21th February, 2015, Patna
The eastern region of the country has huge possibility of increasing food production due to its high fertile land, labour and irrigational water, said Union Minister of Agriculture Shri Radha Mohan Singh. While inaugurating three-day Regional Agricultural Fair at Central Potato Research Station, Patna, he further added, by utilizing these natural resources the food and nutritional security can be further strengthened and solved.
Agriculture Minister emphasised that farmers must have correct information about the health of soil. He further added, in absence of knowledge about soil health and adequate fertilizer recommendations, farmers often adopt excessive use of nitrogen which not only deteriorates the quality of agricultural products but also enhances nitrate content in ground water and creates several environmental problems.
Shri Singh also said that in order to ensure soil test based fertilizer use by the farmers, Prime Minister has decided to make available Soil Health Card to each farmer, therefore, Government of India launched a new centrally sponsored Soil health Card Scheme.
He highlighted various new schemes and initiatives for expansion and strengthening of agricultural education and research together with outreach to farmers.
The innovative farmers from state of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal were felicitated by Union Minister of Agriculture on the occasion. A special issue of ‘Kheti’ on potato and other publications were also released by Union Minister of Agriculture.
Shri Ramkripal Yadav, Union Minister of State for Drinking Water & Sanitation also visited and appreciated the efforts of agricultural scientists for organising the regional fair at Patna. He was the chief guest in concluding ceremony.
Earlier, Shri R. Rajagopal, Additional Secretary, DARE and Secretary ICAR; Dr. NK Krishna Kumar, DDG (Horticulture Science) ICAR; Dr. Birpal Singh, Director, ICAR-CPRI, Shimla; and Dr. PB Bhatt, Director, ICAR-RCER, Patna and Dr Manoj Kumar, Head, CPRS, Patna also addressed the farmers and participants in inaugural session.
The Fair was organised by ICAR-Central Potato Research Institute, Shimla; Indian Potato Association and DAC, Ministry of Agriculture.
More than 12,000 farmers from Bihar and neighbouring states, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal visited the Agricultural Fair. They also participated in Kisan Goshthis on various topics during the Fair. A large number of ICAR Institutes, SAUs, government organisations, private NGOs participated and setup about 100 exhibition stalls for benefit of farmers. Farmers discussed various issues related to agriculture, horticulture, veterinary and fisheries with the Scientists representing different national organizations/Universities.
(Source: ICAR-CPRS, Patna)