BioVoice News June 2016 Issue 2 Volume 1 - Page 46

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Union Agriculture and Farmers ’ Welfare Minister , Mr Radha Mohan Singh has outlined the various measures taken by the union government to counter drought like situation in few parts of the country .
While there has been criticism on the lack of enough response to the farmers ' woes by opposition parties , the Minister has stated that the country has experienced two successive years of poor rains and the government has acted immediately after the IMD ’ s monsoon forecasts in April , 2015 . Mr Singh emphasized further that recognizing the gravity of the situation , government of India , in collaboration with state governments , responded rapidly with a multipronged approach to mitigate the effects of the drought .
The States took various measures like in-situ soil and moisture conservation , micro-irrigation and ground water re-charge . These steps ensured that in spite of two successive droughts , the overall agriculture production has not dipped and food stocks are adequate , said the Minister .
Union Agriculture and Farmer ’ s Welfare Minister , Mr Radha Mohan Singh , has revealed that the Rajendra Agriculture University , PUSA , Samastipur has been given the status of Central University . He added that with this , long pending demand of the people of Bihar has been fulfilled .
Parliament cleared Dr Rajendra Prasad
Central Agriculture University Bill-2015 , on May 11th . The University will be known as Dr Rajendra Prasad Central Agriculture University . This is the first Central Agriculture University of the State and the second Central Agriculture University of the country .
The union agriculture ministry says that it is implementing various initiatives across the country to improve the condition of cooperative milk federations . As per the information given by the Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare , Mr Mohanbhai Kalyanji bhai Kundariya in the Lok Sabha on May 10 , 2016 , the Dept . of Animal Husbandry , Dairying and Fisheries is implementing following schemes to improve the condition of cooperative milk federations and to promote milk production in the country .
As per the details revealed , the Government of India has approved National Dairy Plan Phase- I ( NDP-I ) with an outlay of Rs 2242 Crore for a period of six years from 2011-12 to 2016-17 on 16th March , 2012 as a Central Sector Scheme . The Scheme is implemented through National Dairy Development Board and the objectives of the National Dairy Plan are to help increase the productivity of milch animals and thereby increase milk production to meet the rapidly growing demand for milk .
The new Scheme National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development ( NPBB & DD ) was launched during 2013-14 by merging four existing schemes Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme ( DEDS ) is implemented from September , 2010 through National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development ( NABARD ) across the country with an aim to generate self employment opportunities in the sector .
The Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises-Agriculture Group emphasized on the needs to allow pending field-trials of GM crops with regards to technology interventions in agriculture in Telangana .
The ABLE-AG on May 18th organized an awareness session on need for Agri-biotechnology in the state by a delegation of senior scientists . Through the session , the scientists and ABLE AG urged the government to initiate farm technology interventions in the state that would include introducing farmers to drought resistant variants of rice , the main food-grain planted by farmers and consumed in the state . The scientists also highlighted and discussed the problem with regards to the pending field trials of GM crops in the state .
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council ( BIRAC ), a public sector enterprise of government of India , signed a memorandum of understanding ( MoU ) with Horticulture Innovation Australia ( Hort Innovation ) for launching a joint funding call to support research and development ( R & D ) organizations and other eligible entities to undertake novel and cutting-edge strategic translational research in horticulture at affordable costs . The event took place on May 27 at the Australian High Commission in New Delhi and was presided over by Ms Harinder Sidhu , Australian High Commissioner to India , and Prof K VijayRaghavan , Secretary , Department of Biotechnology ( DBT ), Government of India . The funding commitment from BIRAC and Hort Innovation is up to AUD 6 Million over a period of 3 years .
On the occasion , Prof Vijay Raghavan , Secretary , DBT and Chairman , BIRAC mentioned , “ BIRAC ’ s vision is to stimulate and enhance the strategic research and innovation capabilities of the Indian biotech industry , particularly start-ups and SME ’ s , for the creation of affordable products addressing the needs of the largest section of society . Considering the gap between demand and supply for crops , it is of paramount importance to stimulate an enabling environment for research and development in both the regions .”
The focus of the joint call is to undertake horticultural research in order to develop and deploy modern tools of plant biotechnology to improve crop productivity .
BioVoiceNews | June 2016
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