Education, tech, knowledge important to solve challenges of Agriculture: Tomar
It is necessary to have agricultural education, technology and knowledge to solve the challenges facing agriculture in the future, said Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar while inaugurating the International Conference on Blended Learning Ecosystem for Higher Education in Agriculture organised by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in collaboration with the World Bank.
Expressing happiness, the Chief Guest, Union Minister Tomar said that facilities like Krishi Megh (National Agricultural Research & Education System – Cloud Infrastructure and Services), which was started in August, 2020 and Virtual Classroom started in April, 2021, played an important role in teaching during the pandemic. This Blended Learning Platform will make Krishi Megh even more useful for teachers and students of agricultural universities and colleges across the country. Krishi Megh infrastructure has been strengthened for the Blended Learning Platform, so that the students are benefitted.
Tomar said that on the call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during the 25 years of Amrit Kaal, the period from the 75th year of India’s Independence till the Centenary Year, our thinking, methodology, pace and vision should be so comprehensive that by the year 2047, India, having acquired all the technologies, takes seat in the comity of the Developed nations. Blended learning will be a big contributor in this journey. It is our responsibility to extend the technology to the farmland. Technology support is very necessary in the field of farming, in order that the Agriculture sector is facilitated, attracts the new generation, leads to job opportunities, reduces input costs and the quality of production improves. All this needs to be done with sincerity and dedication. The contribution of agriculture sector is also very important in fulfilling the goal of building a developed India, because agriculture is the backbone of the country’s economy. Its strength will help prepare the nation to stand firm in any situation and move forward. Along with this, there is a need to be prepared for the challenges that are going to come till the year 2047 regarding Food Security and Climate Change.
The minister said that the Prime Minister works on the vision of all-round balanced development. It is the priority of the government to improve the standard of living of all, including the country’s poor, labourers, farmers and tribal brothers and sisters. At the same time, he continues to work for the fulfillment of the wider aim that India can move forward in the geopolitical global scenario on the bedrock of its principles, novelty and noble cause. The government is doing whatever corrective work needs to be done in the direction of upcoming challenges, need of technology and significance of digitalization. India ranks the best in terms of digital transactions. Today, 2.40 lakh crore rupees are transferred directly in the bank accounts of crores of farmers without the role of any middleman, this is spectacular for the country as well as the world. India has also taken rapid steps in the direction of Ayushman Bharat scheme, gas subsidy and payment of agricultural procurements at MSP through DBT, due to which our credibility and reputation in the world has also increased.
He said that rapid development is being done in all the sectors today, but the agriculture sector is special. Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, the government has linked the agriculture sector with new dimensions. Attempts have been made to address long standing challenges. Today the Crop Insurance Scheme is working all over the country. Ever since this scheme started, till now Rs 1.30 lakh crore has been given by the insurance companies to the farmers in compensation for the loss of their crops. A target has been set to provide short-term loans up to Rs. 20 lakh crore to the farmers, so that the farmers are empowered. Similarly, to bridge the longstanding lack of private investment, technology and infrastructure in the Agriculture and Allied Sectors, provision has been made of more than Rs 1.5 lakh crore under the Atmanirbhar Bharat package. Banks have already approved projects worth more than Rs. 14,000 crores under the Agri Infra Fund. The good results of all these initiatives will soon reflect in the agriculture sector. Earlier, Tomar cut a cake made from Shree Anna.
Secretary, DARE and Director General, ICAR, Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Deputy Director General (Agriculture Education) and National Director – National Agricultural Higher Education Project, Dr. R.C. Aggarwal and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.