. Energy News .

Use space technology for food security: Former ISRO chief
Sujit Chakraborty
Agartala (IANS) Feb 15, 2012

DuPont to build Beijing seed bank
Washington (AFP) Feb 14, 2012 - US chemical and agribusiness giant DuPont announced Tuesday it will build a "state-of-the-art" seed bank in Beijing to boost its molecular breeding business in China's rapidly growing agriculture market.

DuPont said the facility at the state-owned Beijing International Flower Port would employ about 50 researchers and would focus on producing "high-yielding maize hybrids."

The announcement came as China's leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping visited the White House for a meeting with President Barack Obama.

The company -- worth $50 billion -- said the research will help "improve the sustainability of farming in China, while enhancing food security."

"This is a further extension of how DuPont is investing in global science to identify solutions locally," DuPont executive William Niebur said in a statement.

"We will bring superior products to market for Chinese farmers supporting the policy direction provided in Chinas newly released No. 1 Document."

The document, from the top echelon of the Communist Party of China, laid out strategy for rural development and water management.

Molecular breeding blends seed varietals to produce desired results, instead of splicing in foreign genes.

India must embark on a "new evergreen revolution" with the extensive use of appropriate bio- and space technology inputs to ensure food security for all and enable the country to compete successfully in a globalised economy, says renowned space scientist U.R. Rao.

India's population is bound to cross 1.6 billion by 2050, which will demand doubling of our foodgrain production to ensure food security to all our people, according to him. And in the past one decade, India's agricultural production has remained stagnant between 220 and 240 million tonnes. Agricultural productivity (1.8 tonne per hectare) is much less than the world productivity of 2.6 tonne per hectare.

The solution, the former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said, lay in the application of science and technology.

Rao was a member of an expert committee headed by economist A. Vaidyanathan which in a recent report to the agriculture ministry suggested using remote sensing technology in the development of agriculture. The committee has also recommended setting up of a National Crop Statistics Centre to deal with all aspects of crop area and yield estimation.

In a free-wheeling chat with IANS here Tuesday, Rao said development of Indian satellites and their posting at the space orbits were for the development of humankind.

"Improvement and posting of satellites in space are meant for development of agriculture, education, health and medical treatment, forest and environment, communication, resource assessment and banking business."

Rao, who was here to attend the 4th convocation of the National Institute of Technology, Agartala, as guest of honour, said India's remote sensing satellites were being used to monitor and manage agricultural practices.

These include analysis of cropping system (satellites provide valuable inputs for diversification and intensification of crops), mapping of sodic and usar soils, assessing the impact of droughts and floods, weather forecasting and monsoon prediction.

He said the Indian software industry had emerged as the fastest growing economic sector from a modest $150 million two decades ago to over $75 billion. Closely following IT, bio-technology had now become the new pulse and the buzz, with a revenue exceeding $5 billion.

It has been found that plant biotechnology offers significant and tangible benefits to farmers, consumers and the environment-- from increased agricultural productivity to improved food quality, increased farmer incomes, and reduction in the environmental impacts of agriculture.

In a flourish, Rao added, "We in the next few decades would not only explore the solar system planets but also must begin exploiting the mineral and energy resources of other planets."

Related Links
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

'Geo-Wiki' to improve land use data
Laxenburg, Austria (UPI) Feb 14, 2012 - Researchers in Austria say a new Web-based interactive tool will improve the accuracy and extent of global land use and forest cover information.

Scientists at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis say the new "Geo-Wiki" tool uses Google Earth and information provided by a global network of volunteers to fill in "data gaps" and to verify existing land cover information.

Land cover data is increasingly vital as nations attempt to balance issues such as agricultural production for food security with their objectives regarding climate change or biodiversity conservation, the researchers said.

"Global land cover information available to policymakers and the research community today is derived from remote sensing," Steffen Fritz, leader of the Geo-Wiki development team, said in an IIASA release Tuesday.

"While there are several excellent regional and national land cover datasets already available that capture some basic information, there are still many regions where the information derived from satellite sources is conflicting, or inconsistent, across the datasets."

The researcher said they are encouraging volunteers to log on to the site at www.geo-wiki.org, identify where they are in the world, view the information already available via the Google map and, to the best of their ability, provide their interpretation of the land cover in the area.

"Geo-Wiki is one tool to start bridging this information gap, integrating information, and, ultimately, we believe supporting the development of more integrated policy and management decisions," Fritz said.


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Integrated weed management best response to herbicide resistance
University Park PA (SPX) Feb 14, 2012
Over-reliance on glyphosate-type herbicides for weed control on U.S. farms has created a dramatic increase in the number of genetically-resistant weeds, according to a team of agricultural researchers, who say the solution lies in an integrated weed management program. "I'm deeply concerned when I see figures that herbicide use could double in the next decade," said David Mortensen, profes ... read more

NASA Scientist and Education Award Winner Leads Student Phytoplankton Study

3-D Map Study Shows Before-After of 2010 Mexico Quake

Spaceborne Precipitation Radar Ships from Japan to U.S.

Infrared Sounder on NASA's Suomi NPP Starts its Mission

US regulators pull plug on LightSquared

GIS Technology Plays Important Role to Map Disease and Health Trends

GPS court ruling leaves US phone tracking unclear

Russia May Spend Almost $12 bln on Glonass in 2012-2020

UN recognizes US Girl Scouts for palm oil effort

Ethanol mandate not the best option

Grass to gas: UGA researchers' genome map speeds biofuel development

Study: Mandating ethanol wrong solution

Sustainable land use strategies to support bioenergy

Tandem polymer solar cells set record for energy-conversion

Solar panels could double as a roof

Oldest Family Mushroom Farm in the US Goes Solar

Powell Energy and Solar Completes Complex Install for N.J. Church

Japan firms plan wind farm near Fukushima: report

New EU wind power capacity near level

PMO ensures Coal India supplies adequate to power plants

Adani to mine coal in Australia?

China coal mine accident kills 15, injures 3

China appoints new head of restive Tibetan area

China vows to take steps to improve human rights

China police officer killed in Tibetan area: state media

Tibetan nun self-immolates in China: rights groups

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement