Scientists have decried the decision by two German universities to pull the plug on field trials of genetically modified (GM) crops, calling it a "disgraceful' interference with scientists' freedom to research.

three months after imposing a ban on the cultivation of gm crops, France's upper house of parliament, the Senate, on April 16 passed a bill laying down conditions for growing such crops.

Farmers Welfare and Agriculture Development Department is making all out efforts for conveying the benefits of the state government's welfare schemes to farmers with a view to making agriculture a profitable business. As a result of these efforts, Madhya Pradesh now stands on top as far as production of pulses, oilseeds, gram, maize and soyabean is concerned. State's share in soyabean production is 57.42 per cent.

Blame your biofuel fixation, not India and China, Bush is told

LOGIC and empirical facts do not necessarily form a part of United States President George W. Bush's assertions. Five years ago, he went to war against Iraq to unearth weapons of mass destruction that weren't there. And now, in 2008, he blames India's burgeoning middle classes for the northward

At your local kirana store, the middle income upwardly mobile Indian can be found buying branded atta which he proudly takes home and also a kilo of jwar and makka which he buys daily to feed the pigeons in his neighbourhood locality square. A mile away in a squatters colony, under a plastic shed a family of 5 also buys 1 kilo of makka daily to feed their hungry stomachs.

Bad weather is threatening a big shortfall in this year's US maize harvest, according to US officials, risking a further upward push to food and energy prices. Maize is the main feedstock for US ethanol. A further rapid rise in its price is likely to add to growing concern on Capitol Hill that federal biofuel subsidies are worsening the food crisis.

Biotechnology companies, who argue they could help solve the global food crisis, are hoping for a boost on Wednesday as regulators attempt to overcome the deadlock over growing genetically modified food in the European Union. With just one crop, an insect-resistant maize, approved for cultivation in the past decade and after several governments instituted GM bans in recent months, in violation of EU law, the European Commission has called for a rethink of the process.

Like bt cotton, hybrid varieties of maize, having higher protein content have the potential to create a revolution in the country, ensuring nutritional security to poor as well as for poultry industry, farm experts said. Under the quality protein maize (QPM) programme, there are atleast 10 varieties of maize available in the country. Protein content in QPM is about 74% while it is only 37% in normal maize. Interestingly, protein quality of QPM is 90% of that of milk, they said.

Agriculture holdings in Jammu and Kashmir like the rest of country are found in many parcels dispersed in several places all over the village and even sometimes beyond village boundaries. Parcelization of holdings is considered as negatively correlated to productivity. It hampers full and proper utilization of land.

MARHATGAM (HANDWARA):The farmers of this village, 11 kilometers from Handwara town, and many other villages on Nowgam road that leads to the Line of Control have been asked by army not to cultivate maize crop on grounds that militants are hiding in the crop and attacking the convoys. However, army said the farmers can cultivate alternate crop in which militants can not hide. It termed it a step to save the convoy from militant attacks.