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Big contribution by Agro universities in boosting farmer's income: Radha Mohan Singh
By TOG News Service
Mar 08, 2018

TOG News Service, NEW DELHI, MAR 08, 2018: ADDRESSING the Vice Chancellors of State Agriculture Universities and Directors of ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) Institutes in NASC Complex, New Delhi today, the Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, Mr Radha Mohan Singh, drew attention to the fact that food grain production in the country stood at 275.68 million tonnes in 2017-18. He further stated that such figure reflected a hike by 19 million tonnes, in comparison to the average production between 2011-12 and 2015-16. Mr Singh then stated that Horticulture witnessed a 4.8% hike compared to the previous year, with a record production at 305 million tonnes in 2016-17. He also mentioned that the production of fruits and vegetables had crossed 93 million tonnes and 178 million tonnes respectively.

Thereby, Mr Singh stated that towards such achievement in production, the technologies developed by State Agriculture Universities and ICAR had played a praise-worthy role. He further stated that tate Agriculture Universities and ICAR were working to make agriculture sustainable and beneficial for farmers. Despite challenges, agriculture universities and ICAR had made remarkable progress in agriculture productivity and production, thereby helping small and marginal farmers in enhancing their income. He further mentioned that in a coordinated effort, agriculture universities and ICAR institutes along with various state and central agencies had developed a 'Strategy Document on Doubling Farmers' Income by 2022 for different States. This would immensely help in achieving the prosperity of farmers. Moreover, special emphasis had been given on developing new technologies, integrated farming system, institution building, and human resource, diversification in agriculture, creating new opportunities and developing new sources of information.

Mr Singh further drew attention to the fact that out of the about 138 million landholders in India, about 85% of the farmers were marginal or small. Thereby, he asserted that this vulnerable class of farmers urgently needed better farming techniques and information. Thereby, the ICAR had developed 45 Integrated Farming System (IFS) models to help them tide over the problems associated with climate change. This model was being replicated and taken forward through KVKs spread across the country. Besides, ICAR had developed 623 certified District Level contingency schemes and organized skill development programs for 40.9 lakh farmers. In order to assist the Government's 'Soil Health Card' initiative, mini-labs were developed for soil testing. He further mentioned that ICAR through its KVKs spread across the country, had displayed climate friendly techniques in 29 States. ICAR had also developed 42 organic farming techniques, which were tested and are being further improved. Further, to benefit the farmers, he mentioned that the Govt had initiated several schemes & programmes like agriculture extension, 'Sankalp Se Siddhi', 'Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav', infrastructure development, agriculture education, agricultural research, international cooperation, and technology transfer.