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No cut in the coverage of National Food Security Act : Ram Vilas Paswan

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

Government has decided not to accept the recommendation of High Level Committee on restructuring of FCI regarding cut in the coverage of the National Food Security Act, said Food Minister  Ram Vilas Paswan

He clarified that beneficiary coverage at the level of 67 per cent as provided by the Nations Food Security Act would continue. He said his Ministry has submitted its views to the Prime Minister’s office regarding all the recommendations of the committee.

Addressing the media here today, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan said that his Ministry has already taken several steps to improve the management of foodgrains. As a result of timely allocations of foodgrains and efficient open market sale policy now there is no old stocks piling up in FCI godowns.

After the current month no stock more than one year old will be in FCI godowns. The Minister said that FCI has also been directed to ensure that movement of foodgrains from CAP storage should be made within six months to avoid any damage.

The Minister said that the Government has allocated more budget to the ongoing schemes of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. This will certainly help in modernization of Public Distribution System and to augment Consumer Protection Mechanism.

He said that end to end computerization Scheme of the Department will get major boost as Budget allocation in the FY 2015-16 is 80 crore while according to Revised Budget Estimates for FY 2014-15 it was Rs. 35 crores.

Similarly, allocation for Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority for 2015-16 is Rs 30 crore, significant increase from Rs.13.81 of the Revised Estimates for 2014-15. The Budget for Strengthening of quality control mechanism for non-building assets has also been increased to Rs. 5 crore from Rs. 3.50 crore. Sugar Development Fund of the Department has also got more allocation in the budget which is Rs. 500 crore while was Rs. 396.45 crore in the Revised Estimates of 2014-15.
He said that allocation for Consumer Protection Activities and programmes have been more than doubled. Allocation for FY 2015-16 is Rs. 43.00 crores while allocation for the same was Rs. 17.72 crores in the Revised Budget Estimates for FY 2014-15.Bureau of India Standards, which is almost a self finance autonomous body of the Ministry working in the area of Standardization and quality control has also been got almost double allocation in the budget from RE of 2014-15. Total plan Budget of the Department of Consumer Affairs has been proposed to Rs. 180.00 crores in the Budget while in the Revised Estimates of 2014-15 it was 140.00 crores.

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Farmers To Grow Modified Cotton With Its Seed Edible

Many of the world’s roughly 80 cotton-producing countries, especially in Asia and Africa, have populations that face malnutrition that could be addressed with the new plant

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Cotton
An experimental cotton plant is shown at a Texas A&M research facility in this handout image provided by the Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in College Station, Texas, U.S. VOA

U.S. regulators have cleared the way for farmers to grow a cotton plant genetically modified to make the cottonseed edible for people, a protein-packed potential new food source that could be especially useful in cotton-growing countries beset with malnutrition.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on Tuesday lifted the regulatory prohibition on cultivation by farmers of the cotton plant, which was developed by Texas A&M University scientists. The plant’s cottonseed cannot be used as food for people or as animal feed yet in the United States because it lacks Food and Drug Administration approval.

Cotton
Cotton plant. pixabay

Cotton is widely grown around the world, with its fiber used to make textiles and the cottonseed used among other things to feed animals such as cattle and sheep that have multiple stomach chambers. Ordinary cottonseed is unfit for humans and many animals to eat because it contains high levels of gossypol, a toxic chemical.

With financial help from a cotton industry group, scientists led by Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant biotechnologist Keerti Rathore used so-called RNAi, or RNA interference, technology to “silence” a gene, virtually eliminating gossypol from the cottonseed. They left gossypol at natural levels in the rest of the plant because it guards against insects and disease.

“To me, personally, it tastes somewhat like chickpea and it could easily be used to make a tasty hummus,” Rathore said of gossypol-free cottonseed.

After cottonseed oil, which can be used for cooking, is extracted, the remaining high-protein meal from the new cotton plant can find many uses, Rathore said.

Cotton
If all of the cottonseed currently produced worldwide were used for human nutrition, it could meet the daily protein requirements of about 575 million people. Pixabay

It can be turned into flour for use in breads, tortillas and other baked goods and used in protein bars, while whole cottonseed kernels, roasted and salted, can be consumed as a snack or to create a peanut butter type of paste, Rathore added.

If all of the cottonseed currently produced worldwide were used for human nutrition, it could meet the daily protein requirements of about 575 million people, Rathore said.

Other countries would have to give regulatory approval for the new cotton plant to be grown, though U.S. regulatory action often is taken into consideration.

Also Read: Food Cooked on The Barbecue Can Impair Your Lungs

The new cottonseed’s biggest commercial use may be as feed for poultry, swine and farmed aquatic species like fish and shrimp, Rathore said.

Many of the world’s roughly 80 cotton-producing countries, especially in Asia and Africa, have populations that face malnutrition that could be addressed with the new plant, Rathore added. (VOA)