Bhandare calls for aggressive marketing strategies

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Bhubaneswar, Sep 26 (UNI) Orissa Governor M C Bhandare today said aggressive marketing strategies should be worked out to ensure that farmers received the remunerative price of their products.

Inaugurating the two-day Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Committee -II meeting here, Mr Bhandare said market intelligence has to be strengthened with the use of information and communication technology to achieve the goal.

He said the natural resource base needs to be maintained and upgraded by adopting scientific principles so that sustainability of agricultural productions could be ensured.

The agro-bio diversity hot spots, Mr Bhandare said, should be identified and adequate steps taken for their conservation. This apart, the soil acidity of Orissa and arsenic toxicity of West Bengal need to be addressed elaborately.

Stating that farming is no longer enjoyable and profitable and has become a profession by compulsion, Mr Bhandare said efforts should be made to look afresh at the agriculture sector with focus on diversification of agriculture to ensure accelerated agricultural growth and give boost to the economy of the country.

The governor said the ICAR Commiteee-II comprising Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Andaman Nicobar Islands region encompasses all agro-ecosystems where there was enough scope for growing all types of agricultural and horticultural crops, medicinal plants and mushrooms, milk, meat,wool, egg and silk production.

He suggested that Orissa should have a National Institute of Natural Disaster Management under the aegis of the ICAR to address the agricultural research need as this part of the region was battered by continuous calamities.

Orissa Agriculture Minister S N Naik urged the scientists to find out ways to develop flood tolerant variety of crop, cold resistant pulses and the system for sowing black gram after paddy was harvested.

He also wanted the scientists to provide tips to the farmers how to free the land from acidity, increase the self life of betel leaves, and treat diseases of coconut trees.

West Bengal Animal Resource Minister Anisur Rahaman, Orissa Fisheries and Animal Resource Minister Golak Bihar Naik and ICAR Director General Mangala Rai also spoke on the occasion.

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