President Patil for ''second Green Revolution''

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{image-prathibha patil_27052008.jpg}Jammu, May 27: Concerned over the shortage of foodgrains and their increased demand, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil said there was a dire need of ''second Green Revolution'' to enhance agricultural productivity in the country.

Speaking at the second convocation of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Jammu (SKUAST-J) at General Zorawar Singh Auditorium here last evening, the President in her address said, ''The world today is faced with a situation of increased demand and a shortage in the supply of foodgrains, resulting in spiralling foodgrain prices and also possibly a difficult global food situation.'' ''This is an urgent challenge of our times and a ''second Green Revolution'' that will enhance agricultural productivity as also adopt new technologies for the optimum utilisation of agricultural produce must be undertaken,'' she said.
However, quoting Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, she said,''Everything can wait, but not agriculture,'' and added that this impulse was of special relevance globally, as we are at a critical juncture striving hard to achieve food security and to eradicate hunger and poverty from our planet.

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''There is a need to have an integrated approach for increasing productivity in agriculture by taking action on better management of water resources, better quality of seeds, scientific farming practices, rational use of fertilisers, integrated pest management and agricultural diversification,'' she emphasised.

Attributing huge losses of agricultural produce to lack of post- harvest technology, infrastructure and storage facilities, the President said, ''In India, we are wasting more than what many other countries are able to produce,'' and asked agricultural universities to engage themselves in evolving new scientific methods for post-harvest operations, proper storage facilities and create value addition and food processing units close to production centres in rural areas.

However, the President termed agriculture pivotal to the economy of the state with special reference to its rich soil and unique climate having vast potential for horticulture and floriculture.

Meanwhile, she also congratulated Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Secretary DARE and DG ICAR Dr Mangla Rai (In absentia) and President Vety Council of India Dr A L Choudhary on being conferred with Degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) by the university.


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