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“Role of Agricultural Scientists is Important in Building a New India By 2047,” says Tomar

According to Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is the world's largest and most comprehensive research institute.

Shivam Dwivedi
Organic Farming products will become more popular around the world in the coming years
Organic Farming products will become more popular around the world in the coming years

The institute has made commendable progress thus far. Our agricultural scientists have played a critical role in achieving production targets, increasing productivity, and meeting the challenge of producing climate-resilient crops.

Consolidating on the traditional farming practices of ancient times, as well as the hard work of farmers, scientific research has proven to be a watershed moment in the agricultural sector's progress. So far, this journey has been satisfying, but it is our goal to overcome the challenges during Amrit Kaal in order to bring the country into the club of developed nations by 2047.

This was stated by Union Minister Tomar while speaking at the 94th Annual General Meeting of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Society. He stated that as India's dominance in the agricultural sector grows around the world, so do people's expectations of us. The goal is to construct a New India by 2047. Because tomorrow belongs to New India, it requires new science, research, skills, and innovation.

The Government of India, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is working on this on the basis of new principles. 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas' is our main mantra; keep marching towards the goal without leaving anyone behind. The slogan 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan' was coined by former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. Our current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has added 'Anusandhan' to this slogan, which was added by then-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan, and Jai Anusandhan' has become a mantra for us.

According to Tomar, the country's overall and balanced development is being pursued. When it comes to overall development, the agriculture sector is the country's backbone. It is our responsibility to make it a reality. Today, we face a number of challenges, including Climate Change. We are also dealing with the issue of damage to farmers' standing crops as a result of natural disasters. With new technology and research, we must reach out to all farmers in New India. Farmers' incomes must be increased, prosperity must be brought to their homes and villages, and the agriculture sector must be made prosperous, all of which must be accomplished collaboratively.

The Union Agriculture Minister stated that agricultural exports totaled Rs. 4 lakh crore, the highest ever. Our Natural and Organic Farming products will become more popular around the world in the coming years. It is necessary to work with the expectation that our exports will increase further in the future. Along with this, we must ensure that the production quality meets the global standard. Natural farming is the government's priority.

Prime Minister Modi advocates for the promotion of natural farming, or cow-based farming. Let the emphasis be on 'waste to wealth'. We must strive to improve the quality and sanitation of our products. According to the Agriculture Minister, the year 2023 has been designated as the International Year of Millets (Shree Anna). On March 18th, the Prime Minister will formally launch the programme. The International Year of Millets is a large project to increase Shree Anna's production, productivity, and market.

Shree Anna consumption and popularity are also increasing as a result of programmes being organised across the country. With the increasing popularity of Shree Anna around the world, the responsibility of supplying it will fall squarely on India, as we are the largest producer of Shree Anna. Scientists must also consider this factor. Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying, praised the commendable effort put forth by ICAR in developing indigenous vaccine Lumpi-ProVac for defence against Lumpy Skin Disease, which affects a large cattle population in the country, in his address.

Speaking on the occasion, Ramesh Chand, Member of NITI Aayog, expressed satisfaction that our foodgrains production growth rate is faster than the country's population growth rate, and that the momentum should be maintained. He urged the ICAR to focus its efforts on the 12 crops that have seen declining production over the years, including Cotton, which supports the textile industry, as well as Soyabean, Tur & Urad pulses, and Oilseeds, particularly Safflower. Dr. Ramesh Chand stated that while consumption of millets per person has decreased from 24% to 6% over the years, we must ensure that millets remain a staple diet of the poor because they are high in iron and prevent anaemia.

Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Director General of ICAR and Secretary of DARE, stated that the ICAR released 323 varieties of field crops, including 266 climate-resistant variants, during the fiscal year 2022-23. The ICAR Institutes developed a number of vaccines, including the H9N2 Influenza Vaccine for Chickens and a vaccine for the prevention of SARS-CoV2 infection in animals, he said.

Kailash Choudhary, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Uttar Pradesh Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi, Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Abdul Sattar, Himachal Pradesh Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Minister Chander Kumar, ICAR Secretary Sanjay Garg, and other members and senior officers were present. Union Minister Tomar also released some publications on this occasion. Some members also made suggestions during the AGM.

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