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Israeli experts train Indian farmers in advanced agricultural practices to cultivate Dates in Gujarat
Kutch (Gujarat), March 23, 2017: In the semi-arid Kutch region of Gujarat, Israeli experts have been training batches of Indian farmers in advanced agricultural practices to cultivate dates. The initiative, which is part of the bigger Indo-Israel Agriculture Project, is a further boost to the ‘already progressive’ farmers of the region who have been growing a range of fruits and even exporting them to countries like the UAE and the UK.
According to Falgun Modh, Deputy Director of the Horticulture Department in Kutch, the partnership on this particular initiative, which began in 2009-10, is now in the third phase and has been successful in giving a much-needed impetus to farmers to learn the latest farming technology to remain abreast with changing times.
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‘The role of Israeli experts has been mainly to provide technical support. The concept of tissue culture, on which there was no expertise here, is being taught, and so are other things like how to raise a nursery and post-harvest technology so that the produce can last longer and farmers can earn a good profit,’ Modh said.
The Indian harvest of dates, farmers say, coincides with the monsoon and therefore this perishable fruit has to be consumed in the raw form instead of the stage at which it is exported. Post-harvest technology will help farmers deal with this issue.
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Having said that, farmers of the region are quite progressive when it comes to adopting new techniques in agriculture and some are already exporting dates, apart from other fruits, to countries such as the UAE. In Kutch, it’s usually the Barhi date variety that is cultivated. Originally from Iraq, the Barhi variety is in high demand in Europe, Malaysia, Canada, and the US, according to farmers.
According to Modh, there have been a series of seminars, and a two-day programme was organised recently for 150 farmers. ‘Thanks to a translator, although the experts spoke in Hebrew, there was no communication barrier,’ he said.
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The Indo-Israel Agriculture Project involves setting up of centres of excellence through which Israeli knowhow is being brought to local farmers through hands-on training and Israeli technology, thereby increasing productivity and crop diversity.
To begin with, nine states, including Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, were picked for the centres of excellence. States can have more than one centre of excellence, building expertise in a particular fruit cultivation or in other fields such as beekeeping and floriculture. Now six more states — Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Telangana and West Bengal — have been added to the list.
In the case of Kutch, the centre of excellence for dates is coming up near Bhuj, Modh said.
In the third phase of the project, apart from setting up new centres, new activities such as post-harvest technology, water recycling, agricultural machinery, and organic farming will be explored in these centres. (IANS)
The new variant of the coronavirus Omicron is a variant of "concern" not "despair," Brazil's Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said, adding that the country's health system is prepared for an eventual new Covid-19 wave.
"It is not a variant of despair because we have health authorities committed to providing quality care to our population," the Minister said.
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A Brazilian citizen coming from South Africa was quarantined in the south American country after testing positive for Covid-19, since it was not known which variant had infected him, Xinhua news agency reported.
The first case of the Omicron variant was detected in South Africa and reported to the World Health Organization on November 24.
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The new variant has a number of previously unseen mutations, mainly in the spike protein the virus uses to invade human cells.
Over the weekend, Queiroga asked Brazilians to remain calm, saying that measures against the new variant are the same, and the main weapon against Covid-19 is vaccination.
Brazil had accumulated 22,080,906 Covid-19 cases and 614,278 deaths from the virus as of Sunday.
Keywords : new variant, covid, Omicron, Brazil, Health Minister, coronavirus, mutation, health system, country, vaccination.
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Amit Rai Jain, a Baghpat-based businessman, has found 16 coins made of silver and copper which have a bull and a horseman engraved on them.
He found the coins from a mound, known locally as the 'Katha mound' in Khekhra, close to the Delhi-Saharanpur highway, on Sunday.
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Jain told reporters that some of the coins are from the late 12th century AD, which is the era of Rajput king Prithviraj Chauhan.
"I keep frequenting the area, which is rich in archaeological finds. This time, it revealed something considered fascinating in Indian numismatics. The coins which I found belong to a series of Rajput rulers who remained dominant in the region comprising Rajasthan, Haryana, and the western Gangetic plains from the eighth century to 12th century AD," he said.
Jain, is a member of the Culture and History Association, an organisation comprising historians from western Uttar Pradesh.
K.K. Sharma, head of the department of history, Multanimal Modi College, Modinagar, confirmed the antiquity of the coins.
Picture of some ancient coinsUnsplash
"This is an interesting find as the area remained with the Rajput kings for a couple of centuries. Horse and bull inscriptions on coins were quite common in those days. Horses used to be the primary vehicle of soldiers during battles and their depiction on coins is not a surprise. In fact, close to two dozen rulers between the seventh and 17th centuries used horses in some form or the other on their coins," he said.
Baghpat is well-known for the discovery of interesting historical artifacts, the most sensational being three chariots unearthed during the Archaeological Survey of India excavation held in Sinauli in June 2018, which marked the 'first-ever' physical evidence of Bronze Age chariots in India.
In 2006, Sinauli had revealed Harappan-era burial grounds where several discoveries were made such as that of painted grey ware pottery, skeletons, bronze swords, and copper vessels.
Keywords : ancient, coins, silver, copper, archaeological, kings, discovery, historical, artifacts, Uttar Pradesh, India, Rajput.
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With an aim to examine the wide-ranging narratives and the very definitions of the art of sculpture, Palette Art Gallery's forthcoming exhibition, 18 Dimensions - is a show dedicated to sculptures underlining the important works by 18 contemporary artists, who have made a significant impact on the Indian and Global art landscape.
Bringing a seductive edge to the visual arts, an element of pleasure to one's life and working environment, the exhibit is an effort to showcase a broad scope of contemporary sculpture from the abstract and the minimal to the popular, making socio-political commentary that is deeply contemplative and thought-provoking.
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The show reflects on a large number of materials and methods from casting to the modes of assemblage as well as minimalism, conceptualism making visible the process of making in most of the works.
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Featuring over 18 artists, the intention is to present a range and variety of sculptural expressions and encourage viewer participation and physical engagement with artworks once again, as the city opens up to mobility from the studios of Arunkumar HG, Ashiesh Shah, Gigi Scaria, G. R. Iranna, L. N. Tallur, Narayan Biswas, Mrinalini Mukherjee, Manjunath Kamath, Pooja Iranna, Himmat Shah, Jagannath Panda, Rajesh Ram, Riyas Komu, Sangam Vankhade, Sumedh R, Subodh Gupta, Sudarshan Shetty, Valay Shende, Vibha Galhotra and Vipul Kumar, the exhibition studies their involvement with the influences probing the limits and possibilities inherent in a sculpture's inescapable three-dimensional physicality.
One of the highlights of the show includes a selection of the rare hemp works by artist Mrinalini Mukherjee. Known for her distinctly contemporary style and use of dyed and woven hemp fibre, she worked with an unconventional material in the world of sculpting. Her four-decade-long career was an exemplar of a practice dedicated to formulating a language that was a mix of abstraction and figuration.
Keywords : art gallery, sculpture, exhibition, Palette Art Gallery, Bikaner House, New Delhi, contemporary, abstract, materials, conceptualism.
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