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TOPIC: GS 3 Major Crops – Cropping Patterns in various parts of the country, – Different Types of Irrigation and Irrigation Systems; Storage, Transport and Marketing of Agricultural Produce and Issues and Related Constraints; E-technology in the aid of farmers.

Becoming ‘Atmanirbhar’ in edible oils:

What is the news?

  • Recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a 11,000­crore National Edible Oil Mission­Oil Palm to make India self­reliant in edible oils.
  • It has been for a while emphasising that the forex savings from reduced edible oil imports can be spent on encouraging farmers to take up palm and oilseeds cultivation in a big way.

Various Statistical Reports

  • India is already the world’s largest importer of edible oil with a share of 20.7 per cent, followed by the EU (13.5 per cent) and China (12.8 per cent).
  • The second­largest consuming country, India needs about 25 million tonnes of edible oil a year to meet its domestic requirements
  • About 10 million tonnes of edible oil is produced domestically from primary  soybean, rapeseed and mustard, groundnut, sunflower, safflower and niger
  • The secondary sources  palm oil, coconut, rice bran, cotton seeds and tree borne oilseeds.
  • The remaining 60 per cent of requirement is met through imports.
  • The dependence on imported edible oil is a huge drain on foreign exchange reserves.
  • The share of palm oil is about 60 per cent of the import bill, worth about 45,000 crore, followed by soybean oil with a share of 25 per cent and sunflower 12 per cent.

Palm oil plans

  • It spread across 19 Southern and the Northeastern States.
  • India has currently only about 3.3 lakh hectares in 16 States under oil palm cultivation.

The challenges ahead

  • The largest exporters of palm oil are Indonesia and Malaysia, where conditions like farm size, socioeconomic conditions, the system for agriculture and environmental conditions are completely different from India.
  • In Indonesia usually owned by corporations and make up nearly 70 per cent of the area under oil palm.
  • Oil palm is a water intensive crop and is more suited for cultivation in rain abundant regions. Ex: Andhra Pradesh

The way forward

  • There is need to attract corporate bodies towards palm oil production and derive maximum benefit of 100 per cent foreign direct investment.
  • The States wasteland, degraded land, and other lands can be given on lease, rent or bought by private entrepreneurs, cooperative bodies or joint ventures for oil palm plantation.
  • A combination of individual farming, contract farming and captive plantation can boost oil palm cultivation in the country.
  • Farmers need to be nudged and incentivised to cultivate oil palm and oil- seeds.
  • For oil palm, they should be compensated at least for six years for their land against the potential loss and should also be provided with a one­time irrigation subsidy.
  • This way India can reduce its dependence on imports from Malaysia and Indonesia.
  • It will also help us save foreign exchange to empower our own country’s farmers.
  • The need of the hour is to minimise our dependence on imported edible oil.

Mains Question

Explain how the forex saved from the cutting the import bill can go in boosting farmers to cultivate edible oilseeds ?

Sources : https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/palm-oil-prices-increase-by-more-than-82-in-5-years/article35767799.ece

PRELIMS PUNCHERS

  1. Circular Economy for Plastic

Recycling of plastics is one part of the solution needed to create a circular economy for plastics. By turning waste into raw materials, materials are kept in use and the need for virgin plastic is reduced. In a circular economy, the use of plastic should be fully decoupled from the consumption of finite resources. It involves designing and promoting products that last and that can be reused, repaired and remanufactured. Business models based on reuse, leasing, repair and remanufacturing could generate four times more jobs than waste treatment, disposal and recyclin

The “New Plastics Economy” must be a circular economy which eliminates waste, maximises value, and uses plastic efficiently. In doing so it will help protect our environment, reduce marine litter, greenhouse gas emissions and our dependence on imported fossil fuels.

Sources : https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/a-circular-economy-for-plastic/article35825072.ece

  1. A ballistic missile

It follows a ballistic trajectory to deliver one or more warheads on a predetermined target. These weapons are guided only during relatively brief periods most of the flight is unpowered. Short-range ballistic missiles stay within the Earth’s atmosphere, while intercontinental ballistic missiles are launched on a sub-orbital trajectory. These weapons are in a distinct category from cruise missiles, which are aerodynamically guided in powered flight

It will  fly above the atmosphere have a much longer range than would be possible for cruise missiles of the same size. Powered rocket flight through thousands of kilometers of air would require vastly greater amounts of fuel, making the launch vehicles larger and easier to detect and intercept. Powered missiles that can cover similar ranges, such as cruise missiles, do not use rocket motors for the majority of their flight, but instead use more economical jet engines. India successfully test-fired Agni-P, also known as Agni Prime, the next generation nuclear-capable ballistic missile in India’s nuclear arsenal, from Odisha’s Balasore

Sources : https://theprint.in/defence/agni-prime-is-the-new-missile-in-indias-nuclear-arsenal-this-is-why-its-special/687271/

  1. World Land Trust

It is one of five signatories to a new fundraising alliance that aims to raise £20million to ensure the future survival of wild Asian Elephants in India. The five non-governmental organisations are Elephant Family, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), IUCN Netherlands, World Land Trust and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), united with a common goal under the umbrella of the Asian Elephant Alliance. With 100 elephant corridors documented by WTI in consultation with the forest departments, this alliance aims to secure a safe passage for India’s elephants, which comprise approximately half of the world’s wild Asian elephant population.

India is home to just over half the world’s wild Asian elephant populations. The Asian elephant is classified as Endangered by IUCN and requires immediate conservation assistance. But, every day people and elephants in India die as the conflict for space becomes more intense. The shared vision of members of the Asian Elephant Alliance is a safe and certain future for the wild elephants of India. The alliance aims to raise to secure 100 corridors across India by 2025 for 30,000 Asian Elephants.

Sources : https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/india-moves-to-include-elephant-bustard-in-global-conservation-list/article30784719.ece 

  1. Shevaroy Hills

It is located near the city of Salem, in Tamil Nadu state, southern India. It is one of the major hill stations in Tamil Nadu and in the Eastern Ghats. it also represents the highest peak in southern part of the Eastern Ghats, with the Solaikaradu peak towering to 1620 m above mean sea-level. It is nestled parallel to the lower Chitteri – Kalrayan hills, just north of the Kolli Hills and Pachaimalai Hills hills. Westwards, lie the Mettur hills. This range forms an important link in the southern part of Eastern Ghats hill chain.

It have several old coffee plantations, and a sanatorium. The major areas of tourist interest are the Yercaud Orchidarium of the Botanical Survey of India, and the old coffee estate. The faunal and floral elements high up here have stark similarities to the Western Ghats. Such highlights include Neelakurinji in the peaks here, which apart from upper reaches of Western Ghats, is not known from the Eastern Ghats elsewhere. Natural forests apart, coffee and citrus fruits, most notably oranges, are grown in abundance, as well as bananas, pears and jackfruit.

Sources : https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/public-demand-action-over-froth-in-thirumanimutharu/article29402989.ece

PRELIMS QUESTIONS

  1. Consider the following statement with regard to ballistic missile
  2. These weapons are guided only during relatively brief periods most of the flight is unpowered
  3. It follows a ballistic trajectory to deliver one or more warheads on a predetermined target

Select the correct statement using code given below.

(a). 1only       (b) 2 only

(c).Both       (d). None of above

Answer : C

It follows a ballistic trajectory to deliver one or more warheads on a predetermined target. These weapons are guided only during relatively brief periods most of the flight is unpowered. Short-range ballistic missiles stay within the Earth’s atmosphere, while intercontinental ballistic missiles are launched on a sub-orbital trajectory. These weapons are in a distinct category from cruise missiles, which are aerodynamically guided in powered flight

It will  fly above the atmosphere have a much longer range than would be possible for cruise missiles of the same size. Powered rocket flight through thousands of kilometers of air would require vastly greater amounts of fuel, making the launch vehicles larger and easier to detect and intercept. Powered missiles that can cover similar ranges, such as cruise missiles, do not use rocket motors for the majority of their flight, but instead use more economical jet engines. India successfully test-fired Agni-P, also known as Agni Prime, the next generation nuclear-capable ballistic missile in India’s nuclear arsenal, from Odisha’s Balasore

Qn 2.Consider the following statement with regard to Shevaroy Hills

1.It is located in Kerala

  1. It is important link in the southern part of Eastern Ghats hill chain.

Select the correct statement using code given below.

(a). 1only       (b) 2 only

(c).Both       (d). None of above

Answer :

It is located near the city of Salem, in Tamil Nadu state, southern India. It is one of the major hill stations in Tamil Nadu and in the Eastern Ghats. It also represents the highest peak in southern part of the Eastern Ghats, with the Solaikaradu peak towering to 1620 m above mean sea-level. It is nestled parallel to the lower Chitteri – Kalrayan hills, just north of the Kolli Hills and Pachaimalai Hills hills. Westwards, lie the Mettur hills. This range forms an important link in the southern part of Eastern Ghats hill chain.

It have several old coffee plantations, and a sanatorium. The major areas of tourist interest are the Yercaud Orchidarium of the Botanical Survey of India, and the old coffee estate. The faunal and floral elements high up here have stark similarities to the Western Ghats. Such highlights include Neelakurinji in the peaks here, which apart from upper reaches of Western Ghats, is not known from the Eastern Ghats elsewhere. Natural forests apart, coffee and citrus fruits, most notably oranges, are grown in abundance, as well as bananas, pears and jackfruit.

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