Thursday, March 31, 2016

Indian prime minister says modern technology could double farmers’ income by 2022

NEW DELHI,  India—Modern agricultural technology and modernization could help double the current incomes of farmers within six years, according to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He expressed this possibility during the inauguration of the Krishi Unnati Mela agriculture fair and exhibition, held 19-21 March at Pusa, New Delhi.

“The next revolution in Indian agriculture has to be built on technology and modernization,” Modi emphasized. He also gave a clarion call for a second green revolution in the eastern states through the adoption of modern technologies.

During the mega event, farmers from various Indian states visited the exhibit of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI; photo). The exhibit showcased various technologies developed and promoted by the institute for Indian farmers through the Stress-Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia (STRASA) and the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) projects.

These included stress-tolerant rice varieties (STRVs), Crop Manager for Rice-based Systems, publications on seed production and postharvest techniques, a manual rice transplanter, the Community Mat Nursery, and the performance charts for the STRVs. IRRI representatives, Mr. Mayank Sharma, Mr. Sarovar Yadav, and Mr. Amit Mishra gave demonstrations and explanations on the various IRRI technologies.

Farmers who are already cultivating STRVs shared their experiences and suggestions, particularly those from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Farmers from these two states were very satisfied with the performance of the drought-tolerant Sahbhagi dhan as their areas experienced severe drought last year. The farmers were interest in other recently released varieties such as BINA dhan 11, DRR42, DRR44, Sambha-Sub1, among others.

Other visitors to the IRRI display were Union Ministers Shri Radha Mohan Singh and Shri Nitin Gatkari, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, agricultural scientists, and extension agency personnel.

Krishi Unnati Mela was organized jointly by the DoA, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, and the Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI). 

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