Saturday 28 May 2022
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Bio-tech can yield revolutionary results: Agriculture minister

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s exhortation to scientists at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research to reach out to farmers to explain to them the benefits of their innovations, and Minister Prakash Javadekar’s repeated assertion that the science of genetic engineering of crops cannot be ignored, another Union minister has given a hint to the people that the new government is favourably disposed towards bringing in the benefits of science to Indian agriculture. Union Minister Radha Mohan Singh has stressed on the need to change traditional methods of agriculture so as to produce quality foodgrains, improve the quality of soil, fight the increasing threats of diseases in crops and counter scarcity of agricultural land because of increasing population.

Laying foundation stone of Indian Institute of Agricultural Bio-Technology at Garh Khatanga near Ranchi (Jharkhand) today, the minister stated that there is a need of bringing second green revolution, particularly, in eastern states of the country which were not covered earlier during first green revolution. He mentioned that development can be accelerated in these States because of adequate and human resource and suitability of the States for organic farming as use of pesticides and chemicals and fertilisers here is almost nil. As such agricultural biotechnology will play a significant role in increasing quality production in these States.

Singh said that, with the opening of this institute, the provisions made for biotechnological would pave a way for preparing trained human resource who would create awareness among farmers about the advanced by use of bio-technology technique along with traditional methods of farming.

The minister mentioned that, in the past, due to climatic changes and fluctuations in temperature, has been adversely affected. This has led to not only reduction in production but also a decline in the quality of crops. He further added that the crops could be made climate-resilient and reduction in production could be checked with the use of biotechnology.

The minister said that there was an urgent need for setting up such an institute in this region. The Union Government has taken a decision to open the Indian institute of Agricultural Biotechnology in Jharkhand, keeping in view the importance of agricultural biotechnology. The mission of this institute will be to strengthen ongoing research, fundamental research in the field of biotechnology, as also building capacity for human resource. The institute will generate technology to enhance agricultural production, offer postgraduate and PhD degrees to students. This will be helpful in development of quality human resource and employment generation. This institute will help in strengthening of employment security and food security for tribal population and farmers of this state and the entire country.

The government proposes to confer the deemed university status to this institute, the minister added.

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