New Delhi: President Droupadi Murmu on Friday called for more action to lift some farmers out of poverty and ensure right price for their produce even as the government is making speedy efforts to boost their income.
The comments came in the backdrop of thousands of farmers from Delhi-NCR region taking to the streets seeking hiked compensation for lands acquired by the government and for accepting several demands, including enactment of a law to guarantee a minimum support price (MSP) for crops on Thursday.
Addressing the 62nd convocation of ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) here at Pusa complex, Murmu said farmers are not only “annadata” but also “jeevandata” who are contributing in making the country’s economy strong.
“We are aware of problems faced by our farmers. Even today, many farmers are living in poverty. To ensure they get the right price (for their produce) and improve their livelihood, we need to work even harder in this direction,” Murmu said.
She expressed confidence that farmers will see the development as the country becomes a developed nation by 2047.
Stating that the government is making speedy efforts to boost the farmers’ income, the President said promotion of new farm methods, expansion of irrigation facilities and schemes like crop insurance, soil health card and Kisan Sampada Yojana — all this will play a big role in doubling farmers’ income.
She stressed the importance of improving the livelihood of the farming community citing famous quotes of Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore.
Highlighting the contribution of IARI in the farm sector, the President said the institute has contributed for achieving the food security of the nation while appreciating its initiative Mera Gaon, Mera Gaurav (My Village, My Pride).
She said different schools under IARI are working towards improving agriculture. It has developed more than 100 crop varieties and patented the same number between 2005 and 2020. IARI has also promoted soft power in neighbouring countries.
Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda released the IARI’s 30 improved crop varieties and publications on the occasion.
IARI Director and Vice Chancellor A K Singh said the journey of the Indian agricultural research institute began in 1905 from Pusa in Bihar. The institute’s mission is to provide leadership for science-led sustainable and globally competitive agriculture for food, nutrition and livelihood security.
IARI has developed 30 high yielding varieties of agri-horticultural crops in 2023. The IARI-bred wheat varieties are cultivated in about 9 million hectares, contributing 30 million tonnes of wheat to the nation’s granary.
PUSA-basmati rice varieties contributed Rs 40,000 crore during 2023 as foreign exchange, he added.
ICAR Director General Himashu Pathak was also present at the convocation held at Pusa complex here.