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Posted Mon Oct 11 2010: from Press Trust of India:
Pollinator crisis shrinking vegetable production: scientists
Vegetable production in India is shrinking over the years due to a decline in the population of pollinating insects like bees and butterflies, a new study has claimed. The study, carried out by researchers at the University of Calcutta, found a disturbing trend in the growth of yields of several vegetables despite an increase in their cultivation area over the past 45 years. Led by Parthiba Basu, a researcher at the varsity's Ecology Research Unit, the team analysed the growth of yield and cultivated area of 11 major pollinator-dependent vegetable crops, including cucumbers, brinjals, pumpkins, tomatoes and gourds, between 1963 and 2008. Basu and his student Ritam Bhattacharya presented their findings at a recent British Ecological Society meeting held at the University of Leeds. It was found that although the area used for cultivating those vegetables has gone up by 340 per cent (over six times), their absolute yield has increased by a meagre 63 per cent taking 1963 as the base year.
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