Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Sunday asked farm scientists to focus more on research in areas of animal husbandry and fisheries, to boost production and their contribution in the overall farm sector growth.
Addressing virtually, the 95th foundation day of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Tomar said India holds the position of number one or two in the world in terms of production of most of the crops.
In achieving this feat, he said there has been immense contribution from agriculture scientists along with efforts from the farmers community and policy initiatives taken by the governments.
He said the Modi government in the last nine years has taken a lot of initiatives to promote technology in the agriculture sector, as part of its objective to boost farm income.
The efforts have also been made to better productivity and production in agriculture, he said, adding that the focus has also been on improving the quality.
Tomar highlighted that the Indian farm products are being globally accepted and therefore the annual farm export has crossed USD 50 billion.
As the ICAR will celebrate its 100th Foundation Day after five years, Tomar asked the council to set targets to be accomplished and start working towards them.
The minister noted that the contribution of animal husbandry and fisheries in agriculture GDP is higher than crops.
Therefore, he said, "I feel we should pay more attention towards research in animal husbandry and fisheries."
Increased focus on research in areas of animal husbandry and fisheries, which are growing at 7.7 per cent and 8.8 per cent, respectively, would help in increasing their share in the overall farm GDP and also strengthen the rural economy.
Tomar talked about the challenge of climate change and said the scientists are already working to overcome it successfully.
The minister also emphasised on taking all new research and technology at farmgate level.
Tomar also stressed on the need to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and highlighted steps taken by the Centre to promote organic/ natural farming and alternative nutrients.
Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, urged farm scientists to do research in the area of millets to augment their production and productivity.
He said the global demand for millets would rise significantly in the coming years.
Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary asked ICAR and its scientists to set targets not only for its 100th foundation day but also for the next 25 years.
ICAR, an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Agriculture, is engaged in coordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences.
A total 113 ICAR institutes and 74 agriculture universities spread across the country are engaged in doing cutting edge research in areas of agricultural science.
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