We have all heard of the Indus Valley Civilisation.It is well known for its granaries, drainage systems and systematically planned cities like Harappa and Mohenjodaro. However, not much is known about its rise and fall; although there are various theories. In a pair of new studies published in the journals Science and Cell, a consortium of international researchers, including those from India, have tried to decipher the origins of present-day Central and South Asian people. They have used recent advances in genetics to extract and analyse genetic material (DNA) from the remains of several ancient populations, including people from the Indus Valley Civilisation.
You are here
Researchers from the University of East Anglia, UK, and the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Chennai, India, have explored how women’s work in agriculture affects nutritional outcomes for the family. The study found that although agricultural outputs have increased with women working in the farms, it has left them with little time to cater to the nutritional needs of their families and themselves, resulting in malnutrition.
Urbanisation and agricultural intensification alter rainwater draining and soil movement, says a study from IIT Bombay.
The variability of monsoon rains due to climate change affects Marathwada and Vidarbha regions the most, says a district level study.
The Ministry of Earth Sciences is set to extend the Monsoon Mission from the predicting the rains of the monsoon to disaster management. The facility will improve monsoon forecasts over the short and extended range. The programme is aimed to help the farming sector manage thier agricultural operations and water reservoirs.
It was in the 1970s that the term ‘climate change’ was coined. Agriculture is one sector that both contributes to and affected by climate change, and research around the world is now advancing towards ‘climate-smart’ agriculture. Carbon or carbon dioxide is one of the culprits for the rising temperature across the globe. Agricultural operations such as tillage, fertilization, irrigation, crop protection and so on are responsible for release of CO2 and other greenhouse gases from agricultural landscape to atmosphere.
Most methods that farmers follow today to control pests and save their crop are mostly reactive, which is done ‘after’ the damage has started. In addition, these methods either destroy other crops, or cause harm to animals that feed on them, or pollute the soil or air. Researchers have now found a ‘green’ and ‘clean’ way to detect crop pests before they start the damage. They have built a highly sensitive sensor that detects pheromones or chemicals released by insects for mating, which signal the presence of pests and thus prompt the farmers to take remedial measures.
Several studies in the recent years have focused on the health hazards of chemicals and pesticides used by farmers to protect their crops and improve their yields. Among the cocktail of poison, a controversial herbicide paraquat dichloride, marketed as Gramoxone, is infamous for its link to accidental poisoning and suicides. Now, researchers have developed a new sensor using nanotechnology that not only detects paraquat, but also estimates its amount. This innovation can help save many innocent lives that grow our food.