Sunday, February 21, 2010

Great Inventions for water

In India, lot of villages are facing water scarcity. People are spending increasing amounts of time and energy for traveling miles together to get water.In some regions of Rajasthan, we can see the women with two pots one on another and holding a child, they spend average four hours a day and walk an average six km for drinking water. Imagine… women carrying heavy load how hard it is.
QDRUM:Hans Hendrikse, a South African architect invented the QDRUM, the drum made of low-density linear polyethylene to enable people transport of water in a safer, easier way. The Drum can be rolled rather than carrying water on their heads. This is an amazing invention to prevent drudgery and wasting of valuable working hours. It’s really helpful, if some NGO’s or any charitable organizations donate to our drought ridden states in India.See the QDRUM Video on You tube

Two-thirds of small farmers in India don’t have access to irrigation and depend on unpredictable monsoons. Their reliable source for water are only tube wells and bore wells. Tube wells and bore wells need electric motors or Diesel engines to fetch the water to surface. Irregular power cuts in electricity and diesel price hikes were adversely affected on farming crops.
International Development Enterprises (IDE) :developed the Treadle Pump, is an irrigation device by stepping up and down on treadles which drive pistons, creating cylinder suction that draws groundwater to the surface. In most of Indian states, the farmers are using this low-cost and easy to operate devise to boost their yields and their incomes.See the Treadle Pump Video on You tube

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Blazing Brinjal

Brinjal is very common vegetable fruit in India.India is the second largest Brinjal producing country in the world. Now the Brinjal is blazing topic in India caused by Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) Brinjal which was developed by Mahyco Monsanto Biotech. (Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company & Monsanto, USA). Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) of India accepted for commercial use of BT Brinjal- the country’s first genetically modified (GM) food crop. The GEAC was set up by the Ministry of Environment and Forests to regulate research, testing and commercial release of GM crops, foods and organisms. However, the government could not taken decision without more consultation with stakeholders.
In the meantime lot of public groups, Environmental activists, scientists, and farmers are protesting against BT Brinjal. The Environment and Forest minister Jairam Ramesh is touring seven cities—Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Nagpur and Chandigarh—and holding public discussions with farmers, activists and scientists on their comfort with Bt brinjal.

The protesters are claiming that: BT brinjal is a threat to plant biodiversity, flaws in the data on the gene inserted into the brinjal, no long-term toxicity and cancer-safety tests were done which leads to kidney and liver damage. Farm workers are suffering with allergies including rashes, itches, and irritations while working in GM crop fields. Cattle health may get harm and negative impact on its milk production.

Supporters are impressing that: BT Brinjal will help to tackle the pest in an environment-friendly manner and increase yields and farm income. BT Brinjal has been tested in full compliance with the guidelines and directives of the regulatory authorities to ensure its safety. It has the same nutritional value and is compositionally identical to non BT brinjal, except for the additional BT protein which is specific in its action against the Pest.

I am not against to the technology but we already have more than 200 varieties of brinjal, there is no dearth of brinjal in India. Indians have been eating so many conventional varities of Brinjal for centuries which contains rich health & nutrition values. We can develop new varities by hybridization and natural selection, what is the need of introduction of BT Brinjal. They are mentioning BT Brinjal contains same nutrional values as non BT, so there is no need of Sense of Urgency on BT Brinjal at this point of time.

The GM companies should focus their R&Ds on the crops like...
Ethanol based Transgenic Sugarcane and sugar beet crops have to be developed for support Biofules instead of fossil fuels. Genetically Engineered Tobacco plants are required for medical use. Modified Subabul, Bamboo plants are required more tonnage for paper production.
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