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09 Aug 2020, 11:31 HRS IST
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  • PM pitches for need to promote start-ups to ensure innovation in agriculture sector

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20:36 HRS IST

New Delhi, Jul 4 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reviewed the progress of agriculture research, extension and education in India and pitched for promoting start-ups and agri-enterpreneurs to ensure innovation and use of technology in farming and allied sectors.

He underlined the need for developing forward and backward linkages to assure better returns to farmers, an official statement said

Modi highlighted the need to adopt organic and natural farming practices on a cluster based approach.?

The Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) has developed geo-referenced?Organic Carbon Map of India, identified 88 bio control agents and 22 Bio pesticides which can promote organic agriculture, the statement said

The prime minister also directed that start-ups and agri-entrepreneurs need to be promoted to ensure innovation and use of technology in agriculture and allied sectors. He highlighted the need to leverage information technology to provide information on demand to the farmers.??

He suggested that hackathons may be organised twice a year to solve identified problems and meet design needs for tools and equipment that can reduce drudgery if farming activity, given that a large number of farm workers are women

He exhorted the need to create awareness regarding inclusion of millets like jowar, bajra, ragi and several other minor millets in diet to ensure a healthy diet

In order to enhance water use efficiency, the prime minister desired that awareness and outreach programmes be conducted

While reviewing the contributions of ICAR in developing new breeds of cattle, sheep and goats, the prime minister highlighted the need for research on indigenous breeds of dogs and horses. He directed that a focused mission mode approach be adopted for vaccination drives for Foot and Mouth disease

In the virtual meet, he exhorted that study of grasses and local fodder crops should be undertaken to understand their nutritive value.

He underlined the need to study use of sea weeds for their impact on soil health apart from exploring commercial applications in nutraceuticals

Modi directed that ease of access to farm equipment and transport facility from field to markets should be ensured.?In this regard, the Department of Agriculture, Cooperatives and Farmers Welfare? launched an app Kisanrath

He said there was a need to orient agricultural education and research systems based on agro climatic requirements to meet the demands of the farmers.

The systems are to be geared towards enhancing farmer's incomes while meeting international standards

The prime minister exhorted that traditional knowledge of Indian communities should be coupled with technology and skill sets of youth and agriculture graduates to translate the full potential of Indian agriculture in transforming rural areas

Trilochan Mohaptra, Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research cum- Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Extension presented the priorities, performance and preparedness to face various challenges.

Since 2014, based on the research at various centres of ICAR, 1434 varieties of field crops, 462 horticulture crops and 1121 climate resilient varieties have been developed

Molecular breeding techniques have been used to develop varieties which are tolerant to multiple stress. HD 3226 of wheat and ArkAbed of tomato are resistant to seven diseases and four diseases respectively, the statement pointed out

It said Karan-4, a sugarcane variety has enhanced sugar recovery and has replaced traditionally grown varieties in Uttar Pradesh

Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, both the ministers for State for Agriculture joined the review meeting.

In addition to the senior officials from the Prime Minister's Office,? secretaries from Departments of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Dairy and Fisheries were present, the statement said.

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