Agriculture - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare launched which quality mark logo at New Delhi?
- Published on 21 Jul 17

a. National Dairy Development Board
b. National Dairy Development Authority
c. National Dairy Development Scheme
d. National Dairy Development Programme
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: National Dairy Development Board

Explanation:
Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh on July 20, 2017 launched National Dairy Development Board “NDDB’s” Quality Mark “Logo” at Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi.

The Agriculture Minister also presented certificates to 14 selected manufacturing units for adopting food safety and quality management systems and adhering to Quality Mark parameters.

NDDB Quality Mark “Logo” is being launched as an umbrella brand identity.

This “Logo” signifies safe and quality milk and milk products from dairy cooperatives.

This reinforces the consumers’ recognition that the Quality Mark is synonymous with good quality.

The Minister said that NDDB’s Quality Mark will provide dairy cooperatives and producer institutions the much-needed brand identity and a competitive edge.

This will also contribute to building consumer confidence in dairy cooperative brands.

It is aimed at bringing about process improvement in the entire value chain from producer to the consumers to ensure availability of quality milk and milk products.

This initiative does not propose any new/additional system for Food Safety and Quality Management but lays down the processes required for ensuring quality and safety.

An eleven member Management Committee will oversee the activities of the Quality Mark. It has members from the DADF and Managing Directors of four Federations representing the regions.

The Management Committee also has a representative of FSSAI and two experts in dairying.

Interested Federations/Cooperative dairies/Educational institutions/Govt. dairy units may apply for the Quality Mark.

Only dairy units that adopt food safety and quality management systems for milk and milk products and adhere to parameters given the guidelines of Quality Mark are eligible.

The Agriculture Minister said that award of Quality Mark shall be valid for three years subject to maintenance of quality, food safety standards and compliance with the terms and conditions of the agreement.

Approval for award of Quality Mark shall be valid for three years, surveillance audit for checking compliance with the norms of the quality mark shall be held once every year.

Following the roll out of the initiative in January 2016, the NDDB has received 55 applications from the cooperatives across the country.

Of these, 14 units have successfully cleared the two stage assessment process.

The remaining 31 dairies were informed about the areas of improvement. They have been provided 6-9 months for implementing the corrective measures.

Initiative of NDDB will facilitate and strengthen the efforts of FSSAI.

It will also create requisite awareness among various dairy units across the country for adopting the quality measures detailed the guideline document.

Operational norms of participating dairy units will be monitored and validated. The assessment is a two-step process involving pre-assessment and a final assessment.

The pre-assessment largely covers the village level procurement and processing infrastructure availability, training manpower and the retail sales.

Only those units that score over 70% in the preliminary assessment are considered for final assessment which is done by a team of three experts of which one is an external expert.

The final assessment is made for the evaluation of critical and major parameters that influence the quality of the processed milk and milk products.


2)   Which state is leading in the production of litchi?
- Published on 30 May 17

a. Bihar
b. Odisha
c. Jharkhand
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Bihar

Explanation:
Bihar is also focused on research to develop new varieties and techniques of litchi farming to increase its production and to share information with the Extension Division.

Bihar is the top litchi producing State in the country. In Bihar, about 300 thousand metric tonnes of litchi is being produced from 32 thousand hectares of area.

Bihar’s contribution in the production of litchi is about 40 percent. Considering the importance of litchi, National Research Centre on Litchi was established on June 6, 2001.

The contribution of Muzaffarpur district in litchi’s production is impressive, but there is a need to increase the productivity of litchi, which is currently 8.0 tonne.

For this, all the government institutions, cooperatives and farmers will have to come forward.

Scientists at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and National Research Centre on Litchi have succeeded in treating litchi and preserving it for 60 days at low temperature.

The litchi producers will have to produce superior quality fruits for which National Research Centre on Litchi has developed several techniques.

The National Research Centre on Litchi is providing about 35-40 thousand plants every year to various institutions/states in the country.

National Research Centre on Litchi is working closely with other institutions of ICAR and agricultural universities of the state and the development centres of the Central and State Governments like National Horticulture Board, APEDA, National Horticulture Mission etc.

Centre has implemented ICAR’s Farmers First project in East Champaran district. As many as 1,000 families from 8 villages (Mehsi Block-Uzhilpur, Bakri Najir, Damodarpur Village, Chakia Block- Khairwa, Ramgarha, Jishnupura, Ojha Tola- Vaishah and Chintanpur-Malahi Tola village) are reaping the benefits of several new techniques.


3)   Which mango received the GI tag in May 2017?
- Published on 08 May 17

a. Banganpalle mango
b. Malda mango
c. Alphonso mango
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Banganpalle mango

Explanation:
The Banganapalle mango in the first week of May 2017 received a Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

This makes Andhra Pradesh the proprietor of the variety known for its sweetness.

The registration was given following an application from Andhra Pradesh Horticulture Commissioner.

The Andhra Pradesh government is the registered proprietor of the GI tag for Banganapalle mangoes, often hailed as “the king of fruits.”

It also known as Beneshan, Baneshan, Benishan, Chappatai and Safeda.

These mangoes are large sized, weighing on an average 350-400 grams.

The pulp is fibre less, firm and yellow with sweet taste. These mangoes have been grown for over 100 years in the state.

What is a GI Tag: Know More

  • A geographical indication is a name or sign used on certain products, which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin.
  • The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 came into force with effect from 15 September 2003.
  • GIs have been defined under Article 22(1) of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights(TRIPS) Agreement.
  • The tag ensures that none other than those registered as authorised users (or at least those residing inside the geographic territory) are allowed to use the popular product name. Darjeeling tea was the first GI tagged product in India.


4)   India is set to produce _______ MT of foodgrains in 2017-2018 crop year, according to Agriculture Ministry.
- Published on 26 Apr 17

a. 253
b. 273
c. 263
d. 233
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 273

Explanation:
The country aims to produce 273 MT of foodgrains in the crop year 2017-2018 commencing July and maintaining 4 percent farm growth in anticipation of a good monsoon.

Food grain production is estimated to touch a record 271.98 MT in the current year (July-June) on the back of good rains after two years of drought, according to the second estimate of the agriculture ministry.

Foodgrain production target for next year is set at record 273 million tonnes, the ministry announced at a two-day national conference that is discussing sowing strategy for the coming kharif season.

Southwest monsoon is forecast to be normal which will help achieve the desired target.

It may be noted that 50 percent of the foodgrain output comes from both kharif (summer) and rabi (winter) seasons.

Kharif crops are normally sown in around 72 million hectares. Rice, pulses (tur, urad and moong), oilseeds (groundnut and soybean), cotton and sugarcane are main crops grown in this season.

The country expects another year of good monsoon. A 4 percent agri-growth rate will be maintained in 2017-18.

Since kharif crops are heavily dependent on the performance of the southwest monsoon, the states should plan for all possible scenarios like delayed onset of rains, prolonged dry spells and less/excess rains.

States have been asked to help farmers to buy the crop insurance policy Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana and aim to insure 40 percent of the sown area (194 million hectares) in 2017-18 crop year.

Another area of focus is the supply of quality seeds and achieve the target of 23 million tonnes in 2017-18.

Stress is on diversification, market reforms and setting up of state and district committees for monitoring of agri-schemes.

According to the agriculture ministry, there is sufficient supply of seeds for the forthcoming kharif season.

For instance, about 83.46 lakh quintals of paddy seeds and 3.75 lakh quintals of tur dal seeds are available.

Fertiliser requirement is estimated to be 28.99 million tonnes for the season.

The two-day national conference is deliberating on how to increase food grain production in the next year and implement technology and new innovations in the farm sector.


5)   For what purpose have Ministry of Agriculture (under RKVY Yojana) and NRSC(ISRO) signed an MoU in April 2017?
- Published on 10 Apr 17

a. Geological analysis of soil
b. Geological analysis of crops
c. Geo tagging agricultural assets
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Geo tagging agricultural assets

Explanation:
Union Agricultural Ministry has partnered the National Remote Sensing Centre, ISRO for geotagging agricultural assets.

Agriculture Ministry under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana and NRSC/ISRO have signed an MoU to this effect.

It will improve governance due to real-time monitoring and effective utilisation of agricultural assets such as ponds, crop area, warehouses and laboratories etc.

Currently, officials provide information on the assets manually, so there is no transparency.

Geo-tag will provide realistic status of assets.

It will not only help in monitoring and utilising assets but will be useful in formulating schemes for development in the agricultural sector.

It will also help in avoiding duplication of data.

Utilisation of space technology will help farmers to further get access to pesticide testing labs, storage infrastructure, and market-related information.

What is RKVY?

  • RKVY is a special Additional Central Assistance Scheme.
  • It was launched in August 2007 as a part of the 11th Five Year Plan.
  • It was aimed to orient agricultural development strategies, to reaffirm its commitment to achieve 4% annual growth in the agricultural sector during the 11th plan (2007–11).
  • It was also launched to incentivise the States to provide additional resources in their State Plans over and above their baseline expenditure to bridge critical gaps.
Geotagging
  • It is the process of adding geographical identification like latitude and longitude to various media such as a photo or video.
  • It helps user to find a wide variety of location-specific information from a device.
  • It provides users the pinpoint location of the content of a given picture.
  • Geomapping is a visual representation of the geographical location of geotagged assets layered on top of map or satellite imagery.


6)   Where has the Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers welfare launched an ICFMD?
- Published on 03 Apr 17

a. Arugul, Odisha
b. Bhubaneshwar, Odisha
c. Cuttack, Odisha
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Arugul, Odisha

Explanation:
Union minister for agriculture and farmers’ welfare Radha Mohan Singh on April 1, 2017 inaugurated International Centre for Foot and Mouth Disease (ICFMD).

It is built at a cost of INR 200 crore at Arugul on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.

The one-of-its-kind research centre in South Asia, will help analyse exotic virus strains in order to develop diagnostics and vaccines to prevent their incursion.

Development and upliftment of farmers, who are backbone of the country, is the first priority of the government and the aim is to double the income of farmers by 2022.

As foot and mouth diseases an infectious and sometimes fatal viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals, including domestic and wild bovids, such a research centre will be beneficial to find out the remedies for the disease.

This is 10th in the world and it is dedicated to the nation on the occasion of Utkal Divas, the formation day of Odisha.

Established by Indian Council of Agricultural Research, the state-of-the-art research centre with high containment laboratory facility will cater to the need of researchers and scientists for safe handling of FMD virus as per international norms.

Though 70 countries have eradicated the disease successfully, it is still endemic in India and has a direct bearing on the rural economy and farmers who depend on the cattle for eke out their living.

Stating that India is number one in milk production in the world, production will increase further and the loss of nearly INR 23,000 crore per annum will be prevented if the disease is controlled and eliminated.

The government will provide Rs 600 crore more to the centre for equipment and research.

The economic losses caused by the disease are mainly due to the loss in milk production and reduction in the working ability of the animals.

Export is hampered because countries free from the disease refuse to accept milk and its products, meat and hide from the country.


7)   ICAR and ICRISAT signed an agreement for _______.
- Published on 20 Mar 17

a. Crop improvement
b. Transfer of agricultural technologies between two institutes
c. Development of climate smart crops, smart food
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All of the above

Explanation:
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research/ICAR and the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) on March 15, 2017 signed an agreement for crop improvement.

Agreement was signed between the Director ICAR and DG ICRISAT.

The agreement is called the ICAR-ICRISAT collaborative work plan for 2016-2018 facilitates the transfer of agricultural technologies between the 2 institutes.

Climate smart crops, smart food and digitalization of breeding database are core research areas covered under the agreement.

Partnership includes funding to research grain legumes and dry land cereals and support for smart food initiative to deliver nutritionally rich, sustainable products to consumers.

On the point of crop improvement front, the agreement will facilitate research activities on transgenic pigeon pea and chickpea for insect resistance.

Other focus areas over the next three years include the integration of systems modelling tools to upscale climate resilient agriculture, development of genetic and genomic resources of finger millet and enhancing genetic gains for priority traits.

ICAR: Know More

  • ICAR is an autonomous organization under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education.
  • It was set up as the Imperial Council of Agricultural Research on 16th July 1929 as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act 1860 by the UK government.
  • The Council is an apex body for coordination, guidance and management of research and education in agriculture, including fisheries, animal sciences and horticulture across the nation.
  • ICAR is one of the largest national agricultural systems in the world.
  • It is headquartered in New Delhi.

  • ICRISAT

  • International organisation conducting agricultural research for rural development.
  • It is headquartered in Patancheru in Hyderabad, Telangana.
  • It was established in 1972 by a consortium of organisations convened by the Ford, Rockfeller foundations.
  • Its charter was signed by FAO and UNDP.
  • Headquarters: Patancheru
  • Founded: 1972
  • Motto: Science with a Human Face


8)   What is Mission Fingerling for?
- Published on 15 Mar 17

a. Holistic development and management of fisheries
b. Initiating Blue Revolution
c. Both of the above
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

Explanation:
The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare on 11 March 2017 launched Mission Fingerling.

This is a programme aimed at achieving the Blue Revolution by enabling holistic development and management of fisheries.

The main motive behind this programme is to enhance the fisheries production from 10.79 mmt (2014-15) to 15 mmt by 2020-21.

To spur development in the fisheries sector, the Union Government envisaged a program named Blue Revolution.

The Blue Revolution focuses on an enabling environment for an integrated and holistic development and management of fisheries for the socio economic development of fish farmers.

This program with a total expenditure of around INR 52000 lakh will facilitate the establishment of hatcheries and Fingerling rearing pond to ensure the fish production of 426 crores Mission Fingerling.

Around 25.50 crores Post Larvae of shrimp and crab in the country will also be covered. This will converge in the production of 20 lakh tonnes of fish annually and will benefit about 4 million families.

Mission Fingerling: Know More

  • It lays greater emphasis on infrastructure with an equally strong focus on management and conservation of the resources through technology transfer.
  • Productivity enhancement will also be targeted through integration of various production oriented activities.
  • This includes production of quality fish seeds, cost effective feed and adoption of technology etc.
  • Fish Fingerling production is the single most important critical mission visualised to achieve fish production targets under the Blue Revolution.
  • Use of high yielding verities of brooders is another significant aspect to be addressed on priority.
  • The Union Agricultural Ministry identified 20 States based on their potential and other relevant factors to strengthen the Fish Seed infrastructure in the country.


9)   What does AISEF stand for, in context of spice farming?
- Published on 14 Feb 17

a. All India Spices Exporters Forum
b. All India Spices Education Forum
c. All India Spices Employment Forum
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All India Spices Exporters Forum

Explanation:
The International Spice Conference, beginning here on Feb 12, will deliberate on effective strategies and innovative technologies to improve the livelihood of spices farmers and address challenges being faced by the industry.

More than 700 delegates representing various states, Industry leaders from 40 countries, International Spice Associations representatives, Policy makers and End-Users are among those participating.

The second edition of the conference would also address food safety concerns, demand supply disparity and ways to foster sustainable growth.

The conference is being hosted by the All India Spices Exporters Forum (AISEF) which represents about to 80% of spices exports from India in collaboration with Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

AISEF celebrated its Silver Jubilee last year by laying a milestone with the first International Spice Conference (ISC) at Goa focusing on Sustainability and food safety of the spice industry.

The central theme of the conference would be “21st Century Spice Industry - Disrupt or be Disrupted.”

Sessions: India's International Spice Conference

  • Spice Cultivation & Challenges Ahead,
  • Products and Operational Excellence-Innovation,
  • Disruption in Spice Quality standards- Food safety and Sustainability,
  • Codex MRLs- Need for reforms and
  • Value Added Spices- Building a Culture of Innovation


10)   Which royal monarch released a new digital green app for Indian farmers?
- Published on 06 Feb 17

a. Queen Elizabeth
b. Queen Victoria
c. Prince Charles
d. Prince William
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Prince Charles

Explanation:
British royalty Prince Charles has launched a new Digital Green App.

This is for Indian farmers. The app aims to help them sell their crops online. It is part of the prince's charity initiatives for India.

The 68-year-old British royalty provided details of the app part of the Rural Livelihoods Fund created by the British Asian Trust in 2017.

The trust is also in the process of setting up a development impact bond for promoting children's education in Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Through this initiative, locally led solutions such as digital app will permit farmers to sell crops and arrange transport for crops online.

The Prince of Wales is the founder and president of BAT. This organisation works towards empowering people in South Asia by harnessing the diaspora in the UK.

This innovative idea will be supported by the Indian government and the Rabo Bank.

According to BAT, India has 25 per cent of the world's small farms, around 118 million in total.

It also holds that more than 50 per cent of Indians rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.

Small holders live mostly In poverty. Prince Chalres launched the Indian focused fund in 2016.


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