16 July 2021, New Delhi: “Being agriculture-centric country, the farmers are the real treasure of the country”, said Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare. Mr. Tomar was addressing the Virtual 93rd Foundation Day & Awards Ceremony of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research held here at Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi today.
The Union Minister stated that the commendable works carried out in the various fields of agricultural and allied sciences by the Council’s untiring scientists and farmers is a real honor for the country. Mr. Tomar said that the farmers and scientists work hard together in the progress of the agricultural sector of the country. He emphasized on the agricultural sector’s capability to meet the targets of providing the un-interrupted availability of the essential food crops even during the challenging times of COVID-19.
Mr. Tomar urged for a collective approach for developing the technologies in effectively solving the various problems and challenges of the farming community. He applauded the Council’s initiatives to make the country the exporter of the various food crops and ensure nutritional security. He also outlined the active participation by more than 400 Krishi Vigyan Kendras pan India in “Bharat Ka Amrut Mahotsav” Programme initiated by the Council to commemorate 75 Years of India’s Independence.
The Union Minister outlined the Central Government’s various farmers’-friendly Schemes like Lab-to-Land, Water to every Agricultural land, Per Drop More Crop, etc., that are aimed at accelerating the progress of the agricultural sector and transforming the farm sector of the country. The Union Minister stated that the schemes aim at enhancing the products and production to empower the farmers of the country. He stressed on promoting integrated farming along with organic and natural farming practices. The Union Minister urged to find the unique characteristics of animal husbandry, fisheries, poultry, crop production, horticultural crops, etc., to enhance their demands in the markets. Mr. Tomar emphasized on creating a new synergy between research and education to contribute wisely in the process of nation building. The Union Minister also emphasized that the New Farm Bills will not only bring revolutionary transformation in the agricultural sector, but also enhance farmers’ livelihood options.
The “Kisan Sarathi” – An Information Communication and Technology (ICT) based Interface Solution was also released during the occasion. This is an Intelligent Online Agricultural Technology Platform for supporting agriculture at a local niche with a national perspective. The Kisan Sarathi provides the facility for each level of monitoring and reporting through an interactive dashboard ranging from the Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Institutes to the Headquarters. Mr. Vaishnaw emphasized that the platform enables the officials at the various levels to view and monitor the daily activities like farmers’ registration, live calls, total calls, messages pushed, given advisories and pending advisories, etc.
The Guest of Honor, Mr. Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying & Vice-President, ICAR stressed that the Council has not only contributed in agricultural progress of the country, but has also helped it to be self-dependent in production of food crop varieties and various other essential products too. Highlighting the importance of animal husbandry and fisheries along with farming, the Union Minister applauded the Councils’ various initiatives in farm mechanization, value-addition and food processing. Mr. Rupala stressed that the working together of the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare and the Ministry of Electronics, Railways & Information Technology through the Kisan Sarathi platform will play a decisive role in the field of agriculture.
The Guest of Honor, Mr. Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology asserted the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology’s commitment to disseminate the newest and advanced agricultural technologies to the farmers. He also stressed that the Ministry of Railways is dedicated to ensure safe and secure transport of essential farming products from one place to another.
The Guest of Honor, Mr. Kailash Choudhary, Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare lauded the ICAR’s initiatives that have made the country self-dependent and exporter of the various food crops. Citing the example of ARYA (Attracting Rural Youth in Agriculture) Scheme, the Minister stressed on providing new opportunities to youths in agriculture, enabling farmers to get fair prices for their produce, development of improved seeds and linking agriculture to markets. Mr. Choudhary also lauded the Council’s hard work to achieve the targets of doubling the farmers’ income by 2022. The Minister accentuated the pivotal role played by the Krishi Vigyan Kendras in disseminating the newer and advanced technologies to the distant farmers of the country.
The Guest of Honor, Km. Shobha Karandlaje, Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare regarded the farmers as the backbone and lifeline of the economy. The Minister applauded the untiring roles played by the farmers and agricultural scientists that have made the country self-dependent in food crops production. Km. Karandlaje commended the role of animals in the livelihood security of the farmers. Citing the agricultural extension as an important factor, the Minister stressed on its pivotal role in disseminating the information, technologies and advanced advisories to the farmers.
Mr. Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers’ Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India and Mr. Ajay Prakash Sahani, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India were also present during the occasion.
Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary (DARE) & Director General (ICAR) underlined the various activities carried out, working styles and achievements of the Council. The various National and International Events organized, Schemes initiated and the signing of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) during the last one year were also highlighted in the DG’s address. Dr. Mohapatra stressed on the Council’s commitment to provide higher education in the agricultural arena, carry out new researches, identify the latest domestic varieties, initiate new technological advancements, to narrow the gap of the lab-to-land and provide prompt solutions to the various problems faced by the farmers.
The ICAR conferred 16 Awards in 4 major categories including the “National Award for outstanding contributions for Agricultural Institutes”, “National Award for outstanding contributions in Agricultural Researches”, “National Award for Application of Agricultural Technologies” and “National Award for Innovation and Technology Development by Farmers” during the occasion. The dignitaries virtually felicitated about 60 Awardees in 16 different categories. The Awards included 4 ICAR Institutes, 1 All India Coordinated Research Project, 4 Krishi Vigyan Kendras, 39 Scientists and 11 Farmers. 50 honored farmers included 12 women farmers. Apart from the Awards, the Hindi Rajbhasha Awards in the various categories were also conferred during the occasion.
The Dignitaries also released the various ICAR Publications on the occasion.
Marking the celebrations of the Council’s Foundation Day, the ICAR-CAFRI, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh also initiated the plantation drive.
The Members of Governing Body, Senior Officials of ICAR Headquarters & Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare; Directors of ICAR Institutes; Vice-Chancellors of State Agricultural Universities; Scientists and Staff Members of ICAR also participated in the event.
Dr. Ashok Kumar Singh, Deputy Director General (Agricultural Extension), ICAR proposed the vote of thanks.