The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Saturday said that climate change has emerged as a major challenge to India’s agriculture. Addressing the 83rd foundation day of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) here, Dr. Singh said: “The immediate problems that our farmers face relate to intra-seasonal variability of rainfall, extreme events and unseasonal rains. These aberrations cause heavy losses to our crops every year. There is therefore an urgent necessity for us to speed up our efforts to evolve climate-resilient crop varieties, cropping patterns and management practices.”
He further said he is happy that the ICAR is implementing a major scheme, the National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture and has set up the state-of-the-art National Institute on Abiotic Stress Management. “The National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture, which is one of the eight Missions under our National Action Plan on Climate Change also seeks to devise appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies for ensuring food security, enhancing livelihood opportunities and contributing to economic stability at the national level,” a PIB release quoted Dr. Singh, as saying.
Emphasizing that our government, in the last seven years has taken several new initiatives in the agricultural sector, Dr. Singh said: ” Many of these initiatives have shown encouraging results. But we need to build upon this achievement in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan.” “The Twelfth Plan must ensure further progress in areas of achievement and also remove the deficiencies in areas where our achievements have fallen short of expectations or objective potential of our economy,” he added.
Urging scientists, technologists, and extension experts to share their experiences and personal assessments of these new initiatives, Dr. Singh said: ” I urged them to share their experiences with the Planning Commission and the Ministry of Agriculture so that the Twelfth Five-Year Plan can tackle the many new challenges that have emerged in the last few years.” (ANI)
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