President Pratibha Patil stressed on the need for more investment in agricultural research so that new technologies can be developed to increase profitability in farming.
She was speaking at the inauguration of the new administrative wing Centenary Building of the College of Agriculture,Pune (CoAP),on Sunday.
Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan,Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar,Vidhan Sabha Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil,Agriculture Minister Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil,Minister of Co-operatives Harshavardhan Patil,Vice Chancellor of Mahatma Phule Agriculture University (MPKV) Tukaram More and college principal Dr Bhimrao Ulmek were present at the function.
In India,there is a misconception that only illiterate should be farmers. This is wrong. In many other countries,I have seen,highly educated people are involved farming using modern technology. In our country,too,we need to increase the use of modern technology. This can be effectively done if the educated lot takes up farming, said Patil.
Patil said the use of modern technology can bring in a drastic change in the way farming is carried out. She added that the need of the hour for states was to invest more in development of farming technology.
I appeal to Ajit Pawar that he should ensure that the state government invests more money in agricultural research to develop newer varieties of high-yield,disease- and pest-resistant crops. Farmers,government,agricultural universities and farmers unions need to work together and contribute as stakeholders, she said.
The President,pointing out that extension mechanism in the country was weak,said there was an urgent need to strengthen it to expedite the transfer of innovations from laboratories to fields. She also stressed upon the need to improve rain-fed agriculture.
At present,around 80 per cent of farmers are dependent on rainfall for agriculture. We need to bring in a second green revolution; this time,in the rain-fed farming sector. The government needs to work towards this, said Patil. Pawar said in the last state budget,the government allotted Rs 200 crore for rain-fed farming.
But given the large number of farmers still dependent on rainwater,we need to increase the allotment. I promise that in the next budget,this allocation will be enhanced, he said.
Sankaranarayan congratulated the University authorities for building the state-of-the-art structure for the college so that more students of agriculture can benefit from it.