The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind addressed the 56th convocation of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) today.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that IARI played a critical role in the Green Revolution that changed the course of food production in the country. He was happy to note that students from 14 countries are being educated in this institution. And that IARI is helping in the development of agricultural capacities and research in neighbouring countries.
The President said that Mahatma Gandhi had observed that agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy. This is relevant even today. Enhancement of income of farmers and overall development in rural areas is the priority of the entire country. In this endeavour, students of IARI could contribute through innovations. He stated that there is a relative shortage of land and water resources, in proportion to our country’s population. Therefore, there is a need to continuously innovate to increase productivity.
The President said that IARI should start ‘Innovation Centres’ or ‘Incubation Centres’ to help students to launch start-up ventures in the agricultural sector. There are several schemes of the Central and State governments that offer special incentives to enterprises engaged in the agriculture sector. There are also many venture capital funds that can come forward to invest in agriculture-based enterprises. Students should use these opportunities, set up their ventures and become job creators.