Current Affairs - Agriculture & Allied Sector

Department of Fisheries Launch Matsya Sampada Jagrukta Abhiyan

On 15th September, 2023, the Matsya Sampada Jagrukta Abhiyan program was launched, marking the completion of three successful years of Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojna (PMMSY).

Key Points

  • Objectives of the Campaign: Matsya Sampada Jagrukta Abhiyan aims to enhance outreach across India and ensure 'last-mile connectivity.'
  • The campaign will run for six months from September 2023 to February 2024, featuring 108 events.
  • It focuses on disseminating information and knowledge about the achievements of the Government of India over nine years, highlighting beneficiary success stories, and reaching 2.8 crore fish farmers and 3477 coastal villages.
  • Background: Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) is the flagship scheme of the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Government of India, launched on September 10, 2020, to promote the fisheries sector's growth.
  • PMMSY consolidates efforts from various schemes and initiatives to boost India's fisheries sector, contributing to income generation, employment, and technology infusion.

India Launches Unified Portal for Agricultural Statistics (UPAg)

On 15th September, 2023, India introduced the Unified Portal for Agricultural Statistics (UPAg), an innovative online platform developed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (DA & FW), marking a significant milestone in agricultural data management.

Key Points

  • Reduced Search Costs: The UPAg Portal is envisioned as a public good, reducing search costs and enhancing access to reliable, detailed, and unbiased agricultural data.
  • Crop Estimates and Integration: The platform is designed to generate crop estimates and integrate with other systems that produce agriculture statistics, including price, trade, procurement, and stock data, according to an official statement.
  • Tackling Data Challenges: The Agriculture Ministry stated that the UPAg portal would address various challenges such as the absence of standardized data, unverified data, and scattered data.
  • Facilitating Data-Driven Decisions: The Agriculture Ministry stated that the UPAg initiative aims to offer real-time, standardized, and verified agricultural commodity data, enabling data-driven decision-making for policymakers, researchers, and stakeholders.

India and WOAH Partner to Strengthen Pandemic Preparedness with a One Health Approach

On September 11th and 12th, 2023, the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Government of India, along with the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) conducted a multi-sectoral workshop titled "Risk-based management of spill over events in wildlife in India" in Hyderabad.

Key Points

  • Key Objectives of the Workshop: The workshop focused on four primary objectives:
  • Enhancing stakeholder knowledge about wildlife-origin disease risk analysis.
  • Conducting a comprehensive gap analysis of India's risk assessment and management.
  • Simulating disease spillover scenarios.
  • Fostering communication and awareness among relevant stakeholders.
  • Importance of Cross-Sectoral Collaboration: The workshop's conclusion emphasized the significance of adopting a One Health approach and promoting cross-sectoral collaboration for effective pandemic preparedness.
  • Global Collaboration for Pandemic Mitigation: The joint efforts of WOAH and the Government of India in this workshop demonstrate their commitment to building a safer, healthier, and more sustainable world in a context where the health of wildlife, domestic animals, and humans is interlinked.

First Global Symposium on Farmers' Rights Launched

On 12th September, 2023, the President of India officially opened the inaugural Global Symposium on Farmers' Rights in New Delhi.

Key Points

  • Symposium Organizers: The symposium is organized by the Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (International Treaty), under the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome.
  • India's Biodiversity: India, despite occupying only 2.4 percent of the world's land area, is home to 7-8 percent of recorded plant and animal species globally.
  • It boasts a vast agro-biodiversity, which has been a valuable resource for the global community.
  • Indian farmers have preserved local plant varieties, domesticated wild plants, and nurtured traditional varieties that have served as the foundation for crop breeding programs, ensuring food and nutritional security.
  • Significance of Farmers: The President acknowledged farmers as the foremost conservers of crop diversity, emphasizing their vital role in protecting and reviving various plant and species varieties essential to humanity.

Government Releases Report on 6th Census of Minor Irrigation Schemes

On 26th August, the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation unveiled the findings of the 6th census on minor irrigation schemes.

Key Points:

  • Scheme Distribution: The country reports a total of 23.14 million minor irrigation (MI) schemes, with 94.8% being Ground Water (GW) schemes and 5.2% Surface Water (SW) schemes.
  • Groundwater and Surface Water Breakdown: Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana lead in Groundwater schemes, while Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Odisha, and Jharkhand excel in Surface Water schemes.
  • Scheme Types: GW schemes include dugwells, shallow tube wells, medium tube wells, and deep tube wells, while SW schemes comprise surface flow and surface lift schemes.
  • Increase in MI Schemes: The 6th census shows a rise of about 1.42 million MI schemes compared to the previous census.
  • National Growth: GW schemes increased by 6.9%, and SW schemes increased by 1.2% nationally.
  • Dominant Scheme Types: Dug-wells lead, followed by shallow tube-wells, medium tube-wells, and deep tube-wells.
  • Ownership and Usage: 97.0% of MI schemes are 'in use', 2.1% are 'temporarily not in use', and 0.9% are 'permanently not in use'.
  • Ownership Pattern: 96.6% of MI schemes are privately owned, with a higher share in GW schemes (98.3%) than SW schemes (64.2%).
  • Inclusion of Gender Data: For individually owned schemes, 18.1% are owned by women.
  • Finance Sources: Around 60.2% of schemes have a single source of finance, while 39.8% have multiple sources.
  • Single Source of Finance: Majority (79.5%) of schemes with a single source are financed by individual farmers' savings.

'A-HELP' Programme

Under the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Union Government launched the 'A-HELP' (Accredited Agent for Health and Extension of Livestock Production) initiative and an Infertility Camp in Gujarat, with a focus on empowering women and enhancing livestock productivity.

Key Points

  • Empowering Women and Livestock: The 'A-HELP' programme and Infertility Camp are poised to empower women, boost livestock productivity, and drive socio-economic progress.
  • Women as Agents of Change The 'A-HELP' programme engages women as trained agents to contribute to disease control, Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM) through artificial insemination, animal tagging, and livestock insurance.
  • Pashudhan Jagrati Abhiyaan: Aligned with the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Pashudhan Jagrati Abhiyaan emphasizes equipping farmers with knowledge and resources for livestock health, disease management, and animal infertility.
  • Workshops and Awareness Camps: State Veterinary Universities and Animal Husbandry Departments collaborate to conduct workshops and awareness camps.
  • Enhancing Livestock Well-being: The initiative provides essential nutritional supplements, mineral mixtures, dewormers, and medicines through collaboration with Indian Immunological Ltd.
  • Training Sessions: Practical training sessions for students aim to enhance scientific livestock management techniques, benefiting rural communities.
  • Socio-economic Impact and Department Vision: These efforts are expected to elevate rural communities' socio-economic prospects, reinforcing India's global livestock market presence.

Revolutionary IoT-based Soil Testing System "Bhu-Vision" Launched at ICAR-IIRR

On 3rd August, a groundbreaking advancement in agricultural technology, the IoT-based automated soil testing and agronomy advisory platform, Bhu-Vision (also known as KRISHI-RASTAA Soil Testing System), was officially introduced at ICAR-IIRR, Hyderabad.

Key Points:

  • Collaborative Effort: The technology, jointly developed by ICAR-IIRR and KrishiTantra, was manufactured by HiMedia Laboratories and marketed by BhoomiSeva (HCF Tech Services Pvt. Ltd.).
  • Efficient Testing: Bhu-Vision conducts 12 key soil parameter tests in just 30 minutes, providing quick and accurate results to farmers and stakeholders through mobile-based soil health cards.
  • Symbolic Handover: The launch featured the symbolic handover of 25 Bhu-Vision devices to ICAR-IIRR, demonstrating the partnership between technology providers and the institute.
  • Promising Future: The launch of Bhu-Vision marks a promising future for agricultural technology, contributing to the nation's soil health map and enhancing understanding of the agricultural landscape.

Indian Prime Minister Launches "Urea Gold" Coated with Sulphur

On 27th July, 2023, India’s Prime Minister introduced "Urea Gold," a new variety of urea coated with sulphur, during an event in Rajasthan's Sikar, along with several other initiatives to support farmers in the state.

Key Points:

  • Urea Gold: Addressing Sulphur Deficiencies: Urea Gold is a novel type of urea that comes coated with sulphur, designed to tackle sulphur deficiencies in the soil.
  • It is hailed as an "innovative fertiliser," offering improved nitrogen use efficiency, reduced consumption, and enhanced crop quality compared to neem-coated urea.
  • Economical and Efficient: The slow-release mechanism of nitrogen due to sulphur coating provides plants with sustained nutrients.
  • The fertiliser's composition ensures less urea usage, while offering more nourishment to boost crop yield.
  • Added Humic Acid for Enhanced Longevity: Urea Gold incorporates added humic acid, further extending its effectiveness.
  • It is estimated that 15 kg of Urea Gold provides benefits equivalent to 20 kg of conventional urea, making it an efficient substitute for urea consumption.
  • Other Pro-Farmer Projects Launched: In addition to Urea Gold, Prime Minister also launched the 14th Instalment of PM KISAN Scheme and inaugurated various projects in the state.
  • He introduced the onboarding of 1500 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) on Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC).
  • Dedication of PM Kisan Samriddhi Kendras (PMKSKs): During the event, PM dedicated 1.25 lakh PM Kisan Samriddhi Kendras (PMKSKs) to the nation. T
  • These centres aim to provide comprehensive support to farmers, offering information on agricultural inputs, testing facilities for soil, seeds, and fertilisers, as well as details about various government schemes.

Ministry of Agriculture Launches BHARAT Campaign

The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare has launched the BHARAT (Banks Heralding Accelerated Rural & Agriculture Transformation) campaign. This campaign is part of the Agri Infra Fund (AIF) and aims to raise Rs 7200 crore to support agricultural and rural development initiatives.

Key Points:

  • Duration and Operational Period: The BHARAT campaign will run for one month, starting from July 15, 2023, to August 15, 2023.
  • Purpose of the AIF: The Agri Infra Fund (AIF) was introduced in July 2020 to offer comprehensive financial assistance to farmers, agri-entrepreneurs, FPOs (Farmer Producer Organizations), PACS (Primary Agricultural Credit Societies), Cooperatives, and SHGs (Self-Help Groups).
  • The fund's focus is on creating post-harvest management infrastructure and developing community farming assets across the nation.
  • Funds: A total of 1 Lakh Crore will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans under the AIF, with an interest subvention of 3% per annum.
  • Credit Available: The Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) scheme will offer credit guarantee support for loans up to Rs 2 crore.
  • Supervision: The AIF's functioning will be managed and monitored through an online Management Information System (MIS) platform. To ensure effective monitoring and feedback, National, State, and District level monitoring committees will be established.
  • Tenure of AIF operations: The AIF's operational period spans from FY2020 to FY2029 (10 years).

Five Agricultural Products of Kerala granted GI Tag

Recently in December, 2022 five agricultural products of Kerala- Attappady Attukombu Avara, Attappady Thuvara, Onattukara Ellu, Kanthalloor-Vattavada Veluthulli, and Kodungalloor Pottuvellari have been granted Geographical Indication (GI) status.

  • With the latest five GIs, 17 agricultural products of Kerala facilitated by the Kerala Agricultural University have received the GI status.
  • This achievement is the result of the team work of Kerala Agricultural University, Department of Agriculture, and farmer groups of the respective areas.
  • The unique features of the products, imparted by the agro-climatic conditions of the geographical area of their production, are the basis for getting geographical indication tag.

Other GIs Tags awarded

Adding to the present collection of Geographical Indications (GIs), nine new items, including -

  1. Gamocha of Assam
  2. Tandur red gram of Telangana
  3. Raktsey Karpo apricot of Ladakh, and
  4. Alibag white onion of Maharashtra

Highlights of the Agriculture Products

Attappady Attukombu Avara


  • It is curved like a goat’s horn as its name indicates.
  • Its higher anthocyanin content compared to other dolichos beans imparts violet colour in the stem and fruits.
  • Anthocyanin is helpful against cardiovascular diseases along with its anti-diabetic properties.
  • The higher phenolic content of Attappady Attukombu Avara imparts resistance against pest and diseases, making the crop suitable for organic cultivation.

Attappady Thuvara

(Red Gram)

  • It is having seeds with white coat.
  • Compared to other red grams, Attappady Thuvara seeds are bigger and have higher seed weight.

Onattukara Ellu


  • Onattukara Ellu and its oil are famous for its unique health benefits.
  • Relatively higher antioxidant content in Onattukara Ellu helps in fighting the free radicals, which destroy the body cells.
  • Also, the high content of unsaturated fat makes it beneficial for heart patients.

Kanthalloor-Vattavada Veluthulli


  • Compared to the garlic produced in other areas, this garlic contains higher amount of sulphides, flavonoids, proteins and also rich in essential oil.
  • It is rich in allicin, which is effective against microbial infections, blood sugar, cancer, etc.

Kodungalloor Pottuvellari


  • This snap melon, which is harvested in summer, contains high amount of Vitamin C.
  • Compared to other cucurbits, nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, fibre and fat content are also high in Kodungalloor Pottuvellari.

About GI Tag

  • Recognised by the World Trade Organization (WTO), GI is used to denote the geographical territory from where a product, be it agricultural produce, natural product, or manufactured.
  • It conveys the assurance of quality, distinctiveness, and attributes that are unique to that specific geographic region/place of origin.
  • India became a signatory to this convention, when, as a member of WTO, it enacted the Geographical Indications (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, which came into effect on September 15, 2003.
  • To protect the GI of goods, a GI registry has been established to administer the GI of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, under the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks.
Showing 1-10 of 45 items.