KalingaTv News Network
Bhubaneswar: “Agriculture sector is the soul of Indian economy and for the people of India. It is the principal source of livelihood for more than 60% of the population of this country,” said Odisha Governor Dr. S.C. Jamir here today.
Addressing in the 56th Foundation Day celebration of Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT), the Governor and Chancellor of Universities said agriculture is the key to the accelerated growth and diversification and job creation for Indian economy. No region of the world had moved to industrialized economy status without passing through the transformation of the agriculture sector, he added.
Agriculture has largely been seen as a tool for managing poverty, not for creating wealth, Jamir said.
For agriculture to move away from being seen as just a billion mouths to feed, it must start modernizing agriculture, from the farm to the table and with supporting agro-industrial development. Experiences elsewhere, where agriculture has been the foundation for driving fast paced economic growth, by building a strong food and agro-manufacturing and processing capability is the key for strong and sustainable economic development and wealth creation throughout the economy.
“With all the attention to climate change and climate-sensitive agriculture, we have a duty to ensure that short-term gains do not deplete the land and the resource base. We need to reverse deforestation and encourage afforestation and reforestation. We need to improve land-management practices such as agro-forestry, and the rehabilitation of degraded crop and pasture land,” the Governor said.
The Governor stressed on research terming it as a major pillar of a well-grounded agricultural system. He said the job of the University is to ensure that research serves the needs not just of agricultural development, but of social and economic development. We must give small and marginal farmers and women in farm the tools with suitable technologies they need and create the conditions for them to be able to benefit from the very real opportunities in agriculture and allied sectors.
Knowledge driven society is the special feature of 21st century, said Jamir. For students of agriculture and allied sectors to be world class and competitive, they must go beyond the traditional path of acquiring advanced degrees and diplomas.
The Governor appreciated the contribution of the University in agricultural education, research and extension education in an integrated manner. It has produced students who have not only held prestigious positions in different spheres but have also been instrumental in the agricultural transformation in the state and the country.
Minister, Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Fisheries and Animal Resources Development, Public Enterprises and Pro-chancellor Dr. Damodar Rout urged agriculture scientists to devise ways and means to face the challenges of climate change.
Vice-Chancellor Dr. Surendranath Pasupalak, Agriculture Production Commissioner Dr. Gagan Kumar Dhal, Dean (Extension) P.K. Raul among others spoke on the occasion.
On this occasion, the Governor inaugurated the Roof Top Water Harvesting and Solar Power Plant of OUAT and released several publications. He also felicitated successful Agripreneurs and other achievers in the field.
A MoU was signed between OUAT and NRSC, Hyderabad in the presence of the dignitaries among whom was First lady Alemla Jamir.