ICAR Current Affairs - 2020

Central Panel recommends to ban use of TB drugs on crops

The Registration Committee that was set up under the Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee (CIBRC) has recommended that TB drugs such as Streptomycin and Tetracycline should be completely banned on crops.

Highlights

The Registration Committee held its 114th meet on May 1, 2020. According to the report submitted by its subcommittee, 9% of Streptomycin sulphate and 1% of tetracycline hydrochloride is used on crops. According to the report generated, the drugs were used at its highest in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.

What is the issue?

The CIBRC allows the use of Streptocycline drug in eight crops. However, it is now found that it is being used on more crops as pesticides. The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) had earlier recommended that none of the TB drugs should be used on crops. The order was shared with CIBRC as well.

Solution

The report has suggested to phase out use of the drugs by 2022 as no alternatives are now available for these drugs. The users, till then should use these antibiotics according to the label instructions.

Recommendations

The Registration Committee recommends to manage diseases and pests in crops through integrated pest management. The CIBRC has also recommended ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) to initiate research on better and safe practices.

ICAR prepared fisheries guidelines become part of FAO

On May 7, 2020, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) released advisories to fisheries sector in 12 languages. Apart from Hindi and English, advisories were issued in 10 regional languages.

Highlights

The advisories were prepared and issued by ICAR-CIFRI (Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute), Barrackpore. It included rivers, reservoirs, estuaries, wetlands and reservoirs. Apart from these, capture fisheries were also included.

FAO Global Guidelines

The advisories for fisheries sector have become part of FAO global guidelines. The Food and Agriculture Organization has recommended the advisories prepared by the council for the region of Asia and its initiatives. The guidelines have been made voluntary guidelines for securing Sustainable small-scale fisheries.

Need

The advisories come as the fish workers, processors, fishermen and their communities face threats of pandemic. This has been affecting their livelihoods and value chains.

How is COVID-19 affecting Fisheries sector?

The fishing activity has come to a halt. This was mainly because of labour shortage, limited supplies of ice, gear and bait. As the markets are closed because of lock down the fish farmers are not able to sell their harvest. The export species are equally affected. The fisheries sector has also received major blow from the closure of food services especially, the hotels and restaurants operating in tourism sector.

Successful Measures in India

  • Time Auction System adopted in Kerala had been a huge hit.
  • Large scale mechanized boats have been banned in India. However, small beach landing boats are allowed to help in food security needs of the fishermen.
  • Around 75,000 fishermen are still staying in the sea. They are kept in the sea to ensure their safety. In Gujarat, around 15,000 trawlers have been anchored to keep the fishermen safe. They are said to be under sea quarantine.