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“Your research and technology have helped making agriculture easy and sustainable”
“Pro planet people movement is not limited to just words, but is also reflected in the actions of the Government of India”
“India’s focus is on the fusion of ‘back to basic’ and ‘march to future’ to protect its farmers from climate challenge”
“India’s efforts are increasing relentlessly for empowering farmers through digital technology”
“During the Amrit Kaal, India is focussing on inclusive growth along with higher agriculture growth”
“We wish to create an alert and potent market force out of small farmers by organizing them into thousands of FPOs”
“We are focusing on food security as well as nutrition security. With this vision we have developed many bio-fortified varieties in the last 7 years”

Governor of Telangana Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan ji, my colleagues in the Union Council of Ministers, Narendra Singh Tomar ji and G. Kishan Reddy ji, Director General of ICRISAT, dignitaries from the country and abroad, especially from African countries, joining this program through online and ladies and gentlemen present here!

Today is the holy festival of Basant Panchami. Today we worship Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge. Since you belong to a field where knowledge, science, innovation and invention are at its core, this event assumes a special significance on the occasion of Basant Panchami. Wishing you all a very Happy Golden Jubilee Celebration!

Friends,

Fifty years is a very long time. Everyone who has contributed to this 50-year journey deserves applause. I also congratulate all those who have made efforts to take this work forward. It is also a wonderful coincidence that when India is celebrating the 75th year of its independence, your organization is at this important milestone of 50 years. When India celebrates 100 years of its independence, you will be in its 75th year. Just as India has set new targets for the next 25 years and started working on them, the next 25 years are equally important for ICRISAT.

Friends,

You have experience of five decades. In these five decades, you have helped the agriculture sector in a large part of the world, including India. Your research and technology have made farming easy and sustainable in difficult situations. The display of technology here demonstrates the success of ICRISAT's efforts. This holistic approach, be it water and soil management, improving crop diversity and production practices, increasing on-farm diversity, livestock integration and connecting farmers to the market, certainly helps in making agriculture sustainable. Your contribution has been instrumental in the growth of pulses, especially chick-pea in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. This collaborative approach of ICRISAT with farmers will further strengthen and enriching agriculture. Today the Climate Change Research Facility on Plant Protection and Rapid Generation Advancement Facility have been inaugurated. These research facilities will be of great help to the agriculture world in meeting the challenge of climate change. You are aware of the changes required in our agricultural practices in view of climate change. Similarly, India has taken an important initiative. While human losses are discussed a great deal in the event of natural calamities due to climate change, the damage to infrastructure cripples the entire system. Therefore, the Government of India has come up with a global level institute for climate-resistant infrastructure which will examine and formulate plans. Today, a similar initiative is being taken for the agriculture sector. You all deserve to be congratulated.

Friends,

Although climate change affects every inhabitant of the world, it affects most of the people who are at the last rung of society, who lack resources and who work hard to climb up the ladder of development. A large number of these people account for our small farmers. And 80-85% of the farmers in India are small farmers. The issue of climate change is a huge problem for our small farmers. Therefore, India has urged the world to pay special attention to dealing with the climate challenge. Not only has India set a target of Net-Zero (emissions) by 2070, we have also highlighted the need for the L.I.F.E. Mission, that is Lifestyle for Environment. Similarly, the Pro-Planet People is a movement that binds every community, every individual with climate responsibility to tackle the climate challenge. It is not limited to just words, but it is also reflected in the actions of the Government of India. Taking forward the efforts of the past few years, climate action has been given a lot of priority in this year's budget. This budget encourages India's commitments to a green future at every level and in every sector.

Friends,

All the experts, scientists and technicians are well aware of India's efforts in tackling the challenges to agriculture due to climate and other factors. Most of you also know that there are 15 Agro-Climatic Zones in India. We have six seasons -- spring, summer, monsoon, autumn, pre-winter and winter. We have a very diverse and ancient experience related to agriculture. Organizations like ICRISAT will also have to step up their efforts so that countries of the world should get benefit of this experience. Today we are providing drought-proof solutions to about 170 districts of the country. Our focus is on a fusion of both ‘Back to Basic’ and ‘March to the Future’ to protect our farmers from climate challenge. We are focusing on more than 80 percent of small farmers of the country who need us the most. You must have also noted that there has been an unprecedented emphasis on natural farming and digital agriculture in this year’s budget. On one hand, we are focusing on expanding the scope of coarse grains like millets, emphasizing chemical-free farming, while on the other hand, we are encouraging modern technology in farming from solar pumps to farmer drones. This is a very important part of our vision for agriculture growth for the next 25 years of the virtuous period of Independence.

Friends,

One important aspect of changing India is digital agriculture. This is our future and the talented youth of India can make a great contribution in this regard. There have been relentless efforts to empower the farmers of India with digital technology. There is being the increasing use of technology and artificial intelligence in crop assessment, digitization of land records, spraying of insecticides and nutrients through drones. The ecosystem associated with agriculture research and private agri-tech players is working together to provide affordable and hi-tech services to farmers. The partnership of ICAR and ICRISAT has been successful in providing better seeds, ensuring higher yields and water management to the farmers in the areas lacking irrigation. This success can also be extended to digital agriculture.

Friends,

We are giving priority to inclusive growth while focusing on higher agriculture growth in this virtuous period of independence. You are aware that the contribution of women in the field of agriculture is very important. Efforts are also being made through self-help groups to provide all kinds of help to them. Agriculture has the potential to bring a large population of the country out of poverty and towards a better lifestyle. This virtuous period will also provide new means to bring farmers out of the difficulties of farming in difficult geographical conditions. We have seen a large part of the country could not become a part of the Green Revolution due to lack of irrigation. Now we are working on a two-pronged strategy. On one hand, we are bringing a large area under irrigation through water conservation by connecting rivers, and on the other hand, we are emphasizing on micro-irrigation to increase water use efficiency in less irrigated areas. When I was looking at all the achievements here, scientists were describing in detail the success of water management and the ‘Per Drop More Crop’ Mission in Bundelkhand. Crops that require less water and which are not affected by water scarcity are also being encouraged through modern varieties of seeds. The national mission that we have started for self-sufficiency in edible oil also demonstrates our new approach. We aim to increase the palm oil area to 6.50 lakh hectares in the next five years. The Government of India is providing help to the farmers at every level in this regard. This mission will also be very beneficial for the farmers of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. I am told the farmers of Telangana have set huge targets for palm oil plantation. The central government will give all possible help to support them.

Friends,

Post-harvest infrastructure has also been strengthened in India over the years. A cold chain storage capacity of 35 million tonnes has been created in recent years. The government’s Agriculture Infrastructure Fund of Rs 1 lakh crore has also led to the rapid development of post-harvest infrastructure. Today we are also very focused on creating FPOs and the agriculture value chain. By organizing the small farmers of the country into thousands of FPOs, we want to make them an aware and big market force.

Friends,

ICRISAT has a rich experience of working in semi-arid areas of India. Therefore, we have to develop sustainable and diversified production systems by connecting farmers in semi-arid areas. Exchange programs can also be started to share your experiences with countries in East and South Africa. Our goal is not only to increase the production of food grains. Today India has surplus food grains, on the basis of which we are running such a massive food security program of the world. Now we are focusing on food security as well as nutrition security. With this vision, we have developed many bio-fortified varieties in the last seven years. Now we need to work more to diversify our agriculture, for higher production in our drought-affected areas and develop resilient varieties which give more protection from diseases and pests.

Friends,

ICRISAT can work on another initiative in collaboration with ICAR and agriculture universities in the field of ​​bio-fuel. You have been working on Sweet Sorghum. You can develop seeds so that drought-affected farmers, or farmers with less land, can grow crops that produce more bio-fuel. There is a need for all of us to work together on how to effectively deliver seeds and build trust in them.

Friends,

I believe that we will be able to overcome all the challenges related to agriculture with the help of innovative minds like you, people's participation and the commitment of society. May you be more able to improve the lives of the farmers of India and the world and keep giving better technological solutions! With this wish, I congratulate ICRISAT on this important occasion and its glorious past.  I also wish it a bright future for its efforts which would be useful for the honor and pride of the farmers of the country. My best wishes and congratulations!

Thanks!

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We pay homage to those greats who gave us our Constitution: PM
November 26, 2022
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The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid homage to those greats who gave us the Constitution and reiterated the commitment to fulfil their vision for the nation.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister said;

"Today, on Constitution Day, we pay homage to those greats who gave us our Constitution and reiterate our commitment to fulfil their vision for our nation."