With climate changes adversely affecting food security and production,a focused research in the area of agriculture was the need of the hour,said Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar while speaking after laying the foundation stone for the first National Institute of Abiotic Stress Management under the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) at Malegaon in Baramati.
Proposed under the ICAR with an outlay of Rs 73.50 crores in the eleventh plan,Pawar said that this is the first such institute to focus on abiotic stress such as drought,temperature,extreme climatic conditions,floods,salinity,mineral toxicity and nutrient deficiency which pose a threat to agriculture production globally.
He said that countries like US,Brazil and Australia had such facilities but India was far behind. With the countrys 60 per cent dependency on agriculture and the states 80 per cent dependency,this institute is definitely the need of the hour.
A deemed status has been given to the institute which will come up on 140 acres. Scientists from abroad will also enroll here.
Pawar observed that though there are several agriculture universities in the country working in the area of abiotic stress,the efforts are far too inadequate considering the magnitude of the problems.
Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar said that it is good that the institute is coming up in Baramati. He said that the outlay will be up to Rs 350 crore in the first five years and will be a major help to the farmers.
Balasaheb Thorat,Cooperative Minister Harshvardhan Patil,ICAR head Mangla Rai and Divisional Commissioner Dilip Band were also present on the occasion.