that can contribute to the growth of the agriculture sector.” 

“India’s agricultural sector pays a massive significance on the country’s economy. Every year, more than 5000 Indian students receive PhDs, which is more than the rest of the globe. I believe NAHEP is the perfect example of how opportunities can be provided for vocational education as it has given the platform to another initiative called the Resilient Agricultural Education System (RAES). We will continue working with the ICAR and the Government of India to disseminate new technologies so that all states of the country can benefit equally from them,” said Dr Auguste Tano Kouame, Country Director, of the World Bank.

The declaration highlights the need to strengthen

It aims to deliver curated content to farmers on time and upskill the vast network of extension workers for agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, livestock and rural livelihood missions through certified online courses.

The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India signed a Memorandum of Understanding in New Delhi with Digital Green under public private partnership framework to build a national level digital extension platform. The platform will host a digital library of curated multi-format multi-lingual content, help extension workers access and deliver curated content to farmers on time and upskill the vast network of extension workers for agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, livestock and rural livelihood missions through certified online courses.

The MOU is with Digital Green, an award winning social enterprise that is leveraging the power of technology to support small and marginal farmers to enhance their productivity and income, strengthen their agency and build community level resilience. Founded by Rikin Gandhi, a technocrat and social development enthusiast, Digital Green has been working with governments in Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, serving over 25 lakhs farmers and having enhanced the capacities of over 4000 front like workers.

Speaking on the occasion, Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, MoA&FW, GoI said that “The proposed national digital platform will help make our extension system more efficient and effective by connecting farmers to the strong foundation of digital agriculture ecosystem that is being built by the government. Digital capacity of this extension system is crucial to help farmers reap the benefits of digital agriculture and will serve as one of the component of digital public infrastructure for Agriculture announced recently in the Union Budget “.

There are over 200,000 extension workers in India in agriculture, livelihood and allied sectors. This ambitious initiative will converge the outreach efforts of departments of agriculture, horticulture, livestock, dairy, fisheries and rural livelihoods under a single digital platform through a decentralised content creation and targeted dissemination. To be launched within six months, the platform will have the portal and capabilities to serve the entire farming community in India and catalyse Agtech and other market actors with newer and higher value proposition.

According to Rikin Gandhi, technology has no value unless it makes a positive difference to the last mile farmer. Thanking the GoI for investing in technology to make Indian farm system future ready, he said that “we are honoured and proud to be partnering with Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and be a key stakeholder in making our small and marginal farmers thrive and proposer. He further added that the envisaged platform will contribute to and complement the national systems to emerge as a digital public good for the farm sector in India.’’

It aims to deliver curated content

CS-MAP is a participatory approach that integrates local knowledge and science-based researches in developing maps of climate-related risks and adaptation plans for crop production

To provide technical support on participatory climate-risk mapping and adaptation planning, the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR) Initiative on Asian Mega-Deltas conducted a training workshop on Climate-Smart Mapping and Adaptation Planning (CS-MAP) for local research partners in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The workshop introduced the CS-MAP approach as the tool for conducting the mapping activities in the AMD target provinces in Cambodia, such as Kandal, Takeo, Prey Vieng, and Svay Rieng.

Developed and implemented by the Department of Crop Production of Vietnam and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security in Southeast Asia from 2016 to 2020, CS-MAP is a participatory approach that integrates local knowledge and science-based researches in developing maps of climate-related risks and adaptation plans for crop production, suitable to location-specific conditions. It has been effectively implemented in five ecological regions of Vietnam, including the Mekong River Delta region, in order to help farmers mitigate climate-related risks, such as flooding, drought and salinity intrusion.

Bui Tan Yen, Senior Scientist at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) – Vietnam, emphasised that “CS-MAP is the methodology and not the maps”. He shared that CS-MAP takes into consideration the local specific conditions and the conflicts in natural resources management, and support climate-smart management of food production.

Yen also explained the scientific basis of implementing CS-MAP in Cambodia’s context. He presented the historical statistics of climate-related risks in Cambodia and current gaps in risk management in agriculture. He also demonstrated how multiple layers including spatial risk data, land cover, main food products and other spatial data are combined to produce the base-map for the participatory CS-MAP process.

To give a better context of the local food systems and vulnerability risk in the targeted provinces in preparation for CS-MAP activities, Trang Vu, Associate Scientist at IRRI Vietnam, presented the findings of the AMD team’s field visits to Kandal and Takeo provinces in October 2022. She reported on the key agricultural products (i.e., rice, vegetables, fish, and poultry) and main climate-related risks that had strong effect on agricultural production (i.e., drought, flood), as well as the current system for disaster warning and response in these areas.

Trang also discussed the four supporting tools for participatory discussion and mapping, such as focus group discussion, key informant interview, climate risk listing, and pairwise ranking. These are the tools to be used in conducting the participatory mapping process.

Using hands-on approach, Yen introduced each of the steps in the CS-MAP process, including the objectives, outputs, methods, required materials and equipment, and specific activities for each step. The participants were divided into two groups to practice developing risk map and adaptation plans for Kandal Stueng district and S’ang district of Kandal province. They were also given the opportunities to lead the facilitation, especially the participants from Department of Agricultural Land Resources Management (DALRM) – General Directorate of Agriculture, WorldFish Cambodia, and IRRI Cambodia, as they will lead the CS-MAP process in the four AMD target provinces

In her closing remarks, Rica Joy Flor, Innovation Systems Scientist at IRRI Cambodia, said that the workshop is a great start for the participants to make a solid contribution to the AMD initiative. She stressed that “now we have the tools and the capacity in us to bring this down (the CS-MAP process) to the level of our partners in the provinces.” She encouraged all the participants to work on this together to deliver results that can be shared at the national level and can influence the production systems at the farmers’ level.

CS-MAP is a participatory approach that integrates

To exhibit a CAGR of 9.7 per cent during the forecast period

The global agriculture supply chain management market is expected to exhibit strong growth, reaching $1299.23 million by 2028 as per a recent report by Markets N Research provides wide-ranging statistical analysis of the Global Agriculture Supply Chain Management Market’s continuous developments, capacity, production, production value, cost/profit, supply/demand and import/export.

The report titled “Agriculture Supply Chain Management Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, observes that the market size in 2021 stood at $745.5 million and $1299.23 million in 2028. The market is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 9.70 percent during the forecast period.

The analysis covers ‘By Component (Hardware, Solution and Services), By Solution Type (Manufacturing Execution System, Transportation Management System, Warehouse Management Systems, Supply Chain Planning and Procurement & Sourcing), By Deployment Model (On-premise and On-Demand/Cloud-Based), By User Type (Small & Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Large Enterprises) and Regional Forecasts, 2022-2028’.

To exhibit a CAGR of 9.7 per

Ravi Ranjan took to farming after the death of his grandfather and despite his initial apprehension about working in agriculture, has never looked back

In the sultry spring-summer heat of Bihar, India, the landscape is yellow with wheat grains ready for harvest. Here, in Nagma village farmer Ravi Ranjan attends to his fields — mostly wheat, with some pulses in the adjoining plots. The harvest this year will be a little less than anticipated, he explains, as receding monsoon rains left the soil too moist to begin sowing on time.

Ranjan’s grandfather and father were both farmers who owned sizeable land. His father used to say that the land was productive but required a lot of hands, sweat, and time to sustain the yields. Agriculture was all that the family had known and depended on for decades before Ranjan’s father left the sector for the civil service. After the early demise of his grandfather in 2003, and with his father in a secure government job, it fell to Ranjan to shoulder the responsibility of managing the family farm.

As a young man, Ranjan had sometimes helped his grandfather in the fields, but now, as the owner of a hydraulic mechanical service firm working hundreds of kilometres away in Chhattisgarh, he had never imagined becoming a farmer himself. Though reluctant to begin with, Ranjan decided there was no alternative but to take on the challenge and do his best, and while initially he had little success with the new venture, slowly and steadily he began to change the fortune of his inherited land.

Today Ranjan is one of the local area’s success stories, as a progressive and influential farmer with ties to the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) project. Researchers on the CSISA team have been working with farmers like him in the region for over a decade and are proud of the ongoing collaboration. Ranjan’s fields are regularly used as CSISA trial plots to help demonstrate the success of new technologies and conservation agriculture practices that can enhance productivity and sustainability. For example, in the 2021-2022 winter cropping season — locally known as Rabi — he harvested 6.2 tons per hectare – while a separate acre plot as demonstration site was harvested publicly with officials from CSISA and the Krishi Vigyan Kendra Network (KVK), JEEViKA, and farmers from neighbouring villages for improving yield sustainably.

As India celebrates Kisan Diwas (Farmer’s Day) on December 23, we speak to Ranjan about his hopes for the future and the continuity of farming in his family after he hangs his boots.

Farming has seen a sea of change since your grandfather’s time. What do you think has been the most transformative change in the years you have been involved in farming?

I think using mechanised tools and technology to ensure good cropping practices has tremendously reduced manual work. Furthermore, today with innovations and digitisation in agriculture science, farming is not just recognised as a noble profession, but also an enterprising one. I am happy I came into it right when things were changing for good. I have no regrets.

Though not by choice that I came into it, I am now fully invested and devoted to farming. From being an entrepreneur to farming, it has been a transformational journey for me. I am unsure whether my daughters — I have three, the eldest turns 18 next year — will choose to be involved in agricultural farming. But I will encourage and fully support them if they choose to take it up. After all, they will inherit the land after me.

Extreme climate effects are challenging agricultural practices and output. How are you preparing to reduce the impact of these in your fields?

It is worrying to see how extreme climatic effects can be challenging for agriculture, particularly for smallholder farmers in the region. Erratic rains, drought at times, and increasing temperatures have all harmed our cereal and vegetable farms and affected yield in wheat crops significantly. The adoption of new technologies like direct seeded rice (DSR) to avoid puddled rice transplanting, early wheat sowing (EWS) to avoid terminal heat at maturity, zero tillage technology (ZTT), and better-quality seeds, are interventions introduced and supported by CSISA and other agricultural organisations from the state that has helped combat some of these climate-induced problems.

In my own fields, I have also introduced proper irrigation systems to reduce the impact of limited water availability. I hope to stay ahead of the curve and make sure I am aware of all that is possible to keep my farm productive and sustainable.

How did you begin your association with CSISA? What has been your experience of working with them to make your agriculture resilient and productive?

I was initially approached by one of their scientists working in the area. And because of my interest, they slowly began informing me of various technologies I could try. With these technologies implemented in my field, the yield and productivity improved.

Soon after expanding my agriculture output, I got 50 acres of land on lease in the village to grow more crops like pulses, along with rice and wheat. Today, CSISA has started using my fields as their demonstration plots for new technologies and best practices, and to spread awareness and bring in more farmers from neighbouring villages to encourage adoption.

CSISA and others call me a progressive and innovative farmer. I am proud that many farmers and other agricultural agencies in the area have appreciated our efforts to continue making agriculture productive and sustainable.

Ravi Ranjan took to farming after the

Kisan drones, manufactured by Garuda, are particularly developed for agricultural purposes such as reducing crop loss, crop health monitoring, yield measurement, and crop loss mitigation.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has approved both Type Certification and RTPO for the indigenously designed Kisan Drones by drone manufacturer, Garuda Aerospace.

The Made in India Kisan drones, manufactured by Garuda, are particularly developed for agricultural purposes such as reducing crop loss, crop health monitoring, yield measurement, and crop loss mitigation with the latest manufacturing capacities, and strong technology backgrounds.

DGCA Type certification is provided on the basis of the quality check of the drones and is issued after a rigorous testing process for the UAVs. The Type certification was introduced by the government of India in August 2021 under Drone Rules and the historic dual DGCA approval validates the Chennai-based startup’s tag of being India’s most valuable Drone startup.

Post the approval of the Type Certificate for the GA-AG model, the startup is now eligible for Rs.10 lakh unsecured loans from Agri Infrastructure Fund at a 5 per cent interest and 50-100 per cent subsidy from the Government of India. Priced at Rs.4.50 lakhs, these Kisan Drones are India’s most affordable advanced automated Agri Drone which has DGCA-approved Type Certification in the under 25kg small category.

With this development, ICAR, KVKs, FMTTI, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer welfare, and several other Government Agriculture bodies will now have an option of procuring high-tech Made in India Drones manufactured by Garuda Aerospace. This will lead to creating job opportunities for the youth in the near future and a vision of training 1 lakh drone pilots in the next 2 years. 

Kisan drones, manufactured by Garuda, are particularly

Otur collection centre is launched to directly source certified organic produce for customers across in West India to start with.   

In continued focus to empower farmers and offer the trusted, certified organic high-quality fruits and vegetables to its customers, Amazon Retail India has launched its eleventh farmer collection centre in Otur, Pune, Maharashtra.

In Maharashtra alone, Amazon Retail now operates six farmer collection centres at Manchar, Nasik, Wai, Kunjirwadi, Tembhurni and Ratnagiri, working with over 5000 farmers including various Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) sourcing locally grown fresh fruits & vegetables.

Various types of fruits & vegetables like certified organic vegetables, exotic vegetables, seasonal fruits and fresh leafy vegetables are sourced directly from farms across Maharashtra. These collection centres assure farmers of fast payments, fair and transparent pricing, and guidance on various other farming possibilities.

This new facility at Otur will be an addition to the fast-expanding produce value chain network enabling farming community to leverage the digital economy and have their produce reach consumer as fast as possible. Otur collection centre is launched to directly source certified organic produce for customers across in West India to start with.   

Amazon’s farmer collection centre has a robust temperature-controlled supply chain infrastructure that provides the right starting point for high-quality fresh fruits and vegetables. After sourcing from farmers, Amazon uses state-of-the-art technologies to inspect and monitor the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables at multiple stages across its supply chain. The fruits and vegetables are sorted, graded, geotagged, and packaged in different sizes in well-aerated sustainable packaging materials at specialised processing centre primarily focused at retaining freshness and quality attributes, which is then trans-shipped to Amazon Fresh fulfilment centres located closer to customers.

Otur collection centre is launched to directly

The Ceres Imaging technology will populate high-resolution images in Lindsay’s FieldNET® platform, which enhances growers’ ability to remotely monitor, control

Lindsay Corporation, a leading global manufacturer and distributor of irrigation and infrastructure equipment and technology, today announced a strategic partnership with Ceres Imaging, an Oakland, Cali, provider of high-resolution imagery analytics with support for precision agriculture.

The Ceres Imaging technology will populate high-resolution images in Lindsay’s industry leading FieldNET® platform, which enhances growers’ ability to remotely monitor, control, analyse and apply irrigation recommendations. The addition of Ceres’ imagery and access to its analytics platform will allow growers to monitor and adjust operations based on key indicators of crop performance such as emergence, canopy density, soil composition, water stress and nitrogen content. These indicators will provide valuable insights into crop health in alignment with Lindsay’s smart pivot innovation roadmap and enhance the ability of growers to choose solutions uniquely tailored to their needs.

The data connection between the FieldNET and Ceres Imaging platforms will be two-way, with Ceres imagery provided and shown in the FieldNET platform. In-depth analytics and recommendations, powered by FieldNET data, will also be accessible within the Ceres Imaging platform. Sharing encrypted data with permission of the grower allows the two platforms to work more efficiently and provide custom recommendations for optimal yield while supporting growers’ sustainable farming practices.

“Lindsay is committed to providing the latest technology to growers to help scale their organisation and maximise yields,” said Gustavo Oberto, President of Global Irrigation at Lindsay. “The Ceres Imaging offering is a natural addition to the toolkit we provide growers. We are excited about the work Ceres Imaging is doing with high-resolution thermal imaging and analytics today, especially as it pertains to precision irrigation, and the value this partnership will continue to create for our mutual customers. We know that no two fields, no two operations, no two crops are the same, so we are excited to provide our customers this choice among a suite of imaging options compatible with current and future irrigation innovations”

Ashwin Madgavkar, founder of Ceres Imaging, agreed. “Our passion for agriculture and helping growers maximise their potential is at the root of what we do at Ceres. We see that same passion and drive to create innovative solutions and analytics in Lindsay’s product lineup. We’re excited to partner with them and look forward to continued innovation.”

The Ceres Imaging technology will populate high-resolution

Focal Theme: “Science & Technology: Development with Women Empowerment”

The Indian Science Congress (ISC), being held from 3rd to 7th January 2022 at Nagpur would focus on scientific development in India under a feminine veil keeping in view the women empowerment and socio-political changing scenario.

The Theme of 108th Indian Science Congress therefore has been aptly chosen as “SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY for SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT with WOMEN EMPOWERMENT”.

The forthcoming ISC has been designed to celebrate the spirit of womanhood and their remarkable contribution in the field of Science and Technology. In sync with their natural gift to generate, women have stood out as a true harbinger and have led the foundation of a number of innovative and niche developments and discoveries. The Congress aims to address all the key issues that are obstacles to the growth of Women in the fields of Science & Technology.

As per the precedence, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi would inaugurate the 108th Indian Science Congress on 3rd January 2023. Eminent scientists, industry leaders, technocrats, policy makers and academicians would grace the occasion.

Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University (RTMNU), one of the premier educational institutions of central India, established in 1923 & hence celebrating centennial year of establishment, will be playing the role of the ‘host university’ for ISC.

A key highlight of the event is the Pride of India (PoI)-Mega Science Exhibition that has emerged as a unique platform for organisations from both public and prvicate sectors to showcase their achievements in science and technology.

Vigyan Jyot (Flame of Knowledge) remains lit at the venue of the Indian Science Congress PoI Expo for the duration of the Congress. Lakhs of students, dignitaries and general public visit Vigyan Jyot every year and take an oath to spread the awareness of science.

A dedicated pavilion called the Hall of Pride will portray the life journey of unique personalities who have created indelible mark not just in India but globally in the field of science and technology.

Established in 1914, Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) is the premier Indian Science Community organisation. For the last 107 years, ISCA has been bringing together has been bringing together the entire scientific fraternity to discuss the key issues related to various streams of science.

Thrust Areas:

Defence  Nanotechnology  Agriculture  Biodiversity  Biotechnology  Environmental Science  Bio energy  Renewable Energy  Medical Sciences  Climate change  Electronic Sector  Space Science & Technology  ICT  Transportation  Child health care  Water Management  Technologies for physically challenged  Science education for women  Skill development  Startup  Innovation

Focal Theme: “Science & Technology: Development with

Funding round to enable Eion continue building out distribution partnerships and expand availability of its patented CarbonLock™

Eion, a permanent carbon removal technology company, today announced the close of a Series A funding round exceeding $12 million. The round was co-led by AgFunder and Ridgeline, along with participation from a broad coalition of strategic climate, ag tech, financial and impact investors, as well as upstream mineral supplier Sibelco. New and returning investors also include Carbon Removal Partners, Mercator Partners, Orion, Overture, SLVC and Trailhead Capital.

This funding round will enable Eion to continue to build out its distribution partnerships and expand availability of its patented CarbonLock™, a nature-based soil amendment that removes atmospheric carbon dioxide, permanently and verifiably, through enhanced rock weathering on agricultural soils. The company will also use the funds to attract high-impact talent to build out its financial, commercial and science teams.

“Eion’s technology enables permanent carbon removal on agricultural soils, but our vision is so much broader. Eion seeks to leverage carbon removal as a tool to diversify agriculture and sustain land productivity, improve margins for farmers, support the bedrock American businesses in our supply chain, and boost rural vitality,” said Adam Wolf, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Eion. “It takes a broad tent to face challenges of this magnitude. We’re grateful to be engaged with a coalition of investors and partners who recognise the potential and opportunity for our carbon removal technology to leverage American capabilities to decarbonise our economy while bringing new opportunities to rural areas.”

In addition to offering a permanent carbon removal solution, CarbonLock™ fits seamlessly into current farming practices. CarbonLock™ is processed to achieve a fast carbon absorption rate, allowing it to efficiently sequester carbon. CarbonLock™ can be applied using existing aglime spreading equipment at a prescribed agronomic rate to maximise carbon capture. The product removes about one ton of CO2 per ton of rock applied. Eion measures the carbon captured through its patented mineral fingerprinting approach, verifying and monitoring the application of rock, as well as the weathering rate, to determine the final amount of carbon removed. For farmers, this process simply entails collecting and sharing soil samples, a familiar part of almost any agronomic approach.

Since its founding in 2020, Eion has achieved several key milestones including:

– Creating an upstream supply chain that provides immediate access to mineral resources representing millions of tons of annual CO2 removal.

– Establishing commercial relationships with distribution partners across the South, Mid-South and Midwest that provide access to millions of U.S. acres under management.

– CarbonLock™ is comparable to the cost of aglime. In addition to the carbon removal benefits, current data suggest that Eion’s technology may increase yield as well as nitrogen utilisation and efficiency. Once applied and weathered, farms using CarbonLock™ will receive audited proof of permanent carbon removal, which can be used to generate high-quality, verifiable carbon credits that add value to the acre and revenue for the farmer.

– In 2021, Stripe Climate entered into a Carbon Removal Purchase Agreement with Eion, noting CarbonLock™ as a new technology with “high potential to scale.”

– Alongside the company’s aglime substitute development, Eion has conducted extensive field trials to validate its approach for verification of mineral weathering rates and carbon removal, complemented by mechanistic lab and greenhouse studies with partner universities and governmental agencies.

– Eion continues to build a team of professionals from a wide range of backgrounds including agronomy, soil geochemistry, plant science, carbon capture and removal, mineral processing, and operations, finance and policy. Eion Founder and CEO Adam Wolf is a serial entrepreneur, having previously founded leading field intelligence company Arable Labs, and holds a PhD in Biology from Stanford University.

“Eion’s CarbonLock™ solution offers farmers a low-disruption way to help reduce carbon in the atmosphere,” said Tom Shields, Partner at AgFunder. “We are excited to work with Eion to accelerate the use of carbon removal as a crucial part of addressing climate change.”

“Public corporations and governments will increasingly seek permanent, scalable carbon removal to meet their ESG goals and mandates,” said Brandon Harris, Principal at Ridgeline. “Eion’s rare combination of strong agricultural co-benefits for farmers and high capacity for verifiable carbon removal positions the company to be a leader in carbon markets going forward.”

“As a material solutions company, environmental responsibility and long-term resource management are central to Sibelco’s day-to-day business. Our investment in Eion aligns well with our ambitious global sustainability and biodiversity targets,” said Ian Sedgman, Chief Strategy & Business Development Officer at Sibelco, an upstream partner to Eion. “We are excited to support Eion and its talented team as they continue to expand low-cost enhanced rock weathering to more farmers across the U.S. and enable additional permanent carbon removal at scale.”

“Reaching the scale of carbon removal necessary to hit our climate targets requires new, innovative technologies like Eion’s,” said Joanna Klitzke, Procurement and Ecosystem Strategy lead at Frontier Climate, the carbon removal consortium funded by Stripe, Alphabet, Shopify, Meta, McKinsey and tens of thousands of businesses using Stripe Climate, which purchased carbon removals from Eion in 2021. “We’re excited about the potential of Eion’s solution to be deployed quickly, at low cost and high volumes.” 

“CarbonLock™’s unique market fit as an aglime replacement means participation isn’t disruptive to current fertility practices. The product allows many farmers who are already being good environmental stewards to capitalise on the opportunity to permanently remove carbon in a sustainable way with rock solid assurance,” said Cam Smith, CEO at AGRIgate, an agricultural channel partner to Eion. “Eion’s simple apply, remove and calculate approach is one of a kind. AGRIgate is excited to partner and scale this amazing technology with Eion.”  

Funding round to enable Eion continue building

Two new members voted into position

The World BioProtection Forum (WBF) connects stakeholders from across the bioprotection/biocontrol sector, with a view to nurturing scientific and technological innovations and maximising their commercial potential. The WBF is guided by an international Advisory Board comprising 30 experts from industry and academia, and the organisation is led by a Board of Directors, two new members of which were voted into position during a meeting of the Advisory Board .

Elected as the new WBF President is Carol Pullen, Exclusive Consultant to Rovensa, and formerly General Manager – Europe at Oro Agri (part of the Rovensa Group). Pullen has been a member of the WBF Advisory Board since its formation in early 2021, and she is well acquainted with the values and mission of the WBF. Pullen replaces Shashi Sharma, Chair in Biosecurity and Food Security at Murdoch University, Australia, who has led the WBF since his appointment in July 2021, and has overseen achievements in regulatory reform, and numerous initiatives aimed at connecting the bioprotection/biocontrol sector for innovation and collaboration. Sharma will remain a member of the WBF international Advisory Committee.

“Today’s unprecedented population growth and climate change, exasperated by various other contributing factors, require a paradigm shift in how we look at agriculture as we are witnessing a shift towards sustainability,” said Pullen. “I look forward to playing an active role, with the support of the esteemed WBF advisors, in facilitating an accelerated transition towards a more sustainable agriculture by encouraging collaboration between academia and industry, and addressing barriers to entry through regulatory reform.”

Elected as the new WBF Treasurer is Shachi DG Gurumayum, Director of AgriMayum GmbH, and Founder of the MaolKeki Foundation which is catalysing development in Manipur through agricultural training and nurturing AgriTech entrepreneurs. Gurumayum will be supported by Meraj Syeda, who has performed the role of Treasurer since the WBF was formed.

“It is a pleasure to join the WBF at a time when biologicals are becoming mainstream and an essential element of many integrated pest management programs,” said Gurumayum. “I look forward to supporting the team at WBF and the industry in shaping this landscape.”

Carol Pullen and Schachi Gurumayum will both serve two-year tenures, from 1st January 2023 until 31st December 2024. They join existing Board Member Zhibing Zhang, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Co-Director of the China Institute, University of Birmingham. UK, who is currently serving a two-year tenure as WBF Vice President (until 31st December 2023).

Minshad Ansari, Chairman of the WBF, thanked the outgoing Board members for their service and achievements, saying “First and foremost, I would like to thank Professor Shashi Sharma for his work in helping the WBF achieve its goals and provide our members with the best possible advantages during their tenure. As a new organisation in 2019, we have had numerous hurdles to overcome, but their strong leadership and support have ensured our success, and we are looking forward to even more accomplishments in the future.”

Welcoming the new Board members, he added, “We are delighted to welcome Carol Pullen and Schachi Gurumayum as the new WBF President and Treasurer. Their experience in the BioProtection sector, and in advancing AgriTech globally, will be invaluable as they guide us over the next two years.”

Two new members voted into positionThe World

Cropwise Grower app is now available in India in nine languages and slated for rollout in Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand and Bangladesh

Syngenta and image recognition specialist, Plantix, have launched an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled digital farming tools which is set to provide access to at least half a million smallholder farmers across the Asia Pacific.

The partnership gives Asia’s smallholder farmers access to a global database of over 50 crops and 500 diseases, which will be available through Syngenta’s Cropwise Grower app for farmers. The app uses the power of data to protect crop yields with on-demand advice on agricultural best-practices crop protection solutions.

With a rollout covering five countries and 750,000 hectares of farmland, the farming app will widen access to smart farming features for half a million farmers producing staple cash crops such as cotton, rice, corn, wheat and more.

Using AI, Cropwise Grower will allow farmers to take a photo of their crop problem, and in real-time, diagnose crop pests and diseases with 93 per cent accuracy. The image is analysed by the Plantix algorithms to identify the issue and provide a recommendation.

The uploaded images are also geo-tagged so that the app is able to alert farmers with early warnings when pest and disease pressures are identified in their surrounding area.

Targeting farmers in Asia’s top agriculture economies, the Cropwise Grower app is now available in India in nine languages and will be progressively rolled out in Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, and Bangladesh.

“The emergence of challenges, such as new pests and diseases with climate change, coupled with extreme weather events, have made farming incrementally challenging. By bringing smart solutions closer to farmers, AI and data can help them overcome traditional constraints and information gaps. Our aim is to make digital tools as commonly used by smallholder farmers as the traditional rake here in the Asia Pacific. This partnership taps into our extensive regional networks to make this technology accessible at a large scale,” said Alexander Berkovskiy, APAC Regional Director at Syngenta.

Features of the Cropwise Grower app have been designed and tested with rural farmers in mind and include critical features which are available offline for users in areas with intermittent internet connection. It is tailored to regional crops and diseases and will be available in local languages, including nine local languages across India. Historical diagnoses and recommended solutions can be stored for on-demand offline access by farmers.

“As part of our commitment to the communities in which we operate, we are investing heavily in digital and believe that it has the power to help farmers make better decisions, reduce crop losses and increase yields,” explained Chris Chen, APAC Head of Digital Transformation at Syngenta.

“Cropwise Grower is the vehicle that allows us a direct connection, at scale, with millions of growers across the Asia Pacific. By ensuring the end-to-end user flow is 100 per cent automated, the partnership with Plantix allows an accurate diagnosis and recommendation to be provided in less than five seconds. This real-time feedback will be critical in driving behavioural change for our smallholder farmers across the region,” he adds.

Cropwise Grower app is now available in India

The findings could be used in both agriculture and forestry to select plants with a lignin chemistry that better resist future climate challenges.

A new study shows how plants ‘encode’ specific chemistries of their lignin to grow tall and sustain climate changes: each plant cell uses different combinations of the enzymes LACCASEs to create specific lignin chemistries. These results can be used both in agriculture and in forestry for selecting plants with the best chemistry to resist climate challenges.

Lignin is an important carbon sink for the environment as it stores about 30 per cent of the total carbon on the planet. It allows plants to hydrate and reach tremendous heights up to 100 metres; without lignin, plants could not grow nor survive climate changes. At the cell level, specific lignin chemistries adjust the mechanical strength and waterproofing to support plant growth and survival.

Scientists at Stockholm University recently demonstrated that lignin has a chemical “code” that is adapted at the cell level to fulfill different roles in plants. How each cell “encodes” specific lignin chemistry however remained unknown. Researchers at the Department of Ecology, Environment and Botany (DEEP) at Stockholm University led by Edouard Pesquet, Associate-Professor in molecular plant physiology and senior author of the study, just showed that different enzymes called LACCASEs are used by each cell to adjust their lignin “chemical code” in order to resist stresses such as drought or wind. The study finally shows how lignin is spatially controlled at the nanometer level in each plant cell. The findings could be used in both agriculture and forestry to select plants with a lignin chemistry that better resist future climate challenges.

“The control of lignin chemistry at the cell level is ultimately the mechanism enabling plants to grow, hydrate and resist climate change stresses. These results finally demonstrate how lignin chemistry is controlled and open great possibilities to select plants upon their lignin code to improve crops and trees resistance to water availability problems,” says Edouard Pesquet.

The findings could be used in both