English Release 24-May 2013
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Ministry of Agriculture23-December, 2009 16:6 IST
|ICAR undertaking major capacity building exercise: Pawar
ICAR HOLDS ITS 81ST ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
|The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is undertaking a major capacity building exercise to deal with the present and future challenges facing the agriculture sector in the country.
Addressing the 81st Annual General Meeting of ICAR, Shri Sharad Pawar, Minister of Agriculture, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said here today that these efforts have resulted in filing of over 50 patents applications from 13 ICAR institutes during the year. Two patents applications have entered into National phase in USA, France and Japan. In an effort to enhance farmers’ capacity and skills, over 40,000 training programmes were organized benefitting 11.27 lakh farmers and farm women. Similarly, about 13,000 skill-oriented training programmes were organized for 3.10 lakh rural youths.
The Minister informed that in order to infuse new blood in research efforts, over 430 scientists are being recruited at the entry level. In an effort to build capacity in high-end research such as molecular breeding, genomics and transgenics, bioremediation, nanotechnology, diagnostics etc. scientists from ICAR institutes and teachers from State Agricultural Universities were trained in best of the laboratories of the world.
Shri Pawar said, quality human resource being a key input in all aspects of agriculture, ICAR is implementing a comprehensive accreditation system to ensure quality of education, strengthening of infrastructure and faculty improvement in State Agricultural Universities. Accreditation was granted to five SAUs during the year, taking the total to 33. Introduction of international fellowships during the year was a major milestone in gloabalizing higher agricultural education.
The Minister further stated that the ICAR institutes and State Agricultural Universities are being connected to National Knowledge Network through an electronic digital broadband to encourage sharing of resources for collaborative research. To promote ICT-driven technology and information dissemination system for effective communication, ICAR contemplates to share its knowledge resources on a common platform in open-access mode for the benefit of stakeholders.
Speaking about the achievements of ICAR, the Minister said, ICAR has taken several notable steps and initiatives for providing a scientific and technology-driven thrust to agricultural development. Crop improvement programmes resulted in release or identification of 131 varieties of major food crops for different agro-climatic regions of the country, besides a few varieties in plantation and horticultural crops. Nearly 7000 tonnes of breeder seed of centrally released field crop varieties were produced for distribution among farmers. A drought-tolerant horsegram mutant was released for the north zone in tribal dominated Eastern Ghats of Orissa. Gene sources for resistance to Ug99 rust with new genes have been located. ICAR has also developed cost effective amelioration technologies for water logged, salt affected and acid soils. In order to address the issues of impact of climate change on agriculture, a National Institute of Abiotic Stress Management has been established. Further, two major institutions, the National Institute on Biotic Stress Management and Indian Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology are in the process of establishment.
The Minister of State for Agriculture, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Prof. K.V. Thomas in his address emphasized the need for providing nutritious food to the growing young population in the country. He said, as India enters the phase of stabilized population by 2050, with a huge young and sizable moderately affluent population, the demand for protein foods is going to grow exponentially. Already production pressure and urban affluence is pushing prices up. If production of vegetables, pulses, milk, meat and staples do not catch up with the needs of a young and successful population, price pressure will hurt the poor, and the low income group. With increasing numbers of rural population leaving sustenance agriculture, more has to be provided with less. Therefore, high degree of economy has to be ushered in the input regime and higher yields have to be sourced from static or decreasing catchments.
DG ICAR, and Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education, Dr. Mangala Rai gave details of achievements earned by the ICAR during the year. The meeting was attended by agricultural scientists, heads of ICAR institutes, central and state agricultural universities.
MP:SB:CP: ICAR AGM (23.12.2009)
(Release ID :56402)