86th Foundation Day and ICAR Award Ceremony

Make Farmers More Empowered and Prosperous, said Prime Minister

29th July, 2014, New Delhi

Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi called upon agricultural scientists to make farming community more empowered and prosperous through new science and technology interventions. He was addressing as Chief Guest on the occasion of 86th Foundation Day and ICAR Award Ceremony here today. While acknowledging millions of Indian farmers for their immense contributions, he emphasized the need to disseminate technologies to farmers in the most simple, adoptable and acceptable manner. He reiterated that we must make adequate improvements in science and technology in sync with fast changing climate and agro climatic zones. We will have to strengthen capabilities of farmers so that food security can be ensured for the country along with the enhancement of profits for them, he added. Scientists should win the confidence of farmers so that they adopt their technologies with hope.

While referring present challenges before agriculture, he emphasized the need for enhancement of per hectare productivity and development of short duration crop varieties without any quality erosion. He said a judicious mix of traditional wisdom and new technologies may be developed to improve soil health and fertility. In an era of water crisis, efficient use of every drop of water and water harvesting should be promoted through public awareness and participation, he said. More crop, per drop should be our mantra for better productivity from each drop of water. He also emphasized on enhancement of livestock productivity and advised dissemination of new technologies to livestock owners.

Prime Minister stressed upon strengthening of the lab to land programme to make it more effective. He also suggested development of a talent pool of progressive farmers and agriculture students for ensuring quick availability of technologies at village level. Agricultural Universities may launch community radio to present solutions to immediate and local agricultural problems. Prime Minister suggested compiling and developing a comprehensive digital platform of research work done by young researchers for their doctoral thesis. As a future direction, he suggested focused research on priority areas such as enhancement of production and quality of pulses and oil seeds, blue revolution for fisheries production, culture of pearls and cultivation of medicinal plants including sea weeds. While mentioning important role of ICAR, he suggested to set special goals for the centenary of this institution and should work for development of a road map to attain the same.

Prime Minister visited National Agricultural Science Museum and showcasing of ICAR technologies and products.

Shri Modi conferred Sardar Patel Outstanding ICAR Institution Award, Jagjivan Ram Abhinav Kisan Puruskar, N.G. Ranga Farmer Award for Diversified Agriculture, Chaudhary Charan Singh Award for Excellence in Journalism and awards to Agriculture Universities.

Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister of Agriculture presided over the function and welcomed the Prime Minister while highlighting the achievements of ICAR in his speech. He said due to critical monsoon conditions, the steps have already been undertaken to implement contingency plans in 520 districts of the country. These are developed under the NICRA project of ICAR. He also informed that 639 Krishi Viyan Kendras are working at ground level and in 12th five year plan 'FARMER FIRST' scheme will be initiated. The Minister expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister for giving importance to agriculture sector in the budget and assured that ICAR will provide necessary cooperation and knowledge inputs for implementation of the same. He also emphasized the contribution of ICAR in the field of agricultural education, soil health, climate change and agro diversity.

Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries while addressing assured that ICAR will extend full support in implementing the various suggestions and guidelines given by Prime Minister in his speech.

The Ministers conferred various categories of ICAR awards. This year 89 awards were given under 16 different categories, which includes three institutions, one AICRP, 73 scientists, 10 farmers and two agriculture journalists. Eleven women scientists include the list of awardees.

Hon'ble guests released the publications of ICAR and its institutes along with products.

Dr. S. Ayyappan, Secretary, DARE and Director General, ICAR welcomed the dignitaries and made a presentation on the achievements and contributions of ICAR along with outlining the future road map of the Council.

Representatives of the scientific institutions, ministries, line departments, international organizations, Agricultural Universities along with scientists and senior officers of ICAR participated in the event.

(Source: Directorate of Knowledge Management in Agriculture, ICAR)