Agri Technology:News and updates


IFFCO launches world’s first “Nano Liquid Urea”

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What is the News?

Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited(IFFCO) has launched the world’s first Nano Urea Liquid

What is Nano Liquid Urea?
  • Nano Urea Liquid is a nutrient to provide nitrogen to plants as an alternative to conventional urea.
  • Developed by: Nano Urea Liquid has been developed indigenously through proprietary technology at IFFCO”s Nano Biotechnology Research Centre(NBRC) in Gujarat.
  • Efficacy Trials: IFFCO had conducted around 11,000 farmer field trials (FFT’s) on more than 94 crops across India to test the efficacy of nano urea. The trials had shown an average 8% increase in yield.
What are the benefits of Nano Liquid Urea?
  • Firstly, Nano Liquid Urea can curtail the requirement of urea by at least 50%. This will in turn reduce India’s dependence on urea imports.
    • During 2019-20, the production of urea was 244.55 LMT. On the other hand, the consumption volume of urea was 336 lakh metric tonnes. This leaves a gap of over 91 LMT. India imported 91.99 LMT urea fertiliser in 2019-20 to fill this gap.
  • Secondly, nano urea liquid is significant as its use by farmers will boost balanced nutrition programs by reducing the excess use of Urea application in the soil. This will help make the crops stronger, healthier and protect them from the lodging effect.
  • Thirdly, the conventional urea is 30-40% effective in delivering nitrogen to plants while the effectiveness of the Nano Urea Liquid is over 80%.
  • Fourthly, the Nano Urea Liquid will be cost-effective as it will be cheaper. This will help in increasing farmers’ income.
  • Lastly, Nano Urea Liquid will have a positive impact on the
    • Quality of underground water
    • Reduction in global warming with an impact on climate change and
    • Sustainable development.

Source: Indian Express

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Biodegradable “Moorhen Yoga Mat” developed from “Water Hyacinth”

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What is the News?

Six young girls from Assam have developed a biodegradable and compostable yoga mat called ‘Moorhen Yoga Mat’.

Note: The Mat was developed with the support of the North East Centre for Technology Application and Reach(NECTAR). NECTAR is an autonomous body under the Department of Science & Technology(DST).

About Moorhen Yoga Mat:

  • Firstly, the ‘Moorhen Yoga mat’ is named after Kam Sorai or Purple moorhen (a resident bird of Deepor Beel Wildlife sanctuary).
  • Secondly, the mat has been developed from Water Hyacinth. The mat is 100% biodegradable and 100% compostable mat.
  • Thirdly, the mat comes in a cotton canvas cloth bag. So that no zip or metal closures are used.
  • Benefits of the Mat: The Moorhen Yoga mat has the following benefits:
    • The Mat can improve the aquatic ecosystem of the wetland through the removal of water hyacinth
    • It can provide sustainable production of utility products with community engagement
    • The mat can generate livelihood for indigenous communities to become completely ‘Atma Nirbhar’.

About Water Hyacinth:

  • Water hyacinth is a free-floating and flowering invasive aquatic plant that originated from Amazon Basin, South America.

Why is Water Hyacinth considered invasive?

  • It grows rapidly and can form thick layers over the water. So Water hyacinth is considered invasive throughout the world.
  • These mats shade out the other aquatic plants. Eventually, these shaded plants die and decay.
  • The decaying process depletes the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water. As oxygen levels decline, many fish are unable to survive.
  • Hence, often the waters below water hyacinth masses witness the absence of life.

Other Effects of Water Hyacinth:

  • Water Hyacinth interferes with boat navigation and prevents fishing, swimming and other recreational activities.
  • The water hyacinth may also clog intake pipes used for drinking water, hydropower or irrigation.
  • Moreover, it creates a prime habitat for mosquitoes that carry a variety of infectious diseases. So, water hyacinth is also considered a serious threat to biodiversity and human health.

Water Hyacinth in India:

  • States like Assam and Kerala are highly affected by the Water Hyacinth.
  • Water Hyacinth is also referred to as the Bengal terror. This is because of its effect on the local ecology and lives of the people.

Source: PIB


 

Yoga as a hobby

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Union Minister to launch “Khadi Prakritik Paint” developed by KVIC

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News: Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways will be launching an innovative new called “Khadi Prakritik Paint”.

Facts:

  • Khadi Prakritik Paint: It has been conceptualized by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) and later developed by Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute, Jaipur (a KVIC unit).
  • Key Characteristics:
    • It is a first-of-its-kind eco-friendly, non-toxic paint with anti-fungal, antibacterial properties.
    • Based on cow dung as its main ingredient, the paint is cost-effective and odorless and has been certified by Bureau of Indian Standards.
    • The paint is free from heavy metals like lead, mercury, chromium, arsenic, cadmium and others.
  • Forms: The paint is available in two forms – distemper paint and plastic emulsion paint.
  • Significance:
    • Production of Khadi Prakritik Paint is aligned with the Prime Minister’s vision of increasing farmer’s income. The paint is estimated to generate additional income of Rs 30,000 (approx) per annum per animal to farmers/ gaushalas.
    • It will be a boost to the local manufacturing and will create sustainable local employment through technology transfer.
    • This technology will increase consumption of cow dung as a raw material for eco-friendly products and will generate additional revenue to farmers and gaushalas. Utilization of cow dung will also clean the environment and prevent clogging of drains.

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Union Minister inaugurates Virtual Agri-hackathon 2020

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News: Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare has inaugurated the Virtual Agri-hackathon 2020.

Facts:

  • Agri India Hackathon 2020: It is organized by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation and Farmers Welfare in association with Pusa Krishi, ICAR – Indian Agricultural Research Institute(IARI).
  • Objective: It is the largest virtual gathering to create dialogues, and accelerate innovations in agriculture. The hackathon will accept innovations & ideas on farm mechanization, precision agriculture, supply chain & food technology, waste to wealth, green energy among others.
  • Rewards for the winners: 24 best innovations from different focus areas will be awarded a cash prize of INR 1 lakh each. The winning innovations will also get an exclusive preference for incubation support, pre-seed & seed-stage funding of 5 Lakhs & 25 Lakhs respectively along with the opportunity of field trial and access to technology validation.

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