Kerala PSC - Study Material : Biology (Agriculture)

Kerala PSC - Study Material (Agriculture)


Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants and fungi for food, fiber, biofuel, medicinal plants and other products used to sustain and enhance human life. In other words the science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products is called Agriculture.
  • The Chemical contained in tobacco is nicotine present in root.
  • Quinine, Tannin and Cinnamon are obtained from the bark of the tree.
  • Tea leaves contain 18% tannin.
  • TxD and DxT are high yielding hybrid varieties of coconut.
  • Hybrid is an animal or plant that has been bred from two different types of animals or plants.
  • HYV mean High Yielding Varieties.
  • Foot and Mouth disease occurs in cattle, sheep and pigs.
  • Cocoon stage of silkworm produces silk.
  • Silk worms are reared on mulberry.
  • The most important stimulant in coffee leaves is caffeine.
  • Opium is extracted from the immature fruits of the plant poppy(Papaver somniferum).
  • Paper is chemically cellulose.
  • 'Vegetarian's meat' is Soyabean
  • Mint is propagated through rhizomes.
  • For safe storage, the moisture contents of foodgrains should be less than 1%.
  • The acid present in the soil and substances formed by the decomposition of decayed green matter is humic acid.


A fertilizer or fertiliser is any material of natural or synthetic origin (other than liming materials) that is applied to soils or to plant tissues (usually leaves) to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants.
  • Azolla acts as bio-fertilizers in association with the blue-green algae. It is used in the cultivation of rice.
  • N.P.K. mixtures are fertilizers with the mixtures of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
  • Nitrogen helps in greening of plants and their rapid growth.
  • Phosphorous helps in flowering of plants.
  • Potassium helps in the fruits forming stage in plants.
  • Salinity of soil can be neutralized by using pyrite and gypsum.
  • Iron is an essential micro-nutrient required for the development of plants.
  • Blue-Green algae works as a bio-fertilizer.


Pesticides are substances meant for attracting, seducing, and then destroying any pest.
  • Pesticides include insecticides, fungicides, nematicides, rodenticides and herbicides.
  • DDT and Parathion pesticides are banned in most of the developed countries. Major drawback of DDT as a pesticide is that it is not easily and rapidly degraded in nature.
  • Biological control of insects means control of insect population in exploitation of natural prey-predator relationship.
  • Bordeaux mixture is a fungicide.
  • BHC - Benzene hexa chloride.
  • Sporeine is a bio insecticide. Sporeine was the first bio insecticide to be developed on a commercial scale.
  • Natural insecticide 'azadiractin' is obtained from Neem.
  • The pesticide used in foundations of buildings for preventing, termite attack is Aldrin.
  • Bio pesticides are living organisms (natural enemies) or their products or byporducts which can be used for the management of pests that are injurious to plants.
  • Bio-pesticides includes biofungicides, bioherbicides and bioinsecticides.
  • Advantages of biopesticides - ecofriendly, affect only target pest group and biodegradable.


Endosulfan is an off-patent organochlorine insecticide and acaricide that is being phased out globally. The two isomers, endo and exo, are known popularly as I and II. Endosulfan sulfate is a product of oxidation containing one extra O atom attached to the S atom.

  • Endosulfan is a dangerous pesticide used all over the world in the control of bugs and pests of various crops.
  • On aerial spraying of Endosulfan in Cashew plantations of Kasargod District it is seen that endosulfan spraying resulted in mental retardation, birth defects, infertility and growth abnormalities in Kasargod district.
  • On considering this problem seriously in this conference parties of Stockholm Convention consisting of 127 nations held at Geneva on 29th April 2011 approved the recommendation for elimination of production and use of endosulphan worldwide.
  • Later Supreme Court of India banned the manufacture, sale, use and export of Endosulphan.


Forestry is the science and craft of creating, managing, using, conserving, and repairing forests and associated resources to meet desired goals, needs, and values for human and environment benefits. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands. The science of forestry has elements that belong to the biological, physical, social, political and managerial sciences.

  • Turpentine oil is obtained from pinus tree.
  • Plants and animals living in a given area form a community.
  • Rain forests occur in western ghats and Eastern Himalayas.
  • Herbarium is a collection of 'preserved plants'.
  • The 'Great Banyan Tree' is in Indian Botanical Garden Sibpur, Kolkata.
  • Wild life protection Act was enacted in India in 1972.
  • The treat of extinction of tigers forced the India government to initiate the 'Project Tiger' on April 1, 1973.
  • In India paper is mainly manufactured from Bamboos.
  • Mango, Papaya, Banana, Guava, Pineapple, Mangosteens etc are included in tropical fruits.
  • Silent valley is a conserved forest.
  • Tropical rain forest is seen in Assam
  • Brazil is the native place of cashew-nut.
  • Vanamahotsav started in 1950.
  • Chipko movement is connected with plant conservation..
  • Botanical survey of India (BSI) with its head office in Kolkata came into existence in 1890. 
  • National Botanical Garden (National Botanical Research Institute, NBRI) is situated in Lucknow.
  • World Wildlife Fund (WWF) was established in 1961 at Gland in Switzerland.
  • The Giant Panda was chosen as its symbol. It has the membership of countries including India.
  • Its main aim are conservation, education and research.

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