2nd May 2014, Thiruvananthapuram
India is an ever growing country and the available water must be managed judiciously to meet the burden of population growth and agricultural development. The country now needs effective conservation and balanced distribution of water, Her Excellency Smt.Sheila Dixit, Governor of Kerala said at the inaugural function of the Meeting of ICAR Regional Committee (Region VIII) in Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI), Thiruvananthapuram on May 2, 2014.
Delivering the Inaugural address, the Governor emphasized the need to concentrate on strengthening our efforts at mitigating the regional imbalance in water availability. Lauding the efforts of the initiatives made by the research institutions in the region, she mentioned that ICAR region VIII comprising Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Pudhucherry and Lakshadweep had made significant strides in the productivity of crops, livestock and fisheries over the years. This region contributes to about 20 % of the sugar production of the country, which is a remarkable achievement, she added. The farmers too have played a major role in the progress of this region with their innovations, she said.
While concentrating on improving the productivity, researchers should also focus on issues such as water conservation, organic agriculture and renewable energy for the benefit of mankind, she added.
After her address, Her Excellency the Governor of Kerala released publications and products of CTCRI.
Earlier, Dr S Ayyappan, Secretary, DARE and DG, ICAR in his introductory remarks complemented the efforts of Sugarcane Breeding Institute (SBI), Coimbatore and Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram in organizing this Regional Committee meeting that will be analyzing and discussing in depth and make recommendations on the location specific problems peculiar to the region. He mentioned that rice is the major crop in the region accounting for 10.7% of the total rice production in the country. The region also accounts for 8.4% of food grains, 9.9% of pulses and 9.1% of oil seeds produced in the country. It also contributes to about 85% of the coconut and 30% of the cashew production in the country. Lakshadweep represents a unique Island ecosystem with immense potential for fisheries with an annual fish production of 12,000 tonnes, he added.
Remembering the eminent agricultural scientist Dr Norman E Borlaug, whose birth centenary falls this year and whose last words were, “Take it to the farmer’ , the Director General informed that for the first time, progressive farmers from the region are participating in the meeting.
Dr N Vijayan Nair, Director of Sugarcane Breeding Institute and Member secretary, ICAR Regional Committee No.VIII proposed a formal vote of thanks.
About 150 delegates, Vice Chancellors, Directors of Research, Directors of Extension Education and Deans of the SAUs, Directors of ICAR Institutes, Project Coordinators and Heads of ICAR Regional / Research Centres and officials of the development departments of agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries and forestry from the region, besides high ranking officials from ICAR HQ, New Delhi are participating in the meeting (May 2-3, 2014).