Science: Food Production and Animal-Husbandry: Biofertilizers (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Biofertilizers

Biomass/Organic Manure

Organic manures are all these natural ingredients (except water) which increase soil fertility. When mixed with the soil. From the scientific perspective organic manure includes material remnants such as grass, the droppings/urine of birds/animals or parts of organisms etc. usually all nutrients are contained in these remnants in small quantity.

Fertilizer

Fertilizers contain one, two or three essential nutrients in large amounts. These fertilizers are prepared commercially in a factory. Nitrogenous fertilizers are usually given in two or three doses.

Control of Weeds

Weeds are those useless plants like Xanthium, Parthenium and Cyprus rotundas that grow along with crops in fertile soil. These weeds complete with the main crop for sunlight, water and space, weeds also take away nutrients from the soil. This reduces the crop yield. Hence, for better yield, weeds should reduce the crop yield. Hence, for better yield, weeds should be removed from the fields in the beginning itself.

Control of Crop-Pests and Diseases

Insect pest attack plants in three ways:

  • They cut off the roots, branches and leaves.
  • They suck the cellular fluids from various parts of the plants and
  • They make holes in the branches and fruits.

Storage of Grain

After harvesting, grains need to be stored. If there is lack of proper storage facilities, then the grain is vulnerable to attacks by insects, worms, fungi and various kinds of microbes.

Storage of Grain

Following is a list of some techniques that have been developed to prevent the grain from deteriorating as well as maintaining their safe storage.

  • By drying: Grain can be dried in the sun, or it can be dried by exposing it to hot/warm air.
  • By maintenance of storage vessels: The godown, sacks, tanks or vessels used for storage of grain should not have crack or holes in them. They should be clean.
  • Chemical treatment: Prior to storage, there is sprinkling of insecticides and fungicides chemicals on the godowns and the storage vessels. Fumigation (in the form of insecticidal mix or fumigant) is also used. This is known as chemical treatment. Grain is also treated with neem leaves, black pepper and oil. This is an organic cure that prevents insects from ovulating (laying eggs) .
  • Vessels related to storage: Now-a day՚s such storage vessels of specific shapes are being manufactured. They are not only air free, but also rodent free and moisture free. Also, they maintain an even temperature too. Some of their names are as follows: Pusa Bin, Pusa Cubide, ‘Pusa Kothar’ -SILOS.

Animal Husbandry

Animal husbandry is that branch of science which is concerned with the management of various methods of better production of food items and procurement of better services from animals. Animal husbandry includes producing proper nutrition to animals, and management of issues related to reproduction and control of diseases.

Biotechnology in Agriculture

When plant cells, tissues (collection of cells) and plant parts are used to drive useful products by mixing them with nutrients in test tubes or beakers, it is termed Biotechnology

Agricultural biotechnology can be of two types:

  • Tissue or cellular culture
  • Genetic engineering

Tissue or Cellular Culture

Tissue culture involves separating of plant cells and tissues and culturing them in nutrient media in test tubes or beakers. Plants grown in this manner are then transplanted in the fields. Through this process better quality plants can be grown in a short period of time. This technique is highly effective for conservation of rare plants or those on the verge of extinction.

Genetic Engineering

This includes the transfer of a specific gene or DNA from a plant into the cells of another plant. In this process, gene/DNA is transferred from one plant to another through the use of recombinant DNA technology. DNA of one plant is entered into the genetic material of the other plant. Such plants are called transgenic plants. This technique is used to produce better quality plants.

Food Security

Food security can be defined as the timely and convenient availability of food, for all the people of a particular region or country.

Food security is dependent upon the following factors:

Availability of Food

Availability of food refers to food production, food consumption and storage of grain in governmental godowns in the preceding years.

Access to Food

This indicates that food is within the reach of every person in the country.

Capacity to Bear Food Expenses

This refers to availability of many with each person to buy safe, nutritious food for his daily needs.

Steps to Ensure Food Security Taken by Government

Buffer Stocks

Buffer stocks are those stocks of grains that are obtained by the government through the medium of Food Council of India (FCI) . Wheat and Rice have been included in the buffer stock. The Indian Food Council buys wheat and rice from the farmer of these regions, where they are grown in surplus. The farmers are paid a predetermined sum for their crops this sum is called the Minimum Support Price.

Public Distribution System

The grain obtained from the Indian Food Council is distributed among the poor sections of society via the state-controlled Ration shops. This is known as the Public Distribution mechanism. Today, ration shops exist in majority of the neighborhood of our cities, towns as well as villages.

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