Narendra Singh Tomar Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare exhorted that there is a need to address the issues of small and marginal farmers through generation of right knowledge access platforms and provision of basic agricultural inputs at affordable costs as these farmers predominantly comprises (around 86%) the farm sector today and their contribution towards national economy is quite significant. Earlier there was a time when the agriculture sector was not fully equipped but now with concerted efforts of farmers, scientists, and Government interventions like Direct Benefit Transfer, Crop Insurance etc., India's agriculture sector is flourishing and is now a safe sector. By 2050, if ongoing surge in population continues, tons more food grains will be required to be produced. It is going to be a challenge.
Tomar said that there is an urgent need to focus from sustainable production to sustainable agri-food systems keeping in minds the climatic conditions, water conservation aspects etc. To alleviate the stress of farmers in country, farming has to be transformed from low key activity to a fully structured profitable livelihood profession. A 'Farmer FIRST' approach has to be adopted by all the stakeholders involved at various levels including Government, industry, scientists and extension machinery. The Minister requested all the stakeholders in the farm sector to come together and work together rather than working aloof, in order to make the sector prosperous and thus ultimately contributing to the nation's progress.
The Minister said that farmers in India have been the crusaders of several revolutions in agriculture. What they need now are appropriate technologies and proper skilling. IARI, the premier institute of agricultural research and education in the country has made applauding contributions towards farmers' as well as nation's prosperity through generation and dissemination of cutting-edge technologies for various agro-ecological situations.
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