Agri Business

Cereals make up 50% of new crop varieties introduced in the country since 2014: Minister

A J Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on July 20, 2021

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar   -  PTI

Agriculture Minister says ICAR working to upgrade tech, provide quality seeds

Over the last seven years, cereals have accounted for nearly 50 per cent share of all the field crops developed in the country. Pulses and oilseeds accounted for the next largest share of the crops developed since 2014, when the Narendra Modi government came to power.

A total of 1,575 varieties of 70 field crops have been developed between 2014 and January 2021. These include 770 varieties of cereals, 235 oilseeds, 236 pulses, 170 fibre crops, 104 forage crops, 52 sugarcane and eight other crops, the Union Agriculture Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar, told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

In addition, 288 varieties of horticultural crops have also been released and notified, he said in a reply to a question on agriculture technology development in the country.

Tomar said the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is working to upgrade technology and provide quality seeds to farmers. During this process, the advancements made in the agricultural sciences, both within India and outside, are considered for their replication under suitable farming situations.

Livestock

To another question, the minister said the new high-yielding and biotic/ abiotic stress tolerant varieties and technologies of crops, breeds/ strains of livestock and poultry developed by the National Agricultural Research System (NARS) under ICAR have played a pivotal role in increasing food and nutritional security..

Against the indented quantity of 6.59 lakh quintals of breeder’s seed of different varieties received during the last seven years, ICAR/ NARS produced and supplied 8.20 lakh quintals. In livestock, 12 improved poultry varieties suitable for backyard poultry rearing, nine high-producing varieties of pigs and an improved sheep variety were developed.

He said 12 cloned buffaloes were also produced during the last seven years to multiply superior germplasm.

To augment fish production, fish breeding and seed production technologies have been developed for 25 species of food fish during 2014-21.

For better health management, a total of 47 and 25 new vaccines / diagnostic kits have also been developed for livestock and fish, respectively.

Small farmers

For farmers with small land holdings, ICAR has developed 60 Integrated Farming System (IFS) models, including eight Integrated Organic Farming System models, for adoption in 22 states and three Union Territories.

To promote organic farming in the country, 51 cropping systems have been developed that are suitable for farming in 12 States. The Government is promoting organic farming and zero budget natural farming under various schemes. These are traditional agricultural technologies that use cattle and are beneficial for small farmers, he said.

To a query on the impact of farm equipment, chemical fertilisers on farmers with small holdings, he said the introduction of fuel driven farm equipment and tractors have ensured that different farm operations are completed within their timelines, saving on cost of operation with reducing the drudgery of the work.

In order to prevent the adverse effects of chemical fertilisers, the ICAR is advocating the judicious use of chemical fertilisers through soil test based balanced and integrated nutrient management, encompassing conjunctive use of both inorganic and organic sources of nutrients, he said.

Published on July 20, 2021

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