2nd November 2018, Karnal, Haryana
A two-day meeting (2-3 November 2018) of ICAR Regional Committee Zone-V (Punjab, Haryana & Delhi) was inaugurated at ICAR-Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Karnal today.
Shri Om Prakash Dhankar, Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of Haryana, in his inaugural address, emphasized that priority should be given to research and transfer of technologies on location specific issues. He said the region like Haryana and Punjab, which gave tremendous contribution in the ‘Green Revolution’, is now exposed to a number of socio-economic, market, abiotic and biotic stresses which needs the collective efforts by the concerned stakeholders. The emphasis of state Government of Haryana is to enhance crop diversification by integrating local resources such as indigenous cow, organic agriculture as a component, horticultural crop enhancement and value addition in agri-products. He briefed about the initiatives and policies like e-NAM,subsidies on inputs and eliminating middlemen from the agri-marketing and support on crop and animal insurance to enhance the farm income and reduce farmers’ risks.
On this occasion, Shri Gurbachan Singh, a farmer from Punjab who has been sustainably managing the crop residues at his farm and who was appreciated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India in his “Man Kibaati” series, was rewarded and appreciated by the Chief Guest and Chairman of the Regional Committee Meeting.
Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra , Secretary (DARE) & Director General (ICAR) and Chairman of the Regional Committee Meeting said that Punjab and Haryana are the ‘food bowl’ of the country. This region contributes around 20% of the food grains to the national pool. Presently, the major issues affecting agriculture in this region are deteriorating soil health (salinity for example), depleting ground water and climate changes leading to declining farmers’ profit. He shared that with the joint efforts made by ICAR -led institutions and state government, the crop residue burning has reduced by about 45% during the year 2107-18. The efforts made by ICAR-led institutions could also help to manage the significant extent of degraded lands of the region, and trained about 14 lakh farmers, interacted with 2 crore farm people on burning issues while developed 150 mobile Apps relevant in providing agricultural knowledge. Dr Mohapatra further urged to all the participating members and stakeholders to prioritize research and development programs targeting farmers’ needs and sustaining natural resources of the region. He emphasized that this meeting is a mechanism of ICAR to reach to various states to understand issues of a specific region.
In his welcome address, Shri Chhabilendra Roul, Special Secretary (DARE) & Secretary (ICAR) said the farmers can be reached directly with the promising technologies for addressing pressing issues in a definite time frame with established vibrant network. In this network Agricultural Universities, KVKs and Line Departments play pivotal roles whose participation in the Regional Committee Meeting is indeed important so that real time issues and required solutions could be discussed in proper manner.
Dr. J K Jena, Deputy Director General (Fishery and Animal Sciences), ICAR and Nodal officer of the meeting remarked that Punjab and Haryana, both the states have gone to significant changes in farming systems and depletion of natural resources. Looking to the current agricultural problems of this region, there is a tremendous opportunity to increase diversification in agriculture by incorporating fish as important component.
Dr. P. C. Sharma Member Secretary of Regional Committee V and Director, ICAR-CSSRI presented the action taken report of the previous meeting held in 2016, and shared the key challenges of the region. While presenting, he urged all the stakeholders to play pro-active role in defining the issues and participating in developing the appropriate solutions required to the policy makers, executers and farmers of the region.
About 150 participants including policy makers, Governing Body Members of ICAR, New Delhi, Vice Chancellors of State Agricultural Universities and other stakeholders from the respective states have participated in this meeting.
(Source: ICAR-Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Karnal)