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Modi dedicates 35 crop varieties with special traits to nation

Our Bureau. New Delhi | Updated on September 28, 2021

Encourages farmers to move out of crop-based income system, go for value-addition

Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated 35 crop varieties with special traits — developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) — to address the twin challenges of climate change and malnutrition to the nation. He also interacted with farmers who use innovative methods through a video conference on Tuesday.

He also dedicated to the nation the newly constructed campus of the National Institute of Biotic Stress Management in Raipur and distributed the Green Campus Award to agricultural universities, according to an official release.

According to the PMO, 35 crop varieties with special traits like climate resilience and higher nutrient-content have been developed in 2021.

These include a drought tolerant variety of chickpea, wilt and sterility mosaic resistant pigeonpea, early maturing variety of soybean, disease resistant varieties of rice and biofortified varieties of wheat, pearl millet, maize and chickpea, quinoa, buckwheat, winged bean and faba bean.

These special traits crop varieties also include those that address the anti-nutritional factors found in some crops that adversely affect human and animal health.

Farmer support

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said 86 per cent of farmers in the country are small farmers and the Prime Minister’ss focus has been on enhancing the income of these farmers.

The Prime Minister believes that farmers should not be dependent on compassion of others, but should rise on their own strength. For this, several schemes like PM-KISAN and transport facilities through Kisan rails have been launched to empower them, he said.

From seed to market, facilities are being provided to ensure their income doubles and contribute in making India self-reliant in the farm sector, he added.

Modi said efforts were being made to take the farmer out of the crop-based income system and encouraging them to go for value-addition and other farming options. “He stressed on the need to further develop millets and other grains with solutions from science and research....He asked people to be prepared to use the opportunities provided by the UN’s declaration of the coming year as the year of the millet,” the release said.

Due to climate change, new types of pests and diseases were emerging, that were posing a threat to the health of humans, livestock and crops, Modi said. Intensive continued research on these aspects is necessary, he added.

Published on September 28, 2021

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