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Sunday / April 21. 2024
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Introducing farmers to the carbon market will not only benefit them but also accelerate the adoption of environment-friendly agricultural practices

Arjun Munda, Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare and Tribal Affairs, launched the Framework for Voluntary Carbon Market in the Agriculture Sector and Accreditation Protocol of Agroforestry Nurseries in Delhi. Secretary Manoj Ahuja, Secretary of DARE and Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Senior officials of Central and State Ministries and Various Organisations related to agriculture were present on the occasion, while many stakeholders also joined the programme virtually.

In his address, Munda said that the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare prepared a framework to promote the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) in the agricultural sector of the country to encourage small and medium farmers to avail benefits of carbon credit. Introducing farmers to the carbon market will not only benefit them but also accelerate the adoption of environment-friendly agricultural practices. He requested full cooperation from the concerned ministries of the Centre and the States and other concerned organizations to promote the carbon market in the interest of farmers. He said that work should be done in this direction in collaboration with the farmers of the southern areas, in a manner convenient for them and along with the solution; there is a need to focus its benefits on our farmers. This is the first step in which we want to ensure everyone’s participation. Global challenges like global warming are in front of all of us; hence we have to move ahead with caution. He asked ICAR to play an active role in this direction and do good work in the right manner.

Munda said that the Accreditation Protocol of Agroforestry Nurseries will strengthen the institutional arrangements for production and certification of planting material on a large scale to promote agroforestry in the country. He asked all the stakeholders to adopt it so that quality planting material can provide assured returns and the objectives and goals of the National Agroforestry Policy can be achieved. He also urged for proper use of natural resources.

Introducing farmers to the carbon market will

The funds will be utilised to further expand the startup’s reach, enabling it to empower more farmers with its innovative technology solutions like Nutrition Calculator.

eFeed, a pioneering startup revolutionizing precision animal management & feed practices and empowering farmers across the country, has announced a significant milestone with the acquisition of a grant amounting to Rs 25 Lakhs from Indian Council of Agriculture Research, Gov of India. The grant ceremony took place at the ICAR campus in Delhi and witnessed the participation of eminent leaders from ICAR, including joint directors. Founded in December 2020 by Kumar Ranjan, eFeed has swiftly risen to prominence by focusing on the crucial intersection of animal nutrition, animal health, environmental sustainability, and economic development of the cattle industry. The startup is dedicated to highlighting the pivotal role of a nutritional diet in the growth of domesticated animals, with a primary focus on cattle. E-Feed aims to empower farmers with cost-effective solutions specifically tailored to enhance the well-being and productivity of cattle.

As part of eFeed’s commitment to sustainable livestock, the startup actively addresses methane emissions by promoting balanced ration (TMR) & localised feed formulations and implementing practices that contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the livestock sector.

Kumar Ranjan, Founder and CEO of eFeed, expressed his enthusiasm about the grant, stating, “This grant from ICAR Pusa is a testament to the impactful work we have been doing at eFeed. It is a recognition of our commitment to enhancing the overall well-being of animals, farmers, and the environment. We are excited about the possibilities this grant opens up for us to reach more farmers with our technology solutions and demonstrate tangible increases in milk output.”

The grant, awarded by the prestigious Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Pusa, is a significant boost to eFeed’s growth plans. The funds will be utilised to further expand the startup’s reach, enabling it to empower more farmers with its innovative technology solutions like Nutrition Calculator. eFeed aims to demonstrate a substantial impact on the increase in milk output, thereby contributing to the overall productivity and sustainability of the livestock and dairy sector.

eFeed’s unique approach involves not only providing farmers with advanced technology solutions but also imparting crucial knowledge about localized animal nutrition. The startup conducts training programs to educate farmers about the dietary requirements of different animal species, organic feed processing, and the preparation of feed using readily available resources at home.

Since its inception, eFeed has rapidly gained traction, collaborating with over 1.2 lakh farmers across the country. The startup’s commitment to empowering farmers with the right techniques and practices for animal feed production has garnered widespread acclaim.

In addition to its focus on animal nutrition, eFeed emphasizes the integration of sustainable animal culture with the food security value chain. This holistic approach aligns with the broader goal of ensuring a secure and sustainable food supply for the growing population.

eFeed’s collaboration with ICAR Pusa marks a significant step forward in its journey to make a lasting impact on agriculture, animal welfare, and food security. The startup remains dedicated to its mission of transforming the lives of farmers and contributing to a healthier and more sustainable future.

The funds will be utilised to further

PW technology is used for seed treatment, crop spray and irrigation to enhance productivity through faster and more efficient germination.

A path-defining memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, ICAR-Indian Institute of Seed Science, Mau, Uttar Pradesh and Plasma Water Solutions India Private Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of a fast-emerging US Ag Tech company, Plasma Water Solutions Inc.

The agreement was signed by Dr Chinnusamy Viswanathan, JD(R), ICAR-IARI, New Delhi, Dr. Sanjay Kumar, Director, ICAR- IISS, Mau & Ms. Pragya Kalia, MD, PWS India in the presence of Dr. Shiv Kumar Yadav, Principal Investigator & Principal Scientist, Division of Seed Science and Technology (DSST), ICAR-IARI, Dr. Sangita Yadav, Principal Scientist, DSST, ICAR-IARI and Dr. Pramod Kumar, In-charge PME Cell, ICAR-IARI, New Delhi.

Plasma Water Solutions proprietary breakthrough cold-plasma technology converts water from any source, in continuous flow & real time to Plasma-ized WaterTM (PW). PW technology is used for seed treatment, crop spray and irrigation to enhance productivity through faster and more efficient germination, accelerated growth, preventing the transmission of plant pathogens and enhancing stress tolerance during the crops cycle. Under this MOU, IARI and IISS of ICAR will undertake standardization of seed treatment (ST) in various crops, validating the standardized ST in demonstrations/field trials at different locations and generating data under the research project entitled “Standardization, Performance Evaluation and Field Demonstrations of PW Treatments for Enhanced Planting Value in Wheat, Mustard, Lentil, and Tomato crops against heat stress and normal conditions.”

Complimenting the two teams from Germany, Robert Hardt, President and CEO, Plasma Water Solutions Inc, said, “Ours is a science-based technology & we believe in continuous refinement by joining hands with the leading science & research institutes globally keeping customers at the centre of all our R&D efforts. We are extremely proud to be associated with the Apex organisation, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), in India & wish to see this working in favour of Indian farmers.”

Enhancing productivity in the most climate smart sustainable manner is a key objective of IARI. We look forward to work on this tech along with PWS India to study the utility of PW technology to enhance crop productivity sustainably, said Dr Chinnusamy Viswanathan, Joint Director (Research), ICAR-IARI, New Delhi.

Speaking on the occasion, Pragya Kalia, MD, Plasma Water Solutions India, said, “This is a strategic step towards making our technology effective for small farmers of India. Through ICAR partnership, we would not just validate & demonstrate benefits of our tech for natural farming & productivity but also standardize the applications considering various agro-climatic conditions & local practices.”

PW technology is used for seed treatment,

Yak Churpi, a naturally fermented milk product made from yak milk

Churpi is prepared from the milk of Arunachali yak, which is a unique yak breed found in the West Kameng and Tawang districts of Arunachal Pradesh. Yak Churpi, a naturally fermented milk product made from yak milk, has been given recognition as a Geographical Indication (GI) of Arunachal Pradesh.

Dr Mihir Sarkar, Director, ICAR- National Research Centre on Yak said it is a major boost to the pastoral production systems and yak rearing in the country.

Churpi is an excellent source of proteins and is frequently used as a substitute for vegetables by tribal yak herders in the vegetation-starved cold and hilly mountainous regions of the state. It is also mixed in vegetable or meat curry and is eaten with rice as a staple food in tribal households. It is considered an integral part of the tangible cultural and tribal heritage of Arunachal Pradesh- says Sarkar.  

Arunachali yak breed is reared by tribal yak pastoralists known as Brokpas who migrate along with their yaks to higher reaches (at an altitude of 10,000 ft and higher) during summers and descent to mid-altitude mountainous regions during winters. Since the product is prepared at such a high altitude, it is also expected to provide benefits to the tribal herders against cold and hypoxia besides providing enriched nutrition, Dr Vijay Paul, Principal Scientist of NRC-Yak who was associated with the GI application process informed.

ICAR-National Research Centre on Yak, Dirang applied for registration of this unique yak product.  The institute is closely working with the Brokpas rearing Arunachali yaks and is helping them through research and extension support. The services rendered by the institute assume greater significance in light of the fact that the yak population throughout the country has been declining at a fast pace due to enormous hardships and dwindling gains associated with pastoral yak rearing. The registration of yak Churpi of Arunachal Pradesh as a GI is going to serve the cause of yak conservation and yak pastoralists’ socio-economic upliftment.

Yak Churpi, a naturally fermented milk product

With this collaboration, three high-quality platinum-grade genome assemblies have emerged, representing the active global breeding germplasm.

In an era marked by growing global population and climate change concerns, a collaborative research project between Corteva Agriscience, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) was undertaken. The research has achieved a significant milestone by resequencing pearl millet genomes. This innovative approach has led to the development of new molecular markers, opening the door to creating millet cultivars with exceptional yield performance and improved nutritional quality.

Until now, the world of millet lacked reliable DNA markers. However, with this collaboration, three high-quality platinum-grade genome assemblies have emerged, representing the active global breeding germplasm. This remarkable achievement represents a 7000-fold improvement over previously published data. These newly identified DNA markers provide an invaluable roadmap for enhancing pearl millet productivity on a global scale, with far-reaching implications for addressing food security challenges.

At this pivotal juncture, the timing of this research is particularly important, given the recent G20 conversations on finding solutions to address food security and nutritional security, with millets being recognized as a key crop due to their exceptional nutrition and climate resilience. Moreover, with 2023 being recognized as the International Year of Millets by the United Nations General Assembly, further underscores the importance of millets in the face of global climate change.

This collaborative breakthrough promises to play a pivotal role in sustainable food production and nutritional security. The fidelity of the long-read sequences and improved resolution of haplotypes provided by these platinum-grade genome assemblies will aid in understanding the genomic distinctions characterizing global heterotic gene pools in pearl millet. This research also identifies structural variations that can be used to investigate traits related to heterosis, such as fertility restoration, disease resistance, and agronomy.

Furthermore, gene annotation and enrichment analyses revealed that the millet genome is enriched with cysteine and methionine coding genes, aligning with previous findings of higher amino acid concentrations in pearl millet compared to legumes such as pigeon peas and chickpeas. This discovery highlights the potential of millets and legumes as complementary components of a balanced diet to combat malnutrition.

As we navigate the challenges of global food security and climate change, the collaborative efforts of Corteva Agriscience, ICRISAT, and ICAR have illuminated a promising path forward. By harnessing the power of genomics, this research opens new doors for sustainable agriculture, healthier diets, and enhanced food security on a global scale.

With this collaboration, three high-quality platinum-grade genome

Bajra Section contributes to developing improved Bajra varieties, identifying new pathogens, and succeeding in hybrid seed production and commercialisation.

Hisar based Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University’s (CCSHAU) Bajra Section has received the prestigious Best Research Centre Award for the year 2022-23 at the national level in recognition of its outstanding research in the field of Bajra crop.

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) presented this award during the 58th Annual Group Meeting of the All India Coordinated Research Project held in Hyderabad. This marks the second consecutive year that the Bajra Section has been honoured with this prestigious award.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. B. R. Kamboj lauded the significant contributions of Bajra Section, which include developing improved Bajra varieties, identifying new pathogens, and succeeding in hybrid seed production and commercialization. Other achievements include the creation of bio-fortified bajra hybrids with high iron content (73-83 ppm) named HHB 299 and HHB 311. Additionally, Bajra Section introduced the molecular marker-assisted improved pearl millet EDV hybrid HHB 67 Improved-2, displaying better downy mildew resistance compared to its earlier version, HHB 67 Improved. The team also identified a new stem rot disease of pearl millet and its causal organism.

Dr Jeet Ram Sharma, Director of Research, congratulated the Bajra scientists and encouraged them to continue their quality research. The research work was carried out by a dedicated team of scientists led by Anil Kumar (Head, Bajra Section), S.K. Pahuja (Head, Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding and Dean, College of Agriculture, Hisar), along with other esteemed researchers like Dr. Dev Vrat Yadav, K.D. Sehrawat, Vinod Malik, Harshdeep Kamboj, Mukesh Kumar, Pankaj, and Ms. Jyoti Kaushik, who have made valuable contributions to millet research in various capacities.

Bajra Section contributes to developing improved Bajra

Inter-Ministerial Meeting on issues of Management of Crop Residue Burning held

A high-level inter-Ministerial meeting was held under the co-chairmanship of Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Bhupender Yadav, Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change to review the preparedness of the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi in preventing paddy stubble burning in the current season.

The high-level meeting was attended by Surya Pratap Shahi Agriculture Minister, Govt. of UP, Gurmeet Singh Khudian, Agriculture Minister of Punjab, Jai Prakash Dalal, Agriculture Minister of Haryana and Gopal Rai, Environment Minister of NCT of Delhi. Senior officers of the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment, Govt. of India and from the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, NCT of Delhi and ICAR were also present.

During the meeting, the States presented the action plan and strategies for preventing stubble burning in the current season. The States were advised to utilise the funds provided for crop residue management, make Crop Residue Management (CRM) machinery available well before harvesting season and carry out Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities in collaboration with ICAR and other stakeholders to bring awareness amongst farmers against paddy stubble burning.

Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister for Environment stated that efforts to prevent paddy stubble burning for the last five years are bearing good results. Due to the concerted efforts of agencies like the Commission for Air Quality Management, burning instances in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi have come down.  There is a need to encourage ex-situ management of paddy straw which will provide raw materials to the user industries like Power, biomass etc.

Inter-Ministerial Meeting on issues of Management of

The goal is to establish a single and trustworthy source of data on crop cultivation

The Indian government has introduced a Digital Crop Survey (DCS) pilot project in 12 states during this year’s Kharif season. The goal is to establish a single and trustworthy source of data on crop cultivation. The DCS reference application is an open-source, inter-operable public good, and cadastral maps with GIS and GPS technologies ensure accurate farmland positioning. States were chosen based on their readiness for DCS, including geo-referencing of village maps and digitised Record of Right (RoR) with ownership extent.

The project aims to create reliable data on crop sowing, which is useful for accurate crop area estimation and the development of farmers’ centric solutions. The project is significant as India faces wheat and rice shortages despite record production estimates. The Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare also acknowledged climate change’s impact on crop yields, particularly for rainfed rice, wheat, kharif maize, and mustard.

The ICAR’s National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) network project projected a 20-47 per cent reduction in crop yield by 2050-2080 for rain-fed rice. Similarly, the projected reduction in crop yield could be 19.3-40 per cent for wheat and 18-23 per cent for kharif maize. Mustard’s crop yield is expected to decrease by 7.9-15 per cent.

ICAR has identified 109 districts as very high risk and 201 districts as high risk under its NICRA network project. The Minister also provided data on the availability of certified/quality seeds, which was 514.26 lakh quintals, exceeding the requirement of 464.14 lakh quintals for 2022-23.

The goal is to establish a single

The need to explore the use of Plankton Plus in agriculture and horticulture crops to increase the demand for the product

ICAR-Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture, Chennai signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with A.M.M. Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre (MCRC), Chennai, Tamil Nadu for evaluating the efficacy of fish waste converted CIBA-Plankton Plus in paddy crop.

Dr Kuldeep K.Lal, Director, ICAR-CIBA stressed the need to explore the use of Plankton Plus in agriculture and horticulture crops to increase the demand for the product. He complimented MCRC officials for recognizing the potential of CIBA in R and D backstopping and coming forward to sign the MoU.

Dr Debasis De, Principal Scientist, CIBA, and team leader of CIBA-PlanktonPlus technology said the potential use of CIBA-PlanktonPlus in agriculture can be explored at the field level through collaborative research with MCRC.  He stressed that if CIBA-PlanktonPlus is found to have a beneficial effect on paddy crops it will improve productivity and increase the income for farmers.

Dr Sandeep, K.P., Scientist and a core member of the CIBA-PlanktonPlus technology team elaborated on the lead found regarding the use of CIBA-PlanktonPlus in paddy crop in a preliminary trial.

Dr N. Unnamalai, Principal Scientist, MCRC said that they are hopeful that the application of CIBA-PlanktonPlus will improve the yield and quality of paddy.

A team of scientists from ICAR-CIBA will coordinate the experimental trials along with MCRC officials.

The need to explore the use of

ICAR will provide technological backstopping to the farmers through Amazon’s network

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi signed an MoU with Amazon Kisan to combine strengths and create synergy between the two organisations to guide farmers on scientific crop cultivation for optimum yield and income. ICAR will provide technological backstopping to the farmers through Amazon’s network. It will improve farmers’ livelihood and boost crop yield. This MoU in farmer’s partnership with the Amazon Kisan program will help ensure access to high-quality fresh produce for consumers across India, including through Amazon Fresh.

On this occasion, Dr Himanshu Pathak, Secretary DARE & Director General ICAR, emphasised secondary agriculture for better remuneration for the farmers. He further highlighted the importance and role of critical inputs in agriculture and season-based crop plans. He mentioned that ICAR will collaborate with Amazon for technologies, capacity building and transfer of new knowledge.

On behalf of ICAR, Dr US Gautam, Deputy Director General (Agricultural Extension) and Sidhrtha Tata, Senior Product Leader from Amazon Fresh Supply Chain & Kisan signed the MoU.

The outcomes from a pilot project at Pune between ICAR-KVK and Amazon have motivated me to further expand the collaboration to extend the precise agriculture practices developed through extensive research. Krishi Vigyan Kendra will strengthen a wider group of farmers by leveraging a technological base through the transfer of technology and capacity-building programmes. ICAR and Amazon will work together on other farmer engagement programs at Krishi Vigyan Kendras, conducting demonstrations, trials, and capacity-building initiatives to enhance farming practices and farm profitability. Furthermore, Amazon will provide training support and assist farmers in marketing their products through its online platform, facilitating direct connections with consumers.

ICAR will provide technological backstopping to the

The MoU is aimed at promoting an Inter-Organisational knowledge exchange, and facilities sharing in the areas of common interest

ICAR- National Institute of Animal Nutrition and & Physiology, Bangalore signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Karnataka Poultry Farmers and Breeders Association (KPFBA). The KPFBA is an apex body, representing poultry farmers & breeders of Karnataka. It was established in 1991 to promote the development of poultry breeding and farming in Karnataka, where occupation is a major activity. The KPFBA collects and exchange information pertaining to poultry breeding and farming with farmers, businesses, educational, research institutions, and other organizations in Karnataka and the rest of India.

The MoU was signed by Dr Raghavendra Bhatta, Director, ICAR-NIANP, Bangalore, and Dr Sushanth Rai Bellipady, KPFBA, President, KPFBA on behalf of their respective Organisations.

The MoU is aimed at promoting an Inter-Organisational knowledge exchange, and facilities sharing in the areas of common interest.

Dr Bhatta appraised the poultry research initiatives at ICAR-NIANP and invited mutual areas of interest from the members of KPFBA present on the occasion. He further emphasised that ICAR-NIANP has state-of-the-art facilities for feed and mineral analysis, in ovo nutrition.

Dr Rai expressed the need for active collaboration between the researchers and the poultry sector and promised to share the commercial flock facilities for evaluation of the technologies developed by the Institute.

The MoU is aimed at promoting an

The focus of the training was to provide hands-on training on the Production protocol of biocontrol agents for the management of Fall armyworm

A five-day training programme on the Production protocol of biocontrol agents for the management of Fall armyworm was organised at ICAR-National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources, Bengaluru for seven officials from Nepal and Bangladesh.

The training was sponsored by USAID, under the Feed the Future Nepal Integrated Pest Management Program (FTFNIPM) and Feed the Future Bangladesh Integrated Pest Management (IPMA) program funded by USAID.  

The focus of the training was to provide hands-on training on the Production protocol of biocontrol agents for the management of Fall armyworm.

Dr S. N. Sushil, Director, ICAR-NBAIR chaired the inaugural and valedictory program. In his address, he emphasised that closer working with neighbouring countries is essential to ward off the threat due to alien invasive pests. He also emphasised the importance of regional cooperation in the field of pest identification and sustainable management of invasive pests.

The training programme will enable the participants to set up production units or fine-tune the methodologies adopted at existing units in their respective countries.

The focus of the training was to

The MoU will pave the way for the training and dissertation of the university students, collaborative research projects, and exchange of experts

ICAR – Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology, Ludhiana, and Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak entered into an agreement to collaborate in the area of Academics, Research, and Outreach.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Dr Nachiket Kotwaliwale, Director, ICAR – CIPHET, Ludhiana and Dr Gulshan Lal Taneja, Registrar, MDU, Rohtak at MDU, Rohtak.

The function was chaired by Dr Rajveer Singh, Vice Chancellor, MDU, Rohtak.

The MoU will pave the way for the training and dissertation of the university students, collaborative research projects, and exchange of experts in various outreach programs conducted by both the institutions in areas of food processing and other frontiers of mutual interest.

The MoU will pave the way for

Goa is a hub of Mankurad mangoes and it is having an unusual delay in harvesting mangoes

The Agriculture Department of Goa has asked the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) to conduct a study to find out the delay in the ripening of the mangoes Mankurad this season. Goa is a hub of Mankurad mangoes and it is having an unusual delay in harvesting of mangoes.

The Agriculture Department of Goa has sent a request to the ICAR to study the delay in ripening and the reasons behind it. According to the local media Preliminary inquiries by the Agriculture Department have revealed the delay in the natural ripening of the mango because of the heat wave which hit the State in the month of March. It is suspected that the extremely hot conditions must have affected the pollination. But, since the state is witnessing an unusual situation this year, the Agriculture Department has asked the ICAR to do a study on the situation.

Munkarad mangoes are still raw thus leaving the farmers with no option but to delay the harvesting. Farmers expect harvesting to take place anytime.

Goa is a hub of Mankurad mangoes