While farmers' community are apprehensive about a short-fall in monsoon rains this year, Agriculture Minister, Sharad Pawar on Monday exuded great confidence over tackling monsoon uncertainties and sustaining the growth in the agriculture sector.
Talking at the ICAR Foundation Day and Award Ceremony, Pawar said that monsoon rains continue to challenge the farming community, scientists and the policy makers alike.
"This year, with monsoon playing hide and seek, it will be really a challenge to maintain the excellent performance of last two years," Pawar said, while stressing on the dependence of Indian agriculture on monsoon.
However, the agricultural minister said that the Government was ready to face any monsoon eventualities. "There are sufficient quantities of seed of late-sown varieties of various crops and these have been dispatched to different states. Steps have also been taken to provide sufficient quantities of seeds of rabi pulses to compensate for any loss in pulses production in the kharif season," he said.
Meanwhile, Pawar appreciated agricultural research system's contributions in increasing farm production over the years. He said that the record food-grain production of over 250 million tonnes, is a landmark achievement and has been appreciated even by international bodies.
"For the first time, India has exported around 50 lakh tonnes of non-basmati rice, 15 lakh tonnes of wheat, 25 lakh tonnes of sugar and more than 100 lakh bales of cotton," the Agricultural Minister said.
Citing the important roles of technology and science in today's world, Pawar called for evolving next generation technologies to meet the challenge of increasing farm productivity, while maintaining the natural resource base.
"Many global research organizations (public and private) have realized the need for next generation technologies. To advance pro-poor agricultural R&D, it is required that both, the private and public sector research and development organizations, focus on pooling resources and work collaboratively for harnessing the synergies; to lead to desired initiatives on intensive agriculture researches for next generation technologies," said the minister.