VP calls for paradigm shift in agri sector

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Thrissur, Kerala, Dec 27 (UNI) Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari today called for a paradigm shift in agriculture sector towards post-production scenario through value addition and product diversification by integrating technologies, institutions and markets to cushion the negative impact of globalisation.

Delivering the inaugural speech at the South Indian Agricultural Fair here, Mr Ansari said the interests of the marginal farmers and peasants had to be integrated with the greater objective of economic growth by strenghtening the social 'safety nets' for the vulnerable groups.

He said as the agricultural sector contributed significantly towards export earnings, more emphasis should be given to training in modern techniques of production, management and marketing in the sector.

The training would help to improve the techniques, capacities and strategies to withstand the competition in the present globalised economy, he noted.

Mr Ansari said the diversification of the Indian agriculture to dairy farming, poultry, fisheries, meat, vegetables and fruits would give the much-needed impetus to the sector.

He said though half the population was dependant on agriculture, the sector's share in GDP was just 18 per cent compared to 55 per cent and 26 per cent for services and industry respectively.

Mr Ansari urged agriculture scientists and institutions of governance to tackle farmers' new challenges like house-hold nutritional and food insecurity, declining farm profitability and trade competition, global warming and climate change, new pests and diseases and depletion and degradation of natural resources.

Kerala Governor R L Bhatia, State Indsutries Minister Elamaram Kareem and Agriculture Minister Mullakara Ratnakaran were among those present on the occasion.

UNI

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