Research and Development in the farm sector should focus on making available technologies which are cost-effective, said R. Ambalavanan, Executive Director, Tea Board, on Friday.
He was participating as the chief guest at the observance of ‘Farm Innovators Day’ organised by the Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute (CSWCRTI) to mark the third annual meet of farm innovators and entrepreneurs on ‘Soil and Water Conservation and Livelihood Support Systems in Watershed Management’.
Stating that technologies should be inexpensive and simple to adopt, he opined that only then the purpose would be served. Underscoring the need for an integrated approach to farming, Mr. Ambalavanan said that it had become necessary on account of the natural nutrients in the soil depleting rapidly. Agriculturists should combine animal husbandry and poultry farming with their regular farm activities, he added.
Pointing out that tea was a very good soil binder, Mr. Ambalavanan said that tea gardens should not make way for real estate and resorts. The Tea Board was giving a lot of importance to soil conservation. While 43,000 small tea growers had already been registered by the Tea Board, another 10,000 would be done so soon.
Regretting that industrial development had affected soil and water and the youth were not attracted to agriculture, he said that the environment should be protected and water, soil and energy conserved. High priority should be accorded for rainwater harvesting. With the green cover dwindling, he advised people ‘not to play with nature’.
Head of CSWCRTI O.P.S. Khola, who presided, said that India was facing a crisis on the natural resources front. “If we do not wake up now it may be too late,” he cautioned.
He urged the farmers to seek remedies for their problems from the government departments concerned. About 100 farmers from The Nilgiris and Coimbatore participated. Distribution of shields and certificates by Mr. Ambalavanan to farmers, who are effectively implementing innovative technologies in soil and water conservation, marked the occasion.
An exhibition of relevant technologies, products and services formed part of the programme.