Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2020

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Vertical Farming: A silent Revolution in Agriculture

The current world population is 7.7 billion (April 2019). According to the United Nations, the global population is to reach 10 billion by 2050 and therefore the food production should increase by 70%.

What is Vertical Farming?

Vertical Farming is the process of growing agricultural crops in vertical stacks in door, in a controlled environment. It uses the same amount of water as that of regular farming. However, the other raw materials consumed by vertical farming is less. According to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) of the United Nations, vertical farming consumes 75% less raw material as compared to traditional farming.

In terms of land area, vertical farming will require 6 square metres of land space to produce same quantity of food as grown in 72 square metres of land in traditional farming.

Benefits

Under Vertical Farming, the plants are grown indoors with or without soil. This protects the crops from incessant rains, unruly winds and dry climate. It is well suited for urban areas. The crop yield in vertical farming is more than traditional farming as it adopts two major farming techniques namely hydroponics and aeroponics.

Hydroponics and Aeroponics

In Hydroponics technique, roots are submerged in water that is infused with nutrients. Aeroponics is a farming method where plants are grown in closed or semi-closed environment with nutrients sprayed in the air.

Carbon print

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)’s Emission Gap Report of 2019 says that Agriculture and Transportation are among the five world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. On the other hand, the carbon print of Vertical Farming is very less. With adaptation of nano cost climate control, low-carbon electricity, high-efficiency lighting, vertical farming achieves low carbon foot print easily.

India’s status

In India Vertical Farming has been introduced in 2019. ICAR is working on techniques and adaptations to introduce in the market. However, it has still not found its application at wider level.

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Vigyanika-International Science Literature Festival held at Kolkata

Vigyanika is the International Science Literature Festival that is organised as a part of fifth India International Science Festival (IISF) at Kolkata. It also features a Science Book Fair where more than 30 publishers are to display their scientific publications

Highlights of the event

  • Vigyanika is an annual event organised by Ministry of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences
  • It is coordinated by the CSIR-NISCAIR (National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources), Vigyan Bharati and Vigyan Prasar
  • The event will host panel discussions, paper presentations and invited talks on themes related to public engagement with science, science communication.
  • It will also feature innovative formats of science communication such as poetry, drama and magic.
  • The Science Book Fair is the most attractive feature of the event. Several Scientific institutes will also display their scientific publications that includes journals, encyclopedias, science magazines and other knowledge products. The fair is also organizing competitions like debates, cartoon, etc on scientific topics

 

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