Friday, 28 February 2014

Approval for the National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem in India

The Union Cabinet of India, today on Friday, 28th February 2014, approved the Mission document on the National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE). This Mission was launched under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) with a budget outlay of Rs. 550 crore during the XII Five Year Plan period.
The primary objective of the Mission is to develop in a time bound manner a sustainable national capacity to continuously assess the health status of the Himalayan Ecosystem and enable policy bodies in their policy-formulation functions as also to assist States in the Indian Himalayan Region with implementation of actions selected for sustainable development.

Sunday, 23 February 2014


On 20 December 2013, the Sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly decided to proclaim 3 March, the day of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as World Wildlife Day.

Logo Courtesy: CITES Secretariat

Friday, 21 February 2014

Avail Benefits from Government Schemes for Organic Farming

The Government of India is promoting organic farming through various schemes like 
  1. National Project on Organic Farming (NPOF)
  2. National Horticulture Mission (NHM),
  3. Horticulture Mission for North East & Himalayan States (HMNEH)
  4. National Project on Management of Soil Health and Fertility (NPMSH&F)
  5. Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY)
  6. Network Project on Organic Farming of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

Thursday, 20 February 2014

National Mission for a Green India Scheme

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, today on 20th February 2014 (Thursday) has approved a proposal of the Ministry of Environment and Forests for a National Mission for a Green India (GIM) as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
The objectives of the Mission during 12th Plan period includes
1. increased forest/tree cover and improved quality of forest cover in two to eight million hectares,
2. improved ecosystem services including biodiversity, hydrological services,
3. increased forest-based livelihood income of households, living in and around the forests, and
4. enhanced annual CO2 sequestration. 

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Organic Farming for Rich Biodiversity, Consequently Better Ecological Function

A meta analysis done by a group of scientists reported that organic farming increased species richness by about 30%. Their analysis affirms that organic farming usually has large positive effects on average species richness compared with conventional farming. Given the large areas of land currently under agricultural production, organic methods could undoubtedly play a major role in halting the continued loss of diversity from industrialized nations. The detailed analysis is available online on Journal of Applied Ecology   published on 7th February 2014.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

India Only Next to USA in Terms of Number of Crop Pests and Pathogens

Plant Scientists from UK have studied the economic and physical determinants of the global distribution of crop pests and pathogens. The full report has been published online in New Phytologist on Tuesday (11th February 2014) As a part of their study they observed the pest and pathogen numbers per country, with the largest numbers reported by the USA (1200), India (1063), China (1012), France (999) and Japan (973).

Monday, 10 February 2014

Agroforestry Requires Blending of Traditional Ecological Prudence with Renewable Energy Technology

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the World Congress on Agro-forestry, today (February 10, 2014) at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that Agro-forestry offers a significant opening in resetting priorities on farm sustainability. It is emerging as a major domain in environmentally sustainable food production systems. Agro-forestry system produces food, fuel and fibre; contributes to food and nutritional security; sustains livelihoods; helps in preventing deforestation; increases biodiversity; protects water resources, and reduces erosion.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014


Pic Courtesy: Solanaceae Co-ordinated Agri Project
Scientists from Nanjing Agricultural University of China have cloned and characterized a potato StAN11 gene involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis regulation. They cloned StAN11, a WD40-repeat gene from potato cultivar Chieftain (Solanum tuberosum L.). StAN11 (HQ599506) contained no intron and its open reading frame (ORF) was 1,029 bp long, encoding a putative protein of 342 amino acids. To verify its role in anthocyanin biosynthesis, StAN11 was inserted behind the CaMV-35S promoter of pCMBIA1304 and the recombination vector was introduced into the potato cultivar Désirée plants by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Indian Government Committed to Promote GM Crops

Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh while inaugurating 101th Indian Science Congress in Jammu said Government must focus on creating new opportunities for our bright and socially conscious scientists. To ensure food security and to improve land and water productivity, we have to launch a national drive for an ever-green revolution. This will test the ingenuity of our agricultural scientists. Climate-resilient agriculture and modern bio-technological tools hold great promise. Use of bio-technology has great potential to improve yields. The Prime Minister added that while safety must be ensured, we should not succumb to unscientific prejudices against Bt. crops. He said our government remains committed to promoting the use of these new technologies for agricultural development. He urged scientific community to increase communication and engagement with society at large in explaining socially productive applications of technology alternatives and for improving the productivity of small and medium enterprises.