Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Can profit by meeting agricultural demands of Gulf: PM

Himalayan Paths

New Delhi, Sep 26 (IANS) Urging scientists to draw up focused targets in agriculture to boost exports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that Indian farmers can benefit by meeting the demands of the Gulf countries.

“Due to water crisis in the Gulf countries they have to import all their food items which leaves them worried about an ever increasing population. Can’t we keep the requirements of Gulf in the mind and fulfil them through export,” the Prime Minister said at Vigyan Bhawan here, marking the platinum jubilee function of the CSIR.

He said at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) function that there’s a huge demand of agricultural products in the Gulf and Indian farmers could provide them a cheaper alternative to capture that market.

“Scientists should focus on developing new varieties. We should not be limited to production and consumption locally but also focus on export,” Modi said, adding that the country is proud of its scientists.

Saying that no nation could progress without scientific innovation, the Prime Minster called for a “talent hunt” for the scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs.

“Just like the reality shows go on talent hunt and come up with best talents of the country, a similar talent hunt is required for the scientists and innovators,” Modi said.

On the occasion a number of scientists were awarded for their contribution. The Prime Minister asked the awardees to adopt schools and groom a few chosen students to become future scientists.

Modi highlighted the CSIR’s 75 years as a “journey dedicated to nation”.

He expressed his gratitude to the CSIR for the range of domains where the institute has left an “indelible mark”.

“From agriculture to aerospace, chemicals to climate change, drug development to deep sea explorations… from health to housing, from UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) to underwater vehicles CSIR has registered its presence,” Modi alliterated.

“Sometimes I think that I have very high expectations from you… but one asks from only those who can deliver,” he said. Union Minister for Earth Science Dr Harsh Vardhan also praised the efforts of nation’s scientists.

Calling for technology intervention in waste management, Modi said, “we can turn waste to wealth through technology … Their is a huge opportunity to grab in that sector, which would not just generate businesses but also keep the nation clean”.

The Prime Minister also dedicated seven new indigenously developed varieties of plants to the nation and interacted with the farmers through videoconferencing.

Modi interacted with the farmers from Hyderabad, Jammu, Cuddalor (Tamil Nadu), Jorhat (Assam) and Palampur (Himachal Pradesh).

The new varieties of the plants that have ornamental and medicinal qualities were developed by the CSIR laboratories, especially Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP).

The plants include new varieties of lemongrass, citronella, vetiver and canna lily plant.

Established in 1942, CSIR is a leading autonomous body and India’s largest research and development organisation. With a network of 38 laboratories, CSIR has about 3,500 scientists and 3,000 technical personnel.

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