ICAR completes 88 years: Proud of our scientists, says agriculture minister

Mr Radha Mohan Singh congratulated Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for having braved the odds despite challenging circumstances to achieve notable success in improving agriculture system and enhancing production and productivity


New Delhi: The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Mr Radha Mohan Singh recently addressed the 89th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) society at National Agricultural Science Complex (NASC) in Pusa, New Delhi. Mr Singh congratulated ICAR for completing 88 glorious years and lauded the institution for having braved the odds despite challenging circumstances to achieve notable success in improving agriculture system and enhancing agriculture production and productivity in the country thereby increasing income of the farmers, especially the small and marginal farmers.

The minister said that ICAR has taken important steps towards fulfilling Prime Minister’s vision of doubling farmer’s income by 2022. The ICAR has also done notable work in the field of developing new technologies, integrated farming systems, institution building, human resource, diversification in agriculture, creating new opportunities and developing new sources of information. The ICAR is committed to making Indian agriculture more sustainable and beneficial.

Mr Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare; Mr Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare and Panchayati Raj and Mrs Krishna Raj, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare were present on the occasion along with the agriculture ministers from various states.

Mr Singh said that the government is committed in its effort to double farmer’s income by 2022 and is working for the betterment of the sector and farmers. He said his entire focus is on farmers’ welfare and Budget 2018 reiterates the government’s emphasis on holistic development of agriculture sector. For the first time in this budget, the rural outlay has increased by 30%.

Agriculture minister asserted that several policy initiatives of the government in the last three years have resulted in record production of food grains in the country in the current year. In 2017-18, production of food grain was 275.68 million tones as compared to 265.04 million tonnes in 2013-14, showing a significant rise of 10.64 million tonnes (or about 4 percent). The food grain production in the current year is, in fact, 19 million tonnes more than the average food grain production between 2011-12 and 2015-16.

The Minister also expressed happiness over record production in horticulture in 2016-17 at 305 million tonnes, which is 4.8% more than the previous year. The fruit production has crossed 93 million tonnes and vegetable production has reached 178 million tonnes. He applauded the special contribution of ICAR in achieving this milestone and said that he is very proud of his peasant brothers and scientists for having taken India to the top slot in horticulture.

Mr Singh said the ICAR has developed 45 IFS by including 15 agro-climatic zones to help small and marginal farmers to tide over the problems associated with climate change. This model will be replicated and taken forward through agricultural science centers spread across the country. Besides this, ICAR has also developed 623 District Level contingency schemes, which were certified and skill development programs for 40.9 lakh farmers were organized.

In order to assist the Government’s “Soil Health Card” initiative, minilabs were developed for soil testing. ICAR through its agriculture science centres spread across the country have displayed climate friendly techniques in 29 States. A total of 42 biological agricultural technologies were developed by ICAR which were tested and further improved. ICAR has also developed 42 organic farming techniques, which were tested and are being further improved.

In order to take scientific knowledge to the farmers, the Government has started a program called ‘Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav, in which five villages are adopted by a group of four scientists who impart agricultural consultation and information to farmers. A total of 1226 teams have been formed this year from a pool of 4774 scientists sourced from ICAR and state agriculture universities. This program has already benefitted 9,76,033 farmers and 5.346 villages.