The research efforts of the research institutes, Centres and All India Coordinated Research Projects (AICRPs) of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) have led to the development and release of 748 high yielding, stresses (biotic & abiotic) tolerant varieties/ hybrids in different field crops for cultivation under different agro-climatic conditions during 2014-2017, this was informed by the Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in a written reply to the question on development of new farm technologies in Lok Sabha today.
Besides, 130 improved varieties of 54 important horticultural crops and 105 improved crop management technologies and package of practices for horticultural crops were also developed. More than 3.50 lakh quintals of breeder seeds of improved varieties of field crops and 18.5 lakh grafted plants, 12 lakh rooted cuttings and tuber crops, 90 tonnes of breeder seeds of vegetable crops, 5500 tonnes of breeders seed of potato and tropical tuber crops were produced and distributed during the period for sustaining the effective seed chain in the states, the Minister said.
In order to increase productivity, reduce cost of cultivation, reduce drudgery, improve value addition, conserve resources and provide alternate means for energy generation through improve farm mechanisation during the last 3 years, ICAR developed 72 new farm equipments, machines, gadgets with 34 new products and supplied over 16,500 prototypes of agricultural machinery to farmers and entrepreneurs, the Minister said in the lower house of the Parliament.
On the question of whether the Government has developed any mechanism to disseminate information about such innovation, technologies to the farmers, Shekhawat informed that for delivering such benefits, ICAR has established a network of 690 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) in the country, mandated for conducting front line demonstration at the farmer’s field, technology refinement, training and capacity building. The technologies duly tested and refined are thereafter passed on to line departments for large scale demonstration and transfer among farmers.
ICAR has overall 102 institutions comprising of 67 Research Institutes, 6 Bureaux, 14 Directorates and 15 National Research Centres mandated for conducting research in agriculture and allied areas besides 11 Agricultural Technology Application and Research Institutes (ATARIs) and 81 AICRPs mandated for coordinating, refining and demonstrating agricultural technologies and innovation in the country.
ICAR is giving focused attention towards development, promotion and propagation of new technologies i.e. high yielding and multi-stress resistant/tolerant varieties/hybrids using conventional and genomic tools in major crops; multi-nutrients rich varieties of rice, wheat, maize, lentil and pearl millet and improved quality of mustard and soybean; blast resistant wheat varieties; transgenic varieties in cotton, pigeonpea and chickpea; exploitation of gene editing technology for improving desired traits in rice and wheat and development of early maturing varieties of pulses especially mungbean and pigeonpea.