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There is need to intensify agricultural research: Minister

Givem the impact of climate change, new climate-smart technologies for the farmers should be developed. (Photo: Bloomberg)Premium
Givem the impact of climate change, new climate-smart technologies for the farmers should be developed. (Photo: Bloomberg)

The ICAR has set up eight regional committees on the basis of agro-climatic zones. The purpose of the Committee is to provide a forum to researchers and state government functionaries to examine gaps in current research and training efforts in agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries

New Delhi: There is a need to intensify research and development in agriculture and ensure it reaches farmers, said Union minister of state for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Kailash Choudhary on Friday.

Addressing the inaugural session of the meeting of ICAR Regional Committee-II, the minister said to increase farmers‘ income, “we must decrease their loan burden, provide developed seeds, create market linkage and storage facilities...States need to work proactively at the field level, the Centre is always there to provide assistance."

Choudhary added that there was also a need to shift from chemicals, fertilizers-based farming. “Technology needs to be extended to our farmers. Only research can’t do it alone, the end product of the research needs to reach the farmer. We need to be ‘Aatmanirbhar in Krishi’, then only India will become ‘Aatmanirbhar’."

He said that such type of review is essential to not only examine the progress, but to pin-point the problems and chalk out the possible solutions. “States like Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are becoming highly affected by the adverse climatic conditions. New climate-smart technologies for the farmers should be developed. Until the agricultural activities are taken as a commercial venture, one can’t reap full potential benefits and get remunerative returns."

Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research & Education (DARE)&Director General (DG), ICAR, Himanshu Pathak said that in spite of COVID-19 pandemic, India’s exports of agricultural and processed food products rose 13% on year. “However, the share in world export of food product is only about 3% due to low level of processing and lower value addition. Also, low level of processing is reflected in the composition of India’s food export basket which essentially consists of primary produce like rice, flour, sugar, meat, and fish."

The ICAR has set up eight regional committees on the basis of agro-climatic zones. The purpose of the Committee is to provide a forum to researchers and state government functionaries to examine gaps in current research and training efforts in agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries; to identify priorities; and to decide agenda of research and extension education in different agro-ecological regions of the country for the coming two years.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Swati Luthra

Swati Luthra writes on climate change, water, environment and forest issues for Mint. A graduate in Psychology, Swati has been mapping India’s policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at CoP-26 including achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
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