THE TIMES OF INDIA
Prez bats for new tech in farming.
PUNE: President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said the future lay in technology-driven agricultural growth. He called upon the network of agricultural research, education and extension institutions to develop and implement newer technologies for more farm development.
He was speaking in Baramati after inaugurating a new Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) building and a technology exhibition. Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar were present
The National Food Security Act, 2013 provides legal guarantee for food grain at affordable prices to more than 800 million people. The rollout and successful implementation of the world’s largest social sector programme will depend on the success of our agriculture sector,” he said.The Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, 2013 has laid down the importance of fostering innovations in agriculture.
The policy has also envisaged a greater mentoring role for grassroot institutions like KVKs. The KVKs have to train growers and encourage them to form associations for collective bargaining in procuring inputs and selling their produce, he added.
Chavan said farmers must adopt new technology and KVKs would play big role in disseminating information.
The President also inaugurated the conference of vice-chancellors of agricultural universities and directors of the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) institutes. He said agricultural universities should adopt and promote the latest technologies among farmers within the country and abroad.
Pawar says he wanted agriculture ministry
Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, in his speech, recalled how he preferred the agriculture ministry in UPA-I government in 2004. Pawar said, “The President may recollect that in 2004, when we took the decision to form UPA-I under
the leadership of Manmohan Singh,
you came to my house and asked about my preference about the portfolio. I immediately replied that my interest is in agriculture. The President was the finance minister then and said he was surprised because he thought that I would ask for the defence, home ministry or some other portfolio.”
Mukherjee appreciated Pawar’s efforts in the agriculture ministry in the last 10 years. He said, “I was a bit surprised, because he had been the chief minister and was also the defence minister. I expected that he will give preference to home ministry, if not defence. But thanks to him and his choice of ministry, the country can rejoice that his policies are firmly established in agriculture.”
The National Food Security Act, 2013 provides legal guarantee for food grain at affordable prices to more than 800 million people. The rollout and successful implementation of the world’s largest social sector programme will depend on the success of our agriculture sector.