Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister today said that Indian agriculture ready to face and win over challenges and also climatic adversities.
Addressing the 88th ICAR Foundation Day and ICAR Award Ceremony Singh said that despite a short fall of nearly 14 per cent in monsoon rains during 2015-16, the food production remained stable and provided support to national food security. This also ensured livelihood security to millions of farmers who are engaged in mainstream agriculture and related enterprises. Government has launched several new schemes and implementing these vigorously for welfare and enhancing income of farmers. Government has committed to double the income of farmers by 2022, he said.
The Minister emphasized the importance of agriculture education in overall development of agriculture and elaborated various measures taken to enhance the quality and relevance of education. A new course curricula for undergraduate program has been designed which includes tradition, technology, talent orientation and trading concept for making student competent enough to tackle various fields challenges and also earn a decent livelihood, he added. He stressed on the need to popularize integrated farming models across India for enhancing income of farmers and also urged scientists to accelerate lab to land program and commercialization of technologies.
Singh appreciated scientists for developing new varieties of pulses and oilseeds which have drought and flood tolerance to boost the production of these important commodities. Pulse seed production hubs are being developed in various regions to ensure availability of quality seeds of pulses to farmers. He also appreciated various new technologies and interventions which have enhanced horticulture, dairy, fisheries and poultry production.
Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister along with Ministers of States for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare conferred various categories of ICAR awards. A total of 116 awardees were selected under 19 different categories comprising four institutes, two AICRPs, 12 KVKs, 73 scientists, 11 farmers and Six agricultural journalists which include 11 women scientists.
Earlier, Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, DARE and DG, ICAR made a comprehensive presentation on the recent achievements and major contributions of ICAR in sustaining food and nutritional security of the country.
The event was followed by a Krishak Goshthi in which more than 700 farmers from various regions participated and interacted with scientists on various issues of technologies and other interventions. Dr. AK Singh, DDG (Agricultural Extension) and Dr. JS Sandhu, DDG (Crop Science) chaired and coordinated the proceedings along with senior officials and scientists of ICAR.