ICAR can claim credit for food security in India: ICAR chief

 
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the foundation stone laying ceremony of CMFRI’s MRC here on Saturday, he said that India needs 4% growth rate, but at present it is only 1%, mainly owing to the severe drought. “But we have managed well. With 17% of the world’s population, 2.3% land and 4.2% water, we haven’t complained that we don’t have food,” he said and added that ICAR can claim the credit for this achievement.

Culture in sea

“We are thinking about capturing from the sea always, why not think about culturing in the sea as well?” Dr Mangala Rai asked earlier, speaking after laying the foundation stone for the Laboratory cum office building for the Marine Research Centre (MRC) of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) at the College of Fisheries Technology wing campus at Hoige Bazar.

“Land is the most scarce resource in this country, mainly due to our huge population. It is difficult to meet the demands. So let us turn to water as a resource. We can improve productivity by culturing in the sea. Sea water is rich with minerals ideal for culture. Some algae are going to be an important source of energy in the future,” he said and added that institutes like CMFRI and its research wings are very important in this context.

Dr Rai predicted that there is going to be a huge migration of certain species of fishes from one shore to another, with dramatic changes in climate all over the world.

He said that the growth in fisheries sector is positive in India while it is negative in the rest of the world.
There is not much competition, and hence there is a great future for fisheries in India. We can turn the tide completely in our favour if we realise our potential and capitalise on the goodwill of the visionaries who founded institutes like CMFRI, he opined.

He also stressed on strong partnerships among the universities, research institutes and ICAR for fruitful growth.

Karnataka Veterinary and Fisheries Sciences University (Bidar) Vice Chancellor Dr Suresh S Honnappagol, Deputy Director General of ICAR Dr S Ayyappan, Member of ASRB (New Delhi) Dr Mohan Joseph Modayil, CMFRI (Kochi) Director Dr G Syda Rao and others were present on the occasion.

Rice varieties to resist drought, flood

Speaking to the media, Dr Mangala Rai informed that the ICAR has developed two varieties of rice — IR64 and Sama Masouri, with a gene named ‘Sub1,’ which enables them to resist submersion for almost two weeks. He said that the said gene will be incorporated on other varieties of rice, for cultivation in especially low lying areas. He also informed that a variety named ‘Sahbhagi’ has also been developed, which can resist drought. With proper implementation, these innovations can revolutionise agriculture in India, he hoped.

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