Tag Archives: India

Report of the Working Group on Climate Change of the FAO Intergovernmental Group on Tea

http://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/90db57ee-4bd8-4507-9bb8-2a411ed41a88/?utm_content=buffer51693&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Report of the Working Group on Climate Change of the FAO Intergovernmental Group on Tea

Year of publication: 2016
Publisher: FAO
Pages: #100 p.
ISBN: 978-92-5-109279-8
Job Number: I5743;
Corporate author: Trade and Markets Division
Countries: India; Sri Lanka; Kenya; China;
Agrovoc: brewing; tea; tea industry; India; Sri Lanka; China; Kenya;
Abstract:
Tea is the most used beverage second to water in the world. Presently, the climate change triggered by global warming is posing a major threat to the resilience of agricultural systems including tea cultivation. Increasing temperatures, changes to rainfall amount and distribution, coupled with major shifts in other meteorological parameters in comparison with long term observations have further complicated the production process. This compilation of adaptation strategies for tea cultivation developed and practiced by major tea growing countries of the world, is the first step taken by the working group on climate change of the FAO-IGG on tea to minimize climate change impacts on tea plantations. It is a joint effort by the scientists of Tea Research Institute of India, Sri Lanka, Kenya and China supported by the FAO-IGG on tea in Rome. This documentation is mainly targeted at tea planting community, policy makers and other users such as researchers, national and international research institutes and multilateral organizations dealing with sustainable tea cultivation, development and livelihood security of dependents.

Blue Mormon-An Elegant Butterfly of Bangladesh: Syeda Tasnim Jannat

I was walking along a country road of Gazipur recently on a holiday.
The road passed through dense vegetation comprising jackfruit,mango,jujube,Indian olive,tamarind,amloki,various citrus species, Sal ,Bajna,acacia and many domestic and wild plants.The area was a part of Sal forest and characterized by red soil.
While enjoying the lush green beauty of the landscape
I saw a large butterfly flying over my head.The butterfly soon settled on a leaf of Sal tree in front of me.It sat on the leaf and spread its wings.I was astonished to see the beauty of the elegant butterfly.Its wings were mixture of blue,black and white.I took my
Samsung mobile phone and captured its images.
I checked the images of the butterfly in the net and could identify it.It was Blue Mormon.Its scientific name is Papilio polymnestor.The butterfly species was declared as the State Butterfly of Maharashtra of India.Authorities of India has chosen
a really beautiful butterfly for one of its states.
Later,I saw Blue Mormon butterfly on Ixora and rose flowers.Its beauty enhanced with its presence on various flowers and foliage.

I also saw a number of photos of the butterfly in Flickr posted by some butterfly enthusiasts of Bangladesh.The photos showed the butterfly sipping nectar from Ixora flowers indicating its preference of the host plant.The butterfly was photographed from Dhaka and Barisal in the said photos.

Torben Bjorn Larsen cited the species in Butterflies of Bangladesh : An Annotated Checklist.He mentioned that he saw the species in Dhaka Botanical Garden,Jahangir Nagar University Campus,Savar and in Sylhet.

The occurrence of the elegant Blue Mormon in wide areas and in many locations of Bangladesh is a vital proof that it is a native species of our country.

Let us hail this elegant butterfly and enjoy its divine beauty.

I have posted some links of photographs and videos of Blue Mormon from Flickr and Youtube.They will help you identify the elegant butterfly in the environment.

Blue Mormon (Papilio polymnestor)

 

Overcoming smallholder challenges with biotechnology(Taken from FAO website for further dissemination)

The article is taken from FAO website for further dissemination.This article may be accessed at the following link:

http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/202820/icode/

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Overcoming smallholder challenges with biotechnology

From breeding to bugs, a new FAO publication looks at biotechnologies at work in small-scale crop, livestock and fish production

 

Harvesting Jian carp from a pond.

29 October 2013, Rome – A new FAO publication calls for greater national and international efforts to bring agricultural biotechnologies to smallholder producers in developing countries.

The publication, Biotechnologies at Work for Smallholders: Case Studies from Developing Countries in Crops, Livestock and Fish, asserts biotechnologies can help smallholders to improve their livelihoods and food security.

Biotechnologies at Work for Smallholders covers 19 case studies in crops, livestock and fisheries, written by scientists and researchers worldwide. It describes the practical realities and experiences of taking biotechnology research and applying it in smallholder production of bananas, cassava, rice, livestock, shrimp and more, in different parts of the developing world.

The case studies encompassed a wide range of biotechnologies. They included older or “traditional” ones like artificial insemination and fermentation, and cutting-edge techniques involving DNA-based methodologies – but not genetic modification.

The publication was prepared by a multi-disciplinary team at FAO as part of an agricultural biotechnologies project partially funded by the Government of Canada.

“With the right institutional and financial arrangements, governments, research institutions and organizations can help to bring biotechnologies to smallholders, improving their capacity to cope with challenges like climate change, plant and animal diseases, and the overuse of natural resources,” said Andrea Sonnino, Chief of FAO’s Research and Extension Unit.

Case studies

Four case studies were from India, two from China and one each from Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Cuba, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Thailand.

Researchers used their knowledge of DNA markers to develop a flood-tolerant rice variety in India with a potential yield of 1-3 tons per hectare more than previously used varieties, under flood conditions. After being released in 2009, the new variety, Swarna-Sub1, spread rapidly and was used by three million farmers in 2012.

“In summary, submergence-tolerant varieties provided opportunities for improving and stabilizing yields in flash flood-affected areas, significantly contributing to national food security,” stated Uma Singh and colleagues from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) who prepared the case study.

In China, the Jian carp was developed using within-family genetic selection and gynogenesis (a reproductive technology resulting in all-female offspring that have only received genes from their mother). The Jian carp is now grown on about 160,000 fish farms and makes up over 50 percent of common carp production in China.|

In northern Cameroon, the use of DNA-based diagnostic tools in the field allowed veterinary authorities to quickly diagnose outbreaks of Peste des Petits Ruminants, a highly contagious viral disease affecting goats and sheep. Rapid and accurate disease diagnosis meant that the authorities could stamp out these outbreaks and stop the spread of the fatal disease to other flocks.

“Without this rapid response, thousands of sheep and goats would likely have succumbed to the disease during these outbreaks, leading to millions of CFA francs in losses,” affirmed Abel Wade and Abdoulkadiri Souley from the National Veterinary Laboratory (LANAVET) in Cameroon.

The editors say biotechnologies can improve crop-, livestock- and fish-related livelihoods by boosting yields and enhancing market access. Introducing new and traditional biotechnologies on family farms can also keep production costs down and improve sustainable management of natural resources.

Lessons learned

The publication offers lessons from the case studies which can be used to inform and assist policymakers in making decisions on programs involving biotechnologies. High up on the list was the need for national political commitment to improving smallholder productivity and livelihoods; financial support from non-governmental sources to supplement national efforts; and, long-term national investment in both people and infrastructure linked to science and technology.

The publication also found international and national partnerships were vital for achieving results, as was the sharing of genetic resources, techniques and know-how across national and continental borders.

Biotechnologies at work for smallholders
 also underlines the importance of involving smallholders in the process at all stages, taking into consideration their knowledge, skills and own initiatives.

2013 Monsoon Floods in Nepal and India: What happened and what could have been done?(ICIMOD Article)

2013 Monsoon Floods in Nepal and India: What happened and what could have been done?

24 Jun 2013

While the world is waking up to the news of the horrific scale of the recent flood disaster in the Mahakali basin of Nepal and Uttarakhand in India, several questions are being asked: what kind of climatic events led to this disaster? Could anything have been done to reduce the loss of life and property? What can we learn from this disaster for the future? In this brief note, we address some of these burning questions.

Mahakali flood disaster

The Mahakali river is a transboundary river between Nepal and India with a catchment area of 14,871 km2. It flows for about 223 km in Nepal and around 323.5 km in India to its confluence with the Karnali River in India. The recent rainfall events in the western and far western regions of Nepal and India affected 20 districts in Nepal and several districts in the Indian states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. The floods and landslides that ensued have left hundreds of people dead or missing and destroyed property worth millions of dollars. While this is not the first event of this kind (see annexes), it is certainly the most severe in the last 50 years and it happened at the beginning of the monsoon when no one was expecting.

Figure 1. Flood and landslide affected districts in Nepal

Intense rainfall events

The monsoon rains usually hit Central Nepal around 15 June and Far Western Nepal around 20 June. This year, the monsoon quickly engulfed the region (http://www.imd.gov.in/; Figure 2). The real-time monitoring station in Nepal reported 80.4 mm of rain on 16 June and 221.8 mm on 17 June at Dipayal, which adjoins the Mahakali flood disaster area (http://dhm.gov.np/; Figure 3 and Figure 4). Surrounding areas such as Dadeldhura, Dhangadi, and Birendranagar in the Far Western Development Region of Nepal recorded more than 150 mm of rainfall in 24 hours on 17 June 2013. Continuous rain in the upper catchments caused the water level in the Seti river east of the Mahakali to rise from 6.94 m to 11.56 m and 5.53 m to 12.81 m in the Karnali at Chisapani on 17 June, as measured by Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Nepal’s real time network. Unfortunately, there are no real time stations installed by the Department on the Mahakali river. One to three day weather forecasts provided by United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also indicated heavy rainfall on 17 and 18 June on the border of Nepal and India (Figure 5). Cumulative 3 day TRMM rainfall estimates from 16 June to 18 June show heavy rainfall in the flood affected regions of Nepal and India (Figure 6). The discharge in the Mahakali river rose from 139,000 cubic feet per second to 440,716 cubic feet per second on 17 June – well in excess of the flow of 398,000 cubic feet seconds recorded in the 2012 monsoon (http://www.kantipuronline.com/2013/06/18/top-story/massive-floods-in-mahakali-river-6-killed-update/373456/).

Figure 2. Advance of southwest monsoon, 2013

Figure 3. Hourly rainfall at Dipayal on 17 June (Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, 2013)

Figure 4. Daily rainfall summary on the Seti at Dipayal, June 2013 (Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, 2013)

Figure 5. Satellite image of 24-hour precipitation in mm (US NOAA)

Figure 6. Cumulative 3 day TRMM satellite rainfall estimate

Impact

While we do not know the full extent of the devastation in Nepal and India, reports are trickling in. In Darchula, in the Far Western Development Region, the flood swept away 77 buildings and displaced 2,500 people (http://www.nepalnews.com/archive/2013/jun/jun18/news12.php). Six were killed in Achham and Baitadi districts and eight are missing in Dhungaad. A reported 150 families have been rendered homeless in Dodhara and Chadani and around 30 families have been affected in Kuda. Four houses in Salyan have been damaged due to a landslide. In Kalikot district, 4 people are dead and 11 missing and 27 families have been displaced. Flood in the Karnali river has affected many villages in the southeast region of Kailali, inundating large areas in Tikapur Municipality and the VDCs of Lalbojhi, Bhajani, Thapapur and Khailad. In Bardiya the floods have intensely affected the Rajapur Tappu region where 2,000 houses were inundated by the Karnali river. Approximately 600 families are still at great risk in Khairichandanpur (http://www.ekantipur.com/2013/06/19/headlines/Monsoon-fury-claims-at-least-20-many-missing/373488/).
Upstream from India-Nepal Bridge in Darchula, Nepal

Before                                                    During Flood

A school downstream from India-Nepal Bridge, Darchula, India

Before                                                    During Flood

Downstream from India-Nepal Bridge, Darchula, India

Before                                                    During Flood

The effects were even more devastating in Uttarakhand in India. The flood
occurred in the peak tourist and pilgrimage season, increasing the number of causalities, missing, and affected. The monsoon arrived 15 days early in Uttarakhand with continuous rainfall between Friday 14 June and Monday 17 June 2013. This resulted in increased water level and flow in the two main rivers, the Alakananda and Bhagirathi. Cloudbursts and landslides at various locations added to the devastation and impact on the lives of the people. Up to 17 June, the rainfall ranged from 50 mm up to 500 mm. Over 60 hours of continuous rain disrupted normal life. According to the Uttarakhand State government’s disaster mitigation and management centre, causalities could run into the thousands with about 90 dharamshalas (rest houses for pilgrims) swept away in the floods. Five districts in the state have been affected, more than 550 people have died, thousands are still missing, and over 50,000 are stranded.

What we have learnt from this series of events?

Two main lessons can be drawn from the Mahakali and Uttarakhand flood disasters: The severity of the disaster could have been mitigated with a better end-to-end information system and proper infrastructure planning would have reduced the damage.
Accordingly, we need to:
  • Put in place institutional mechanisms that that can use technological advances in forecasting:
Although some warnings were disseminated by the India Meteorological Organization about the possibility of high to intense rainfall, this information was not transmitted to the
people at risk. There is a need to strengthen disaster management and preparedness mechanisms, which requires awareness and sensitization at various levels to ensure that early warning information is conveyed to end users well in advance. Advances in technology have made it possible to provide three to four hours warning of such events – which is enough to save lives. We need to develop the institutional mechanisms to fully use such technological advances.
  • Set up more hydrometeorological stations on transboundary rivers:
There is no river-level hydrological monitoring station on the Mahakali river for flood forecasting and early warning. It is recommended that a river monitoring station for early warning be set up jointly by Nepal and India to provide people with some lead-time and improve flood forecasting and management in the basin.
  • Carefully plan infrastructure in the mountains:
The Hindu newspaper put it succinctly when it said that damage could have been contained through proper policies, especially regarding infrastructure development. The development of infrastructure in mountain areas, whether roads or buildings, is challenging. Many mountain roads are contributing a huge sediment load to our rivers and inviting landslides. Many of the settlements are located along flood plains and have developed over the years, encroaching the river banks and increasing the vulnerability to floods. These settlements include residential homes, offices, resorts and restaurants to name a few. There has been limited or no efforts to move these settlements to higher grounds. In the recent floods, large stretches of road and settlements were washed away stranding thousands of people and raising questions about their design, construction, and monitoring. Infrastructure development in the mountains has to be undertaken with caution and proper planning, and must apply different standards to that in the plains.
  • There is also a need to investigate whether or not there have been significant land use changes in the basin resulting in increased runoff.

ICIMOD’s role in Disaster Risk Reduction

As a regional knowledge and learning centre serving the eight countries of the Hindu Kush Himalayas – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan – ICIMOD is uniquely placed to address issues of a transboundary nature. ICIMOD is focused on improving our understanding of the complex hydrological processes of the Hindu Kush Himalayan region and promoting data and information sharing. It seeks to facilitate cooperation on policies, the timely sharing of information, and the proper management of the water resources.
ICIMOD is working for an economically and environmentally sound mountain ecosystem to improve the living standards of mountain people and sustain vital ecosystem services – now and for the future. ICIMOD has chosen to focus on hazards and disasters related to adverse weather and climate conditions, such as high intensity rainfall, glacial lake outburst floods, regional floods, and flash floods. In order to address the risks facing mountain communities and better understand the nature of hazards that might lead to disasters, ICIMOD has outlined a series of activities to be undertaken as part of ‘Disaster risk reduction and community resilience’ including the:
  • assessment of vulnerability of communities and building their resilience to multi-hazards;
  • assessment of the impact of climate change on ecosystems, natural hazards, and human health;
  • delivery of training in disaster risk reduction; and
  • provision of a platform for sharing knowledge and experiences within disaster risk reduction.
ICIMOD, in partnership with the World Meteorological Organization and partner countries from Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, is working to establish a regional flood information system. Twenty-four hydrometeorological stations have been installed to share real time data to strengthen flood forecasting in four countries. In Nepal, nine hydrometeorological stations have been installed in the Koshi basin and eight in the Kailash Sacred Landscape.
ICIMOD aims to assist mountain people in implementing improved disaster risk reduction at national and regional levels addressing upstream-downstream linkages for saving lives and livelihoods. This is achieved through the implementation of transboundary programmes in partnership with regional partner institutions, exploring the application of satellite-based technologies for disaster risk reduction, supporting networking, facilitating the exchange of experience, and serving as a regional knowledge hub, among other things. Institutional strengthening and capacity building of our partner institutions is also being undertaken to contribute to effective disaster risk reduction.

Annex 1. Recent floods in Nepal with disaster details

Region

Year

Disaster

Mahakali June 2013 Final report still to be prepared
Dang June 2012 145 families were displaced and 2,200 household were affected by flash floods
Batadi, Achham, Kalikot, Jajrkot, Rukum, Rolpa, Kaski, Tanahu, Makwanpur, Gorkha, Nuwakot, Sindhuli, Sarlahi, Solukhumbu June 2011 14 districts affected by floods and landslide; 25 deaths; 2 missing; 4 injured; 515 houses destroyed
Dailekh, Jajarkot, Rukum, Palpa, Rupandehi, Parbat, Dhading, Sindhuli, Solukhumbu, August 2011 9 districts affected; 65 deaths; 35 missing; 24 injured; 110 houses destroyed
Kanchanpur September 2010 60 houses damaged on the Mahakali river
Dadeldhura, Bajura, Achham, Rukum, Kaski, Illam June–August 2010 6 districts affected; 98 deaths; 8 missing; 29 injured; 2,835 houses destroyed; 39,000 people affected

Annex 2. Recent floods in India with disaster details

Region

Year

Disaster

Uttarakhand, Shimla,

Himachal Pradesh

June 2013 Final report still to be prepared
Guwahati,

Brahmaputra river overflow

July 2012 80 deaths from flood; 16 buried in landslide; 11 missing
Assam July 2012 95 deaths; 12 missing
Uttarkashi district,

Ganga flood

August 2012 34 deaths; 80 houses damaged
Uttar Pradesh, Bihar September 2011 30 deaths; 10 missing in Brahmani river

icddr,b contributes to largest global study on diarrhoeal diseases in developing countries

28 May 2013 – icddr,b has contributed to a new international study that provides the clearest picture yet of the impact and most common causes of diarrhoeal diseases, which kill 800,000 children annually. The Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS) is the largest study ever conducted on diarrhoeal diseases in developing countries, enrolling more than 20,000 children from seven sites across Asia and Africa. The findings of the study were recently published in The Lancet and provide guidelines on prevention, treatment and research on childhood diarrhoeal diseases.

The GEMS study in Bangladesh was conducted in Mirzapur, a sub-district just north of Dhaka, by icddr,b’s Centre for Nutrition & Food Security.  “Better information is critical to changing the way we fight diarrhoeal diseases,” said Dr. A.S.G. Faruque, Principal Investigator at the Bangladesh trial site. “GEMS shows us clearly how we can target our approach and where we need to invest our resources to make a difference.”

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GEMS was a case control study conducted at seven diverse, high-burden sites in Asia and Africa: the Gambia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. The study enrolled 22,569 children under five years of age –  a sample size that is large enough to provide comprehensive data on the causes, incidence and impact of the range of diarrhoeal diseases affecting children around the world. GEMS established a network of well-equipped laboratories in the study countries that can be used to accelerate future research on diarrhoea and other child health priorities.

Rotavirus:  a leading cause of infant diarrhoeal diseases

Coordinated by the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Center for Vaccine Development, GEMS confirmed rotavirus – for which a vaccine already exists – as the leading cause of diarrhoeal diseases among infants and identified other top causes for which additional research is urgently needed. GEMS found that approximately one in five children under the age of two suffer from MSD each year, which increased children’s risk of death by eight-and-a-half times and lead to stunted growth over a two-month follow-up period.

Shigella, a type of bacteria, caused the largest number of infections in toddlers and older children. Unlike at sites in Africa, Aeromonas – another type of bacteria – was the third leading cause of MSD, confirming its regional importance as a pathogen. Linear growth delays were significant among children in all age groups in the two months following their MSD episode, and a single episode of MSD increased children’s risk of death more than twelvefold over the same period.

Despite many causes, GEMS found that targeting just four pathogens could prevent the majority of MSD cases.  Expanding access to vaccines for rotavirus could save hundreds of thousands of lives. Likewise, GEMS data suggests that accelerating research on vaccines, diagnostics and treatments for the three other leading pathogens – Shigella, Cryptosporidium and ST-ETEC (a type of E. coli) – could have a similar impact.

“The GEMS findings help set priorities for investments that could greatly reduce the burden of childhood diarrhoeal diseases,” said Dr. Thomas Brewer, deputy director of the Enteric & Diarrheal Diseases team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Longer-term monitoring and expansion of interventions can save lives

The GEMS findings also suggest that longer-term monitoring and care of children with diarrhoeal diseases could reduce mortality and developmental delays. Children with MSD grew significantly less in height in the two months following the diarrhoeal episode when compared with control children without diarrhoea, and were eight-and-a-half times more likely to die over the course of the two-month follow-up period. Notably, 61 percent of deaths occurred more than a week after the initial diarrhoeal episode, with 56 percent of deaths happening after families had returned home from a healthcare facility.

Expanding access to existing interventions that protect against or treat all diarrhoeal diseases –  including oral rehydration solutions, zinc supplements and clean water and sanitation- can save lives and improve the health of children immediately.

The GEMS findings add to the scientific evidence cited in the first-ever Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD) recently announced by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. The GAPPD strategy calls for effectively controlling pneumonia and diarrhoea, which together are the two leading causes of death among young children globally.

For more details please contact Senior Manager Communications Nasmeen Ahmed

 

(The article has been published for further dissemination of ICDDR,B achievements taken from the link: http://www.icddrb.org/media-centre/news/4125-icddrb-contributes-to-largest-global-study-on-diarrhoeal-diseases-in-developing-countries of the website of this international organization located in Bangladesh)

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2013 International Year of Quinoa (IYQ2013) :A Future sown a thousands of years ago(Dissemiation of UNFAO Program)

Launch of the International Year of Quinoa

Quinoa can play an important role in eradicating hunger, malnutrition and poverty, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said at the official launch of the International Year of Quinoa at UN Headquarters. [more]

A future sown thousands of years ago

The value of quinoa lies not only in the grains of its colorful particles, but also in the knowledge accumulated by the Andean peoples, which has made it possible to preserve its many varieties, improve their performance and develop a gastronomy around quinoa.

However, the grain was carefully guarded by these peoples and today it is an invaluable legacy for humanity, due to its unique characteristics: quinoa is the only food that has all the essential amino acids, trace elements and vitamins while being gluten free.

It can grow under the harshest conditions, withstanding temperatures from -8 ° to 38 ° C, anywhere from sea level up to 4000 meters, and is tolerant of drought and poor soils.

From staple to gourmet kitchen

Like the potato, quinoa was one of the main foods of the Andean peoples before the Incas. Traditionally, quinoa grain are roasted and then made to flour, with which different types of breads are baked.

It can also be cooked, added to soups, used as a cereal, made into pasta and even fermented to beer or chicha, the traditional drink of the Andes. When cooked it takes on a nut-like flavor.

Today quinoa also has a key role in the gourmet kitchen, but its use has also been extended to the pharmaceutical and industrial areas.

From America to the world

Almost all the current quinoa production is in the hands of small farmers and associations.

Quinoa can be found natively in all countries of the Andean region, from Colombia to the north of Argentina and the south of Chile. The main producing countries are Bolivia, Peru and the United States. The cultivation of quinoa has transcended continental boundaries: it is being cultivated in France, England, Sweden, Denmark, Holland and Italy. In the United States it is being grown in Colorado and Nevada, and in Canada in the fields of Ontario. In Kenya it has shown high yields and in the Himalayas and the plains of northern India, the crop can also develop successfully.

A contribution to global food security

Faced with the challenge of increasing the production of quality food to feed the world’s population in the context of climate change, quinoa offers an alternative for those countries suffering from food insecurity.

The United Nations General Assembly has therefore declared 2013 as the “International Year of Quinoa”, in recognition of ancestral practices of the Andean people, who have managed to preserve quinoa in its natural state as food for present and future generations, through ancestral practices of living in harmony with nature.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and specifically its Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, will serve as the Secretariat of the International Year of Quinoa, assisting the International Committee to coordinate the celebrations. Bolivia has the presidency of the Committee, while Ecuador, Peru and Chile share the vice presidency, with the rapporteurship in the hands of Argentina and France.

What is quinoa?

WHAT IS QUINOA?

Everything about quinoa, how it is grown, what it is used for and what are its varieties

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NEWS

Get the latest news about the IYQ and access to news published in major media sources in the region.

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Publications

PUBLICATIONS

If you want to know more about quinoa, enter this section where you can find related publications with this crop and the IYQ.

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MULTIMEDIA

Get the 2013 International Year of Quinoa campaign materials and help spread the word!

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(This article has been taken from the link :http://www.fao.org/quinoa-2013/en/ of  FAO website for further dissemination)

Training on Heavy Metal and Pesticide Residue Detection in Foods by the FAO Food Safety Project in Bangladesh :Dr.Syed Md.Zainul Abedin

The FAO Food Safety Project of Bangladesh has  completed refurbishment of 7000 sq. ft. of laboratory space on the premises of the Institute of Public Health (IPH), Mohakhali situated in Dhaka,the capital of Bangladesh.The facilities has been earmarked  as the National Food Safety Laboratory (NFSL). To develop the necessary technical capacity for this laboratory, analysts assigned by the IPH have been trained both in Bangladesh and abroad through an intensive capacity building programme. As part of this skill and capability enhancement activity, two expert trainers spent 5 concentrated weeks in training the analysts on the detection of heavy metals and pesticide residues in food.The event was held from May 26 to June 30, 2012.
Dr. Amina Sekaly from Toronto, Canada, international expert in testing for heavy metals in food and by Dr. Anoop Krishnan from the Export Inspection Agency Laboratory, Mumbai, India in the detection of pesticide residues in food imparted the training.  The analysts were taught the fundamental principles of spectroscopy and given detailed presentations on sophisticated laboratory equipment used in food analysis such as  Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS),  Gas Chromatograph (GC),  GC coupled with Mass Spectrophotometer (GC-MS) and the High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). They were also provided training on the use and operation of the High Performance Thin Layer Chromatograph (HPTLC) by engineers from the company (CAMAG). The analysts also performed calibration tests for basic laboratory instruments and were trained in the measurement of uncertainty.

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The two international experts also trained on laboratory safety and good laboratory practices to encourage and emphasize the development of a strong and safe analytical mindset among the analysts who participated in the training. This contribution was particularly significant as this group is expected to be the core start up team of the NFSL. The training activities were overseen by Dr. Sridhar Dharmapuri, International Food Analysis Expert and Dr. Ashis Ratan Sen, National Food Analysis Advisor, FAO Food safety Project. Dr. Md. Abdur Razzak Miah, Deputy Director of the IPH attended many of the training sessions on behalf of the IPH management.
The feedbacks from the participants were extremely positive. They expressed their appreciation for the two experts for assisting them  in enhancing analytical skills and providing insights into the operation of an efficient food safety laboratory. Importantly, the analysts imbibed a lot of confidence from the training program. They anticipated that this will translate into the generation of reliable food safety data as the National Food Safety Laboratory in Dhaka becomes operational.
The FAO Food Safety Project warmly thanked Dr. Sekaly and Dr. Krishnan for conducting a wide-ranging and valuable training programme which may be considered as an important milestone towards the food safety undertaking of Bangladesh.

The news item has been prepared on the basis of report published at the link:http://www.bdfoodsafety.org/inner.php?SubMenuId=6&DetailsId=69 of the Project entitled, ‘Improving Food Safety in Bangladesh’.

The  project is jointly supported by the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO-UN) and Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

You may visit the website of the project: http://bdfoodsafety.org/ to learn its activities.

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Sahara India Pariwar Launches Venture in Real Estate Sector of Bangladesh-By Syed Zainul Abedin

The housing or real estate sector of Bangladesh is embracing a new member with the advent of the famous Sahara India Pariwar.The news has been circulated in the Bangladeshi media amidst surprise,hopes and resentment among different groups of peoples and business communities.The common people who are frustrated by the monopoly and deceptive roles of the local housing and development companies seem to welcome foreign companies who will provide services with transparency.It was felt from the reactions ventilated in the local media that people want a fair competition and standard in the housing sector.It is not yet clear how the Sahara Pariwar will operate their business in Bangladesh and what regulatory measures they have to encounter here.However,in the absence of transparent housing policy in Bangladesh and extreme profiteering culture the general public look for a modest solution in the housing and real eatate sector.Only time may say what blessing Sahara Pariwar has to offer for the people of Bangladesh.

Following news item has been taken from the website: http://english.samaylive.com

Though the company is very famous in India,it is not yet known widely in Bangladesh.Hence I like to provide the link of the website of Sahara Pariwar which may be a great resource for the intersted people to discover its programmes and services.I invite you to visit the following link :http://www.sahara.in/index.html

Sahara India Pariwar, a major business conglomerate in India has on Friday announced its entry into the housing & infrastructure sector of Bangladesh.

The group’s, newly formed Bangladesh based company ‘Sahara Matribhumi Unnayan Corporation Limited’ has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Housing and Public Works of Bangladesh Government, to invest in the development of housing industry in Bangladesh.

‘Sahara Matribhumi Unnayan Corporation Limited’ will conceptualize, design and plan a new city near Dhaka, i.e. Notun Dhaka (New Dhaka) and will build affordable housing for low income groups with integHousing Finance support for majority applicants. The newly formed company will also conceptualize, design and plan various integrated satellite townships under the Ministry of Housing & Public Works (MOPW) of the Government of Bangladesh.

The MoU was signed by Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara, Managing Worker & Chairman, Sahara India Pariwar and Mr. Nurul Huda, Chairman, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK). The event was witnessed by Mr. Abdul Mannan Khan, State Minister for Housing & Public Works and other top bureaucrats, politicians and senior officials of the Bangladesh Government.

The eventful 4 day visit of Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara was concluded with positive notes after having meetings with Dr. S. A. Samad, Executive Chairman of Board of Investments (BOI), Dr. Atiur Rahman, Governor of Central Bank and the Shri Hasan Mahmood Khondokar, Inspector General (IG) of Bangladesh Police.

Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina had also met Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara to discuss about the intended projects and further opportunities in Bangladesh.
Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara has urged the Government of Bangladesh to ease conditions about availability of housing finance and to remove the difference in tax rates between listed and unlisted companies in Bangladesh. The newly formed company ‘Sahara Matribhumi Unnayan Corporation Limited’s plans are to build integrated and satellite townships which will be heavily intensive on infrastructure unlike regional real estate projects. He requested both Dr. S. A. Samad and Dr. Atiur Rahman that a classification of a section be created midway between housing and infrastructure so that the taxation policy is relooked at Bangladesh.

Speaking at the press conference, Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara, Managing Worker & Chairman, Sahara India Pariwar, said, “I am extremely proud to extend our business interests in Bangladesh. The Government of Bangladesh and its people have provided us a wonderful support and this in effect will help us to contribute towards the development of Bangladesh.”

UPDATE ON 3 JUNE 2012

A press conference of the REHAB and BLDA has taken place yesterday in response to the MOU between Ministry of Housing and Public Works of Bangladesh Government and Sahara Matribhumi Unnayan Corporation Limited.
The report of the press confrence has been published in media today.The report published in online
newspaper,BANGLANEWS24.COM has been presented here for the knowledge of interested readers.You can also read the news item at the following link:
http://www.banglanews24.com/English/detailsnews.php?nssl=c7c78f106a8458a6c7794002e878a9d8&nttl=0206201243611&toppos=2

REHAB-BLDA demand equal opportunity

Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) and Bangladesh Land Developers’ Association (BLDA) came up with the plea in a joint press conference this morning at a city hotel.

BLDA President and Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan said, “As a businessman, I welcome foreign investment but first of all, we have to protect the interests of local companies when we have failed to handover thousands of flats due to lack of gas and electricity.”

He said, “The government should provide similar opportunities for the local companies like the foreign one. Thus a fair and same level competition will be created.”

The local companies are capable in investing more than the foreign investors, he added.

The BLDA president said, “For the foreign investors, several lakh acres of land are available in different areas in the country, including Nijhum Deep and Mirsarai rather than Dhaka.”

The top businessman of the country said, “If the government signs MoU with the foreign investors over one lakh acres land requisition, they should sign another MoU of two lakh land requisition for REHAB and BLDA.”

The BLDA president stated that the government acquires land at Tk 100,000 or Tk 200,000 per bigha while BLDA has to acquire the same land at Tk 50 lakh to Tk 2 crore. “The farmers become deprived if government acquires land which could trigger unrest,” the newsmen were told.

The difference between the price of governmental requisition and private will create an uneven competition. “That’s why Public Private Partnership (PPP) is important to secure the interest of the farmers by generating balanced competition,” he said.

“I believe that the government would not do anything to infringe the interest of the country. The incumbent democratic government repeatedly said that they would provide us land and we would develop that,” he said.

Regarding the Sahara boss Subrata Roy’s allegation of building Dhaka as the jungle of cement, he said, land is the main hindrance of urbanizing Dhaka. It happened due to the scarcity of land or lack of urban plan.

“If the government gives us land, we can build up better city than the foreign investors,” he claimed.

Regarding Rajuk, he said this organization doesn’t follow its own urbanization strategy rather filling the ditches. “Journalists should be careful in this regard,” he said.

At the press conference, REHAB President Nasrul Hamid Bipu read out a written speech.

He said, “We want to talk about foreign investment rather than a particular company. Like previous, I am urging the government to provide us land.”

Nasrul also told journalists that it is a crucial moment of the housing industry as 70 percent investment has been already stopped. “Without government assistance it will be difficult to survive in this sector,” he said.

BLDA general secretary Mostafa Kamal Mohiuddin, REHAB joint secretary Major (retd) Jamshed Hasan PSC, Arshi Hayder, chairman of REHAB Land Standing Committee M Aktar Biswas, M Anisuzzaman Bhuiyan Rana and managing director of Building Technology and Ideas FR Khan were among others present at the press meet.