09th October 2018, Karnal
Shri Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Panchayati Raj inaugurated the ‘Swarna Jayanti Krishi Unnati Mela’ organized by ICAR-Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Karnal here today.
While addressing the farmers, he said that it was for the first time since independence that Narendra Modi’s Government initiated several policies and schemes for increasing the farmers’ income in contrast to conventional approach for increasing the agricultural productivity. He added that these initiatives aim at making agriculture a profitable and sustainable business. He opined that as land was a limited resource, onerous efforts were needed for bringing the degraded lands under agricultural production. He commended the efforts of ICAR and its constituent institutes for tirelessly work in this direction. However, such efforts need to be up-scaled so that every inch of land currently lying barren is made suitable for various agricultural purposes. He desired that a detailed action plan should be developed to integrate different policy, research and social efforts aimed at accelerating the pace of salt affected soil reclamation.
Shri Rupala encouraged the large number of women farmers present in the Mela for taking a lead role in the agricultural development of the country. He opined that women self help groups can bring out marked improvements in the quality of rural life by working in areas of organic farming, horticulture and livestock based enterprises. He observed that indigenous cattle breeds need to be promoted in a big way for meeting the ever increasing demand of nutritious milk and milk products. He exhorted the farmers to switch over to organic farming for reducing the cost of production, improving food quality and fetching higher incomes.
He said burring of crop residues in Punjab and Haryana states is serious environmental concern and amounted to inflicting severe damage to the ‘Mother Earth’ which fulfills our diverse livelihood needs. He said that government was making all the possible efforts to stop this menace.
On this occasion he awarded about 20 innovative farmers from the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab and Haryana for their efforts for harnessing the productivity of salt affected soils.
Earlier, Shri Rupala first visited various technology exhibition stalls and appreciated the efforts of different ICAR Institutes, SAUs and Line Departments for their efforts towards augmenting the farm incomes.
Dr S. K. Chaudhari, ADG (SWM), ICAR said that investment in soil reclamation pays as evidenced by handsome returns for the next 25 years once a saline or sodic soil is reclaimed using appropriate technologies.
Dr. P. C. Sharma, Director, ICAR-CSSRI, Karnal briefed about various salinity management technologies leading to the reclamation of about 20 lakh ha salt affected area in different parts of the country.
About 2500 farmers and school children, including about 200 women farmers were present.
Exhibition on improved agricultural technologies, free analysis of soil and water samples; sale of high yielding, salt tolerant seeds of wheat and mustard, and Farmer-Scientist Goshthi were the main attractions of the Mela.
(Source: ICAR-CSSRI, Karnal)