Technology, changes in cropping patterns bring good yields: UAS VC

Wadiyars' contribution to agrarian sector is immense, says Shivanna

 Vice Chancellor of the University of Agriculture Sciences (UAS) H Shivanna said, there is no future for both agriculture and the nation, if the farmers do not adopt technology and change cropping pattern.

He was speaking after inaugurating the centenary celebrations of the Agriculture Research Centre on the outskirts of Mysuru, on Friday. “At present, India is producing  710 million tonnes of food, including 270 million tonnes of grains and 270 million tonnes of vegetables. So, the average per capita availability of food is 400 grams. By 2030, the population of India is expected to go up to 160 crore. Then, it will be a challenge to feed the nation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is speaking about doubling the income of farmers, which also means doubling the production. If farmers stick to traditional farming practices, no targets can be reached,” he said.

Shivanna said, following research, the yield of paddy, which was 10 to 15 quintals per acre, has reached up to 60 quintals. “The yield of sugarcane, which was 30 to 40 tonnes, has now reached 100 tonnes per acre. Research is underway to make the yield 220 tonnes of sugarcane per acre. But, farmers should adopt the technologies and practices offered by the scientists.

Steps should be taken by the farmers to minimise the use of water because water is a precious resource. The system of supplying water to the fields through canals should also be changed. In canals, while 30% of the water gets percolated into the ground, 30% gets evaporated. With nearly 10% of other wastage, only 30% of the water is available for agriculture,” he pointed out.

He lamented over the abandoning of agriculture by farmers. “Even though 160 million hectares of land is deemed to be under cultivation in India, nearly 26 million hectares of land has gone barren due to various reasons. So, the challenge to feed the nation is really tough,” he said.

Wadiyars contribution

Recounting the concern for farmers and the farsight of the Wadiyars, he said, maharani Kempa Nanjammani, popularly addressed as Vani Vilasa Sannidhana, the then regent for her son maharaja Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, granted 30 acres of land at Hebbal in Bengaluru in 1898 for the establishment of an agriculture centre. It started functioning in 1906 under the reign of Nalvadi.

“In 1917, when agriculture was at crossroads, Nalvadi invited Leslie C Coleman, a scientist at the Hebbal centre, to establish a research centre near Mysuru, to rescue the farmers from the dire straits. The works on the KRS dam across the River Cauvery was underway and a plot near Naganahalli and Belakavadi were chosen. Ultimately, Naganahalli was finalised. After the completion of the KRS dam, Coleman was also entrusted with the responsibility of establishing the Research Centre near Mallanayakana Katte, which is popular as VC (Visvesvaraya Canal) Farm in Mandya district at present,” he said.

Agriculture Commissioner G Sathish, UAS Academic Director D P Kumar, Researcher Director N R Gangadharappa, Extension Director K Jagadishwar, Dean (PG) N Krishnamurthy, Dean (Agri) T Shivashankar, Joint Director for Agriculture K M Somasundar, Naganahalli centre Senior Field Superintendent C Govindaraju and Associate Research Director C R Ravishankar were present.


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