The Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) is working on a contingent plan to look into climate change and farm labour crisis which have hit the farm sector hard.
On the 52nd Foundation Day of the university on Saturday, Vice-Chancellor Manoranjan Kar said the plan on climate change will deal with 10 agro-climatic zones in the State, based on the changing weather pattern in various zones, extent of rainfall, soil quality and crop sequence. This would help farmers in adapting to various crops that are not affected by weather change.
Climate change and agriculture, global warming, farm mechanisation, value-addition, food and nutrition security are the new research areas of OUAT, Kar said. Crop diversification is also an area that the university is looking into where farmers can experiment with other crops like vegetables, pulses, oilseeds and not depend just on paddy.
“Climate change is one of the most important research targets as it is going to affect agriculture in the long run. University and industry can work together in this regard,” said Kar. Hence, OUAT’s focus will now be on developing feasible and locally adaptable technologies to bring in livelihood security for small and marginal farmers through agriculture improvement.
To bring in quality education, the university plans to evolve strategies which would keep the students as well as teachers abreast of every development in the field of agricultural and allied sciences.
As far as labour crisis is concerned, the VC said new farming implements are being created by the university scientists to reduce the farmers’ labour.
On the occasion, Governor SC Jamir felicitated 35 farmers for excelling in various fields of agriculture. An exhibition on farming technology developed by the university besides a farmers-scientists interaction were organised.
Agriculture Minister Debi Prasad Mishra and Secretary Rajesh Verma were present. A book ‘Management of Agricultural Inputs’, written by Samarendra Mahapatra, head of Agri-Business Management of OUAT, was released by the Governor.