Sharad Pawar underlines use of Science and Technology to accelerate food grain production

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New Delhi, July 16 (ANI): Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Friday said that there is a need to accelerate food grain production to meet the growing demand in the country.

Addressing the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) awards ceremony here, Pawar said: "Though we have over these years brought about a qualitative improvement in agricultural research and extension systems, I must admit that much more needs to be done, both in terms of pure research and in terms of quality and effectiveness of our rural extension services."

"Climate change and its impact on Indian agriculture has thrown new challenges for our agricultural researchers and scientists. Our various research centres across the country are actively working on developing drought resistant varieties of seed and other plant management methods to mitigate the expected production loss due to rising temperatures," he added

About the frontier technologies, Pawar said, there are people who question the efficacy of some of these technologies but closing our eyes to the latest developments in the world will be counter-productive given the size and aspirations of India's population.

He asserted that it is extremely important to leap-frog to frontier areas of research for the necessary technology interventions to ensure sustainable growth in agriculture.

Pawar also envisaged a greater role for the private sector in this field.

He pointed out that private investment in high technology areas in agriculture going hand in hand with the public funded research and public/state funded seed production programmes will go a long way in taking Indian agriculture to the next level.

To tackle the complexities of Indian agriculture, Pawar stressed on a focused, inter-sectoral approach, covering all dimensions, so that we can achieve the required growth rates in a short time span.

Pawar said that sincere efforts of researchers, agricultural educationists and extension workers are the need of the day.

Pawar expressed the hope that the tradition of ICAR awards would go a long way in recognizing proficiency, sincerity and efficiency of researchers, extension workers and innovative farmers and also help in bridging the knowledge gap in agriculture. (ANI)

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