Plug disparities in yield, output with tech: ICAR DG

5-day International Agronomy Congress starts

There is the need to overcome disparities in production and productivity of crops in different States and areas in the country by making available modern technologies to the farming community, Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Prof. Trilochan Mohapatra said.

Speaking virtually from Delhi at the inaugural event of the five-day 5th International Agronomy Congress, jointly organised by PJTSAU and the Indian Society of Agronomy (ISA) here on Tuesday, he said the country was lagging behind in the production of oilseeds and there was need to focus on it to achieve self reliance and to save huge foreign exchange being spent on the import of edible oils.

Effective and efficient use of water and land resources, reducing use of chemical fertilizers, bringing down costs of cultivation were the major challenges being faced by the agriculture sector now, Prof. Mohapatra said.

In his welcome address, Vice Chancellor of Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) V. Praveen Rao, who is also the president of ISA, said the country had proved its capability as a major food producer in the world by ensuring that there was no shortage of food that includes foodgrains, vegetable, fruits and products based on them even during the pandemic.

President of Crop Science Society of America P.V. Vara Prasad, a former student of Prof. Rao, said food security, environmental security, women, malnutrition among children were the major challenges before the world. The inequalities in the society were exposed one more time during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Stating that there was the need for 60% increase in the production of foodgrains in the world by 2050 to meet the needs of population then, Prof. Prasad said the challenge ahead was that it had to be achieved with the existing land resources itself. There was also an equal need to prevent wastage of food which was very high at about 30% now.

President of the International Weed Science Society Prof. Samunder Singh stressed the need for measures to improve the economic status of farmers by improving both the production and productivity. He wanted higher use of drones in the spraying of pesticides and insecticides.

Vice Chancellor of Rani Laxmibai Central Agricultural University Prof. Punjab Singh attributed the progress of agriculture sector in the country to green and white revolutions, The organisers stated that about 500 delegates were participating in the event offline and another 800 online.

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