Agriculture has a key role in reducing poverty – Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

9th October 2014, New Delhi

‘Globally agriculture is the predominant industry than any other industry. Growth in agriculture production with value addition will not only increase the per capita income of the farmers, but also support increasing need of food and raw materials in the urban sector. Enhancing agriculture productivity is the key for agro-food processing and related industrial, manufacturing and service sector growth,’ said Bharat Ratna Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India here today.

While inaugurating Ayurvet Knowledge Symposium 2014 on Integrating Agriculture and Livestock for Sustainability, he further added, ‘agriculture has a key role in reducing poverty since 3 billion people live in rural areas and are largely dependent on agriculture, while food process determine the cost-of-living for the urban poor.’

The Knowledge Symposium 2014 was organized by Ayurvet Research Foundation in collaboration with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Rajasthan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (RAJUVAS).

Livestock contribute to rural livelihoods, employment and poverty relief, he also said, livestock integrate with and complement crop-production, embody savings and provide a reserve against risks.

Dr Kalam said, ‘livestock rearing in our country is quite different for subsistence farmers, where risk management is more important than the developed market driven systems. Apart from climatic conditions, we have problem of large human and animal population, pressure on land, scarcity of pastureland, shortage of feed and fodder, resulting in comparatively low productivity and consequently the low economic returns.’

Former President of India, while appreciating the contribution of Indian poultry industries, said that poultry farming in India has transformed from a mere tool of supplementary income and nutritious food for the family to major commercial activity generating the required revenue.

He also mentioned, ‘the Indian poultry production is considered the cheapest in the world. About 3 million farmers and 15 million agrarian farmers are employed in the poultry industry that grow poultry ingredients for feed and contribute about Rs 26000 crore to the national income. India was positioned 17th in the world poultry production.’

He expressed his concern for the shortage of quality feeds and suggested, for increasing the supply of green herbage, conservation of degraded pasturelands and development of wastelands strategies are needed, he further added, feeding strategies for ruminants in tropics should also include environmental protection, through reduced methane emission, apart from increasing the productivity of ruminants stock.

Earlier, Dr. Pradip Burman, Chairman, Ayurvet Research Foundation welcomed dignitaries, guests and participants and presented a brief account of R&D preparedness of Ayurvet Research Foundation to face the future challenges. He said, livestock are closely linked to the social and cultural lives of several million resource-poor farmers, for whom animal ownership ensures a degree of sustainable farming and economic stability.

Illustrious researchers, renowned agriculture scientists and industry experts, farmers and students participated in the Knowledge Symposium.

(Source: anil [dot] cproatgmail [dot] com)