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FAO calls for International collaboration on wheat rust

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), a United Nations agricultural agency has called for International collaboration on wheat rust to curb threat to global supplies.

According to studies produced by scientists in collaboration with FAO, wheat in Africa, Asia and Europe is increasingly threatened by fresh groups of wheat rust.

Key Facts
  • The studies have showed emergence of two new groups or races of both yellow rust and stem rust in various regions of the world.
  • They highlight urgent need for early detection and rapid action to keep the wheat rust under control which spread rapidly over long distances by wind.
  • If not detected and treated on time, they can turn a healthy looking crop, only weeks away from harvest, into a tangle of yellow leaves, black stems and shriveled grains.
  • Wheat is a source of food and livelihoods for over 1 billion people in developing countries. Some of the most vulnerable regions are also the highest producers of wheat.
  • Northern and Eastern Africa, the Near East, and West, Central and South Asia alone account for some 37% of global wheat production.
 What is Wheat Rust?

Yellow rust is a fungal disease which turns leaves yellowish and stops the photosynthesis. It is caused by the Magnaporthe oryzae fungus and was discovered in Brazil in 1985. The fungus attacks the leaf of the crop and eats its chlorophyll, thereby affecting the plant’s growth. It can cause up to 20% yield loss. In recent times, due to temperature rise caused by climate change has contributed to the spread of the fungus.

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Union Cabinet approves MoU between Rural Development Ministry & FAO

The Union Cabinet has approved MoU between Ministry of Rural Development and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to improve effectiveness of rural development programmes in country.

The Inter-Governmental MoU on Joint Technical and South-South Cooperation will provide for collaboration on activities of common interest to support an integrated approach to rural poverty reduction through activities. These activities will aim to promote economic empowerment of rural women, access of rural poor to natural resources.

Key Facts
  • The MoU aims to improve effectiveness of rural development programmes in India and facilitate knowledge sharing by exchange of visits and dialogue for knowledge and experience sharing.
  • It will facilitate South-South cooperation mechanisms around Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM)’s experience.
  • It will strengthen vertical upscaling of livelihoods of rural populations supported by DAY-NRLM, develop inclusive and sustainable value chains for key crops and agro-industrial products.
  • It will also facilitate employment diversification, skills development for rural youth, strengthen social protection, risk management mechanisms.
  • It will also provide collaboration to support an integrated approach to rural poverty reduction through activities aimed to promote economic empowerment of rural women, access of rural poor to natural resources and their sustainable use and social protection.

About Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY -NRLM)

  • DAY-NRLM is a flagship rural poverty reduction program of Union Ministry of Rural Development.
  • It launched with an objective of social mobilization, financial inclusion and sustainable livelihoods promotion.
  • It aims at creating effective and efficient institutional platforms for rural poor by increasing household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements and improving access to financial services.
  • One of its major focus areas is promotion of existing livelihood portfolios of the rural poor in farm and non-farm sectors.

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UN declares 2016 as International Year of Pulses

The 68th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has declared year 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (IYP).

It was launched under the slogan ‘nutritious seeds for a sustainable future’. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of UN has been nominated to facilitate the implementation of the Year in collaboration with all stakeholders.

Aim of IYP 2016

  • To increase the public awareness about the nutritional protein power and health benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition.
  • To boost their production and trade and encourage new and smarter uses throughout the food chain.

Some facts about Pulses

  • Pulses crops are major source of plant-based proteins and amino acids in a vegetarian diet and greatly benefit people’s health.
  • Being leguminous plant, they impact the environment positively due to their nitrogen-fixing properties, which increase soil fertility. So they are mainly grown on rotational basis with other crops.
  • They are important food crops for the food security of large proportions of populations, particularly in Latin America, Africa and Asia as it is part of their traditional diets.
  • They are often grown by small farmers and thus offer a great potential to lift farmers out of rural poverty.
  • India is largest producer and as well consumer of pulses in India. Major pulses grown in India are tur (arhar), urad, moong, masur, peas and gram.

Thus, pulses can significantly contribute in addressing hunger, food security, malnutrition, environmental challenges and human health.

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