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A game changer in crop hybridisation, genetics

A fully computerized machine which can chip seeds of crops such as maize, soyabean, cotton, wheat is changing the game of genetics and hybridisation globally. The machine, called seed chipper and aided by robots, is helping to examine the genetical make-up of crops in a shorter period of time that it is resulting in seed and bio-technology companies to come up with new seed varieties at a faster clip. Modus operandi This is how the chipper works: seeds taken from plants are poured into a funnel in the machine, which are then passed through a computer to find out the exact location of...

Last Updated: Wednesday, 1st October, 2014 03:24 PM Visits 378

MoFPI receives 25 international queries on help desk credited to Badal

One of the initiatives credited to minister for food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal was the creation of a help desk in the ministry to handle international queries. As soon as it was launched, it received 25 queries from international players interested in investing in the sector. It is expected to be a one-stop solution for investors. The minister was in Gujarat recently to address the food processing industry at the sixth international summit on food processing, agri-business and dairy, organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM). The meet attended by researchers, technopreneurs, entrepreneurs, leading players, investors...

Last Updated: Wednesday, 1st October, 2014 04:06 PM Visits 375

Cargill to invest Rs 500 crore to open corn milling unit in Davanagere

Cargill India plans to increase its footprint by investing Rs 500 crore to set up a corn milling plant on a 44.5 acre-plot in Davanagere, Karnataka. The unit, which is currently under construction, would be commissioned by the end of the second quarter of 2015. The announcement was made by Siraj Chaudhary, chairman, Cargill India, at an event organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in Mumbai recently. The processing plant, which has an annual capacity of three lakh tonnes, would produce modified starch for the processed food and pharmaceutical industries, predominately based in central and southern...

Last Updated: Wednesday, 1st October, 2014 04:05 PM Visits 750

Karnataka moves to increase agricultural yield

Agriculture Minister Krishna Byregowda has said that the government will open 186 customised centres in the state to enhance yield and overcome the shortage of agriculture labourer. Through these centres, the government will rent out heavy machinery to farmers on a rental basis. He said this at the opening of the Krishi Mela at the University of Agricultural Science in Dharwad on Sunday. Each centre would get a financial aid of Rs 75 lakh to purchase farm equipment and rent them out to farmers. The state has earmarked Rs 70 crore for this project. Today, a shortage of agriculture labourers has affected...

Last Updated: Wednesday, 1st October, 2014 04:05 PM Visits 391

12% deficit in monsoon, rainfall at 5-year low

The South-West Monsoon, lifeline of country’s agriculture, has ended with a shortfall of around 12 per cent for the year. The four-month monsoon season ended officially on Tuesday with the country receiving a total rainfall of 775.7 mm as on September 29 against the normal 883 mm. It is the lowest in the last five years. Drought-like A third of the 36 metrological sub-divisions received deficient rains facing drought like conditions, while 23 of them got normal rainfall and one sub-division — south interior Karnataka — received excess rainfall. Total precipitation across the country is in line with the revised forecast of...

Last Updated: Tuesday, 30th September, 2014 04:08 PM Visits 403

Algae's role in sustainable agriculture explored

The two-day national seminar on algae for sustainable agricultural production held at the Agriculture College and Research Institute, Madurai of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) discussed the many roles of algae in agriculture. The main aspects of the seminar were to discuss algae distribution and resources in India, its bioactive compounds, growth regulators biocides, minerals and micro nutrients; application of seaweed as manure in different forms for agricultural and horticultural crops, algae as food and fuel and algae products of commercial production and application in seed science. Its cultivation, culture, harvesting, processing, value addition and marketing were also other aspects. Inaugurating the...

Last Updated: Tuesday, 30th September, 2014 04:03 PM Visits 481

Area under kharif crops crosses 100 million hectare

Sowing of kharif crops picked up pace last week with the total acreage crossing 100 million hectare in the country, government said today. However, area of 101.92 million hectare under kharif crops this year so far is lower than acreage of 104.46 million hectare during the same time last year. Sowing of kharif crops showed a steady increase during this week. The total sown area as on September 26 as per reports received from states, stands at 101.92 million hectare as compared to 104.46 million hectare at this time last year, an official release said. Sowing of kharif crops begins with the onset...

Last Updated: Monday, 29th September, 2014 04:03 PM Visits 423

PM Narendra Modi spells out India's preferences in future climate negotiations

Global communities might have missed India's point at the climate summit in New York on September 23, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi made up for the loss four days later by articulating the country's views on the necessary actions to be taken to face the challenges of climate change during his UN general assembly speech on 27th of September. In a remark which may disappoint rich nations, specifically the US, Canada and the European Union (EU) countries, Modi insisted on the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" (CBDR) and made it clear that this should "form the basis of continued action"...

Last Updated: Sunday, 28th September, 2014 04:04 PM Visits 414