New Delhi, July 16 : President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil today stressed the need for keeping agriculture at the centre of the country's development agenda.
Addressing a function at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research here this afternoon, Patil called for a second Green Revolution to meet the growing foodgrain requirements in the country.
Patil said that apart from better seeds and farming practices, technological inputs relating to water management are essential to enhance food production. She called upon agricultural scientists, research institutes and universities to join hands to develop new technologies in these areas.
Talking about the use of fertilizers, Patil said, it was high time that farmers are informed about the ill effects of unbalanced and excessive use of fertilizers. Technological interventions are necessary to meet this challenge, she added.
Patil called for more inputs from both private and public sector, so as to reach every level of Indian society.
She called for the setting up of a communication system that provides farmers information about agricultural policies, markets, weather, credit and crop insurance services, etc.
"Agricultural schools at Taluka level should be set up, as agriculture is becoming more knowledge intensive, technology led and demand driven," Patil added.
The President also urged institutions of higher learning to remain vigilant to all the changes taking place and reorient higher education in agriculture to present day challenges.