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Find tech solutions to challenges in Agriculture: Prez

 
President Pranab Mukherjee today called upon the Indian agricultural research system to find technological solutions to challenges being faced by Indian agriculture research and to reach out to the millions of small and marginal farmers, said a release by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Mukherjee was addressing agricultural scientists and policymakers at the 85th ICAR Foundation Day at the National Agricultural Science Centre (NASC), PUSA, New Delhi.

Among areas that need special focus, the President drew attention to quality seed production, agro-processing and post-harvest handling of farm produce, development and introduction of genetically modified crops, and preparing agriculture for climate change.

Addressing the gathering, Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Minister Sharad Pawar called for advancing pro-poor agricultural R&D. He also called for pooling resources of private and public sector R&D organizations to develop next-generation technologies.

Pawar expressed the hope that with increase in productivity and improved post-harvest handling and processing, “India would become one of the leading food suppliers to the world while at the same time serving the vast growing domestic market of over a billion people.”

The President launched an SMS portal exclusively for farmers. Through this new imitative, farmers can get agriculture related information and advisories as per their needs and location, and in their own language.

The Foundation Day meet was also attended by Ministers of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries, Dr. Charan Das Mahant and Tariq Anwar.

On this occasion, the President and Agriculture Minister launched a number of important publications by the ICAR and presented awards to institutions, scientists and journalists dealing with agricultural research and education.