- National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC)
The issue in news :
NCDC sanctions Rs 19444 crores in the first instalment for MSP operations support to States during Kharif season 2020-21.
- NCDC is the apex financing organisation under the Ministry of Agriculture.
- It was established by an Act of Parliament in 1963 as a statutory corporation.
Functions of the NCDC:
- Planning, promoting and financing programmes for production, processing, marketing, storage, export and import of agricultural produce, foodstuffs, certain other notified commodities, e.g. fertilisers, insecticides, agricultural machinery, lac, soap, kerosene oil, textile, rubber, etc.
- Supply of consumer goods and collection, processing, marketing, storage and export of minor forest produce through cooperatives.
- Income-generating stream of activities such as poultry, dairy, fishery, sericulture, handloom, etc.
- Loans and grants are advanced to State Governments for financing primary and secondary level cooperative societies and direct to the national level and other societies having objects extending beyond one State.
- Direct funding of projects under its various schemes of assistance on fulfilment of stipulated conditions.
- World Tourism Day
The issue in news
World Tourism Day is observed on 27th September every year.
About World Tourism Day:
- This Day has been celebrated since 1980 by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
- 27th September was chosen as the date since it was the day in 1970 on which the statutes of the UNWTO were adopted.
- The purpose of this day is to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide.
- The colour of World Tourism Day is Blue.
- The theme for the World Tourism Day 2020 is “Tourism and Rural Development”.
- The theme will celebrate the unique role that tourism plays in providing opportunities outside of big cities and preserving cultural and natural heritage all around the world.
- For the first time in the 40-year history of World Tourism Day, the official celebration will not be hosted by a single Member State of the United Nations specialized agency.
- Instead, nations from the Mercosur bloc (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, with Chile joining with observer status) will serve as joint hosts.
- Invisible killer threatens country’s sandalwood forests
The issue in news
India’s sandalwood trees are facing a serious threat with the return of the destructive Sandalwood Spike Disease (SSD) with the disease having resurfaced in the aromatic tree’s natural habitats in Karnataka and Kerala.
Sandalwood Spike Disease (SSD):
- The disease is caused by phytoplasma (bacterial parasites of plant tissues) which are transmitted by insect vectors.
- The disease was first reported in Kodagu in 1899.
- More than a million sandalwood trees were removed in the Kodagu and Mysuru region between 1903 and 1916, prompting the Maharaja of Mysuru to announce a reward in 1907 for anyone finding a remedy.
- The devastating impact in natural habitats resulted in sandalwood being classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 1998.
- So far, no cure has been found for SSD but to cut down and remove the infected tree to prevent the spread of the disease.
- SSD has been one of the major causes of the decline in sandalwood production in the country for over a century.
- Each year, between 1 and 5% of sandalwood trees are lost due to the disease.
- Scientists have raised concerns that it could wipe out the entire natural population if measures are not taken to prevent its spread.
- Also, they fear that any delay in arresting the trend may result in the disease spreading to cultivated sandalwood trees.
- According to a study, the present rapid spread of the infection is largely due to restrictions on green felling in forests, which has allowed vectors to spread the disease to healthy trees.