- “e-CHARAK” - e-Channel for Herbs, Aromatic, Raw material And Knowledge is a platform to enable information exchange between various stakeholders involved in the medicinal plants sector.
- e-Charak has been jointly developed by the National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), Ministry of Ayush, Government of India and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).
- Serves as a virtual market place for buyers and sellers of medicinal plants sector to interact with each other.
- Serves as a virtual showcase to display products and services related to medicinal plants sector.
- Serves as a knowledge repository of technologies, market information and other resources related to medicinal plants sector.
Kisan Suvidha App
- Kisan Suvidha is an omnibus (ALL IN ONE) mobile app developed by Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare to help farmers by providing relevant information to them quickly. The app is available in multiple Indian languages.
- Kisan Suvida App provides information about:
- Weather Report- for that day and weather forecast for next five days. Extreme weather alerts are also provided.
- Market Prices - information about rates of various crops in different mandies are provided
- Plant Protection - Crop specific information related to pest management are provided. If the condition of crop is not normal, farmers can upload a picture/photo of the crop and send it through kisan suvidha app to agriculture experts for advice.
- Agro Advisories - Information from agriculture experts of districts regarding the advisories about activities to be undertaken and precaution to be taken staring from sowing to harvesting.
- Contact KCC - This option provides facility to speak to Kisan Call Centre (KCC).
- Soil Heath Card - option gives information about Soil Health Card, so that farmers can use fertilizer and pesticides judiciously having regard to minerals available in a particular land/farm.
- Information about warehouse and cold storage available in the district like warehouse / cold storage, List of the dealers of Seeds, Pesticides, Fertilizer and Farm Machinery are provided.
Super Absorbent Polymers (SAP)
- Super Absorbent Polymers (also known as SAP, hydrogel, absorbent polymers, absorbent gels, super soakers, super slurpers, water gel) is a new type of macro molecular synthetic water absorbing polymer material.
- SAPs act as micro water reservoirs at plant roots. They absorb natural and supplied water 400-500 times their own weight and release it slowly on account of root capillary suction mechanism thus preventing water loss in soil by leaching and evaporation.
- Super Absorbent Polymers used in agriculture are mostly prepared from acrylic acids. The polymer so formed is called a polyacrylate.
- Polyacrylates are non-toxic, non-irritating and non-corrosive in nature and tested to be biodegradable with a degradation rate of 10%-15% per year.
Advantages of Hydrogel
- SAPs can help save water and labor by reducing irrigation frequency, help overcome drought conditions and act as soil conditioners, prevent leaching in sandy soils, runoffs in mountainous and sloping fields, improve virescence efficiency and restore soil biota.
- SAPs can reduce overuse of fertilizers and pesticides in fields. The chemicals so absorbed with water are slowly released thus extending the operational life and uptake efficacy by root systems.
- Improves soil quality, preserves water and resists drought stress.
- Gradual biodegradability without formation of toxic species.
- Increases seed sprouting and seedling development leading to better farm success.
- Helps in reducing irrigation frequency and water consumption and creates a simple cyclic process to provide water directly to roots and prevent soil compaction.
- In cold regions, death during germination and maturation is common due to moisture freezing in & around plant root tissue. Absorbed moisture in hydrogels does not freeze and makes easy accessibility to plants. It also regulates seedling growth temperature preventing death by freezing.
- It helps reduce soil erosion by surface run-offs, fertilizer and pesticide leaching to ground water, reducing cost of water and irrigation and success rate at growth and high yields of crops.
- Pusa Hydrogel -The Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi has developed an absorbent polymer called "Pusa Hydrogel" to meet the requirements of water productivity in Agriculture.
- Hydroponics is a simple technique in which the plants are grown using water instead of soil.
- It is a subset of hydroculture.
- Mineral nutrient solutions are used as water solvent.
- The increased control over growing conditions makes it easier to provide the best possible environment for plant, leading to better quality produce and high yield.
- The production in hydroponics may be increased approximately two times as compared with soil cultivation in a comparable area with because the plant does not have to compete for moisture and nutrients.
- A small hydroponics garden can be set up almost anywhere even in upstairs balconies and open area and protected structures because the land is not necessary. (Urban Farming)
- Hydroponics produce generally tastes better and is higher in nutritional value than field-grown crops.
- Plant grow 50?ster than soil has grown under the same condition because of the easy access to food and water.
- The occurrence of soil born disease and nematode damage is not possible, so hydroponic production is exported safely. (Easily meets WTO-phyto-sanitary standards)
- Water wastage reduce to the minimum.
- There is no need for crop rotations as growing media can be reused continuously or replaced.
- The plants are uniform in growth and maturity.