For the food and nutritional security of the North Eastern States, it is important to promote the cultivation of oilseeds and pulses, Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh said today.
Inaugurating the academic block of College of Post-Graduate Studies, Central Agricultural University (CAU), Imphal, he said that the scientists of CAU and ICAR should develop technologies and resources for organic agriculture in the North Eastern Region.
He said that this region has a lot of potential for agriculture and human resource development. “Keeping this in mind six new colleges under the jurisdiction of the Central Agricultural University have been planned. Out of these – 4 new colleges have already started their fist academic session. I hope that, the other 2 colleges in Nagaland and Mizoram will be started soon,” Singh said.
“To empower the unemployed rural youths, the university has planned 6 vocational training centres and six multi-technology testing centers, and I hope that these centers for making rural youth employment generators rather than employment seekers, would be implemented soon,” he added.
“For the food and nutritional security of the North Eastern States, it is important to promote the cultivation of oilseeds and pulses. The effort by Central Agricultural University to promote Rabi mustard under zero tillage is commendable. I hope that the university will play an important role in increasing the cropping area of different pulses like lentil and lathyrus,” the Minister said.
He advised the scientists of CAU and ICAR to develop technologies and resources for organic agriculture in the North Eastern Region. Emphasis should be given on production of farm manure from all organic waste, the Minister said.
Singh also laid the foundation stone for the new College of Agriculture, Kyrdemkulai, Meghalaya. He also attended the Inter Session meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare at Umiam, Meghalaya. Addressing the Committee members, Singh suggested that to promote agriculture grower associations and farmer producer organizations should also be taken on board; from planting material to post harvest management and issues of logistics and price discovery.
“Although we have achieved a substantial breakthrough in production, the challenge lies in converting this into gains for farmer. We still have a long way to go in establishing a robust cold chain system from farm to fork. Creation of infrastructure for post harvest management and value addition therefore are a high priority area with focus on creating cold chain networks,” he added.
The Minister said that the “Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana” (PMKSY) has also been launched to expand cultivable area under assured irrigation,while improving on-farm water use efficiency and to enhance the adoption of precision-irrigation and other water saving technologies.