'Need to strengthen farm innovators'

Innovators meet: Participants from 25 states share their findings

Addressing participants at the inauguration of the National Farm Innovators Meet - 2010 in Suttur (Nanjangud taluk), attended by representatives of 25 states, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Director General Dr S Ayyappan said indigenous farm mechanism is essential to solve labour problems in the sector. This will also help reduce the cost involved in farming. 
A repository of innovative methods of farming ‘Farm Innovators  - 2010’ was released by ICAR on the occasion.

Largest producer

Speaking on behalf of the Minister of State for Agriculture, Prof K V Thomas, Dr K D Kokate, Deputy Director General ICAR, said that India has achieved development of frontier technologies in agriculture, allied sectors and also accomplished production potentials. He said that India is the largest producer in the world for crops such as wheat, rice, vegetable oil, fruits, milk, coffee, tea and cotton.

Commending farmers for their courage and capacity to experiment and innovate, he said that they have been adapting, reinventing technologies that have been received from research stations to suit their micro environments.

Low cost

Describing farmer innovations as low-cost, farmer-friendly and easy to adopt for fellow farmers, he said that invented technology is confined to the locality.

He urged for the need to assess and validate these innovations for upscaling in similar situations.

Speaking on the occasion, Suttur Mutt seer Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji said that although farmers are the only ones who take all the risks, struggle with climate uncertainties and keep feeding the nation, recognition of their noble service has remained a mere ‘lip service’.

Green Revolution

He said that the country has become self-sufficient in the food sector thanks to the Green Revolution. At the same time, he also expressed concern at the level of food production remaining stagnant for since long.

Urging foremost attention on innovation, he said the process of reviving agricultural development must be led by the farmers as they are the main stakeholders.
He appealed for initiating farmer-oriented, farmer-led research and development.

Barack Obama

Recollecting an incident involving US President Barack Obama during his visit to a farm exhibition in Mumbai, Dr Ayappan said that Obama became very interested about an indigenously developed groundnut de-kernel, which is used to remove the outer shell of groundnuts.

Dr Ayyappan observed that even though that machine didn’t cost crores of rupees, it was using appropriate technology to grab the attention of the leader and later leading to enquiries from USAID.

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