Experts suggest not to encourage bio-fuel crop farming by farmers

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Ranchi, May 31 (UNI) Former Deputy Director General(Education) India Council for Agriculture and Research(ICAR) A Ahmad has advised scientists to exercise restraint in propagating jatropha and other bio-fuel crops so that farmers are not tempted to use their cultivable land for these crops.

Mr Ahmad said over-emphasis of bio-fuel plants may decrease the already shrinking land adding to the worsening condition of agriculture and crop production in the country.

Addressing the 28th Kharif Research council meeting of Birsa Agricultural University (BAU) here yesterday, he said Jatropha and other bio-fuel crops were meant for wastelands only.

He also advised to look into the marketing mechanism of medicinal plants to ensure remunerative prices to farmers, especially small and marginal ones.

Chief Advisor of National Horticulture Mission Dr R K Pathak urged the scientists to develop and recommend technologies keeping in view the socio-economic conditions and priorities of farmers and bio- physical constraints of the area.

Mr Pathak said technology recommended must be applicable to the the farmer's situations and cropping pattern. He stressed on working on different farming approaches for small, medium and large farmers.

Expressing concerm over the damage being done by chemical fertilizers, pesticides, weedicides to the soil, human and animal health, he urged scientists to gradually shift to organic farming in order to sustain agriculture and natural resources.

BAU Vice Chancellor Dr N N Singh said conserving water for agriculture and increasing cropping intensity was the biggest challenge before scientists in the state.

He underlined the need to revisit crop improvement programme keeping in view soil type topography and water availability in the region.

In the face of climatic changes, agronomic research will take a new shift and researchers and farmers will be required to have more interactions, the VC added.

He said efforts for breed improvement of animals and birds and availability of quality fecd and fodder.

Director Research Dr B N Singh said as a result of research inputs given by BAU the food production in the state has risen to 37.3 lakh tonnes in 2007-08 as compared to 32.2 lakh tonnes in 2001-02 raising the food self suficiency ratio to 77 per cent in the state.

Outlining the revised varietal recommendations for Jharkhand he said that Birsa Dham (BD) 108 and Birsa Vika Dhan (BVD) 109 for upland.

BVD 110,BD 202, Lalat and Naveen for medium land and Swarna, sambha Mahsuri and Rajshree for lowland are more suitable Under scented rice category BR 10 and Birsemati and under hybrid rice, pro- Agro 6444 was recommended.

Additional Director Research Dr DK Singh Dron dwelt on the work being done on characterisation of indigenous breed of animals.

APCCF Dr A K Malhotra stressed on greater coordination between the foresty research efforts of BAU and its stakeholder the state forest Department.

Dean Agriculture Dr A K Sarkar, Dean Vetarinary Dr A K Sinha, Dean forestry, Dr P Kaushal, Associate Dean Biotechnology Dr ZA Haide presented the research highlights of their respective units.

UNI AM LL RSA KP1418

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