"I AM a strong supporter of science. But just because somebody says Bt brinjal is good, we need not run after it. Let our own scientists, farmers and political leaders decide what is good for our country," said Union Minis- ter of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh, here on Thursday.

If one gene is good, more genes are better. That's the mantra of plant biologists working to improve crops. Already, companies have engineered varieties that carry both herbicide and insect resistant genes.

To feed the several billion people living on this planet, the production of high-quality food must increase with reduced inputs, but this accomplishment will be particularly challenging in the face of global environmental change. Plant breeders need to focus on traits with the greatest potential to increase yield.

Forest and tree resources are managed in different types of systems that are characterized by varying management intensity and range from primary natural forests to productive industrial plantations.

New information on how plants breathe may help scientists engineer plants that require less water, according to a report published this month in Nature Cell Biology.

Industrial farming operations apply massive amounts of nitrogen fertilizer to crops

With environmental clearance from the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests in place, Bt-Brinjal has taken an important step towards its widespread cultivation. As is expected, a variety of views, supportive as well as those advocating caution have been expressed regarding the introduction of Bt-brinjal.

The Maharashtra Hybrid Seed Company Limited, popularly known as Mahyco, has a remarkable history in many ways. It was set up in 1964 by a man with farming but no business experience, and at a time when public sector research institutions and government seed companies dominated Indian agriculture.

Out of twenty-eight Oryza species, only two are cultivated. The indigenous practices of different regions vary. But the essence of the indigenous practices are low external input (LEI) based farming system, organic produce, preference for taste and quality, and a number of innovations involved.

Banana is a common horticultural crop in the Sunderbans region though there are hardly any cultivation of proven commercial elite varieties that can yield much higher incomes per unit of area under the crop.

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