The future of agriculture lies in improvising a low input and high output based system, which would enhance profit of small scale farmers, who form the backbone of farm-based economy. Odisha has immense potential and shown a lot of promise to be the ‘green bowl’ of India, said SK Sopory, Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Addressing the National Conference of Plant Physiology-2014, organised at the Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) in Bhubaneswar, he said, “Research should be directed towards ‘root-soil microbe interaction’, which is essential to understand how crops flower and grow under low carbon and low-nitrogenic conditions.”
Sopory said future of food and nutrition security will rely on extensive exploration and effective exploitation of plant genetic resources and genomics-assisted breeding. Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said cyclonic storms have played havoc on agriculture, which contributes 16 percent to the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).
Patnaik urged the scientist community to forge cyclone resilient agriculture and horticulture pattern for Odisha. Crops with a robust root system which can provide anchorage to the crops during cyclones should be developed, he added. “Though Odisha is naturally an agrarian State, the vulnerability of coastal districts to extreme weather conditions and the acidic nature of soil has attributed to low crop productivity,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy said the State Government was committed to enhance agricultural productivity and ensure food and nutrition security for all. “Loss of nutrients in soil has been a major reason for fall in yield, and a majority of farmers have failed to ensure proper test of soil. The mobile soil testing laboratories have helped farmers to test nutrient content in the soil of their farms,” Maharathy added.