Vivian Fernandes

Articles By Vivian Fernandes

109 Articles

Chlorophile | Tech-churn for Indian agriculture

From resistance to change to digital transformation, agriculture has come a long way. Digital start-ups are connecting smallholder farmers with large buyers, automating farm operations, curing deficient soils, minimising post

Digital agri-trading: Sowing the seeds of growth

Just as IRCTC made online railway reservations popular, e-NAM, under the new legal framework, can make digital trading de rigeur for farmers and traders

Reaping carbon credits from agriculture

Setting benchmarks for carbon sequestered or abated through farming and roping in companies to commercialise carbon credits can create a carbon market for the farm sector, helping agricultural income grow

Agriculture is one of the biggest emitters of GHGs.

Paddy straw decomposer is not a substitute for no-burning-stubble management practices

Pusa Decomposer, as it called after the name of the institute’s campus in Delhi, is a mix of seven fungi that produce enzymes to digest cellulose, lignin and pectin in paddy straw.

It is important for farmers to stay on the message, which is that straw is best retained in the field, on the surface

GM crops: Going around in circles

Confined field trials of genetically-modified crops and confounded agri-tech companies

He did not act on the GEAC’s 2017 recommendation to allow the cultivation of GM mustard despite the GEAC reiterating its decision and the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences passing a resolution in support and writing to the Prime Minister.

Making palm oil attractive again

To avoid collateral damage, the domestic industry has adopted the Indian Palm Oil Sustainability Framework in association with an NGO. This is similar to the best practices adopted by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (R

Banning pesticides: Make haste slowly

Do these bans and restrictions have a scientific basis?

A case of policy flip-flop? No permission to Flipkart for online food retailing, while others are doing it

It is difficult to Understand why the govt has refused permission to Flipkart for online food retailing, citing FDI policy, while other e-com players are doing it.

Touting the government’s liberal attitude to foreign investment, the agriculture minister had reiterated the FDI policy on food retailing in reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha on February 7.

Retaining improved air quality after Covid-19 lockdown

Three-tier mixed species forests along the Yamuna can scrub air columns of pollutants

CO2 emissions, air quality of cities, International Energy Agency, global energy, india emissions, co2 emissions, covisd 19 lockdown, delhi AQI, air pollution

Fruit for thought! Lockdown has forced farmers into shock sales — and debt

Everyone in the banana supply chain seems to be gaining from the lockdown, except growers.

Covid-19 impact: Making seeds available for monsoon sowing is essential

The federation cites China, Thailand and the Philippines as examples of countries that have given priority for seeds among goods for transportation.

Rasi Seeds says it is the largest supplier of genetically-modified Bt cottonseed, with a third of the market share. (Representative image)

How solarisation of irrigation can conserve groundwater and provide income to farmers

About 10 diesel pumps in the vicinity of the solar pumps became uncompetitive and quit the market. The cooperative’s members still made more money at Rs 12.5 a unit than they would have if they had sold that power to the ut

A pump needs 20 units of solar electricity to water a bigha. (Representative image)

Why ICAR needs to reinvent itself

If ICAR is to reinvent itslef as an agile research organisation and India's public agricultural R&D infrastructure is to be strengthened, transparency is a must

ICAR, Right to Information act, Central Board of Excise and Customs, NITI Aayog, National Research Centre 

Draft genome-editing guidelines are restrictive

In Argentina, which is a large food exporter, if the final plant variety has transgenic material, it is regulated as a genetically-modified organism.

Mirzapur could wipe away India’s onion tears

The sandy loam of the Indo-Gangetic Plain is just right for onions as it drains well. A drive, thus, to encourage production in this belt could check onion price fluctuations.

Straw-man stands threaten crop stubble management

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) estimates that Punjab and Haryana produced 28 million tonnes of rice straw in 2018. 36% of it was left in the fields. A fifth was removed. The rest was burnt.

Stubble burning, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, SAFAR, air quality, Delhi, NCR, delhi air pollution 

Seed-tech firms are looking to charge farmers on the basis of crop outcome 

Crop yield is influenced by the genetic traits of seeds, as also by factors like composition of the soil, organic matter, presence of beneficial microbes, moisture, temperature, nutrients, and crop protection measures.

Seed tech firm, farmer, crop outcome , harvest, Crop Science Division, US, Europe, Indian Agricultural Research Institute 

Reaping riches from rice research

From developing varieties that don’t need flooding of fields to enriching the grain’s nutrient content, IRRI is making rice a wonder crop

rice production, Ayarate, rice variety, Green Revolution in rice, quality rice, Vitamin A, zinc, iron, IRRI, Direct Seeded Rice

UP govt must take steps to manage diabetes during pregnancy

Men and non-expectant women are regarded as having diabetes if their blood glucose level is above 199mg/dl. If it is in the 139-199mg/dl range, they are in the pre-diabetes stage.

The threshold level above which blood sugar levels are considered abnormal is lower in pregnancy.

Why India’s dalhan success will elude tilhan

Though palm oil has a high proportion of unhealthy saturated fats-45% compared to 6% in mustard oil-there is no way India can affordably meets its growing needs without relying on it.

india, annual import, annual export, edible oil, crude palm oil, sunflower oils, Soybean oil, Independence Day

Agricultural growth needs warehousing reforms

Customers initially allowed him to do so, but when they realised he was gaining more than the warehouse rents, they renegotiated the contracts.

Back to basics with zero-budget natural farming

The back-to-basics leap must await the results of ZBNF trials being conducted under the aegis of ICAR and an investigation by a committee appointed by the NITI Aayog.

Satyagraha for GM technology: Who will compensate farmers for losses?

Government’s lack of accountability on GM crops is driving farmers to commit illegality, And risk monetary fines & prison sentences.

bt crop, agriculture sector, agriculture industry

Dispelling falsehoods about GM crops

What India can learn from the Philippines, which set up a Biotech Program Office in 2000 to promote the responsible use of agri-biotechnology to sustain food security

Making contract farming suitable for farmers

Do farmers’ rights under PPVFR Act mean trading rights? The PepsiCo case could’ve decided this.

Farm production: Are we growing enough pulses?

We are moving towards self-sufficiency. The annual pulses production averaged 23.7 million tonnes in the past three years, an 80% increase over the average of the three-year period ending 2003-04. This was led by chickpea, wh

Farm production, pulses, Peter Carberry, ICRISAT, Support prices of pulses, pulses production, ICAR, kharif crops, Kabuli chana

India’s silent chickpea revolution: How agri-scientists in Andhra Pradesh are resurrecting the crop

Once a winter favourite for farmers in North India, the crop lost ground there to wheat and rice. But, in Andhra Pradesh's hot climes, it is being ressurected by research efforts of agri-scientists.

The chickpea varieties cultivated in northern India thrived in cold winters and matured in about 150 days. (Illustration: rohnit phore)
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