India indebted to Lal Bahadur Shastri for self-sufficiency in food grains: Agriculture Minister Tomar

India indebted to Lal Bahadur Shastri for self-sufficiency in food grains: Agriculture Minister Tomar

There is a need for change in cropping pattern and adoption of technology for agriculture purposes

  • By ICN Bureau | March 23, 2023

Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar praised the leadership of former Prime Minister ‘Bharat Ratna’ Late Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Ji saying his initiative of doing farming at Prime Minister’s residence inspired Indian farmers to attained self-sufficiency in food grain production.

“Shastri’s personality was incomparable. At the peak of food grain crisis in 1965, he, not only did farming at his official residence, but also exhorted the farmers of country to go to field with a slogan of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ so that as a country we could become self-sufficient and never had to depend on others,” Tomar added while speaking at a function organized on the occasion of World Water Day 2023 by Dhanuka Group. The event also coincided with first day of Vikram Samvat 2080.

Tomar also unveiled a newly made portrait of Late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and a booklet on his life written by his grandson Sanjay Nath Singh amid gracious presence of family members of ‘Bharat Ratna’ Shastri Ji.

The evening was graced by Giriraj Singh, Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj; Vijay Sampla, Chairman, National Commission for Scheduled Castes; Dr. Harsh Vardhan, former Union Minister, Member of Parliament; Virendra Singh, Rajendra Agarwal, Dr. N. Shreenivasan, Director of AIIMS; P.K. Singh, Agriculture Commissioner; Dr. R. S. Paroda, former Secretary, DARE & DG ICAR, Satya Bhushan Jain, National Vice Chairman, Confederation of All India Traders; Suresh Jain, Bhartiya Vikas Parishad, and R. G. Agarwal, Chairman, Dhanuka Group among others.

Earlier in the day, Dr. Rabindra Nath Padaria, Joint Director (Extension), ICAR-IARI, New Delhi; R. G. Agarwal, Chairman, Dhanuka Group and Sanjay Nath Singh, Working President, All India Farmers Association & Grandson of Shastri Ji jointly addressed a press conference to highlight the importance of water conservation.

Addressing the press conference, Agarwal said, “It is estimated that 70-80% of water is used for agricultural purposes in India. With ever decreasing groundwater level, there is an utmost need to promote drip and sprinkler irrigation techniques instead of the conventional flood irrigation technique. Such precision irrigation system has enabled countries like Israel, with more than 60% waste land to flourish as a world leader in the agriculture sector producing high-quality and high-yield crops. We as a country need to adopt precision farming in a big way, which will result in saving water, while increasing crop quality, production, and profitability.”

Sharing his views, Padaria said, “In the last 30 years, our cropping pattern, our technique of crop cultivation, and our preferences have turned water-intensive. The approach requires course correction and the time is ripe for changing our crop pattern. This will benefit all stakeholders including farmers.”

Sanjay Nath Singh too expressed similar views and advocated steps, which may enhance farmers’ income and benefit other stakeholders at the same time.  

As part of the celebrations of World Water Day, various documentaries on water and related subjects were showcased to guests, which included policymakers, bureaucrats, academia, representatives of the industry and media among others.

Dhanuka Group has been at the forefront of spreading awareness and promoting sustainable use of water in agriculture and other economic activities. The Group has been educating and spreading awareness on water conservation through its flagship campaign “Khet ka pani khet mein aur gaon ka pani gaon mein.”

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