Promote maize, oil seeds cultivation, SAYS DDG ICAR


DW BUREAU / Chandigarh Cultivation of Maize, Mustard and Moong need to be promoted in a big way across the country and this must be accompanied by adoption of modern technology in the agriculture sector advocated by Dr A K Singh, Deputy Director General (Agriculture Extension), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Commissioner Agriculture, Government of India. Speaking at a consultative meeting - Emerging Challenges in Plant Protection of Major Kharif Crops - organized in association with leading agri-input company Dhanuka Group ? Dr AK Singh said, "Crop diversification must be promoted in a big way. Instead of focusing on wheat and rice, cultivation of 3Ms ? Maize, Moong & Mustard ? should be promoted as it can help the country in attaining self-sufficiency and at the same time help in enhancing the income of the farmers." Dr Singh also emphasized the need for adoption of the modern technology and called upon agricultural research institutes to develop a protocol for usage of Drones at the earliest. "We also need to have a contingency plan for different crops way in advance so that farmers can adopt it," he said. Several well-known agriculture scientists from 33 Krishi Vidyalaya Kendras (KVKs), as well as scientists from ICAR, participated in the consultative meet, which also witnessed the participation of policymakers, industry players and farmers among others. Speaking at the consultation meet, R G Agarwal, Chairman, Dhanuka Group emphasized the need for the adoption of 'Integrated Crop Management' practices, usage of modern technology and quality agri-inputs. "On the lines of Integrated Pest Management, we may look at adopting 'Integrated Crop Management' as a practice. This will help address critical issues pertaining to different crop cultivated across the country. We need precision agriculture today, to enhance crop yield and income of our farmers. Technology has to play an important role in it and we are embracing Drone and other technologies in a big way. Unfortunately, India's agri-input market including the agrochemical segment is saddled with lower quality and sub-standard products. In the interest of the farmers, it is imperative to tackle the menace of inferior agri-inputs on priority so as to ensure the Government's noble objective of Doubling the farmers' income," said RG Agarwal. Earlier setting the tone for the consultative meet, Dr Rajbir Singh, Director, ICAR-Agricultural Technology Application Research Institute (ATARI) said, "This is the first time a nation-level consultation meet is being organized in association with a private sector and hope the recommendation from the meet would help farmers overcoming the issue of pest and various crop diseases." Alluding to the need for adopting Integrated Pest Management, Dr Subhash Chander, Director, ICAR- NCIPM said, "Farmers would benefit immensely by adopting integrated pest management techniques and it needs to be adopted in a holistic manner." "Farmers should also buy fertilizer, seeds and pesticides of reputed companies, who have necessary product approvals and should insist on bills for the same, he added. Participating at the meet, Dr Sujay Rakshit, Director, ICAR-IIMR, Ludhiana said, "In the interest of the farmers, diversification of crops is the need of the hour. Cultivation of short duration crops would also help the farming community a great deal". Dr. Gurvinder Singh, Director, Agriculture, Punjab; Dr. Ashok Kumar, DE, PAU, Ludhiana; Dr Sain Dass, Former Director, IIMR and Dr AS Tomar, VP, R&D, Dhanuka Group among others also shared their views on the critical issues impacting the agriculture sector and farmers as a whole. (


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