Read full article by Sagar Kulkarni@Deccan Herald News Services Photo Credit: iStock Images
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday pitched for making millets such as jowar, bajra and ragi as part of regular diet to stamp out malnutrition from the country.
Reviewing the functioning of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the prime minister also said traditional varieties of crops cultivated by farmers over generations were being screened for stress tolerance and other favourable traits at a time climate change stress had posed a threat to agricultural livelihoods.
Modi also directed that start-ups and agri-entrepreneurs need to be promoted to ensure innovation and use of technology in agriculture and allied sectors. He highlighted the need to leverage information technology to provide information on demand to the farmers.
He suggested that hackathons may be organised twice a year to solve identified problems and meet design needs for tools and equipment that can reduce drudgery if farming activity, given that a large number of farm workers are women.
While reviewing the contributions of ICAR in developing new breeds of cattle, sheep and goats, the prime minister highlighted the need for research on indigenous breeds of dogs and horses. He directed that a focused mission mode approach be adopted for vaccination drives for Foot and Mouth disease.
In the virtual meet, he exhorted that study of grasses and local fodder crops should be undertaken to understand their nutritive value.
He underlined the need to study use of sea weeds for their impact on soil health apart from exploring commercial applications in nutraceuticals.