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Improvement in Food Resources

Improvement in Food Resources Synopsis


Food Resources 

  • Plants and animals are major food sources for us. We obtain food from agriculture and animal husbandry.
  • Keeping in mind the population of India, it is necessary to increase India’s production efficiency for crops and livestock (Livestock: Animals domesticated to obtain food and other valuable products).
  • Efforts to increase efficiency have been successful to some extent by the green and white revolutions
    Green Revolution: Production of hybrid varieties of crops;
    White Revolution: More milk yield from livestock.
  • This may lead to increased use of natural resources and cause damage to them. Therefore, it is necessary to practise sustainable management.
  • Sustainable management can be defined as the adoption of various farming and production management techniques to maximise yield in agriculture and animal husbandry.
  • Agriculture is the art and science of cultivating soil, producing crops, rearing animals for food and useful products. 

Improvement in Crop Yields 

  • Plants which are grown by man on a large scale to obtain food, clothing and other useful products are called crops.

  • The requirements of climatic conditions, temperature and photoperiods for growth and completion of the life cycle vary from crop to crop.
  • Based on the season of cultivation, crops are divided into two categories:

Crop Variety Improvement

  • It is the technique or the skill of selection of the best varieties of crops for various desirable characters and incorporating those characters into the crops of the next generation.
  • It involves the selection of varieties of crops with useful characteristics such as
    • Disease resistance
    • Product quality
    • High yield
    • Response to fertilisers 

1.   Hybridisation

  • It is the technique of crossing between two genetically dissimilar plants to produce a plant of a new variety. The variety produced by using this technique is called a hybrid.
  • Two ways of cross-breeding during hybridisation are

  • The new varieties of crops obtained by hybridisation are called high-yielding varieties or HYV seeds.
  • Production of HYV seeds has led to an increase in agricultural production, considerably reduced food shortage and generated more income in the agriculture sector. This is known as the Green Revolution. 
  • Examples of hybrid varieties are

2.   Genetically Modified Crops

  • A gene responsible for desirable characters is transferred from one crop variety to another crop variety. The crop into which the gene is introduced to obtain the desired result is called genetically modified crop (GMO) or transgenic plants.
  • Example: BT cotton is a genetically modified crop.
    BT stands for Bacillus thuringiensis.
    The genes of Bacillus thuringiensis which provide resistance against insects are introduced in crops to make them resistant.
  • Other genetically modified crops obtained by using the genes of Bacillus thuringiensis are rice, tomato, maize, potato, brinjal, cauliflower and cabbage. 
Need for Higher Crop Yield
Crop Production
  • India has a large area under cultivation.
  • The production practices in India depend on land size, access to information and financial conditions of farmers.
  • Crop production management refers to controlling different aspects of crop production to obtain maximum and best yield.

Nutrient Management
  • Plants require 16 different nutrients which are obtained by air, water and soil.

  • Deficiency of these nutrients retards the growth of plants.
  • The soil is replenished by these nutrients by adding manures and fertilisers.
Manures and Fertilisers 
Organic Farming
  • Organic farming is the kind of farming in which crops are grown without using chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
  • There is a maximum input of organic manure or recycled farm wastes.
  • Different cropping systems such as mixed cropping, inter-cropping and crop rotation are used to maintain the composition of nutrients in the soil.
  • Bio-agents such as blue-green algae are used in the preparation of biofertilisers.
  • Neem leaves or turmeric is used as pesticides in grain storage.
  • Food grown by organic farming is called organic food.
  • In recent years, organic farming has increased. This is because of the increased awareness in people about the safety related to the environment and food. 
  • In most parts of India, the success of crop yield depends on monsoons and sufficient rainfall during the growing season. Hence, a poor monsoon causes crop failure.
  • It is the artificial method of supplying water to crops in a field.
  • Different kinds of irrigation systems are adopted depending on the kinds of water resources available.