S. Ayyappan, Secretary, Union Department of Agricultural Research and Education, on Thursday said the department had asked the Union and State governments to extend state support to animal husbandray on the lines of agriculture.

He was speaking at the second Innovative and Progressive Farmers’ meet organised by the National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology here. Mr. Ayyappan said despite the country registering record food production in recent years, over 25 per cent of the population does not get enough food.

In this background, the role of animal protein becomes significant to cater to the deficiency, he said. Mr. Ayyappan, who is also Director-General of Indian Council of Agriculture Research, said the department therefore has specific plans to improve agriculture and animal husbandry during the 12th Five Year Plan.

Seed to market

Mr. Ayyappan said very few farmers in the country wanted subsidies to be given. Instead, majority of them would like to get agriculture inputs including seeds on time; adequate irrigation and power supply and at the end proper marketing mechanism. They also want tax-free fodder, water and power and abolition of tax on animal husbandry produce.

Therefore the department would seek impetus for integrated agriculture practices (cross-cropping pattern); conservation and recycling agriculture; crop health management; climate resistant animal breeds and plants; farm mechanisation and post-harvest mechanism in the 12th Plan, Dr. Ayyappan said. The focus thus would be from seed to market.

Global touch

The department was proposing to host global innovative farmers meet in Bangalore to provide international exposure for innovative farming practices, Mr. Ayyppan said. The dates are yet to be finalised, he added. Also, there would be farmers exchange programmes among ASEAN countries.

He said the department was proposing internship programme for agriculture science students. The programme, titled Student Ready, involves a student staying with a farmer for a couple of months to get to know the real farming activity; learning the problems and offering solutions, Mr. Ayyappan said. Specific modules were being developed for the purpose.

On the occasion, the institute felicitated 10 farmers for their innovative methods of farming activities involving animal farming.

They are, H.K. Thammaiah from Hosadoddi village Kanakapura taluk; Basappa Nagowda from Bekkere village, Raibag taluk; K. Narayana Reddy from Janthagondanahalli, Sarjapur, Bangalore; Veena Sudhir from Kaggodlu village, Madikeri taluk; Aravind from Chikkakandi K.D., Mudhol taluk; Adiveppa G. Kittoora from Yellatti village, Jamkhandi taluk; Sumathi Singh from Tekkekara House, Patthanamthitta district, Kerala; Ramesh B. Savadi from Golabhavi, Jamkhandi taluk; Ramanna T. Kadakola from Alaguru village, Jamkhandi taluk; and Siddappa Dundappa Balagonda from MP Kolahar, Basavanabagewadi taluk.

C. Renuka Prasad, Vice-Chancellor, Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University, Bidar; K.D. Kokate and K.M.L. Pathak, Deputy DGs, ICAR; Institute Director C.S. Prasad and M. Mahadevappa, former chairman of Agriculture Scientists Recruitment Board were present.

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