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ICAR to focus more on research in livestock, fisheries, horticulture to achieve higher growth: DG Himanshu Pathak

ICAR to focus more on research in livestock, fisheries, horticulture to achieve higher growth: DG Himanshu Pathak


ICAR to focus more on research in livestock, fisheries, horticulture to achieve higher growth: DG Himanshu Pathak

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Director General Himanshu Pathak on Monday said the organisation will focus more on research in livestock, fisheries and horticulture to boost growth in these three sectors.

ICAR would continue to develop climate-resilient seed varieties to ensure crop production does not get affected due to climate change, he said, adding that emphasis would also be laid on the use of digital tools in farming, as well as post-harvest management of agriculture and horticulture crops. Pathak said the research institute will invite private players to do joint research. On Sunday, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar asked ICAR’s farm scientists to focus more on research in animal husbandry and fisheries to boost production and their contribution to the overall farm sector growth.

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The minister was speaking virtually on the 95th foundation day of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). “Our research work is not limited to crops only. Livestock and fisheries have always been important. There are 15 institutes across the country which focus only on animal science and there are 8 research institutes for fisheries. “In recent years, the growth of livestock, fisheries and horticulture sectors has been higher. We will focus more on these sectors so that we achieve higher growth and farmers also get benefits,” Pathak told PTI on the sidelines of its 3-day celebration of 95th Foundation and Technology Day (July-16-18) at Pusa campus here.

The ICAR DG highlighted that the fisheries sector is growing at nearly 9 per cent while the growth of animal husbandry and horticulture sectors are also higher than crops. Talking about the challenge of climate change, Pathak said the ICAR has developed more than 6,000 seed varieties, of which nearly 1,900 varieties are climate-resilient. He said there are certain wheat varieties which can deal with a sudden rise in temperature during winter (January-February). Pathak said the ICAR has also developed many varieties of paddy and other crops that are resilient to both drought and flood.

“We have decided that there will be some trait of climate resilience in all seed varieties of agriculture and horticulture crops,” he added. Pathak also stressed strengthening the collaboration with private players. “We have been collaborating with private parties. ICAR use to develop technology, and then we invite private players to commercialise the technologies. Now, we want that ICAR and private players should collaborate and work together to do research from the beginning to solve problems of agriculture and allied sector,” he said. The ICAR DG said the council would also promote precision agriculture and Artificial Intelligence.

He highlighted that the ICAR institutes, agriculture universities and Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) have started using drones. Pathak said around 250 KVKs already have procured drones out of 731 KVKs across the country, and around 15,000 demonstrations were conducted last year to educate farmers. The remaining KVKs will also soon be provided with drones.

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