More investment into agriculture R&D sought

More investment into agriculture R&D sought
Highlights

Speakers at a workshop in the city on Monday sought increased investment into research & development (R&D) in the country’s agriculture sector.  

Hyderabad: Speakers at a workshop in the city on Monday sought increased investment into research & development (R&D) in the country’s agriculture sector.

Industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce of Industry (FICCI) organised the one-day workshop on ‘Sustainable agriculture: Harnessing technologies- harvesting prosperity’ in the city, in which several experts and seniors officials including David Bergvinson, Director General, ICRISAT, took part.

“R&D is one of the most important pillars of any sustainable initiative to improve India’s agriculture sector. An investment in R&D is an investment in the future. The lopsided priority wherein spending massively on subsidies and meagerly on R&D is in large measure responsible for the current predicament agriculture is facing,” the speakers pointed.

They also underlined the need for the government not only to strengthen the public research Infrastructure, but also to involve the private sector given the important role it had played in agriculture research over the years.

One of the biggest success stories of agriculture in independent India, Bt cotton, has largely been a result of the private sector investment in R & D. The production of cotton in India has trebled from 13 million bales in 2002, the year Bt cotton was introduced, to 39 million bales presently, making India an export surplus country in cotton, they reasoned.

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