Annual Conference of Vice Chancellors of Agricultural Universities and Directors of ICAR Institutes

8th March 2018, New Delhi
Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare inaugurated the Annual conference of Vice chancellors of Agricultural Universities and Directors of ICAR Institutes at A.P. Shinde Symposium Hall, NASC Complex, New Delhi. Addressing the gathering, Shri Singh said the Government’s policy initiatives in the last three years have led to record food grain production this year. The total foodgrain production in the country stood at 275.68 million tonnes in 2017-18, which is about 10.64 million tonnes (or 4 percent) more than what was produced in 2013-14. In fact, the production of food grain this year is 19 million tonnes more than the average production between 2011-12 and 2015-16. Horticulture, which contributes significantly to nutrition, also witnessed record production at 305 million tonnes in 2016-17, 4.8% more than last year. The production of fruits has crossed 93 million tonnes and vegetables 178 million tonnes.

The Minister said State Agriculture Universities and ICAR have been working to make agriculture sustainable and beneficial for our farmers. Significant steps have been taken to attain Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of “Doubling Farmers’ Income by 2022”. In a coordinated effort, agriculture universities and ICAR institutes along with various state and central agencies have developed “Strategy Document on Doubling Farmers’ Income by 2022 for different States.. The Minister informed that there are about 138 million landholders in the country, out of which about 85% of the farmers are marginal (67%) or small (18). ICAR has developed 45 Integrated Farming System (IFS) models to help small and marginal farmers to tide over the problems associated with climate change. This model is being replicated and taken forward through KVKs spread across the country. Besides this, ICAR has developed 623 certified District Level contingency schemes and organized skill development programs for 40.9 lakh farmers.. ICAR through its KVKs spread across the country have displayed climate friendly techniques in 29 States. ICAR has also developed 42 organic farming techniques, which were tested and are being further improved. Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, in his address, said the country has made quantitative progress in the field of agriculture, but now there is a need to make qualitative progress in this field. He urged that in the field of agricultural education, skill based courses should be introduced to develop entrepreneurial skills amongst youth. The government has also increased the budget for agricultural education, so it should better utilized, he added. He appealed that mushrooming of private colleges should be stopped. Professor Dr. Ramesh Chandra, Member, NITI Aayog appreciated ICAR for developing state specific road map for doubling farmer’s income. He said increase in productivity and reduction in cost of production will help to achieve this goal. Dr. Chandra added that there is a need to improve food & nutritional security, food safety and sustainability. He said Zero budget farming needs scientific scrutiny and if it is feasible, should be encouraged. Dr Chandra said though high yield is achieved in pulses, sustainability needs to maintain. He said to achieve self -sufficiency in oil seed, new technologies should be pushed. During this occasion Agriculture minister lunched Ekikrit Krishi Shiksha portal, IVRI – Shukar Palan (Pig Farming) App and IVRI Pashu Prajanan (Animal Reproduction) App. He also presented 15 awards under various categories namely PG Scholership Based Award, Best Annual Report Award Large & Small Institute and Swachhata Pakhwara. The dignitaries also released Elisa Kit, Salem Black Goat –Ek Monograph and publications viz. State Specific Strategy Document on Doubling Farming Income by 2022, Prasanskaran Pragati and Impact Assessment of Indian Agriculture Information System . Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary (DARE) & Director General (ICAR), in his welcome address, informed ways to double farmers’ income by 2022 and how to attract youth towards entrepreneurship will be discussed in this conference. Shri Chhabilendra Roul, Special Secretary (DARE) & Secretary (ICAR) proposed vote of thanks. Dr. Narendra Singh Rathore, Deputy Director General (Agricultural Education), Shri JS Meena, Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries , Shri Punjab Singh, President, NAAS , Dr. Dr. A.K. Srivastava, Chairman (ASRB) also grassed the occasion. (Source: ICAR-DKMA, New Delhi)