ICAR official lays stress on sharing knowledge to face challenges
N.K. Krishna Kumar, Deputy Director General (Horticulture), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), has called upon the researchers to come out with a lasting solution to the challenges in horticultural crops with a holistic approach. He was speaking at a biennial group discussion of the All India Crop Research Project (AICRP) on tropical fruits at the Andhra Pradesh Horticulture University here on Friday.
The soaring production costs with dwindling or stable productivity levels, overexploitation of resources like water and electricity for want of pre-harvest management practices, the impending need of breeding for alternative fruit varieties to resist the devastating pests and diseases and production of the produce with low export value for want of the best post harvest management practices, among others, formed part of the haunting challenges faced by the horticulturists across the country, he said “The experience has shown that these challenges could not be addressed effectively with an isolate approach. This is the time for the researchers to break the barriers and embrace an inter-disciplinary approach in sharing of knowledge in their endeavour to face the challenges,” he observed.
The DDG regretted over the lack of professionalism in research and extension centres in the horticulture and agriculture fields. Even as the universities and the research centres have received allocations amounting to Rs 2,500 crore in the current financial year, more than 80 per cent of the funds were being spent for salaries for the staff, leaving little amounts for the purpose for which they were established, Mr. Krishna Kumar said.
He informed that the ICAR has been contemplating rating of the National Research Centres (NRCs) working under it basing on their standing in research.
It was proposed to suspend financial support from the ICAR to the poor-performing centres, he added. Papaya, a fruit which earns an annual revenue of Rs 2,500-4,000 crore to the State exchequer is facing a serious threat of viral diseases in Tamil Nadu and in Nagpur of Maharashtra, the citrus farmers were raising a hue and cry over the inadequate supply of rootstocks, which all brought the performance of researchers under the spotlight. These shortfalls in research proved to be the roadblocks for the ACAR’s pleas to the government for more investment in horticulture research and extension services, he said. Amrik Singh Sidhu, Director, IIHR, Bangalore, and B.V.K. Bhagavan, Office-In-Charge of the Horticultural Research Station, Kovvuru, spoke.
Mr Krishna Kumar said that ICAR has been contemplating rating of the National Research Centres He regretted over the lack of professionalism in research
Mr Krishna Kumar said that ICAR has been contemplating rating of the National Research Centres
He regretted over the lack of professionalism in research