Nuclear application in agriculture and water aim to identify the sources of soil/water contamination by radioactive pollutants, determine the distributions of naturally occurring and artificially infused radioisotopes, and to develop advanced chemical/physical methods and techniques to remove the radio-contamination from the soil and water, and food irradiation for self life enhancement of agri products.
In this project we use the radioactive technology to irradiate food products to make them safer and more resistant to spoilage. Irradiation process destroys insects, fungi that cause food to spoil, or bacteria that cause food borne illness. Irradiation makes it possible to keep food a longer duration and in better condition. It is important to note here that the irradiated food does NOT become radioactive. At the doses prescribed, it is impossible for the beta, gamma, or x-rays to transmute the food stuff into radioactive substance.
Using N-15 isotope enables the assessment of how much nitrogen crops can acquire from the environment through a process known as biological nitrogen fixation. By attaching radio-tracers in known quantities and varieties of fertilizers, it is possible to determine the efficiency of associated nutrients as the labelled products are absorbed in critical locations in the plant. This technique can be used to substantially optimize the quantity of fertilizer required to produce high production yields, and thus reducing the farming cost and minimizing the environ- mental damage and contamination of soil/water.
On the farms, particularly in the countries with a hot and humid climate like India, unwanted insects can lead from substantial irritations to livestock to the complete devastation of crops. One of the proven ways to use nuclear technology in controlling or even eradicating unwanted insects is the sterile insect technique (SIT). Hybrid SIT involves rearing a sizeable male population of the unwanted insects, subjecting the un-hatched eggs to sufficient levels of gamma irradiation to achieve sexual sterilization but leaving other capabilities of the insects unchanged, and then releasing the hatched sterilized male insects into the native environment.
iHub – AWaDH is established by the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, at the IIT-R in the framework of NM – ICPS with time-bound predefined deliverables.