Make agriculture innovative: Governor R N Ravi

Make agriculture innovative: Governor  R N Ravi
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Though agricultural scientists have made the country proud by achieving food-surplus, the challenge before them now was to make agriculture innovative, competitive and diversified while ensuring sustainability, Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi said.

Coimbatore: Though agricultural scientists have made the country proud by achieving food-surplus, the challenge before them now was to make agriculture innovative, competitive and diversified while ensuring sustainability, Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi said.

Today, almost every State in the country has an agriculture university which is expected to help all the farmers solve agriculture-related problems with technical knowhow, he said at the 42nd convocation of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) here.

Each such varsity is expected to do hand-holding to an extent, to nudge farmers towards appropriate agriculture, the Governor said. Thanking the vision, commitment and untiring efforts of the agricultural scientists who made the Green Revolution possible in a large country within a short time, he said with the scientists' contribution, the nation has become self-sufficient in food. "Our country today is foodgrain-surplus. However, the corresponding benefit of it has not gone to our farmers majority of whom are subsistence agriculturists and small," he said.

A paradoxical situation where the gross food production in the country was surplus, yet the bulk of food producers were poor due to decades of distorted agriculture policies which though benefited a small number of big farmers did not help the majority who are small and marginal, he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a mission to improve the economic lot and overall wellbeing of the small and marginal farmers and numerous initiatives have been taken in this regard, including financial inclusion through Jan Dhan Yojana, Direct Benefit Transfer and enhanced MSP for farm products, Ravi said. The Soil Health Cards are intended to enhance the productivity of the farm and ensure higher return to the farmers, he said.

To optimise gains from TNAU and its contributions in the field of agriculture, there must be greater and more intimate interface between the university and State government, he said. The TNAU should be technically competent and emotionally involved to identify and resolve the agricultural issues of the farmers, the Governor said.

At the same time, the Tamil Nadu government should look up to TNAU as a precious asset because its main beneficiaries are farmers of the State, make optimum use of it and appreciate and respond to its difficulties and concerns, he said.The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has come up with a roadmap that envisages to comply with various provisions and "we have to be prepared for the uncertain disastrous consequences of climate changes like changing monsoon patterns, rising sea-levels, deadlier heat waves, intense storms and flash-floods," he said.

"The UN General Assembly's consideration of 2023 as the 'International Year of Millets' which was initiated by India and supported by over 70 nations gives us a boost," he said. Later, Ravi, in his capacity as TNAU Chancellor, visited the research institute building and met the Vice-Chancellor of the varsity Dr N Kumar. (PTI)

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