Agriculture Current Affairs July 2023

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NABARD’s 42nd Foundation Day 2023- 12th July

  • On July 12, 2023, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) celebrated its 42nd anniversary of being founded. Amit Shah, Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation, hosted the event in Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, Delhi.
  • The day was celebrated with a number of activities across the nation, including a webinar titled “NABARD: 42 Years of Rural Transformation.”
  • In his remarks during the webinar, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, highlighted the crucial role that NABARD has played in the advancement of rural India by boosting agricultural productivity, building infrastructure, and encouraging financial inclusion.

Lok Sabha has passed the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023

  • The Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023 was passed by the Lok Sabha, amending the Forest (Conservation) Act of 1980. The bill expands the list of activities excluded from non-forest purposes and specifies the types of land under the Act’s purview. It also grants exemptions for certain lands from forest clearances.
  • However, the bill restricts the Act to legally notified forests recorded after October 25, 1980, potentially excluding ecologically significant areas like the Aravallis hills and globally recognized biodiversity hotspots. There are concerns about exemptions for construction projects like zoos and eco-tourism facilities, which may not be true natural ecosystems.
  • The bill also grants unrestricted powers to the Union government to specify “any desired use” beyond the original or amended Act, potentially leading to forest exploitation without proper environmental scrutiny. Critics argue that the bill’s provisions may disenfranchise forest-dwelling communities by not considering other relevant forest laws.
  • It is important to strike a balance between forest conservation and economic activities, taking into account environmental assessments for development projects. Recent incidents, such as the one in Joshimath, Uttarakhand, highlight the need for thorough geological and environmental assessments for all development activities impacting forests and natural ecosystems.
India 1st time hosted the Global Food Regulators Summit 2023 in New Delhi
  • India hosted the Global Food Regulators Summit 2023 for the first time as part of the G20 summit. The summit, which took place in New Delhi from July 20th to 21st, 2023, aimed to establish a global platform for food regulators to exchange ideas on how to improve food safety systems and regulatory frameworks. The event was organised by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
  • Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, opened the summit and emphasised the importance of collaboration in ensuring safer food across the food value chain. The conference provided an opportunity for regulators to interact, discuss best practices, and address common challenges, thereby contributing to global improvements in food safety standards.
India’s First Cannabis Medicine PPP with Canadian Enterprise at CSIR-IIIM Jammu
  • The Council Of Scientific And Industrial Research-Indian Institute Of Integrative Medicine (CSIR-IIIM) in Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) has launched a “Cannabis Research Project” in collaboration with IndusCann Limited, a Canadian company headquartered in Toronto. This project, which is being carried out under a scientific agreement between CSIR-IIIM and IndusScan, is the first of its kind Cannabis Medicine Project in India under Public Private Partnership (PPP).
  • The Minister visited the CSIR-IIIM Cannabis Cultivation Farm to learn about the cultivation practices for Cannabis in the institute’s protected area and the scientific work being done on this important plant. CSIR-IIIM is the first institute in India to acquire a license for cannabis cultivation.
Tamil Nadu’s Authoor Betel Leaves received GI Tag
  • The Authoor Betel Leaves, which are cultivated in the Authoor village of Thoothukudi district in Tamil Nadu, have been awarded the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tag. The GI tag certificate was issued by the Geographical Indications Registry to the Thoothukudi district administration in April 2023.
  • The efforts to secure the GI tag were supported by the Tamil Nadu State Agriculture Marketing Board and the NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) Madurai Agribusiness Incubation Forum (MABIF). The GI tag has been registered in the name of “Authoor Vattara Vetrilai Vivasayigal Sangam.”
  • The cultivation of these betel leaves covers an extensive area of approximately 500 acres and spans various regions, including Mukkani, Authoor, Korkai, Suganthalai, Vellakoil, and other Mukkani villages.

National Mango Day – 22 July

  • National Mango Day is celebrated on July 22nd every year to honor the delicious and nutritious tropical fruit, mango, and to recognize its cultural significance, popularity, and versatility in culinary delights.
  • The National Horticulture Board of India established the International Mango Festival in 1987 to honor the mango.
Kerala’s KUFOS to Establish India’s First Fisheries AIC with a Rs 10 Crore Grant
  • In other news, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) in Kochi, Kerala is planning to establish India’s first Atal Incubation Centre (AIC) for fisheries with a Rs 10 crore grant from NITI Aayog.
  • The goal of this project is to promote innovation, entrepreneurship, and technological advancements in the fishery and allied sectors.
  • The research will be spearheaded by KUFOS, with supervision from Radhika Rajasree SR, Professor and Head of the Department of Fish Processing Technology at KUFOS.
International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystems 2023 – July 26
  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) International Day for the Conservation of Mangrove Ecosystems is observed annually on July 26th to raise awareness about the importance of these ecosystems as a “unique, special, and vulnerable” natural environment.
  • The day is used to advocate for sustainable management, conservation, and responsible use of mangrove ecosystems.
World Nature Conservation Day – 28 July
  • Every year on July 28th, World Nature Conservation Day is observed. The goal of this day is to raise awareness about the need to protect our natural resources and to inspire individuals, organizations, and governments to take action to conserve our world.
  • The theme for World Nature Conversation Day 2023 is ‘Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet.’

Urea Gold Launched by GOI

On July 27th, 2023, during his visit to Rajasthan, PM Modi launched ‘Urea Gold’, a new variety of Urea coated with Sulphur to address Sulphur deficiencies in the soil.

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