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Modi dedicates to nation 35 crop varieties with special traits to address nutritional, health needs of humans and animals

The Statesman logo The Statesman 28-09-2021 SNS
Modi dedicates to nation 35 crop varieties with special traits to address nutritional, health needs of humans and animals © Provided by The Statesman Modi dedicates to nation 35 crop varieties with special traits to address nutritional, health needs of humans and animals

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday dedicated to the nation 35 crop varieties with special traits that address the nutritional and health needs of humans and animals.

Speaking on the occasion through video conferencing, the Prime Minister said in the last 6-7 years, science and technology were being used on a priority basis to solve the challenges faced by the agriculture sector. ”Our focus is very high on more nutritious seeds, adapted to new conditions, especially in changing climates,” he said.

The crops with special traits have been developed by Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) to address the challenges posed by climate change and malnutrition.

The special trait crop varieties have been developed by ICAR to meet the nutritional needs of both humans and animals. Some of these crop varieties are Double Zero Mustard 33, first Canola quality hybrid RCH 1, and a soybean variety free from two anti-nutritional factors namely Kunitz trypsin inhibitor and lipoxygenase.

Among the other varieties of special trait crops are drought-resistant chickpea, wilt and sterility mosaic resistant pigeonpea, early maturing variety of soybean, disease-resistant varieties of rice and biofortified varieties of wheat, pearl millet, maize and chickpea, quinoa, buckwheat, winged bean and faba bean, according to scientists. Other special trait crops have been developed in soybean, sorghum, and baby corn, etc.

The Prime Minister also dedicated to the nation the newly constructed campus of the National Institute of Biotic Stress Management Raipur. He distributed the Green Campus Award to Agricultural Universities on the occasion. He later interacted with farmers from Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand and inquired about the innovative methods being used by them for farming.

Addressing the gathering comprising farmers and agriculture scientists, the Prime Minister listed the farmer-friendly initiatives of his government such as campaigns to complete about 100 pending irrigation projects for providing water security to the farmers, providing new varieties of seeds to farmers to protect crops from diseases thus getting a higher yield among other things.

“Due to climate change, new types of pests, new diseases, epidemics are emerging, because of this, there is a big threat to the health of humans and livestock and crops are also being affected. Intensive continued research on these aspects is necessary. When science, government and society work together, results will be better. Such an alliance of farmers and scientists will strengthen the country in dealing with new challenges,” Modi further said.

The Prime Minister also informed about the efforts being made to “take the farmer out of the crop-based income system and encourage them for value-addition and other farming options.” He called for further development of grains like millets through scientific research so they can be grown in different parts of the country. He asked people to get ready to make use of opportunities being provided by the UN decision to observe the year 2023 the ‘Year of Millet’.

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