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Secretary DARE & DG ICAR's Desk

October - December 2015

The Frontline Demonstration in Agricultural Extension has been one of the prime drivers of accelerating agricultural growth in India. Acknowledging this fact, the extension system that is traditionally funded and governed by Public Sector is now hybridized witnessing pluralistic/multi-agency extension system catering to the wide range of demands of stakeholders. Notwithstanding, the extension education and technology delivery system has been dynamic to keep pace with the changing and growing needs of broad-based extension approaches.

July-September 2015

Mechanization of agricultural operations from land preparation to harvesting becomes inevitable due to increasing labour costs and non-availability of agricultural workers. Mechanization not only reduces drudgery, but also helps in enhanced production and productivity of agricultural commodities through timeliness of operations, effective management of inputs, improved quality of work and reduction in post-harvest losses. India has 192 million ha of gross cropped area owned by more than 166.5 million farmholders with an average land holding size of 1.16 ha.

April-June 2015

India remain leading milk producing nation in the world. In 2013-14, Indian milk production was about 138 million tonne taking the average per capita milk availability to 307 g against recommended norms of 290 g/day/person. To thiseffect, the cow has a special place in the traditional rituals in the country. According to the 19th Livestock Census, there are about 300 million bovines of which, 190.9 million are cattle that includes 151.17 million indigenous and 39.73 million crossbred/exotic cattle.

January-March 2015

The 68th UN General Assembly has recognized 2015 as the International Year of Soils (IYS). The main goal of the IYS 2015 is to raise awareness about the importance of healthy soils and to advocate for sustainable soil management to protect this precious natural resource. This official recognition will emphasize the importance of soils beyond the soil science. This also puts greater responsibility to the Council that envisions ‘Sustainable management of natural resources for achieving food, nutritional, environmental and livelihood security in the country’.

October - December 2014

Indian agricultural research and development has witnessed one of the larger patterns of innovations through the National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP) that has concluded this year. As we all know the project was implemented by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research with extramural funding support, jointly from the Government of India Plan funds and the World Bank.

July-September 2014

Of the 141 million ha of net sown area in the country, 78 million ha is rainfed that contributes 40% of foodgrain production and supports two-thirds of the livestock population. Despite considerable progress made in irrigation development over the successive five year plans, 85% of coarse cereals, 83% pulses, 42% rice, 70% oilseeds and 65% cotton are still cultivated as rainfed. In rainfed regions, the annual precipitation is lower than the evapo-transpiration rates particularly in arid and dry semi-arid zones.

April - June 2014

Having achieved a satisfactory level of food security in the country through technology led enhancement in farm productivity and diversification of food basket, the challenge before Indian agriculture is to ensure household nutritional security for an ever growing human population. The projections are that our population will be around 2 billion by 2050 A.D. surpassing China.

January - March 2014

Indian agriculture is facing diverse challenges and constraints due to growing demographic pressure, increasing food, feed, fuel, and fodder needs, natural resource degradation and climate change. Diversification of land use with agroforestry can address some of these challenges.

October - December 2013

Indian Agriculture to a large extent depends on the weather and climatic conditions. In early 1988, a National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) was established by the Government of India to develop suitable numerical weather-prediction models to issue weather forecasts, and to inform and guide farmers in advance to undertake farming activities.

July - September 2013

Engineering inputs to agriculture by way of mechanization have increased considerably during the recent years. Agricultural mechanization that started with sharpened stones, wooden and metallic tools has now moved to electric operated sophisticated machineries, all to meet the timeliness of farm operations, reducing drudgery, capacity enhancement and efficient utilization of inputs. As early as in 400 BC, Krishi Parashara provides details of farm mechanization, tools as well as practices, indicating the best possible real-time farm management solutions.

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