Ramesh Bais, the governor of Jharkhand, directed the agricultural scientists to spread the message of natural farming in at least one village of every panchayat of the state with the aim of minimising the ill effects of chemical-based farming on soil, environment and human health.
The governor of Jharkhand addressed the 45th vice chancellors' convention of the Indian Agricultural Universities Association (IAUA) at Birsa Agricultural University (BAU) in Ranchi on December 20.
“I am well aware of the pains and predicament of farmers as I come from a farmers' family. No one in my extended family is in a government job and all are associated with farming. I urge the scientists to devise strategies for ensuring the availability of soil health cards to all farm families so that they could use fertilizers as per requirement only. Overdose of nutrients will certainly have an adverse effect on soil health,” said Bais.
According to Bais, 80% of farming operations in Jharkhand are carried out by women, so scientists should come up with ways and means for improving their conditions. Farmers in regions with low soil fertility should practice horticulture, animal husbandry and fisheries too in their farming system for sustainable returns.
According to RC Agrawal, deputy director-general (education), ICAR, the country's agricultural education is more focused on quality and relevance than that of placement. About 80% of New Education Policy recommendations like entrepreneurship development, community connect and four year degree programmes are already being implemented in agricultural universities.
RK Mittal president and vice-chancellor Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology, Meerut, RC Srivastava, secretary-general, IAUA and vice-chancellor and Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University Samastipur Bihar dwelt on the role and activities of IAUA for the betterment of Agricultural education and solution of member universities' problems.
Onkar Nath Singh, BAU vice-chancellor, welcomed the guests and also stressed on the importance of coordination among farm universities.
The technical sessions were held in Senate Hall earlier that day.
The session on 'Achieving international standards in agricultural education and research in the context of new national education policy' was chaired by Arvind Kumar, vice chancellor, Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University, Jhansi (UP).
Speakers stressed upon increasing intake capacity of students in agricultural universities, introducing new courses of relevance according to the national priorities like precision farming, protected cultivation, dryland horticulture, entrepreneurship development, business management and recruiting at least 25% faculty having postdoctoral fellowship or PhD degree from abroad.
The second session on 'Strategies to increase and sustain agricultural productivity and profitability with development and application of appropriate technologies' was chaired by SC Agarwal, DDG, ICAR.
A. Wadood, director of research, BAU, anchored the technical sessions.