As per study led by University of Minnesota researchers, the fertilization of natural grasslands, either intentionally or unintentionally as a side effect of global farming and industry, is having a destabilizing effect on global grassland ecosystems.
About the study on “Fertilization destabilizes Global Grassland Ecosystems”
- First international experiment by using a network of natural grassland research sites around the world known as Nutrient Network (or NutNet).
- Assessed the effect of fertilizer on 41 sites across 5 continents.
- The experimental network included eco-systems from alpine areas of China to Serengeti in Tanzania.
- Outcome: Found that plant diversity in natural ecosystems creates more stable ecosystems over time because of less synchronized growth of plants.
- Also found that grassland diversity and stability reduces when fertilizers added.
- In other words, the balance output of the ecological safety net on addition of fertilizer was upset across diverse grassland as the various organisms in those disappeared.
- NutNet is a “grassroots campaign” that is supported by scientists who volunteer their time and resources.
- Published in the international journal Nature.
The third World Congress on Agro-forestry 2014 (WCA14) held in New Delhi, India and was inaugurated by President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee. This was the First ever World Agro-forestry Congress in Asia Pacific Region.
- Theme: “Trees for Life: Accelerating the Impact of Agro-forestry”.
- Co-host: the World Agro-forestry Centre, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, the Indian Society of Agro-forestry and Global Initiatives.
- Objective: To boost awareness, engagement and investments in agro-forestry,
- Benefit: Would shape the next steps in the field of integrative science, transformative change in landscapes, tree improvement, innovative tree-based value chains, and debates on global and local sustainability, reform of land and tree tenure and holistic education.
The third edition of World Agroforestry Congress organized to-
- Expand global awareness and understanding of agro-forestry.
- Share the current status of knowledge and practice of agro-forestry and consolidate its research base.
- Build support for agro-forestry within governments, companies, academia, NGOs and the media.
- Increase the engagement of the private sector.
About World Agroforestry Centre (or ICRAF i.e International Centre For Research On Agriculture And Forestry)
- Mission: To generate science-based knowledge about the diverse roles that trees play in agricultural landscapes, and to use its research to advance policies and practices, and their implementation, that benefit the poor and the environment.
- To improve food security, nutrition, income, health, shelter, social cohesion, energy resources and environmental sustainability of rural area in developing countries.
- Objective: poverty alleviation which requires enhanced food security and health, improved productivity with lower environmental and social costs, and resilience in the face of climate change and other external shocks.
- Headquarters:Nairobi, Kenya.
- Regional offices: Cameroon, India, Indonesia, Kenya and Peru.
- Role of Agro-forestry: (a) produces food, fuel and fibre, (b) major source of livelihoods and also help in preventing deforestation and (c) protect water resources and fighting off soil-erosion.
Note: First two World Congresses on Agro-forestry held in :Florida,USA (2004) and Nairobi, Kenya (2009).
As per the advanced estimates released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during 2013-14 is estimated at 4.9% as compared to the growth rate of 4.5% in 2012-13.
The advance estimates of national income at constant (2004-05) and current prices, for the financial year 2013-14
- Based on expected level of agricultural production from the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation(DAC), Index of Industrial Production (IIP), monthly accounts of Union Government Expenditure maintained by Controller General of Accounts (CGA) and of State Government expenditure maintained by Comptroller and Auditor general of India (CAG).
- Per capita income in real terms (at 2004-05 prices) during 2013-14 is probably to attain a level of Rs 39,961 as compared to the first revised estimate for the year 2012-13 of Rs 38,856. The growth rate in per capita income is estimated at 2.8% as against the previous year’s estimate of 2.1%.
- Per capita income at current prices during 2013-14 is estimated to Rs 74,920 as compared to Rs 67,839 during 2012-13, shows a rise of 10.4%.
- The rates of Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) at current and constant (2004-05) prices during 2013-14 are estimated at 28.5% and 32.5%. (GFCF is an indicator of investment)
- The rate of expenditure on valuables at current prices has gone down from 2.6% in 2012-13 to 2.1% in 2013-14.
Key sectors that have taken into account while estimating the of national income at constant (2004-05) and current prices, for the financial year 2013-14 are:
- Agriculture, forestry and fishing: Will probably show a growth of 4.6% in its GDP during 2013-14, as against the previous year’s growth rate of 1.4%.
- Manufacturing: Expected to contract 0.2% in this financial year compared with growth of 1.1% in the previous year.
- Services sector (finance, insurance, real estate and business services sectors): Expected to grow 11.2% this year compared with 10.9% in 2012-13.
- Mining and quarrying: Probably to contract 1.9% as compared to 2.2% decline in production 2012-13.
- Construction: Will probably improve to 1.7% from 1.1% in 2012-13.
- Trade, hotels, transport and communication: Probably improve to 3.5% in this financial year.
- Electricity, gas and water production: The growth in these sectors is likely to improve to 6% in 2013-14 from 2.3 per cent in 2012-13.
- Community social and personal services growth would be better at 7.4% as compared to 5.3% previously.
Note: The Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, Mr. C. Rangarajan described the latest estimate of 4.9% for 2013-14 as an encouraging indication that economic slowdown is over.
Agriculture Ministry issued detailed guidelines and strategy to be adopted for implementation of the National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP). The Centre and States will bear costs in the ratio of 75:25.
Objective: To enhance production of traditional oilseed and tree-borne oilseed and also significant area is sought to be brought under oil palm.
Sanctioned: Rs. 3507 crore under 12th plan.
Strategy to implement the proposed NMOOP Mission:
- Increase Seed Replacement Ratio (SRR) with focus on Varietal Replacement.
- Increase irrigation coverage under oilseeds from 26% to 36%.
- Diversification of area from low yielding cereals crops to oilseeds crops.
- Inter-cropping of oilseeds with cereals/ pulses/ sugarcane.
- Use the fallow land after paddy /potato cultivation.
- Expand the cultivation of Oil Palm and tree borne oilseeds in watersheds and wastelands.
- Increase availability of quality planting material enhancing procurement of oilseeds and collection.
- Process tree borne oilseeds.
Inter-cropping during gestation period of oil palm and tree borne oilseeds would provide economic return to the farmers when there is no production.