Agricultural research & development is the main source of innovation, which is needed to sustain agricultural productivity growth in the long-term. This was stated in Economic Survey, 2017-18 tabled by the Union Minister for Finance Arun Jaitley in Parliament today.
The Survey says that the actual expenditure of Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE)/Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has increased from Rs.5,393 crore in 2010-11 to Rs.6,800 (BE) crore during 2017-18. The compound annual growth rate of expenditure has been 4.2% over the years and in recent years’ expenditure has been on higher side.
During the current financial year (2017-18), investment in agriculture research and education protected new agricultural innovation by filling 45 patent applications at Indian Patent Office (IPO) and the cumulative patent applications have now risen to 1,025. As many as 10 copyright and 12 trademark applications were filed by ICAR for products and processes. After the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Right Authority notified new genera, applications for 135 varieties were filed at the Registry and 155 high-yielding varieties/hybrids of cereals were released for cultivation in different agro-ecologies of the country during 2016, the Economic Survey adds.
Economic Survey says that total 209 new varieties/hybrids tolerant to various biotic and abiotic stresses with enhanced quality have been developed for cereals, pulses, oilseeds, commercial and forage crops.
Cereals:- 117 high yielding varieties/hybrids of cereals comprising 65 of rice, 14 of wheat, 24 of maize, 5 of finger millet, 3 of pearl millet, 1 each of sorghum, barley, foxtail millet, kodo millet, little millet and proso millet were released for cultivation in different agro-ecologies of the country during 2017.
Oilseeds:– 28 high yielding oilseeds varieties comprising 8 of rapeseed-mustard, 5 of soybean, 4 each of groundnut and linseed, 3 of sunflower, 2 each of castor and niger were released for different agro-ecological regions.
Pulses:- 32 high-yielding varieties of pulses comprising 10 of chickpea, 6 of lentil, 4 of cowpea, 3 of mungbean, 2 each of pigeonpea, horse gram and field pea, 1 each of uradbean, rajmash and faba bean were released for different agro-ecological region.
Commercial Crops:- 24 high-yielding varieties for commercial crops including 13 of cotton, 8 of sugarcane and 3 of jute were released for different agro-ecological regions.
Forage crops:- 8 high yielding varieties/hybrids of forage crops comprising 3 of oats, 1 each of bajra, napier hybrid, forage sorghum, grain amaranthus, forage cowpea and marvel grass were released for cultivation in different agro-ecologies.