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26th Meeting of ICAR Regional Committee - VIII at ICAR-IIHR, Bengaluru

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The 26thmeeting of ICAR Regional committee-VIII was organized at Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bengaluru on 6th and 7th September 2019.

Dr. T. Mohapatra,Secretary (DARE) & Director General (ICAR), inaugurated the meet on 6th September 2019 in the presence of the ICAR Governing Body members - Shri. Akhilesh Kumar and Shri Suresh Chandel; Dr. D.K. Singh IAS, Additional Chief Secretary and Agric. Production commissioner, Govt. of Kerala, Shri. O.P. Mishra, IAS, Secretary (Agri.& Fisheries), UT of Lakshadweep, Shri. Rajender Singh Kataria, IAS, Secretary (Agri. and Hort.), Govt. of Karnataka, Vice Chancellors of different SAUs of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu; Horticulture Commissioner, Fisheries Development Commissioners, Assistant Director Generals and other senior officials of the ICAR HQ, DAC&FW, Directors of different ICAR Institutes, Project Coordinators, Senior officials of SAUs - Director of Research, Director of Extension, Deans of various colleges; Heads of the Regional Stations of ICAR Institutes/KVKs, Heads of the Divisions of ICAR-IIHR and growers.

Dr. Mohapatra in his inaugural address highlighted the significance of the meet in addressing the issues of the sector in partnership mode involving entire machinery of the central and state governments. During his address analysed the success of the ICAR in various domains of agricultural R&D,made a mention that that the country has become self-sufficient in pulses production just in last 3 years, and has crossed a record production of 25 million tons from 16 million tons.  Further highlighted that an improved variety in sugarcane viz., C0-238 has been the best example of disruptive technology which has increased the sugar production from 60 MT/ha to 80 MT/ha in Uttar Pradesh with increase of sugar recovery from 9% to 12%.  This additional sugar is now utilized by permitting sugarcane juice for bioethanol production in addition to already used molasses. In this endeavor, made a mention that India spends Rs. 8.8 lakh crores on petrol. The ethanol substitution can be done as equivalent to Brazil to an extent of 20% to reduce pressure on petroleum reserves in coming years besides the efforts of ICARs contribution in FOREX. He also analysed the successes of mixed cropping in Kerala and Millets in Karnataka besides efforts of ICAR Institutes in providing the fact sheets on the impact of the agro technologies in monetary terms. He also emphasized the importance of increase in productivity based on sustainability in each agro-climatic zone by conserving water and soil reserves through R&D of ICAR institutes.

Dr. A. K. Singh, DDG (Agrl. Extension), Director, ICAR-IARI & Nodal Officer of ICAR-Regional Committee VIII, welcomed the gathering. Dr. Singh gave the progress made in the region during last two years since the last meeting held at TNAU, Coimbatore and highlighted the orientation towards ecosystem farming with lesser use of fertilizers and chemicals for the environmental safety.

Dr. Anand Kumar Singh, Deputy Director General (Hort Sci. and Crop Sci.) highlighted the contributions of ICAR-IIHR in various facets. Further, hoped that the vision of Honorable Prime Minister to achieve export of horticultural products to the tune of 30-60 million dollars with the advanced Horticultural technologies.

Dr. Joykrushna Jena, DDG (Fisheries & Animal Sci.) highlighted the efforts of the ICAR institutes and SAUs of the region to achieve the increase in farmer’s income and reduction in losses. The losses in fisheres have been reduced from 15 MT to less than 4MT.

While addressing the gathering, Dr. Alagusundaram Deputy Director General (Agri. Engineering and NRM) opined that climate change is the serious enemy, especially threats posed by changes in abiotic and biotic factors.

Dr. D.K. Singh IAS, Additional Chief Secretary and Agric. Production commissioner, Govt of Kerala graced the occasion.  In his remarks Dr. Singh highlighted the participation of all stakeholders for the synergy in the thought process and action plan implementation.   While emphasizing the challenges of the states with respect to recurrent floods urged the researchers, commodity boards and planners for more interactive meets to address the issues viz., value addition, post-harvest management, biocontrol options for weed management to facilitate the tourism near water bodies besides inclusion of more parameters in the crop insurance premium.

Shri. Bimadhar Pradhan, Additional Secretary & Finance Advisor, DARE/ICAR reminded the two important vision points of Honorable Prime Minister - Doubling the farmer’s income and achieving the 5 trillion economy.

During the two days deliberations, attempts were made to inform the technologies generated by ICAR and SAUs to various agricultural and allied departments of the states of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, UT's of Puducherry and Lakshadweep. Requirements of these departments were put up by concerned officials and wherever technologies were not there,it was decided to develop them on a time bound manner. The Chairman also insisted on sharing this information on time bound manner.

On this occasion VC’s Governing Body Members also spoke about the need for new technologies. The Chairman also mentioned the need for having coordination meeting at the state level between ICAR institutes, SAUs and Departments at least once in six months, so that new technologies can be appraised.

Dr.Bakshi Ram, Director, ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute and Member Secretary of the Regional Committee-VIII welcomed the dignitaries and other members of the committee. Dr. M.R. Dinesh, Director, ICAR-IIHR, Bengaluru, proposed the vote of thanks of the inaugural session.

At the end the Chairman Dr. T. Mohapatra thanked all for active participation.