Abdul Kalam advocates technology-driven agriculture

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Bangalore, Nov 1 (UNI) Former President A P J Abdul Kalam today advocated technology-driven agriculture to increase production to meet the growing demand.

''Technology-driven cultivation is the need of the hour, since the land available is shrinking and yield per acre declining in many places,'' he added.

Delivering a talk on 'Innovations in Rural Development' during his interaction with Scientists, Teachers and Students of the University of Agriculture Sciences here, Mr Kalam said against 170 million hectares of land available at present for agriculture, the production last year was 200 million ton. This, year it declined to 130 million ton.

''By 2030, the availability of land for agriculture may decline to around 100 million hectares, but the demand for foodgrains may be around 400 million ton.

''Hence there is a necessity to adopt modern technology and scientists should also work in developing farmer-friendly technology aimed at increasing the yield per acre by using less water, since water availability is declining,'' he added.

The decline in land availability for agriculture may be due to various reasons, including demand for industrialisation and fragmentation in land holding.

Mr Kalam said agriculture should contribute at least four per cent to the GDP and efforts by scientists and technologists should be in this direction.

''Technology is the only way left for development in the agriculture field and in the emerging knowledge era, the native knowledge should be preserved.'' Replying to a question by a student, Mr Kalam said nuclear energy, which ensures supply of adequate supply of power for agriculture, leads to an increase in production.

To another question, he said to ensure proper marketing facility and avoid the middlemen, cooperative marketing should be encouraged.

UNI MSP SBC PK KP1512

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