The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today called upon the civic society – including the media, scientific fraternity and the people at large to show a ‘positive bias’ in favour of agriculture. Referring to agriculture as a ‘sacred activity’, he said the need of the hour is to protect farmers and support them by all means to ensure profitability in agriculture.
Shri Naidu was releasing a book ‘Prakruti Sainyam’ published by Rythu Nestham Publications in Hyderabad today. The book chronicles the success stories of 100 farmers who have shifted to organic and traditional farming. Shri Naidu hoped the book will inspire many more people to take up organic farming.
Observing that the British rule had severely affected Indian agriculture, Shri Naidu said that in the quest for food security post-independence, “we have ignored the impact of agriculture on our natural environment”. He said that it was gratifying to see efforts made in recent years to return to organic farming. Shri Naidu noted that natural farming can control costs and generate a steady income for farmers, adding that farmers would also immensely benefit at a time of increasing demand for organic produce. “Going forward, we must also ensure sustainability while aiming to increase agricultural protection”, he remarked.
The Vice President noted that farmers taking up allied activities, particularly animal husbandry, will also benefit organic farming by providing a potent source of manure and biofertilizers. He said that farmers must be encouraged to take allied activities which can provide additional incomes to farmers and protect them from uncertainties in agriculture. Calling for preservation of indigenous breeds, Shri Naidu said “Cattle wealth is national wealth”.
Stressing the importance of infusing technology in agriculture, Shri Naidu called for more research in natural and organic farming. He suggested leveraging the growing interest among people in coarse grains and advancing scientific research into such crops. He called for greater synergies to be created between agricultural universities, research centres and field level implementation. The Vice President suggested that research publications should be in Indian languages to increase outreach among farmers.
Shri Naidu expressed happiness about the trend of enterprising youth entering the field of agriculture and noted that this was a positive sign for agriculture’s revival. He called for greater and coordinated efforts from various stakeholders including the central and state governments, NITI Aayog, trade bodies and the media to make agriculture profitable and that the youth should also be made partners in this transformation.
Director, ICAR-NAARM, Shri Srinivasa Rao, Director of Telangana Animal Husbandry Department, Dr. S. Ramachander, Rythu Nestham Publications founder, Shri Yadlapally Venkateswara Rao, many farmers and other dignitaries participated in the event.