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Union Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan Advocates for Small and Marginal Farmers at IARI Alumni Meet

New Delhi, India – Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare and Rural Development, SShivraj Singh Chouhan, attended the alumni meet of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) at Pusa, New Delhi, today. Speaking as the chief guest, Minister Chouhan made an impassioned appeal to the scientific community to prioritize the needs of small and marginal farmers, who constitute about 86% of the farming population in India.

Minister Chouhan emphasized the need for innovative agricultural models that would ensure farmers can sustain their livelihoods on small plots of land, even those less than one hectare. He highlighted the crucial role of technological advancements in boosting farmer incomes and adapting to the changing agricultural landscape.

“Let us together make a roadmap on which not only the welfare of Indian agriculture and farmers can be achieved, but let us make India the food basket of the world, feed the world, and export,” Chouhan stated. He also underscored the importance of making India self-reliant in pulses and oilseeds.

During his speech, Minister Chouhan expressed his determination to revolutionize the agricultural sector by connecting farmers with scientific advancements. He stressed the importance of Krishi Vigyan Kendras (Agricultural Science Centers) in this endeavor, aligning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for advancing the agriculture sector and improving farmer welfare.

Prominent figures in agricultural research and policy, including Dr. R.S. Paroda, former Director General of ICAR, Dr. Ramesh Chand, Member of NITI Aayog, and Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Secretary DARE and Director General of ICAR, also shared their insights at the meeting. IARI Director Dr. A.K. Singh and DDG Dr. R.S. Aggarwal were present, contributing to the discussions on the challenges and opportunities in Indian agriculture.

Dr. Ramesh Chand highlighted the necessity of understanding farmers’ real problems and integrating solutions into policy making. “Our priority should be to make agricultural policies friendly to small and marginal farmers. We have to ensure that they can use the latest technologies and resources,” he said.

Dr. R.S. Paroda stressed the importance of upgrading Indian agriculture through innovation and scientific research, advocating for collaborative testing and implementation of new technologies to increase yields and incomes.

Dr. Himanshu Pathak called for collective efforts from the government, scientific community, and farmers to elevate Indian agriculture. “It is only through collaboration that we can take Indian agriculture to new heights,” he stated.

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