28 November 2023, New Delhi: Dr U.S.Gautam, Deputy Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, inaugurated a three days National Review Workshop on Farmer First Program at Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University, here today. While addressing around 150 delegates from all over the country, the Chief Guest, exhorted the scientists to develop effective strategy to extend useful farm technology to the farmers fields to raise their socio economic status. Enriching knowledge and adoption technology by the farmers is an important target of farmers first program. He said that action plans should be reoriented as per the need of farmers to improve their farm income. He discussed integrating millets in the cropping systems. Dr Gautam said that small farmers should be paid special attention. He also talked about getting benefits from carbon credits, maximizing utility of drone services and improving custom hiring services. He asked scientists to develop strategy for upscaling and improving technology transfer as highly educated professionals are also entering farming sector.
The Chief Guest also released some technical publications.
In his presidential address, Dr D.K. Vatsa, Vice Chancellor said that this successful project has proved its utility beyond production and productivity as all adopted farmers have been able to enhance their income by adopting new farm technology under the guidance of scientists. He said that farming is of utmost importance as food is a very basic requirement for all. This thought should be inculcated among children to make them aware about pursuing a career in agriculture. He said that all should understand their responsibility towards farmers who feed the nation. He discussed issues like the need of sustainable agriculture in decreasing farm land with new technology, exploiting rich agro biodiversity in the State, etc. He said farm mechanisation is the need of the hour. Dr. Vatsa suggested providing new technology to farmers settled in far flung and remote areas.
Guest of honour Dr R. R.Burman, Assistant Director General,ICAR, told that farmers participatory research in 52 centres have remained useful in the last six years. Locally useful technology has been generated and income of farmer clusters have been enhanced to the tune of double or triple in the adopted villages.
Dr Parvender Sheoran, Director, Agricultural Technology Application Research Institute, Ludhiana informed that members of the project management committee comprising former Vice Chancellors, directors and senior scientists, will be giving practical and valuable suggestions to improve the effectiveness of Farmer First project.
Dr Naveen Kumar, Director Extension Education of the host University detailed achievements of this project in the University adopted villages.
Dr Desh Raj Chaudhary, Principal Investigator of the project told that fifteen progressive farmers from seven adopted villages by the host University and some retired extension scientists will also be taking part in the deliberations. Smt Pinki Devi, Pradhan, Dharer Panchayat, Baijnath, shared experience of her Panchayat. An exhibition of farmers’ farm products was also installed on the occasion.
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