1. Himachal Pradesh Introduces Two High-Yielding Wheat Varieties
Himachal Pradesh Agriculture Department introduces two high-yielding wheat varieties, DBW 222 and DBW 187 which will boost the foodgrain production in the state.
2. Revolutionizing Agro-Chemical Sales: Government Approves Online Platforms
The Indian government amended the Insecticide Act to allow online sales of pesticides, which is expected to increase competition and lower prices. Agrochemical manufacturers can also set up their online platforms, attracting e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Flipkart.
3. New Advisory Group to Boost Bamboo Industry and Create a Sustainable Value Chain
The Union Agriculture Minister has approved the creation of an ‘Advisory Group to aid in the development of the bamboo industry. The group’s primary objective is to establish a cohesive value chain for the bamboo sector. According to a statement released by the agriculture ministry, the group will consist of academics, researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs, designers, marketing specialists and policymakers. The advisory group will work to integrate bamboo initiatives among different ministries and departments and assist in restructuring the sector’s developmental framework by establishing synergy among all stages of the bamboo value chain.
4. National Webinar for promotion of frozen fish and its products by the Department of Fisheries
The Dept. of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India conducted a national webinar on “Promotion of frozen fish and fish products” as a part of the ongoing celebration of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
5. Using Short-Duration Varieties for Efficient Rice Straw Management
The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare recently revealed that the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and State Agriculture Universities (SAUs) have developed new short-duration rice varieties that can aid in paddy straw management. These high-yielding varieties include Pusa Basmati 1509, Pusa Basmati 1692 and Pusa Basmati 1847, all of which have a growing period of just 115 days. Additionally, there are non-basmati aromatic varieties such as PR 126, Pusa Sugandh 5 and Pusa 1612, which have growing periods ranging from 120-125 days. These varieties can help farmers manage their straw more efficiently, resulting in less burning and more sustainable farming practices.
6. Reviving the Badri Cow: Uttarakhand Plans for Genetic Enhancement
Uttarakhand is set to enhance the productivity of its indigenous Badri cow through genetic enhancement. The state plans to use sex-sorted semen and embryo transfer technology to boost cattle production as part of a ten-year plan. The Badri cow, known for grazing on medicinal herbs in the Himalayas, has a petite size and is an important part of Uttarakhand’s rural economy. With around seven lakh Badri cows in the state, including 4.79 lakh females, the genetic enhancement program aims to increase their productivity and improve the livelihoods of local farmers.
7. The Synergy of IoT and AI
The Indian government has taken several initiatives to promote the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in agriculture. The Department of Science & Technology is implementing a National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) and has set up 25 Technology Innovation Hubs (TIHs) across the country, with three of them dedicated to research and development of IoT and AI applications in agriculture. These initiatives are aimed at promoting precision farming, livestock monitoring and monitoring of climate conditions, among other things. With the help of AI and IoT, agriculture can be made more efficient and sustainable, leading to increased productivity and better livelihoods for farmers.