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Farmers deserve a standing ovation, says PM

Farmers deserve a standing ovation, says PM
Highlights

Farmers deserve a standing ovation, says PM, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the farmers deserved a standing ovation for the growth of the country, while addressing the agricultural scientific community on the 86th Foundation Day of Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) in New Delhi.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the farmers deserved a standing ovation for the growth of the country, while addressing the agricultural scientific community on the 86th Foundation Day of Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) in New Delhi. Modi asked the scientists to put out their research in simple terms, so that it could be understood by the farmers and they could be convinced to try out new products and initiatives.

Narendra Modi honouring food processing entrepreneur Krishna Yadav with an award at the 86th ICAR Foundation Day function  in New Delhi on Tuesday

Modi asked them to work towards increasing crop productivity at a fast pace without compromising on quality. "Per drop, more crop," should be the motto, Modi said while honouring India's agricultural scientists at the function.

Unveiling his roadmap on agriculture development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday exhorted agricultural scientists to work towards a two-fold objective of enabling the Indian farmer to (a) feed India and the world (rashtra aur vishva ka pet bhare) and (b) earn a good income in the process (kisan ki jeb bhare).

He said the ICAR should have two mantras: kam zameen, kam samay, zyaada upaj or less land, less time and more crop per drop. He called upon ICAR to set its sights on achieving self-sufficiency in edible oil and improving protein content and availability of pulses.

Addressing the agricultural scientific community on the 86th Foundation Day of Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) in the Capital, Modi asked the scientists to put out their research in simple terms, so that it could be understood by the farmers and they could be convinced to try out new products and initiatives.

Modi, who was earlier greeted with a standing ovation, called upon the audience to give a standing ovation to the millions of Indian farmers, who, he said, have played a huge role in changing India's fortunes.

Speaking after giving away ten awards for excellence in agricultural research, the PM asked ICAR to set goals for their centenary, which is 14 years away. To meet the challenge of lab-to-land or taking scientific research to successful interventions, the Prime Minister exhorted agricultural colleges to start radio stations.

Noting that farmers listen to radio a lot, he said radio programmes run by college students would prove extremely beneficial. He called for a digitized database of all agricultural research in the country. He said young educated and progressive farmers and agricultural research scholars can together form a talent pool in all districts of the country.

Since the demand is increasing and land available will not rise, the focus has to be on soil fertility, the Prime Minister noted. Giving the example of Mahatma Gandhi and his commitment towards water conservation, the Prime Minister asked ICAR to work for more efficient ways of water conservation and irrigation (jal sanchay se jal seenchan).

Noting that farming in India is hereditary and practices are difficult to change, the Prime Minister said that change can happen only when the farmer is convinced about its efficacy. Therefore, agricultural scientists must, in accordance with changing circumstances of climate, water and soil, help the farmer get convinced about their initiatives.

The water-cycle has to be managed according to the changing weather-cycle. In the field of animal husbandry, special efforts need to be made to raise the level of milk productivity, he said. He set a new goal for the agricultural scientific community by calling for Blue Revolution that would extend benefits of scientific research to the fisheries sector. The Prime Minister called for greater research and promotion of coastal seaweed and Himalayan herbal medicinal plants.

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