National Technology Day: Scientists discuss futuristic agri technologies

CSIO plans to develop a technology based on the sense of smell and taste.

Written by Anmol Saini | Chandigarh | Published:May 12, 2016 6:03 am
Students visit a science lab on National Technology Day in Sector 30, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. Sahil Walia Students visit a science lab on National Technology Day in Sector 30, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. Sahil Walia

Students and science enthusiasts visited laboratories at Central Scientific Instruments Organisation on National Technology Day on Wednesday to interact with the scientists about various technologies.

H K Sinha, director, Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO), spoke about technologically- advanced instruments like digital green moisture analyser, air assisted eletrostatic sprayer for crops, electrostatic telescope, diffraction lloyd mirror interferometer, myo-meter, postural stability system that have been developed since 2015.

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Talking about the developments in the field of agricultural technology, Dr Amol P Bhondekar told the Chandigarh Newsline: “Our general perception towards science is limited to weapons and automobiles. However, with the increasing population and urbanisation, food and agriculture are becoming an alarming issue, which must be looked at to make the population survive. Recently, we have developed precision agricultural technologies that increase the agriculural yield and production of crops, analyse soil and seed quality. We have developed the electrostatic sprayer that charges the molecules and enables the farmers to spray pesticides judiciously and not letting it seep into groundwater or cause cancer owing to overuse.”

With 30 per cent of the agricultural produce going to waste owing to poor storage facilities, CSIO has developed technologies for increasing shelf life of crops. “We are looking at futuristic technologies like plasma technology to enhance efficacy of germination of seeds and early warning systems for plant health to save crops from certain infestations. Since the last eight months, we are testing the same in Shimla on apple crop. The results have made us focus on other cash crops as well. We have also developed mobile apps for measuring accurate pH value of food materials recently,” Bhondekar said.

CSIO plans to develop a technology based on the sense of smell and taste. “We are in the process of developing electronic nose and tongue to determine quality of crops like tea and cashews. At present, the testing is done by a human panel, but their judgement is subjective to moods and preferences. Hence the electronic nose and tongue will provide objective results with least crop wastage,” Bhondekar said.

Shedding light on the importance of technological awareness among public, Dr H K Sardana said: “Over the last year, we have developed a lot of technological instruments focusing on the field of agriculture, medicine, automobiles, aviation and physical security that have been discussed at length by our scientists. We live in a technologically-advanced age and such events let us disseminate that knowledge to the youth. Realisation of true science lies inside a laboratory and through such events, people can experience it.”

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