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Plea to scientists on better farm output

AAU students take out a cultural procession in Jorhat on Saturday. Telegraph picture

Jorhat, Aug. 16: K.M. Bujarbaruah, vice-chancellor of Assam Agricultural University, today hinted that another agricultural university in Assam may be on the anvil but it could be set up only after appointment of teachers.

Speaking at the 67th Foundation Day of the College of Agriculture at the AAU auditorium, the vice-chancellor said the teachers who were also scientists have to make a difference to agricultural production.

Bujarbaruah said the college had done a lot in the last five years and been conferred a central award for two consecutive years for producing the largest quantity of pulses in 2013 and rice in 2012.

Speaking about the challenges which agriculture faced in Assam, Bujarbaruah said a lot more needed to be done in order to make a significant difference.

He said the decline in agriculture’s contribution to the GDP from 55 per cent in 1947 to 13.9 per cent at present was not a healthy trend.

At the end of the Eleventh Plan (2007-2012), agricultural growth was 3.7 per cent but it could have been much more if the cost of production or investment input had been lower, the vice-chancellor added.

“Agriculture is facing a number of challenges like degradation of resources, production sustainability vis-a-vis reduced land and climate change, among others. Bio-safety norms, globalisation of trade and the college through technology-backed intervention could help the farmers increase production and reduce costs,” he said.

Dean D.K. Borah said the college had transformed from its beginning in 1947 in an old army camp with 30 students to state-of-the-art classrooms and hostels at present.

He said the Dhubri College of Agriculture would start functioning from August 22, making it the third agricultural college in the state under the university, which has nine institutes under it.

Delivering the foundation day lecture, Maj. Gen. Vinod Kumar, GOC, 41 sub-area here, drew a parallel between the armed forces and agriculturists and their importance to the nation. “We both work in similar ways — we protect the motherland and you increase productivity from earth,” he said.

Quoting Lal Bahadur Shastri (Jai jawan jai kisan), he exhorted students to be focussed. Earlier, hostel students took out cultural processions.


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