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Online with policy initiatives from the Prime Minister’s Office, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) organized a one day interactive workshop for developing a road map for identifying the issues and providing effective technological support to the Farmers in ‘East Coast Plains and Hills Regions’ of Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, at ICAR-Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture, Chennai.
The workshop lead a Team of ICAR comprising Dr. A.K. Singh, Deputy Director General (Agricultural Extension & Fisheries), Dr.S.D.Singh, Assistant Director-General (Inland Fisheries), Dr K.K. Vijayan, Director, CIBA and Dr. Sreenath Dixit, Director, ATARI, Bengaluru, with experts from the field of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, from ICAR Institutions and State Govt. Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Universities, along with farmer participants from the 3 states.

Dr. K.K. Vijayan, Director, CIBA and Nodal Officer of the workshop, in his presentation, highlighted the status and major issues confronting livestock and fisheries sectors in this zone comprising Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. He highlighted the importance of sustainable mode of farming, integrating the three important production sectors, viz., the Agriculture, Animal husbandry and Fisheries. Further, he suggested adopting novel farming models such as integrated multitrophic farming systems, family farming, etc, to achieve increased production and nutritional safety.

Dr. Sreenath Dixit, Director, ATARI, Bengaluru, Co-Nodal Officer of the workshop suggested farmers to adopt integrated farming system approach to spread out the production risks in case of climatic adversities, in the emerging scenario of climate changes. He also elaborated on initiatives being undertaken by ATARI and KVKs for implementation of ICAR new schemes, like ‘Mera Gaon, Mera Gaurav’ and ‘Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture’ (ARYA). He also elaborated on various initiatives of the National Agricultural Research System to extend support to farmers in resolving their specific problems and elaborated on modern tools being used for dissemination of information and knowledge.

Progressive farmers from various districts of the Zone participated in the workshop and put forth their specific problems and issues which need attention and solution. Recurrent droughts and water availability, limited availability of quality seeds of suitable crop and animal varieties, limited labour availability for farming and need of mechanisation, loss of crops by wild animals and need of location-specific integrated farming systems were some of the major issues deliberated upon.

The Directors and senior officials from ICAR Institutes, State Agricultural, Animal Science, and veterinary universities and KVKs of the region participated in the workshop and offered their inputs for suitable solution to specific problems of the farmers and the need of a common platform where farmers, state governments, ICAR and the central government can work together.

The ICAR has planned such interactive workshops in all 15 agro-climatic zones, covering the entire country. A road map for sustainable agricultural development of the region will be developed based on the outcome of the workshop. The road map will necessarily include identification of technological interventions which need to be upscaled and extension and demonstration services for upscaling and out scaling. The future thrust area of research and extension for the region will also be identified. Dr.S.D.Singh, Assistant Director-General (Inland Fisheries), ICAR welcomed the gathering and underscored the importance of the workshop in accelerating sustainable agricultural development in the Zone.

Dr A. K. Singh, Deputy Director General (Agricultural Extension & Fisheries), ICAR chaired the workshop. In in his address, the farmers were requested to flag off their field level issues and problems related to crop, livestock and fishery production systems, farm technologies and extension services. He has suggested prioritized planning and problem solving with special references to, natural calamities, salinisation, quality feed and seed. He also stressed the need to initiatives on Farmers producing companies with a focus on selected commodities such as Milk in the case of Tamil Nadu, cold chains for the storage of agricultural commodities, water conservation and integrated development of fish farming in this important region of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. He has assured the full support of ICAR system to achieve the sustainable and inclusive progress of the entire farming community in this agro-climatic zone covering the coastal and hilly regions.
Dr. Sreenath Dixit, Director, ATARI, Bengaluru proposed the vote of thanks.