Main Client of the Agricultural Research is the Farmer, said Dr Manmohan Singh

ICAR Foundation Day Lecture

New Delhi, 16 July, 2011

ICAR Foundation Day  16th July 2011‘You must never lose sight of the fact that your main client is the farmer. Unless you engage with farmers and their problems, you will not succeed in transforming knowledge into higher productivity and better incomes to farmers’, said Dr Manmohan Singh, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India while delivering 83rd  Foundation Day Lecture of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

He complimented the ICAR for the contribution in achieving self-sufficiency in foodgrains and diversity in food production, which is enormous. However, to increase the food production to meet future demands, ‘we clearly need a second green revolution that is broadbased, inclusive and sustainable; we need to produce more without depleting the natural resources any further, and we look towards our agricultural scientists for ushering this in.’

‘India currently spends about 0.6% of its agricultural GDP on agricultural Research and Development. This needs to be enhanced 2 to 3 times by 2020 since a substantial portion of our agricultural growth would come through the application of new technologies and new knowledge,’ Prime Minister added.

Dr Manmohan Singh specifically mentioned two areas which need focus for accelerating agricultural growth. ‘The first is the protection of crops, animals and farm produce against new and emerging diseases and pathogens. The second is careful application of biotechnology to improve productivity, enable better resilience to stress and also enhance the incomes of farmers’, he emphasized.

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Prime Minister honoured 10 best performing States in foodgrain production with Krishi Karman Awards (2010-11) instituted by the Department of Agriculture and Co-operation, Ministry of Agriculture under two categories. Punjab, Uttar Pradesh (Group-1), Orissa, Assam (Group-2) and Tripura (Group-3) were awarded for achieving highest total food grain production in respective groups. In individual crop category, Chhattisgarh was awarded for rice, Haryana for wheat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan for pulses and Karnataka for coarse cereals production. Awards were received by the respective Chief Ministers and Ministers of Agriculture of the States.

Earlier, Shri Sharad Pawar, Union Minister of Agriculture and Food Processing Industries welcomed Hon’ble Prime Minister, the Chief Ministers and the Agriculture Ministers of the States, and distinguished invitees. Shri Pawar expressed satisfaction and joy over the fourth advance estimate for this year total food grain production which has gone up-to 241 million tones. Emphasizing the need to increase investment in the agricultural research he said, ‘at present our investments form about 0.50% of Agriculture Domestic Product which must be at least 1% and ideally be 2-3% if Indian agriculture has to be truly competitive.’

Shri Harish Rawat, Union Minister of State for Agriculture, Food Processing Industries and Parliamentary Affairs expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister for providing continuous guidance and support. Dr Charan Das Mahant, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries was also present.

Dr S Ayyappan, Secretary, DARE and Director General, ICAR highlighted the achievements and future research strategies of the Council to accelerate agricultural growth and development in the country. Notable initiatives of the ICAR were e-launched in the presence of Hon’ble Prime Minister-‘Making a Difference in Indian Agriculture-The Journey of ICAR’(e-book), Rice Knowledge Management Portal, The Agriculture Centre, e-Courses in Agriculture and Design of Bharat Ratna C. Subramaniam Auditorium.

Senior Officials of the Government of India, State Governments and ICAR participated in the Foundation Day Ceremony.

(Source: NAIP Sub-Project on Mass Media Mobilization, DKMA)