Date: 18th June 2012
A national policy for higher agriculture education is being developed and the Indian Council for Agricultural Research is considering interfacing agriculture with IT, a top ICAR official said today.
The modalities are being worked out for the policy, considering the needs of the sector, which would be in place in the 12th plan period, Dr S Ayyappan, Director General, ICAR, Delhi, said, presiding over the 23rd meeting of ICAR Regional Committee at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, here.
The meeting was important, as it would chalk out the strategy for the development of agriculture and "It would finalise a plan by replicating success stories like milk and rice in Tamil Nadu, maize in Karnataka and coconut in Kerala, so that there is a sustainable growth across India," he said.
As suggested by Bill Gates of Microsoft, who was in the country recently, he said the ICAR was also considering interfacing agriculture with IT or ICT in a big way, which would benefit the farmers.
Inaugurating the meeting, Tamil Nadu Agriculture Minister S Damodaran asked the scientists and researchers to play a vital role for uplift of farmers, who, he said, were struggling and caught between climate change, change of globalisation policies and soil, water and air pollution.
The average farm holding in India has come down from 0.48 hectares in 1951 to 0.16 hectares now, resulting in 96 per cent of the farmers becoming small farmers, he said.
Stating that conventional agriculture and formal agriculture education alone will not achieve success, Damodaran said there is a need for a focus on rupee investment, market-led extension and entrepreneurship development in agri-students.