Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) celebrated its 93rd foundation day virtually on Friday. As part of the celebration, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar and Union Minister of Electronics & Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnav jointly launched Kisan Sarathi, a digital platform to facilitate farmers to get ‘right information at right time’ in their desired language.
In his address, Vaishnaw mentioned that with the digital platform Kisan Sarathi, the farmers can interact and avail personalised advisories on agriculture and allied areas directly from the respective scientists of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVKs).
Vaishnaw asked the ICAR scientists to take up research on new technological interventions like Kisan Sarathi in the area of transportation of farmers; crops from their farm-gate to warehouses, markets and the places where they want to sell with minimum damage. Union IT Minister assured that Ministry of Electronics and IT and Ministry of Communications would always be ready to provide all necessary support to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying for the empowerment of farmers. He also mentioned that the Ministry of Railways was making a plan to minimise the time taken for the transportation of crops.
Congratulating the ICAR on its achievements, Union Agriculture Minister said that the commendable works carried out in the various fields of agricultural and allied sciences by the Council’s untiring scientists and farmers were a real honour for the country. He emphasised the agriculture sector’s capability to meet the targets of the essential food crops even during the challenging times of Covid-19.
Tomar urged for a collective approach for developing technologies in effectively solving various problems and challenges of the farming community. He applauded the Council’s initiatives to make the country an exporter of various food crops and ensure nutritional security. He also outlined the active participation by more than 400 Krishi Vigyan Kendras in the “Bharat Ka Amrut Mahotsav” programme initiated by the Council to commemorate 75 Years of India’s Independence.
The Union Minister outlined the Central government’s agricultural schemes like Lab-to-Land, Water to every Agricultural land, Per Drop More Crop, among others that are aimed at accelerating the progress of the agricultural sector and transforming the farm sector of the country. He stressed on promoting integrated farming along with organic and natural farming practices. Tomar emphasised creating a new synergy between research and education to contribute wisely in the process of nation-building. He also emphasised that the new farm laws would not only bring revolutionary transformation in the agricultural sector, but also enhance farmers’ livelihood options.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Parshottam Rupala praised the research and innovations done by the ICAR for the benefit of farmers of the country. He said ICAR has done a commendable job to bring research and technology to the farm-gate. He said, just like the soil health card, ICAR can develop a mechanism that helps fish farmers to know about the condition of fishing in particular ocean blocks. He also advised ICAR to develop a digital platform for the animal husbandry and fisheries sector on the model of ‘Kisan Saarathi’.
Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary (DARE) & Director General (ICAR) underlined the various activities carried out, working styles and achievements of the Council. Organising the various national and international events, schemes initiated and the signing of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) during the last one year were also highlighted in the DG’s address. Dr. Mohapatra stressed on the Council’s commitment to provide higher education in the agricultural arena, carrying out new researches, identifying the latest domestic varieties, initiating new technological advancements to narrow the gap of lab-to-land and to provide prompt solutions to various problems faced by the farmers.
On the occasion, ICAR conferred 16 Awards in various categories including the “National Award for outstanding contributions for Agricultural Institutes”, “National Award for Application of Agricultural Technologies” and “National Award for Innovation and Technology Development by Farmers”. The Council virtually felicitated about 60 Awardees in 16 different categories. The Awards included four ICAR Institutes, one All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP), four Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), 39 scientists and 11 farmers.
Read more: Office of Principal Scientific Advisor & KVKs partner to make agritech accessible for farmers
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