The Agri-Tech Perspectives cover

Vol no. 17 Issue No. 102

Inside this issue

Farmers' Transitions

Changing farmers' income and agrarian distress

By: Elumalai Kannan

A strong trend towards agricultural diversification from food to commercial crops and from enterprise to allied activities is emerging. This shift is driven by both, state policies and the domestic market and has a bearing upon small and marginal landholders.

Agri-food System Transformation and farmers

By: N Chandrasekhara Rao

Tracing changes with new start-ups in the production and retail segments of the value chain, the article analyses diffusion and impacts of organised retailing on farming community and outlines policy implications.

Perishable Agricultural Market Reforms: Policy and Issues

By: Sukhpal Singh

The Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) has been criticised for its redundancies regarding buyers’ and sellers’ transactions. However, this is due to options available now for direct sale and contract farming.

Crop Technologies

Mutation Breeding for Crop Improvement

By: M C Kharkwal

Crop improvement programmes through induced mutations were initiated nine decades ago. Nearly 3250 mutant varieties belonging to about 175 plant species have been developed and released. India has made a significant contribution in crop improvement through mutation breeding.

Genetically Modified Technology

By: Dilnavaz Variava

Even if YOU ignore ‘GM’ it will NOT ignore YOU! There are only two traits in 98 per cent of GM foods—production of a pesticide in every cell of the plant or the ability to withstand weed killing herbicides. GM food cannot be distinguished from non-GM food, so you will eat it if India grows it.

The GM food Imbroglio

By: K R Anilakumar, R K Sharma and A S Bawa

Genetically modified crops have been under scrutiny for being unhealthy, destroying the traditional cropping practices and yet they seem to be providing answers to burgeoning food requirements. A careful system of scientific monitoring has to be in place prior to the induction of such endeavours in India.

Optical Sensing of Soil Nutrients for ‘Smart Farming’

By: Subra Mukherjee and Shakuntala Laskar

Over the years, chemical fertilisers have been applied to soil in order to increase their fertility. However over or under application of fertilisers can damage the crop yield and also cause serious ecological concerns. Soil testing thus acquires an important place in farming, specifically in site specific crop management. Non-destructive in-situ measurements of soil nutrients with cost effective optical sensing methods can help in determining and monitoring the nutrient levels in the soil.

The Doomsday Vault–Conservation for the World’s Crops

By: Staff Reporter

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault or the Doomsday Vault is a seed storage facility for the world’s agricultural crops that can help in combating the effects of climate change, population growth, extinction of crop species and destruction of gene banks.

Photo-Essay

Scarcity and displacement: Water Woes Compel

By: Vinod Babu

The clouds have been unkind to Telangana for years, taking a toll on the land, rendering water bodies barren and scarred. To combat this, the Telangana government took to building reservoirs to irrigate the drought-prone districts. For those who agreed to be displaced, life has thrown up challenges. Villagers had to leave their homes, farms and move. munna.virgo@gmail.com

Forestry Policy

Forest Stewardship Council

By: Naina Sharma

The forest certification systems by the Forest Stewardship Council is reflective of an emergent need, intertwining business and ethics. Its guidelines have setup a benchmark against which the modus operandi of timber corporations and plantations can be examined.

India's Outdoors

Living root bridges

By: Dipanjan Ghosh

Living tree bridges that one finds in picturesque Meghalaya are called Jingkieng Deingjri meaning ‘bridge of the rubber tree’ in Khasi. Tree bridges are natural structures that are examples of bioengineering at its best.

In brief

Editor's Note

Strengthening Agri-Innovations Food, central to our existence, has singularly proved to be a mechanism for global governance. India continues to combat hunger and confront food crises in a backdrop of an ever growing population. The country has engaged in a wide range of historical debates from sci

Term Power

What is ...

Relay cropping is growing one crop and then planting another in the same field after maturation or before harvesting the first. Whereas growing two or more crops in the same field at the same time is known as inter cropping and growing two crops in the same field, one after the other in the same year is called sequential cropping.

Precision farming aims at increasing productivity, decreasing production costs and minimising the environmental impact of farming by utilising information and technology based management system. The information on soil and crop characteristics unique to each part of the field is acquired by use of technology including telecommunications, global positioning systems (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), variable rate controllers, and infield and remote sensing and used to increase the production.

Hydroponics is the science of growing plants without use of soil. Instead of using soil, plants are grown in a sufficiently nutrient-rich water solution.

It is the process of genetically modifying plants and animals so that they produce substances which may be used as pharmaceuticals. It is also known as molecular farming or biopharming.

The term denotes a method which relies mainly on visual interpretation of the plant cover to detect morphological changes or plant associations typical of certain types of geological environments or of ore deposits.

The Gini coefficient is a statistical measure used for assessing variations in a given set of values. It has been primarily used by economists to analyse income inequality.

Haulm is the stem or top of crop plants such as peas or potatoes left after the crop has been gathered. This world has originated from old English.

Mutagenesis is the process of change in genetic information of an organism due to exposure to mutagens leading to mutation. It may occur naturally or can be done in laboratories. Whereas genetic modification is the process to change the genetic makeup of cells in laboratories that includes transfer of genes within and across species to produce organisms with desired traits.

Atomic gardening is a form of mutation breeding where plants are exposed to radioactive sources, typically cobalt-60 in order to generate useful mutations.

An artesian aquifer is a confined aquifer containing groundwater under positive pressure. This causes the water level in a well to rise to a point where hydrostatic equilibrium has been reached.

Letters