DG ICAR Inaugurates National Seminar on Transfer of Tech. of Strategic Pesticide Use to Enhance Agri. Production & Food Security

New Delhi, 1st June, 2011

Inaugurating the National Seminar on Transfer of Technology of Strategic Pesticides Use to Enhance Agricultural Production & Food Security, today, at National Agricultural Sciences Centre, ICAR, New Delhi, the Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education and Director General, ICAR, Dr. S. Ayyappan, while touching upon the research education and extension programme of the ICAR said that programmes on entrepreneurship and skill development have been accorded high priority to catalyze commercialization of technologies on a larger scale, in which private sector can play immense role.

He called for greater Public Private Partnership, so as to gain the synergy of each other’s strengths and take agricultural technologies to the door steps of the farmers across the country.  Ensuring timely availability of quality inputs, including seeds, fertilizers and pesticides and educating the farmers and agriculture input dealers on judicious use of pesticides in very vital in which ICAR and Private Sector can play an important role, said Dr. Ayyappan.

He also called for creating paraprofessional and middle level functionaries to assist in various department projects through appropriate training at the KVKs, SAUs and ICAR institutes.

More than 300 delegates including scientists, senior officials, farmers and dealers across the country are participating in the one day National Seminar on Transfer of Technology of Strategic Pesticides Use to Enhance Agricultural Production & Food Security.

While delivering the key note address, Prof R B Singh, Former Assistant Director General, FAO said, the agrochemicals have played a pivotal role in the past in increasing agricultural productivity and production, and protecting and preserving the human and animal food, feed and health. These have become a topic of public debate, owing primarily to their non-judicious and unscientific use, thus, a policy on their use needs to be in place, mentioned Prof Singh.

Dr. K. D. Kokate, Deputy Director General (Agricultural Extension), ICAR, highlighted the areas of Public-Private Partnership and it is hoped that it is only though such partnerships we can reach the small and marginal farmers and those located in far-flung areas, with improved agriculture technology.  He called for providing quality inputs and services under “single window” support system as their non-availability is a major hurdle in increasing crop productivity in the country.

Shri R. G. Agarwal, Chairman of Dhanuka Group while sharing the experiences of Public Private Partnership highlighted that around 20-30% losses to food grains production are being caused by insect pests, diseases and weeds and in monetary terms this comes to around Rs. 2.5 lakh crores per annum.  When the country is striving for enhanced productivity, it is time to take appropriate steps to minimize the losses by judicious use of pesticides.  He also requested the Council to initiate such programmes at State Agricultural Universities and ICAR Institutes so that location specific training can be provided to them.

Shri JNL Shrivastava, Former Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Shri Salil Singhal, Co Chairman CII and Dr OP Singh, President, Dhanuka Agritech Ltd also addressed the delegates on the occasion.