Agriculture & Water Resources

Agriculture & Water Resources


Genetic Variability

Ionising radiation is used in plant breeding to produce new genetic lines.  Some examples have been sorghum, garlic, wheat, bananas, beans, avocado and peppers.  The new lines are more resistant to pests and more adaptable to harsh climatic conditions

The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT)

This consists of irradiating laboratory reared male insects before hatching to sterilise them then releasing them in large numbers in the infested areas.  When they mate with females, no offspring are produced.  With repeated releases of sterilised males, the population of the insect pest in a given area is drastically reduced.

Food Preservation through Irradiation

Food irradiation is the treatment of food by ionizing radiation

Radiation at appropriate doses can kill harmful pests, bacteria, or parasites, and extend shelf-life of foods


Fertilizers enhancement

'labeled' with a radioactive isotope, such as 15N and 32P,  provide a means of finding out how much is taken up by the plant and how much is lost

Water resources Management

radioactive liquid tracers injected into water supply:

underground - trace and measure the extent of underground water, provide information about origin, age and distribution and the interconnections between ground/surface water and renewal systems

surface - evaluate leakage through dams, dynamics of lakes and reservoirs, flow rates, river discharge measurements, sedimentation rates

Animal Production And Health

A programme in which radio-immunoassay techniques are used to measure the hormonal changes during the reproductive cycle of cattle and buffalo is leading to enhanced reproductive efficiency through better management practices and more efficient use of artificial breeding techniques.