Mustard, maize and moong cultivation must be promoted to boost farmers’ income

Mustard, maize and moong cultivation must be promoted to boost farmers' income

The cultivation of maize, mustard and moong should be promoted to boost farmers’ income and attain self-sufficiency in edible oils, a senior official from the union agriculture ministry said on Saturday. Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Deputy Director General (Agriculture Extension) and Agriculture Commissioner, Government of India A K Singh also pitched for the adoption of technologies like drones in the agriculture sector.

He was speaking at a consultative meeting ‘Emerging Challenges in Plant Protection of Major Kharif Crops’ organized in association with agro-chemical firm Dhanuka Group.

“Crop diversification must be promoted in a big way. Instead of focusing on wheat and rice, cultivation of 3Ms – Maize, Moong & Mustard – should be promoted as it can help the country in attaining self-sufficiency and at the same time help in enhancing the income of farmers,” Singh was quoted as saying in a statement.

India imports around 60 per cent of its domestic edible requirements. Pulses too are imported, although in a small quantity.Singh also emphasised on the need for adoption of the modern technology and called upon agricultural research institutes to develop a protocol for usage of drones at the earliest.

“We also need to have a contingency plan for different crops way in advance so that farmers can adopt it,” Singh said.

Several well-known agriculture scientists from 33 Krishi Vidyalaya Kendras (KVKs), as well as scientists from ICAR, participated in the consultative meet, which also witnessed the participation of policymakers, industry players and farmers among others.R G Agarwal, Chairman, Dhanuka Group stressed on the need for the adoption of ‘Integrated Crop Management’ practices, usage of modern technology and quality agri-inputs.

“On the lines of Integrated Pest Management, we may look at adopting ‘Integrated Crop Management’ as a practice. This will help address critical issues pertaining to different crops cultivated across the country. We need precision agriculture today, to enhance crop yield and income of our farmers,” Agarwal said.Technology has to play an important role in it and therefore the farm sector is embracing drones and other technologies in a big way, he added.

“Unfortunately, India’s agri-input market including the agrochemical segment is saddled with lower quality and sub-standard products. In the interest of the farmers, it is imperative to tackle the menace of inferior agri-inputs on priority so as to ensure the government’s noble objective of doubling the farmers’ income,” said Agarwal.

Rajbir Singh, Director, ICAR-Agricultural Technology Application Research Institute (ATARI) said, this is the first time a national-level consultation meet is being organized in association with a private sector and hope the recommendation from the meet would help farmers overcoming the issue of pest and various crop diseases.

Subhash Chander, Director, ICAR- NCIPM said, “Farmers would benefit immensely by adopting integrated pest management techniques and it needs to be adopted in a holistic manner.”Sujay Rakshit, Director, ICAR-IIMR, Ludhiana said diversification of crops is the need of the hour. “Cultivation of short duration crops would also help the farming community a great deal”.

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