One is the reduction in availability of land for agriculture, while the other is the need to increase the food production to feed the rising population, P. Murugesa Boopathy, Vice-Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, said here on Tuesday. Speaking at the two-day Scientific Workers’ Conference at the university, he said there was an urged need to look into ways and means to improving the production of all food grains to achieve self sufficiency. “Scientists and extension workers should rededicate themselves to accomplish the task of achieving multi-fold increase in food grain production,” he added. Mr. Boopathy said quality seed alone was instrumental in improving the yield up to 25 per cent. Hence, it was important to produce and supply quality seeds.
Since private companies were not participating in pulses and oilseed supply, the total responsibility rested on the Government machinery for providing the same. Adoption of the System of Rice Intensification, precision farming technology and farm mechanisation along with situation-specific recommendations would ensure increase in agricultural production, Mr. Boopathy said.
K. Nanda Kishore, Agricultural Production Commissioner and Principal Secretary to Government, Agriculture Department, inaugurating the conference, urged scientists and scientific workers to concentrate on the concept of food security. “Quality seeds, good planting material, efficient pest management system, water management system, harvest management and post-harvest management are very important in ensuring good production. These should be put in place to ensure that the farmer got a high yield. Any favour we do to the farmer is something we do to ourselves,” Mr. Kishore said.
Pointing out the seriousness of the rampant mealy bug in papaya, he called for easily usable and viable solution in a short span of time to combat this menace. He also urged scientists to give emphasis to pulses production in order to reduce dependence on foreign imports. S. Kosalaraman, Commissioner of Agriculture, Atul Anand, Commissioner of Agricultural Marketing and Agriculture Business, R.K. Ojha, Chief Conservator of Forests, Forestry Research, A. Karmugilan, Director of Seed Certification (in-charge), N.D. Thiagalesan, Superintending Engineer, Agricultural Engineering, and K. Periyasamy, Joint Director of Horticulture, spoke at the function.