Agriculture - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   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

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.


  • 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

2)   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

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.

3)   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

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

4)   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

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.

5)   What does RubSIS stand for in the context of commerce and industry?
- Published on 24 Jan 17

a. Rubber Soil Information System
b. Rubber Solar Information System
c. Rubber Soil Info System
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rubber Soil Information System

Commerce & Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman launched the Rubber Soil Information System (RubSIS).

RubSIS is an online system for application of appropriate mix of fertilizers to specific plantations of robber growers based on the soil nature.

It was launched in New Delhi on 23rd Jan 2017.

RubSIS has been developed by Rubber Research Institute of India, under the Rubber Board in partnership with three agencies namely:

  • Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Kerala
  • National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, ICAR and
  • National Remote Sensing Center, ISRO
The system brings soil data to the rubber growers and recommends the optimum mix and quantities of chemical fertilisers required by his holding.

It is a cost effective tool for scientific management of rubber growing soils.

It also promotes sustainability by preventing excessive use of chemical fertilisers and resulting soil degradation.

RubSIS will also lead to reduction in the cost of rubber production, increase in productivity and reduction of environmental pollution.

Scientific and user friendly, this tool has been launched in Kottayam, Kerala.

Kottayam is the largest rubber growing district of India.

The system will be extended to the entire rubber growing areas of Kerala and TN this year.

Rubber Plantations in India: Know More
  • First rubber plantations in India were set up in 1895 on the hill slopes of Kerala.
  • However, rubber cultivation on a commercial scale was introduced in 1902.
  • Kerala is the largest producer of natural rubber with Kottayam, Kollam, Ernakulam, Kozhikode districts being responsible for production.
  • Tamil Nadu is the second largest producer of rubber but lags far behind Kerala.
  • Nilgiri, Madurai, Kanniyakumari, Coimbatore and Salem are the chief rubber producing districts of Tamil Nadu.
  • Karnataka's Chikmagalur and Kodagu are the main producing districts.
  • Tripura and Andaman & Nicobar Islands also produce small quantities of rubber.
  • In India, consumption of rubber is almost always higher than the production and the production.

6)   The 1st International Agro Biodiversity Congress led to the adoption of _______
- Published on 11 Nov 16

a. Mumbai Declaration on Agro-biodiversity Management
b. Delhi Declaration on Agro-biodiversity Management
c. Chennai Declaration on Agro-biodiversity Management
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Delhi Declaration on Agro-biodiversity Management

The 1st International Agro-Biodiversity Congress was held in New Delhi from Nov 6 - Nov 9 2016.

  • It concluded with the adoption of the Delhi Declaration on Agro-biodiversity Management.
  • Event saw the participation of 900 people from 60 nations.
  • During the Congress, the delegates of all countries discussed various aspects of access, conservation and use of agro-biodiversity in 16 technical sessions, 4 satellite sessions,a gene bank roundtable, public forum, farmer’s forum and poster sessions.
  • Based on these deliberations, the delegates adopted the Preamble and following declaration at the concluding session of Nov 9, 2016.
  • Participating nations called to accord top priority to agro-biodiversity conservation and their sustainable use towards attaining targets of SDGs relating to poverty alleviation, nutritional security and food, good health, gender equity and partnership.
  • They recognised the vital aspects of traditional knowledge to the agro-biodiversity conservation and their sustainable use towards attaining SDG targets pertaining to poverty alleviation and much more.
  • Policy makers were asked to strengthen strategies and researchers to employ modern technologies for the purpose of ensuring science for all and promotion of agro-biodiversity.
  • India was chosen to host the Congress on account of its diverse nature.
  • It takes up only 2.4 percent of the world’s land area, harbouring 7-8 percent of all recorded species.
  • According to the Convention on Biological Diversity 2014, species that live in India include 45,000 species of plants and 91,000 species of animals according to CBD 2014.

7)   NITI Aayog on 31st Oct 2016 launched the first agricultural index of its kind. What is it called?
- Published on 03 Nov 16

a. Agricultural Marketing and Farm Friendly Reforms Index
b. Agricultural Marketing Index
c. Agricultural Farm Friendly Reforms Index
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Agricultural Marketing and Farm Friendly Reforms Index

NITI Aayog on 31st Oct 2016 launched the first ever Agricultural Marketing & Farm Friendly Reforms Index.

  • The index was led by Maharashtra.
  • Maharashtra has implemented most of the marketing reforms and offers an amazing environment for agribusiness among states and UTs.
  • Maharashtra topped the index with a score of 81.7 out of 100.
  • Gujarat ranks second with a score of 71.5.
  • Rajasthan stood third with a score of 70.0 and MP scored 69.5.
  • Almost 75% of the states could not reach the halfway mark of reforms score.
  • Major states such as UP, Punjab, WB, Assam, Jharkhand, TN and J&K are in this group.
  • Some states and UTs either did not adopt the APMC Act or revoke it– these include Kerala, Bihar, Daman & Diu, Manipur, Dadra and Nagra Haveli and Andaman and Nicobar.
  • They were therefore not included in this ranking.
  • NITI Aayog launched an index to rank states and UTs based on implementation of seven provisions under the model APMC Act, joining the eNAM initiative, special treatment to fruits and vegetables for marketing and level of tax in mandis.
  • The second area of reforms included in the index is relaxation in restrictions related to leasing in and out agricultural land and change in law to recognise tenant and safeguard land owners liberalisation.
  • The third area included in the index represents freedom to farmers for felling and transit of trees grown on private land- this indicates an opportunity to diversify farm business.

Indicators represent:
  • Ease of doing agribusiness as well as opportunities for farmers to benefit from modern trade and commerce and have a wider option for sale of his/her produce.
  • Efficiency, competitiveness and transparency in agri markets.
  • Index has a score which can have minimum value zero implying no reforms and maximum value 100 implying complete reforms within the selected areas.
  • States and the UTs have been ranked in terms of the score of the index.

8)   Field trials of GM Mustard are complete. If approved, it will become the ____ genetically modified food crop to be grown commercially in the country.
- Published on 29 Aug 16

a. First
b. Second
c. Third
d. Fourth
Answer  Explanation 


Field trials of GM Mustard are complete and an application from DU’s Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants is pending before the government.
Once approved, GM mustard will be the first genetically modified crop to be grown commercially in the country.

  • Rajasthan is the country’s top mustard producing state
  • In 2010-2011, of the 48,38,258 hectares under mustard cultivation in the country, 24,84.307 was in Rajasthan
  • Over 40 percent of the total mustard produced in India comes from Rajasthan
  • Application from DU seeks to commercially grow three different varieties of GM mustard- hybrid GM mustard(DMH-11 or Dhara Mustard Hybrid-11) and its two parental lines
  • Former VC of DU Deepak Pental lead researcher championing the GM mustard said that global population was around 1.6 billion in 1900, today it was 7.2 billion.
  • Average life span at birth in India was 23 in 1900; it is now 65. Unless food production gets a technological flip, there will be shortage of food.
  • Food and trade policy analyst Devinder Sharma has said GM mustard increased productivity by 20-25 percent was a false claim. There is no known gene that can increase productivity.
  • He further added that any GM variety known to be as good as the hybrid in which the alliance gene is inserted simply means if the gene makes hybridisation easier, it does not raise crop productivity
  • On related issues of gene flow, contamination and growth of super weeds, results have been unsatisfactory so far.
  • A petition indicated that in 15 years, Bt cotton insect the crop was designed to be immune to has adapted to the new variant. Bt crop is besieged by so many pests that farmers are using more pesticides than before.

9)   MS Swaminathan pitched for the preparation and operation of which code of action for flood hit regions?
- Published on 27 Jul 16

a. Flood Code
b. Operation Flood
c. Flood Scheme
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Flood Code

Following reports of floods in the riverine portions of Bihar, Assam and WB, eminent agricultural scientist MS Swaminathan pitched for the preparation and operation of Flood Code.

  • This is an anticipatory code of action for such regions.
  • Under the Flood Code, alternative crops must be ready so that when the flood recedes, the plantation of the crops can take place in diara land which goes under water during the monsoon.
  • Strategy should be planting saathi maize, sweet potato and rice varieties with genes for stem elongation.
  • Farmers get at least one crop and some income for meeting their basic food and income needs.
  • Swaminathan is known as the Father of the Green Revolution in India.
  • Flood Code can save people in flood prone areas and enhance coping mechanism to handle extreme conditions.

10)   How many seed hubs have been approved under the National Food Security Mission with an outlay of INR 13981.08 lakhs?
- Published on 27 Jul 16

a. 93
b. 94
c. 95
d. 96
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


93 seed hubs have been approved under the National Food Security Mission against a target of 150 at the ICAR, State Agricultural Universities and Krishi Vigyan Kendras.

  • The approval has been made with an outlay of INR 13981.08 lakh.
  • 15 percent of the allocation for pulses component of NFSM is earmkared for producing quality pulses seed through the state
  • Cluster frontline demonstration of pulses in 31000 ha has been allocated to 534 KVKs for 2016-2017.
  • Government has also launched numerous web and mobile applications for disseminating information on agriculture related activities: Kisan Suvidha, Pusha Krishi, Crop Insurance, Agri Market and India Weather. Major web portals that have been developed include Farmers Portal, mKisan Portal, Crop Insurance Portal and Participatory Guarantee System of India portal.

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