PM promulgates twin agri-growth mantras to farmers

PM promulgates twin agri-growth mantras to farmers

PM promulgates twin agri-growth mantras to farmers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday prescribed twin mantras to farmers—less land, less time, more crop, and per drop, more crop—to increase farm productivity.

Urging farm scientists to explain their research to farmers in simpler terms, Modi said productivity would increase only when findings of laboratories would be tested in the field.

“Change can happen only when the farmer is convinced about its (research’s) efficacy,” said the prime minister at a function marking the 86th Foundation Day of the Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR).

He also asked scientists to look for ways to increase productivity of oilseeds and pulses, so as to reduce India's dependence on import.

Industry estimates have pegged India’s edible oil imports for 2014-15 at over 12.1 million tonne—one million tonne more than the previous year—owing to sub-normal monsoon in the country.

The prime minister also batted for better remunerative prices to farmers for their produce. “We have to think about how our farmers can feed India and the world, and earn a good income in the process,” he said.

Noting that the growing demand for food would have to be met through the limited land available, Modi asked scientists to focus on soil fertility and water conservation.

Contending that farmers listened to the radio more, the prime minister asked college students to start radio programmes for the benefit of farmers.

Modi also advocated scientific management of water, keeping in mind the changing weather cycle. The south-west monsoon was more than 40 per cent below normal till the end of June, but the situation has improved following heavy rain in the second half of July.

Modi said after the green and the white revolution, the country should look at the blue revolution, which would extend the benefits of scientific research to the fisheries sector.

He also called for greater research and promotion of coastal seaweed and Himalayan herbal medicinal plants. “There is great scope for development there,” he said.

Speaking at the event, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said keeping in view forecast of a sub-par monsoon, the ICAR had prepared contingency plans for 520 districts.
However, the Centre is yet to receive any information from state governments on declaration of drought in any region, he said.