The Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh has said that agricultural scientists have played a significant role in bringing Green Revolution and developing research and technology. He was addressing the 89th Foundation Day Celebration of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Annual Award distribution function here today.
The Minister said that since 1951 foodgrain production in the country has increased five times, fish production 14.3, milk production 9.6 and egg production 47.5 times. In the Horticulture Sector, there has been a threefold increase in fruits and vegetable production as compared to1991-92. This type of development has a direct effect on the nation's food and nutritional security. The scientists have also played a key role in furthering excellence in higher education. Our scientists are engaged in innovative research in Science and Technology and they are appreciated at the international level for their work.
At the event, 122 awards were presented for excellence in 19 various categories. It includes 3 institutes; 2 AICRPs; 12 Krishi Vigyan Kendras; 19 farmers and 80 scientists, including 30 women. The Minister congratulated the three best-ranked Universities, Official Language Awardees and other winners for their outstanding achievements and contributions. The Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri S.S. Ahluwalia, Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Panchayati Raj, Shri Parshottambhai Rupala, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Sudarshan Bhagat, Dr Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary (DARE) & Director General (ICAR) and Vice Chancellors of Agriculture universities were also present on the occasion.
The ICAR is the premier organisation that had started Green Revolution in the country and today, the country has not only come out of a food deficit situation but also has become self-sufficient in foodgrains and now it has surplus foodgrains.
Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that the contribution of agriculture and allied sectors to Gross Value Added (previously known as GDP) is 18%. There has been a record production of about 274 million tonnes of foodgrains in the country and it has been possible due to the availability of technologies, quality seeds and related services being made available to the farmers. This achievement has been possible due to the contribution of institutions of ICAR and State Agricultural Universities and hard work of farmers.
While emphasising the importance of agriculture sector, the Agriculture Minister said the government has taken several steps for sustainable development of agriculture. Several measures have been proposed for the farmers’ welfare and improvement in agriculture such as bringing 2.85 million hectares under irrigated area by 2012-2018; providing assistance of Rs.2,87,000 crore (42.1 billion US dollars) to the village panchayats and municipalities and to provide electricity to all the villages.
He informed that steps have already been taken to solve the two important problems (Soil and Water) by the Government to improve agricultural production. Soil Health Card Scheme and Organic Farming Scheme ‘Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana’ have been initiated to improve soil fertility on a sustainable basis.
Other initiatives include improvement of irrigation through Pradhan Mantri Gram Sinchai Yojana; increasing the effectiveness of water under Per Drop More Crop; and to increase the income of farmers, e-NAM has been started. For the growth of agriculture and to cover the risks of farmers from climate adversities for agricultural development, the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana has received a widespread approval as a major landmark policy.
He expressed happiness over the fact that the Government Soil Health Card Scheme has been made successful by the institutions of ICAR, Agricultural Universities and various development departments. The Minister expressed hope that young researchers will take special initiative for the success of government schemes.