Science-driven farming for better yield: Experts

Science-driven farming for better yield: Experts

People throng a stall displaying farm products at the 107th Indian Science Congress in Bengaluru on Monday. DH PHOTO

The central government is setting up a Farmer Innovation Centre in New Delhi to disseminate beneficial and effective agricultural practices to farmers across the country.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Farmer’s Science Congress at the 107th Indian Science Congress at the University of Agricultural Sciences, officials and agricultural academicians said that while Indian agriculture had made great strides in the years after Independence, it now needed a paradigm shift to sail through the problems surrounding the sector.

“We have established the Innovation Centre in New Delhi, where innovative farming practices from around the country are going to be validated and promoted. We have also created the Farmer Innovation Fund, which is offered on a competitive basis, and where the farmers’ incomes are actually supported financially, and so that the farmers can do research,” said Dr Trilochan Mohapatra, Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research in New Delhi.

The idea, according to Dr U K Behera, Dean of the Central Agricultural University at Imphal is to blend science with agricultural practices to create innovation-driven integrated agriculture and rural entrepreneurship.

“Agriculture is at the core of rural economies. Many regard agriculture as purely an art, but fundamentally, it is pure science. Science-led agriculture brought in the green revolution. We must now use science to create a new roadmap for integrated agriculture, which will take us into the future,” Mohapatra said.

According to Dr Behera, integrated agriculture can help alleviate the problems of small farmers who comprise more than 85% of the farming community. “Farmers must be conditioned to think of agriculture not as a traditional practice, but a profession,” said Hanumangouda Belagurki, chairman of the Karnataka Agricultural Price Commission.

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