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PM Modi reviews progress of agriculture research, calls for leveraging IT, promoting start-ups

PM Modi reviews progress of agriculture research, calls for leveraging IT, promoting start-ups

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New Delhi [India], July 4 (ANI): The Prime Minister on Saturday reviewed the progress of agriculture research, extension and education in the country through videoconference and said that start-ups and agri-entrepreneurs need to be promoted to ensure innovation and use of technology in agriculture and allied sectors.
He highlighted the need to leverage information technology to provide information on demand to the farmers.
According to an official release, the Prime Minister appreciated the efforts towards developing varieties focused on specific requirements of agro-climatic zones and stressed the need for developing forward and backward linkages to assure better returns to farmers.
Reviewing the contributions of ICAR in developing new breeds of cattle, sheep and goats, the Prime Minister highlighted the need for research on indigenous breeds of dogs and horses.
He directed that a focused mission mode approach be adopted for vaccination drives for Foot and Mouth disease.
The Prime Minister said that ease of access to farm equipment and transport facility from field to markets should be ensured.
In this regard, the Department of Agriculture, Cooperatives and Farmers Welfare has launched an app - Kisanrath.
The Prime Minister highlighted the need to adopt organic and natural farming practices on a cluster-based approach.
The release said that ICAR has developed geo-referenced Organic Carbon Map of India, identified 88 biocontrol agents and 22 bio-pesticides which can promote organic agriculture.
The Prime Minister said hackathons may be organised twice a year to solve identified problems and meet design needs for tools and equipment that can reduce drudgery.
He laid stress on creating awareness regarding the inclusion of millets like jowar, bajra, ragi and several other minor millets in the diet.
Modi stressed the need to orient agricultural education and research systems based on agro-climatic requirements to meet the demands of the farmers. The systems are to be geared towards enhancing farmer's incomes while meeting international standards.
The Prime Minister said traditional knowledge of Indian communities should be combined with technology and skillsets of youth and to reap the full potential of agriculture in transforming rural areas.
He said that study of grasses and local fodder crops should be undertaken to understand their nutritive value and highlighted the need to study the use of seaweeds for their impact on soil health apart from exploring commercial applications in nutraceuticals.
In order to enhance water use efficiency, the Prime Minister desired that awareness and outreach programs be conducted.
The release said that ICAR has introduced Magic seeder in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi to address the problem of stubble burning after the harvest of paddy crop. There is a reduction of 52 per cent in burning events in 2019 in comparison to 2016.
Trilochan Mohaptra, Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research made a presentation on priorities, performance and preparedness to face various challenges. (ANI)

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