Important Current Affairs For UPSC ESE PRELIM 2020 EXAM: Part 5

Important Current Affairs For UPSC ESE PRELIM 2020 EXAM: Part 5

Current Affairs Related to Agriculture


  • The Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) has added nine minor forest produce (MFP) items to its minimum support price (MSP) for MFP scheme.
  • The total number of MFPs covered under the list is 49.
  • The nine new items are: Bakul (dried bark), Kutaj.(dried bark), Noni/Aal (dried fiuits), onapatha/Syonak pods, Chanothi seeds, Kalihari (dried tubers), Makoi (dried fiuits), Apang plant and Sugandhrnantri roots/tubers.


  • The Government has launched the “Green – Ag:.Transforming Indian Agriculture for global environmental benefits and the conservation of critical biodiversity and forest landscapes” in association with Global Environment Facility (GEF).
  • The project would be implemented in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in high-conservation-value landscapes of five States namely,

(i) Madhya Pradesh: Chamba Landscape,
(ii) Mizoram: Dampa Landscape,
(iii)Odisha: Similipal Landscape,
(iv) Rajasthan: Desert National Park Landscape and
(v) Uttarakhand: Corbett-Rajaji Landscape.

  • The Green-Ag project seeks to integrate biodiversity, climate change and sustainable land management objectives and practices into Indian agriculture.
  • The project supports harmonization between India’s agricultural and environmental sector priorities and investments to realise the national and global environmental benefits without compromising on India’s ability to strengthen rural livelihoods and meet its food and nutrition security.
  • The Global Environment Facility was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems.


  • Associations including the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI), Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF), Food Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) together have formed the Smart Food Executive Council.
  • It is formed under the aegis of the Smart Food Initiative that was launched in 2013.
  • Its objective is to diversify staples which can have the strongest impact on nutrition, the environment and farmer welfare.
  • This would contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for overcoming poverty and hunger (SDG 1 and 2), responsible consumption and production (SDG 12), along with adaptation to climate change (Goal 13). The approach taken will include gender equality (SDG 5) and action through partnerships (SDG 17).


  • The Finance Minister announced the allotment of ₹750 crore to the Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM). The objective is to get native breeds to produce more milk, be more fecund, and to raise the quality of Indian cows and bulls to eventually outdo Jerseys and Holsteins. To conserve and develop indigenous bovine breeds, government has launched ‘Rashtriya Gokul Mission’ under the National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development (NPBBD).


  • Government inked pact with IBM India for undertaking a pilot study to utilise Artificial Intelligence (AI) and weather technology solutions in agriculture.
  • The pilot study will be conducted for the Kharif crop season 2019 in three districts – Bhopal, Rajkot and Nanded – in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra, respectively.
  • IBM will give solution in the field of agriculture through AI and weather technology at village level/ farm level to provide weather forecast and soil moisture information on pro bono basis to help farmers for taking decisions regarding water and crop management for better production and productivity.

Steps taken for AI

  • Center of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence (CoE in AI) by National Informatics Centre (NIC) which is a platform for innovative new solutions in AI space, a gateway to test and develop solutions for projects undertaken by NIC at central and state level.
  • A Statement of Intent has been signed between NITI Ayog and IBM to develop Precision Agriculture using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Aspirational Districts.
  • Government has begun the use of Artificial Intelligence on pilot basis for crop cutting and yield estimation under scheme Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yoajana.
  • Microsoft India is using AI sensors to make farming and healthcare smart.



  • It is a price support mechanism implemented on the request of State l Governments. It is for procurement of perishable and horticultural commodities in the event of a fall in market prices.
  • The Scheme is implemented when there is at least 10% increase in production or 10% decrease in the ruling rates over the previous normal year.
  • Its objective is to protect the growers of these horticultural/agricultural commodities from making distress sale in the event of bumper crop during the peak arrival period when prices fall to very low level.
  • The Department of Agriculture & Cooperation is implementing the scheme.
  • The area of operation is restricted to the concerned state only.
  • The MIS has been implemented in case of commodities like apples, kinnoo/malta, garlic, oranges, galgal, grapes, mushrooms, clove, black pepper, pineapple, ginger, red-chillies, coriander seed etc.

Important Current Affairs For UPSC ESE PRELIM 2020 EXAM: Part 4