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Kerala PSC India Year Book Study Materials Page 42Book's First Page
411 herbarium specimens were added to the National Herbarium of Cultivated Plants. Out of 28,516 accessions, imported from 39 countries, 2,911 were screened against biotic and 787 against abiotic stresses, and 7,343 were supplied for research use and crop improvement programme within the country. Ten phytosanitory certificates were issued for export of germ plasm. Crop Improvement Major emphasis was to develop new varieties/hybrids tolerant to various biotic and abiotic stresses with enhanced quality. 209 varieties were developed 117 high-yielding varieties/hybrids of cereals comprising 65 of rice, 14 of wheat, 24 of maize, 5 of finger millet, 3 of pearl millet, 1 each of sorghum, barley, foxtail millet, kodo millet, little millet and proso millet and released for cultivation in different agro-ecological regions of the country. Twenty eight high-yielding varieties of oil seeds, 32 of pulses, 24 of commercial crops (cotton, sugarcane and jute) and eight of forage crops were released for cultivation in different agro-ecologies. Livestock Improvement of indigenous cattle breeds through selection project was conceptualized for the genetic improvement of Gir, Kankrej and Sahiwal cattle in their home tracts. Under network project of buffalo improvement Nli-Ravi, Bhadawari and Swamp breed centres are functioning as conservation and improvement units whereas Jaffarabadi, Pandarpuri and Surti breed centres are concentrating on field progeny testing and maintaining the elite herd for bull production and a breedable herd of 567. All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on goat improvement covered 13 tribal villages and contributed for a better livelihood security for tribal people as goats are major source of income to poor people in tribal areas and North-Eastern Hill region. Under AICRP on poultry breeding all the 12 centres are working on the development of location specific rural chicken varieties. Crop Management A long-term tillage experiment in maize-wheat and rice-wheat system indicated that the wheat crop was not affected by tillage in rice or maize. Enhancing crop yield per unit water use through improved agro-techniques involving sprinklers in summer green gram indicated higher stability in Samrat over IPM 205-7. Sprinkler irrigation resulted in less water use (26.3 per cent) with higher water productivity (43.2 per cent) and net return (28.4) over flood irrigation. Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries activities, along with agriculture, continue to be an integral part of human life since the process of civilization started. These activities have contributed not only to the food basket and draught animal power but also by maintaining ecological balance. Owing to conducive climate and topography, animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries sectors have played prominent socio-economic role in India. Traditional, cultural and religious beliefs have also contributed in the continuance of these activities. They further also play a significant role in generating gainful employment in the rural sector, particularly among the landless, small and marginal farmers and women, besides providing cheap and nutritious food to millions of people.