Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh emphasised the role of organic farming in enhancing farmers’ income vis-à-vis soil fertility and human health and desired the replication of Sikkim model in other suitable states. Two years ago, Sikkim has been declared organic state. The minister recommended the opening of a National Research Centre on Organic Farming at Gangtok, Sikkim for further development of new technologies in this challenging field. He was addressing 87th Annual General Meeting of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) at National Agricultural Science Centre Complex (NASC) here today.
The minister complimented agricultural scientists for infusion of modern technologies in agriculture and appreciated their commitment to overcome farm constraints through innovations in fields. He expressed his satisfaction over large number of technology demonstrations at farmers’ fields, but stressed the need to accelerate the technology and knowledge empowerment of farmers.
The minister highlighted the achievement in developing soil health cards for farmers. A total of 607 Krishi Vigyan Kendras and 80 ICAR institutions and agricultural universities celebrated the World Soil Day on 5 December, 2015 and about 250,000 soil health cards were distributed to farmers, he informed. He said numbers of mobile soil testing labs have been increased substantially and other related facilities are being strengthened to further speed up the release of soil health cards to farmers. Agriculture minister elaborated on various new schemes and initiatives for welfare of farmers which include Crop Insurance Scheme, National Food Security Mission and technology missions on pulses and oilseeds.
Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundariya, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare urged agricultural scientists to develop technologies for reduction of production cost and enhancement of yields. We must ensure quick and effective dissemination of knowledge and information to farmers, especially regarding new schemes, he added. He said that welfare of farmers should be our prime goal and objective as the food security of the nation depends on their toil.
Agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry and fisheries ministers of various States; Members of the Governing Body of the ICAR; Members of ICAR Society; representatives from national and international organisations and senior officials and scientists of ICAR and DAC participated in the AGM.