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Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research

Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, has urged the scientists to focus on farmer-oriented research activities to improve the agriculture sector of the country.

He was speaking at an interface meeting with the directors and scientists of the institutes in Kochi under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) here.

“Scientists should always think for the farmer who is the cornerstone of agriculture sector,” he said, adding that long-term planning is required to formulate developmental projects aimed at boosting the production in the country. The minister lauded the efforts of CMFRI scientists for their contributions in sea cage farming, technology development of the species such as cobia, silver pompano, and orange spotted groupers. The National Brood Bank set up by CMFRI is an important step in increasing the fish production in the country, he added.

A Gopalakrishnan, Director, CMFRI, said that a Mariculture Policy should be formulated to regulate sea cage farming. CMFRI has already transferred the technology of sea cage farming into farmers. Adequate hatcheries and nurseries should also be set up in order to extend the cage farming method into more areas.

Directors and scientists from CIFT, NIPHATT, CIFNET, Fishery Survey of India, Coconut Development Board, Plant Quarantine Information System, Spices Board, Directorate of Cashew Nut and Cocoa Development, NBFGR and CMFRI attended the meeting.

– V Sajeev Kumar (This article was published in Business Line on June 17, 2016).

 

COMMENT by Dr. Lakshmanan

India’s food productivity is hovering around 250 million tons per year for several years now. It is way short of feeding all our people. Over 800 million people go to bed hungry. Unless we produce more food our current population explosion will send more and more people to bed hungry. Unless we feed our children their physical and mental development will drastically reduce and we will end up with a nation of sub-standard people.

Our agriculture scientific community is incapable of developing a solution for our problems through research since the curricula of our agriculture universities are outdated and their graduates themselves do not take up farming as a profession for livelihood. Under such circumstances, rather than wasting our time and resources on research we must adopt advanced crop production technologies from developed countries.

 

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