Uttarakhand Governor Margaret Alva has called for an end to the system of converting prime agricultural land into Special Economic Zones and uplifting the lot of the poor farmers by taking the benefits of agricultural and allied technology interventions to the rural areas and augmenting the efforts through capacity-building of the ryots, especially the women, in marketing and cooperative actions.

Inaugurating the three-day Uttarakhand State Science and Technology Congress-2009 organised jointly by the Uttarakhand State Council for Science and Technology (UCOST) and G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology at Pantnagar, Ms. Alva underlined the urgent need to empower women in agriculture and allied activities. The scientists could play a pivotal role in nation-building by ensuring that their technologies reach the common man immediately and not merely gather dust in files.

“After all, a good chunk of public funds goes into research and development and people have the right to access them for improvement of the local and national economy,” she said.

Showering rich praise on UCOST for facilitating the flow of scientific and technological knowledge to the masses, Ms. Alva said a lot remained to be done to see real-time progress at all levels.

Congratulating Pant University for playing a vital role in the agricultural development of the nation, Ms. Alva hoped its scientists would devote more time to improving the quality and quantity of agricultural production and value addition in the State.

Pant University Vice-Chancellor B. S. Bisht commended the work done by the varsity scientists and hoped they would concentrate more on real-time achievements in the form of technology dissemination to the farmers.

UCOST Director Rajendra Dobhal said the Council was always ready to support ideas that could make life better for the common man. The current science congress would also help in identifying talent that could be promoted, he said.