FAO Current Affairs - 2019

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ICRISAT-led team identifies Climate-Resilient Genes in Chickpea

Recently, an international collaboration of 20 research organizations led by Hyderabad-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) identified climate resilient genes in chickpea. They cracked genetic code to develop climate resilient chickpea with genes for heat tolerance and genes for drought tolerance.

Key Findings

  • Scientists study based on complete genome sequencing of 429 chickpea lines from 45 different countries, identified that chickpea has four important genes for heat tolerance and three important genes for drought tolerance.
  • Application: Identification of these climate-resistant genes will help in developing newer chickpea varieties which can tolerate temperatures up to 38°C.
  • The identification of other genes with important agronomic traits (high yield, test weight, kernel weight, maturity, plant height, and lodging resistance) will help in increasing crop yield and providing better resistance to pests and diseases.

Chickpea:

  • It is an annual legume of Fabaceae family and is highly rich in protein.
  • It is also known by name of gram, Bengal Gram, Garbanzo, Garbanzo bean, and Egyptian pea.
  • It is a cool season crop. In India, it is sown in September-October and harvested in January-February. In 2016, India produced 64% of world’s total chickpeas.
  • More than 90% of chickpea cultivation area is in South Asia, including India as it is important in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine.
  • It originated in Mediterranean/south-west Asia and migrated to south Asia.
  • Globally, more than 70% of its yield is lost due to drought and increasing temperatures.

ICRISAT: The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics

  • It is an international non-profit organization whichundertakes agricultural research for rural development in the semi-arid tropics (SAT) region. It was established in 1972,
  • and its charter was signed by the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It is headquartered in Hyderabad, Telangana, India.
  • It performs crop improvement research on crops like Chickpea, Pigeonpea, Groundnut, Pearl millet, Sorghum, Finger Millet and Small millets.
  • The Semi-Arid Tropics (SAT) region: It is a region characterised by highly variable, low to medium rainfall, poor soils, and lack of irrigation, thus considered to be a less favoured area (LFA).

Month: Categories: Science & Technology

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2019 Global Report on Food Crises

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) makes the following observations in the 2019 Global Report on Food Crises report:

  • More than 113 million people across 53 countries experienced “acute hunger” last year because of wars and climate disasters, with Africa the worst-hit region.
  • Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan and Syria were among the eight nations accounting for two-thirds of the total number of people worldwide exposed to the risk of famine.
  • African Nations were “disproportionally” affected as close to 72 million people on the continent suffered acute hunger.
  • The key factors which drove the hunger were Conflict and insecurity along with economic turbulence and climate-related shocks like drought and floods.
  • In countries on the verge of famine, up to 80 per cent of the populations were dependent on agriculture. They need both emergency humanitarian aid for food and measures to help boost agriculture.
  • The strain put on countries hosting a large number of refugees, including war-torn Syria as well as Bangladesh, which has received more than a million Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar has been highlighted in the report.
  • The overall situation slightly improved in 2018 compared to 2017 when 124 million people suffered acute hunger. This reduction in numbers was partially owed to the fact that some countries in Latin America and the Asia Pacific region, for instance, were less affected by weather disasters that had struck in previous years.
  • The year-on-year trend of more than 100 million people facing famine was unlikely to change in the face of continued crises.
  • High levels of acute and chronic malnutrition in children living in emergency conditions remained of grave concern.

The Global Food Crises Report is an annual study launched three years ago which takes stock of the countries facing the greatest difficulties in tackling hunger.

Month: Categories: InternationalUPSC

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