New Delhi, Jan 15: Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar Wednesday appreciated the contribution of agricultural scientists in the success of the recently-launched programmes for fast growth in food grain production.
“I feel an important factor contributing to the success of these programmes (to increase food grain production) is the active involvement of scientists and the officials of development agencies,” he said addressing scientists and policy makers at the 85th annual general meeting of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) society.
“The efforts of scientists in developing high yielding, input efficient, disease tolerant varieties (of crops) along with their widespread adoption by the farmers are visible in increasing the farm productivity, quality and quantity,” he said.
Pawar said that in the last decade, India’s food grain production increased from 198 million tonnes in 2004-05 to 259 million tonnes by 2011-12, at an average of about 6 million tonnes per annum.
Among other initiatives and achievements of the agricultural research and education system in India, the minister highlighted the National Initiative for Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA).
Under this programme, the ICAR has developed the crop contingency plans for more than 450 districts in the country which were effectively used during 2009 and 2012 droughts, moderating the impacts as compared to droughts that struck the country earlier.