Coimbatore, June 15, 2012
Shri S. Damodaran, Minister for Agriculture, Government of Tamil Nadu inaugurated the 23rd meeting of Regional Committee No.VIII of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) here today. Highlighting the role of agricultural researchers in achieving the agricultural growth rate of 4% during the 12th five-year plan, he hoped that this meeting will identify the gaps in research and in transfer of technologies and work towards this goal. Informing that the water deficit in 2025 will be about 31% in Tamil Nadu, he called upon the researchers to develop strategies in meeting this challenge. The Minister also released several technical publications and presented the award for the best performing NAIP project to the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University.
Presiding over the function, Dr. S. Ayyappan, Secretary, DARE and Director General, ICAR mentioned that Region No. VIII is the host for several spices and plantation crops. Though the productivity of crops such as rice, sugarcane, groundnut, coconut and pulses have improved in this region, the researchers should not remain complacent, he cautioned. Lauding the ICT initiatives of Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) and Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS), he called upon the institutions of NARS to utilize the excellent IT potential of this region. Mentioning that 'Farmer-first' and 'Student-ready' are the major missions of ICAR, the Director General appreciated the agricultural institutions of region VIII in helping several farmers growing crops such as rice and banana to achieve phenomenal yields. The major issues to be discussed in this meeting will be dryland agriculture, Island agriculture, disaster management, agri-eco tourism, labour shortage and retaining youth in agriculture, he added.
Earlier, in his introductory remarks, Dr. K.D. Kokate, Deputy Director General, Agriculture Extension, ICAR listed out the NARS institutions in this region and highlighted their achievements.
E-contents of the five-year Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry course of the TANUVAS were released by Shri Damodaran. Developed under the National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP) of ICAR, the e-contents included creating multimedia e-learning modules, a shareable repository of learning resources in veterinary and animal scinces, and delivering e-modules online and offline in the form of CD/DVD.
Dr. P. Subbian, Acting Vice-Chancellor and Registrar, TNAU welcomed the delegates and Dr. N. Vijayan Nair, Director, Sugarcane Breeding Institute and Member Secretary, Regional Committee No. VIII proposed a formal vote of thanks.
Over 100 delegates, from the departments of Horticulture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries of State Governments and Vice-Chancellors and Scientists of Agricultural Universities, Directors of ICAR Institutes / Stations located in the Region, Directors of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries of the State Governments, Members of the ICAR Society are participating in the 2-day meeting.
(Source: NAIP Mass-Media project, DKMA with inputs from consortium partner TNAU, Coimbatore)