Arunachal Pradesh is one of the eighth states of North East India stretching over an area of 83,730 sq.km between 26030’N and 29030’N latitude, and 91031’E and 97030’E longitude. It has varied climate, ranging from sub-tropical in the south to alpine in the north and receives an annual rainfall of about 2000 to 5000 mm. Arunachal Pradesh, one of the North East Indian states is the 12th mega biodiversity region of the world which is a part of Indo-Burma and Himalaya biodiversity hotspot. It has a rich reservoir of wild edible plant species that has an immense potential to be used for development of new crops through domestication, besides being prospective source of broad gene pool of useful genetic resources essential to plant breeders.
Global climate warming can have a major impact on the functioning of crops and plants in the natural environment. A higher temperature during night time has resulted in decreased crop yields globally. It has been predicted that in the future the temperature during night time is warmer than the daytime. Due to the booming world population and increased industrial activities, it is predicted to change in the future (Smith et al., 2002). According to Meehl et al., 2007, the atmospheric CO2 concentration is predicted to reach 730 to 1020 ppm by 2100. At the same time, it is expected to increase in global mean temperature between 1.8 and 40oC, due to the rising CO2 concentration and other greenhouse gases. Since both CO2 and temperature are key factors affecting the growth and developmental phenomenon of plants. Due to their crucial role and have potential influences of climate change on plant growth, global food supply, and disease risk are attracting considerable research interest in many countries (Myneni et al., 1997; Harvell et al., 2002). Nowadays various methods have been used to study the impact of climatic parameters on plant growth and development such as temperature gradient tunnel, open-top chambers, growth chambers, glasshouses, Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE), Free-Air Temperature Enrichment (FATE), and Free-Air CO2 and Ozone Enrichment (FACO). Among all the experimental setups, phytotron is the enclosed research facility that permits the study of effects of climate variables on the plants in a precise manner.
Physical purity test is an essential part of routine seed testing (physical purity, moisture, germination and other distinguishable variety) done by recognised seed testing laboratory, Government of India. Though various purity components such as pure seed, inert matter, weed seed and other crop seed, are identified in this test, seed samples are also tested for presence of other distinguishable variety (ODV), objectionable weed seed and huskless seed so as to determine the quality of a seed lot required for meeting the seed standards for seed certification so as to deliver superior quality seed to the beneficiary.
Soybean occupies first position among the oil seed crops in terms of acreage and production in India. Besides contributing substantially to the edible oil needs of the country, it earns valuable foreign exchange by way of export of soy meal. Soybean has changed the economic status of the farmers who are growing soybean; still farmers are struggling with the problem of loss of seed quality of soybean. Good field emergence is being a problem due to one or other reasons. Soybean seed is very delicate in nature due to its structural limitations. Chemical composition high protein and high oil content also makes it vulnerable to biochemical degradation during maturity and storage. Maintaining the quality of seed produced during month of Oct-Nov up to the next sowing time in the month of June-July is a difficult task in tropical and subtropical countries like India. The climatic variability leading to delay in monsoon, drought spells of different duration at various growth stages, water logging conditions and above normal temperatures particularly at seed fill stage are the main reasons of low productivity of soybean in India. Poor germination potential of soybean seed and faster deterioration of its seed quality under ambient storage are major problem. In this article, intrinsic factors of soybean seed quality loss and practical approach to tackle the problems have been explained.
Quality seed plays crucial role in realising true genetic potential of the any variety and transferring genetic gain to the farmers. New varieties developed by breeders backed by apt seed production programme leads to rapid spread of new varieties at farmers’ doorstep. It is well proven fact that, use of quality seed of improved varieties contributes towards 15-20% increase in agricultural productivity. Therefore, it is imperative that quality seed production at farmers’ field to be strengthened and maximum number of farmers to be encouraged for quality seed production at own farm. These will results in assured seed supply of newly released varieties at faster pace and genetic gain achieved by plant breeding can be effectively transformed up to farmers’ field. However, farmer’s awareness towards use of quality seed needs to be improved in order to achieve higher Seed Replacement Rate (SRR) and varietal Replacement Rate (VRR) of the country. Efforts are being made by various Govt. agencies, State Department of Agriculture, ICAR Institutes and SAU’s to engage farmers through participatory seed production programme and extension programme and disseminate know- how of quality seed production at faster rate.
Sacred groves, which are regarded as the miscellany of climax vegetation, form a vital part of the life support system of our planet earth. They ensure that we get clean air to breathe, wholesome food and medicines and clean drinking water, not only for human beings but also for the innumerable species surviving on this earth. Studies have enumerated 13,270 sacred groves in India. Out of this, 138 ha come under undisturbed vegetation and 3,188 ha under vegetation with open canopy. Sacred groves are treasures of numerous trees and epiphytes and other living organisms like amphibians, reptiles, butterflies and birds. The trees in sacred groves are more protected due to the traditional belief and respect associated with them. However, this is absent for the ordinary trees. Sacred groves are valued and revered for several ecosystem services ranging from its role as source of food and water, mitigation of flood and drought, role in carbon sequestration and nutrient cycling and supporting the society with recreational and spiritual services. However, with modernization and changing beliefs among the younger generation, many of the groves are in the verge of extinction. There is a need to revalorize the ancient philosophy of the traditional conservation customs validating it with sound scientific back up, highlighting the ecosystem dynamics and ecological functions of the sacred groves.
In the developing countries like India, waste water management remains the most important cause for many pollution and disease spread due to poor sanitation. Grey water is the domestic waste water excluding toilet waste water gains attention in the present scenario for recycling and reuse. Application of this grey water after proper treatment can be put to many uses in urban areas thereby reducing the demand for fresh clean water. Treated grey water is well advocated in agriculture for crop cultivation. Of the total grey water generated in the country, 10% is contributed through kitchen waste water that accrues from households. Since this waste water is low in contamination, treatment through any methods is possible and feasible for reuse. Regarding the chemical composition, grey water is very less in nitrogen levels than sewage water. Unlike rainwater harvesting, grey water is not dependent on unpredictable cycles of monsoon and variability of rainfall and is therefore a reliable water resource. Further, the high nitrogen and phosphorus content that is harmful to aquatic life, when used in irrigation can make a good nutrient or fertilizer source.
Sugarcane is an important cash crop which produces higher biomass and therefore its nutrient requirement is also high. Intensive cane cultivation and inadequate supply of organic matter has led to some micronutrient deficiency. Iron is an important micronutrient which aids in photosynthesis. The occurrence of iron chlorosis is very common in Tamil Nadu. Excessive calcium influences iron chlorosis and hence it is frequently noticed in calcarious soils and is referred as lime induced chlorosis. Application of ferrous sulphate as basal fertilizer or foliar spray leads to correction of iron deficiency and paved the way for increasing cane yield.
India is rich in genetic diversity of citrus and soil and climatic factors prevailing in the country favours its cultivation. It is cultivated throughout tropical and sub-tropical regions of the country. Citrus is the third most important fruits and mandarin, sweet orange and acid limes are the predominating citrus species commercially cultivated in India. Lemons, pummel, and grapefruit are cultivated in limited scale, mostly in home gardens. However, the productivity is far behind when compared to Brazil, China, USA, Turkey, Spain and other countries. Non-availability of disease free quality planting materials, poor orchard management, phytophthora root rot, citrus greening, citrus tristeza virus, canker, salinity, drought, alkalinity, extreme temperatures, etc., are affecting the Indian citrus industry. Use of rootstocks tolerant to different biotic and abiotic stresses and better nutrient, pest and disease management, and adoption of drip irrigation, the production and productivity can be increased in the future.
Among the oilseeds, groundnut is an important crop grown nearly in 6000 ha in Srikakulam district, of north coastal Andhra Pradesh during rabi season. Non adoption of certain recommended practices is highly influencing the production of groundnut in Srikakulam district. KVK, Srikakulam has demonstrated Cluster Frontline Demonstrations to address the ICM practices in groundnut in two clusters each with 25 farmers. Yield advantage of 18.8% was noticed by farmers after adopting the ICM practices, and Rs.18320/- increase in net income per ha.
A three days training programme was organized by the ICAR- Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research, Karnal in collaboration with Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Mohanpur and Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Coochbehar during 19th-20th January, 2021on virtual mode. The aim of the programme was to create awareness for wheat disease management among farmers and promotion of newly released resistant wheat varieties in NEPZ; Preparedness of the cooperating centres for tackling diseases in wheat of NEPZ and Interaction meeting with state officials of Agri. Departments, NSC and State Seed Corporations of NEPZ. During this programme, more than 50 farmers from Nadia, Murishadabad, Malda, Dinajpur & Coochbehar districts of West Bengal participated and series of lectures on disease monitoring and disease management in wheat. During the programme information on recent varieties of wheat (DBW187, HD3249 and DBW252) and barley variety (DBW137) was disseminated to the state departments so that the varietal replacement rate in the region can be increased.