New Delhi: Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has exhorted the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics (ICRISAT) to take research and technology to the doorstep of farmers.
"Taking technologies that are ready to the doorstep of every smallholder farmer in the country is a priority for the Union Government. With support from ICRISAT and other agricultural institutions, we will reach out to more farmers in rural India," an official statement quoted him, as saying during a visit to the institute earlier this week.
"We must improve the health of soil to the benefit of smallholder farmers. I urge ICRISAT to upscale plans to extend soil health cards to every farmer in the country," he added.
Recognizing the importance of pulses in enhancing food security and incomes of smallholder farmers, the minister discussed with ICRISAT, the government`s priority of upscaling cultivation of pulses and making it more competitive and attractive to farmers.
He pledged additional support to the efforts of ICRISAT to enable a pulses revolution in India.
ICRISAT Director General Dr.William D Dar and his team briefed the minister on various research programmes at the institute.
While visiting the ICRISAT Centre of Excellence in Genomics, Dr. Dar shared his views with the minister on the idea of establishing an India Genome Centre for Agriculture which has the potential to transform India into a global leader in genomics.
The initiative focuses on areas critical to food security and aims to coordinate the work of all the genomics institutes across the country.