NEW DELHI: Reiterating the NDA government’s policy to boost the agriculture sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday presented twin objectives to agricultural scientists to ensure increase in yield. After inaugurating the 86th Foundation Day of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Modi said the council’s work should be driven by two mantras — “Less land, less time, more crop” and “per drop, more crop”.
Modi said since demand was increasing and the available land won’t go up, the focus should be on soil fertility and water conservation. He asked the scientists to work for more efficient ways of water conservation and irrigation and elaborate their research in simpler terms, so that it could be understood by farmers and they could be convinced to try new products and initiatives.
“Change can happen only when the farmer is convinced about its efficacy. Therefore, agricultural scientists must, in accordance with changing circumstances of climate, water and soil, help the farmers get convinced about their initiatives,” Modi said, adding that water-cycle has to be managed according to the changing weather-cycle.
The Prime Minister also emphasised the two-fold objective which agricultural scientists need to adopt — “enable farmers to feed India & the world” and at the same time “earn a good income”. He also urged senior scientists to create a talent pool of young, educated and progressive farmers, and agricultural research scholars.
“Young educated and progressive farmers, and agricultural research scholars can together form a talent pool in all districts of the country,” said Modi.
To meet the challenge of ‘lab to land’ — taking scientific research to successful interventions — the Prime Minister asked agricultural colleges to start radio stations, adding that farmers listen to the radio a lot and programmes run by college students would prove to be extremely beneficial.
“Radio programmes in particular communities and areas, keeping the weather condition in mind, can be more beneficial to the farmers,” the PM said adding that all research papers of universities in the country should be digitised.
Modi also called for a “blue revolution” in the fisheries sector. He said there was need to ensure greater research and promotion of coastal seaweed and Himalayan herbal medicinal plants.
Govt Blinks on Genetically Modified Crops, Rolls Back Nod to Field Trials
Days after according approval to field trials of genetically modified crops, the government seems to have bowed to pressure from various quarters, including RSS affiliated organisations — Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) and Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) — to put on hold these tests. A delegation of SJM and BKS on Tuesday met Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar to lodge their strong protest against the purported move to allow field trials of GM crops. “The minister assured the SJM and BKS that the decision on field trials of GM crops has been put on hold,” said a statement.