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Bihar set to use nuclear energy in agriculture

After encouraging farmers to adopt organic farming, the Bihar government is now exploring how farmers might benefit from nuclear technology, officials said on Wednesday.

V B Patel, chairman of the horticulture department of Bihar Agricultural University (BAU) at Sabour in Bhagalpur district, said that nuclear energy could be used in plant breeding and for developing new varieties. Radiation could be used for mutation, he said, and nuclear energy could also be used to increase the shelf life of vegetables like potatoes and onions.

A team of scientists from the BAU is set to visit the Mumbai-based Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), next month (May) to explore the possibility of using nuclear energy in agriculture, Mewa Lal Choudhary, vice chancellor of BAU, said.  Choudhary said that BARC scientists have engaged in agricultural research that shows that nuclear energy could help increase the shelf life of fruit like mango and litchi for 48 days.
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