Teach agriculture in school: ICAR chief

Teach agriculture in school: ICAR chief

It is essential to include topics on agriculture starting at the school level, in order to impress upon youngsters the relevance of agriculture. Efforts are onto develop a curriculum for the same, said the Secretary of Department of Agriculture Research and Education and Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Dr S Ayyappan.

He was addressing the gathering on the occasion of the silver jubilee of the alumni association of University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru (UAS-B). “Students should have knowledge about agriculture from school-level itself. By class 5, they should have awareness about seeds.

By class 10, they should know the process of cultivation,” he said. Holding an optimistic view about the state of agriculture, he said agriculture was a harvest of hope and not despair. He pointed out that even in the recent Paris convention, there was enhanced focus on agriculture in developing countries. It was important to attract and retain the youth in agriculture, he added.

Dr Ayyappan opined that the media should focus not just on the problems pertaining to agriculture, but more so on the wide range of innovations taking place in the field in India.

Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of the event, former Vice-Chancellor of UAS-B, K Narayana Gowda, said there were over 9,000 alumni who were part of the association. The alumni association was working towards developing several programmes to address the concerns of farmers, he said. One such initiative was that of agri-eco tourism.

This would involve taking the younger generation to rural areas and introducing them to crops and the process of cultivation. Also, they would look towards building a strong foundation to help farmers in distress and also aid the sustainable development of farmers, Gowda added. Next April-May, the association is also planning serious deliberations on tackling the issue of farmer suicides.

To mark the silver jubilee, a two-day convention is being hosted. The event will focus on topics such as climate change, sustainable agriculture and integrated farming systems.

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