The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) marked its 95th Foundation Day on 16th July, 2023. The event was graced by the presence of the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, as the Chief Guest. The Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry – Dairying, and the Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, also attended the occasion.
The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare acknowledged the historic journey of ICAR and its significant accomplishments over the past 94 years. He commended India’s surplus food grain production, which allows the country to provide food to 800 million people. The Minister highlighted the promotion of new agricultural technologies through various mission programs, supported by the Prime Minister, for the benefit of farmers. He noted that Indian agricultural products are in demand globally, with millets gaining importance in the International Year of Millets. The Minister attributed these achievements to the sincere efforts of farmers and scientists. He further mentioned that agricultural and horticultural exports have surpassed $50 billion, while emphasizing the government’s focus on organic and natural farming through a separate mission with a budget provision of Rs. 1,500 crore. The Minister lauded the scientists and farmers for their immense service in making India self-sufficient and an exporter of food items.
The Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry – Dairying praised ICAR for its remarkable achievements, particularly in revolutionizing the dairy and fisheries sectors. He suggested exploring the possibility of earning carbon credits from agriculture to generate additional income. Additionally, he inaugurated an exhibition that showcased innovative technologies developed by 113 ICAR research institutes.
The Secretary (DARE) and Director General (ICAR), highlighted the unprecedented growth in the agriculture sector. He emphasized that India is not only self-sufficient in food grain production but is also exporting agricultural products in large quantities. He also showcased ICAR’s achievements, including the development of 346 varieties of food grains, 99 varieties of horticulture crops, efficient cropping system zones, fertigation schedules, new equipment and machinery, vaccines for diseases such as COVID-19 and lumpi, new fish breeding protocols, thousands of on-farm trials, and technology licensing agreements. He also mentioned the organization of Scientist-Industry interface meetings to promote agriculture innovations for commercialization.
For the first time, the Foundation Day was celebrated as Technology Day, accompanied by an exhibition showcasing ICAR technologies. The exhibition, open to the public from 16th to 18th July, 2023, aims to raise awareness among people about the innovations developed by ICAR for the benefit of farmers, students, and the agricultural industry.