The vision of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for the development of the agriculture sector and to increase agricultural production

ICAR has been updating the vision and strategies of research for the holistic development of Indian Agriculture. ICAR has developed perspective plans and vision for 2030 and 2050. These documents provide the strategic framework for innovation-led inclusive and sustainable agricultural growth in the country. The ICAR Institutes under the Council have also prepared their vision documents that feed into the ICAR vision. The vision documents focus on targeted outputs of research for increased productivity, improvement in the quality of life and creation of wealth for the society at large, and small farmers in particular. Gene revolution for lowering the production costs, raising the yields and net farm incomes, reducing the use of pesticides and herbicides, and lowering the consumer prices, development of sustainable and appropriate models for commercialization of agriculture through value chains and market linkages have been duly included.

Steps taken to increase agricultural production: Since Green Revolution in the 60s, the hallmark of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research has been its high yielding varieties, hybrids along with improved breeds/varieties of livestock, poultry, and fish along with production and protection technologies for different agro-climatic situations. As a result, the country is not only self-sufficient in food grains, major food items, and other agricultural commodities but also a net exporter in many commodities. Research and technology developments enabled the overall increase of 5.5 times in food-grains production, 10.1 times in horticultural crops, 9.7 times in milk, 15.2 times in fish and 48.1 times in egg during the period 1950-51 to 2017-18.

During 2014-2019, ICAR developed and notified 1020 high yielding varieties of various crops having multiple stress tolerance/resistance. Similarly, 339 high yielding varieties of fruits vegetables and other horticultural crops were developed to augment horticultural production. To address the problem of malnutrition through the natural food system, 53 bio-fortified varieties have been developed during the last 5 years. The creation of 150 seed hubs of pulse crops, together with policy support has enabled the country to attain near self-sufficiency in pulse crops. A total of 41 new cattle breeds have been registered and notified, 6 new varieties of pigs and 5 new high producing back yard poultry varieties have been developed besides 10 vaccines and 43 diagnostic kits against major animal diseases. As part of National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA), climate-resilient technologies are being demonstrated in 151 climatically vulnerability districts of the country. The district-level agricultural contingency plans for 650 rural districts have been prepared to support the district administrations in rolling out contingency measures against a matrix of weather and rainfall aberrations. During 2014-19, ICAR developed 23197 prototypes of improved agriculture machinery besides establishing 126 agro-processing centers and 45 Food Processing Laboratories in various parts of the country. These efforts are helping the farming community of the country by increasing production, improving efficiency, reducing production loss, reducing the cost of production and improving income.

Author Profile

Mritunjay Sharma
Mritunjay Sharma
Mritunjay Sharma finished his B.Sc (H) from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University in Chemistry. After that he went to England to study Masters in Polymer Material Science and Engineering from University of Manchester and consequently finished his PhD in Nuclear and Materials Chemistry from University of Manchester
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