We need to learn from Israel in agriculture:Pranab Mukherjee

Diverting country’s attention towards limited water resources, President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said India needed to learn a lot from Israel, particularly in the field of agriculture about optimum use of resources.

Addressing the inaugural session of Agro Tech—a four-day fair with focus on agriculture and allied sectors, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries—the President said Israel managed to yield more harvest per drop of water, and has optimised its agricultural productions.

“The nation (Israel) has turned its disadvantages into advantages; it is water and food surplus country now. Its water management is the best…agriculture and allied sectors are driven by innovation and technology,” said Mukherjee.

Praising Punjab and Haryana for making country food-sufficient and calling the two states mother of green revolution, the President said as the country was looking for a second agricultural revolution, the two states will inspire.

During his address, he reminded that immediately after independence, India’s population was 350 million and food grain production was 50 million tonne.

“The country was dependent on imports then. The farmers of two states worked hard to say goodbye to ‘ship to kitchen’ phenomenon. We have become food sufficient because of the spirit of farmers of this region and the hard work of researchers,” said the President.

According to Mukherjee, India had a long association with Israel and it was one of the biggest defence equipment suppliers to India.

Governors of Punjab and Haryana, VP Singh Badnore and Kaptan Singh Solanki, respectively, president CII Naushad Forbes and director general CII Chandrajit Banerjee were also present on the occasion.

MSP no solution to increase farmers’ income: Minister

Union minister for agriculture Radha Mohan Singh on Sunday said increasing minimum support price (MSP) on crops was no solution to push up farmers’ income. “The challenge is to increase the production,” he said.

Touching the issue of paddy stubble, he asked the farmers to desist from the practice and use machinery to manage crop residue. According to the minister, the Centre was giving 40% subsidy on tools and implements to manage stubble.

Referring to tug-of-war between Punjab and Haryana over river water-sharing, the minister said his government was giving funds for completion and rejuvenation of Kandi canal, Kotla and Patiala feeders in Punjab.He said the Centre was giving special focus on making the country self sufficient in pulses.

Source: Hindustan Times

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