Agriculture Current Affairs

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ICRISAT, ICAR join hands for crop improvement

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) have signed an agreement to work together

They will work together on crop improvement and agronomy programmes for grain legumes and dryland cereals. It will benefit small farmers in India and globally.

Key Facts
  • The agreement has identified climate smart crops, smart food and digitalisation of breeding database as some of the core areas of research.
  • The other areas of focus include developing genetic and genomic resources of finger millet and enhancing genetic gains for priority traits, integrating systems modelling tools for upscaling climate resilient agriculture.
  • On crop improvement front, it will facilitate research on pigeonpea and chickpea for insect resistance. Dryland cereals and grain legumes are branded as smart foods.

About International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics (ICRISAT)

  • ICRISAT is a non-profit agricultural research organization headquartered in Patancheru in Hyderabad, Telangana.
  • It was founded in 1972 by a consortium of organizations convened by the Ford and the Rockefeller Foundations.
  • Its charter was signed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  • It has several regional centres around globe- Niamey (Nigeria), Nairobi (Kenya) and research stations Bamako (Mali), Bulawayo (Zimbabwe).
  • Since its inception, India has granted special status to ICRISAT as a UN Organization operating in the Indian Territory making it eligible for special immunities and tax privileges. 

About Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)

  • ICAR is an autonomous body responsible for co-ordinating agricultural education and research in India. It is the largest network of agricultural research and education institutes in the world.
  • It reports to the Department of Agricultural Research and Education under the Union Ministry of Agriculture. The Union Minister of Agriculture serves as its president.

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Government launches Mission Fingerling to achieve Blue Revolution

The Union Ministry of Agriculture has launched Mission Fingerling, a programme to enable holistic development and management of fisheries sector in India with a total expenditure of about Rs. 52000 lakh.

The mission aims to achieve the target to enhance fisheries production from 10.79 mmt (2014-15) to 15 mmt by 2020-21 under the Blue Revolution.

Key Facts
  • Government has identified 20 States based on their potential and other relevant factors to strengthen the Fish Fingerling production and Fish Seed infrastructure in the country.
  • This program will facilitate the establishment of Fingerling rearing pond and hatcheries to ensure the fish production of 426 crores fish fingerling, 25.50 crores Post Larvae of shrimp and crab in the country.
  • This will converge in the production of 20 lakh tonnes of fish annually, which will inturn benefit about 4 million families.
  • The implementation of this program will supplement the requirement of stocking materials in the country up to a large extent, which is a much needed input to achieve the enhanced fish production.

Blue Revolution

  • Blue Revolution aims to recognize the potential and possibilities in the fisheries sector of the country by unlocking country’s latent potential through an integrated approach.
  • In its scope and reach, it focuses on creating an enabling environment for integrated and holistic development and management of fisheries for socio economic development of fishers and fish farmers.
  • It gives greater emphasis to infrastructure with an equally strong focus on management and conservation of the resources through technology transfer to increase in the income of the fishers and fish farmers.
  • It also seeks to achieve productivity enhancement by employing best global innovations and integration of various production oriented activities viz. production of quality fish seeds, cost effective feed and adoption of technology etc.

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Government to launch pilot project on ornamental fisheries

The Union Government is going to launch pilot project on ornamental fisheries in 8 potential States with total outlay of over 61 crore rupees.

These 8 potential States identified includes Assam, West Bengal , Odisha, Maharashtra , Gujarat , Karnataka , Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

What is Ornamental fishery?

It is a sub-sector of the fisheries sector dealing with breeding and rearing of coloured fish of both freshwater and marine water. There are about 400 species of marine ornamental fishes and 375 freshwater ornamental varieties are available in various parts of the India.

Need for such project

Ornamental fishery industry does not directly contribute to the food and nutritional security, but it generates livelihood and income for the rural and periurban population, especially women and unemployed youth as part-time activities. In India, ornamental fishery industry is small but vibrant, with potential for tremendous growth. The low production cost and high returns within a short span of time and the ever growing demand, both in international and domestic markets, are the major attractions for this industry. 

Key Facts
  • Objectives of pilot project are Promote ornamental fish culture with cluster-based approach, augment ornamental fisheries trade, export earnings and create employment opportunities for the rural and periurban population and use of modern technology and innovation to make ornamental fisheries a thriving activity.
  • It will be implemented by the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) through the Fisheries Departments of States and Union territories.

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