Vice President urges scientists to look for long-term solutions for farmers’ problems

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M Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India while delivering the Valedictory Speech at the 107th Indian Science Congress in Bengaluru, recently asked the scientific sector to look for long-term solutions to the issues faced by farmers and improvise the crop productivity and farmers’ income.

Besides, the VP also urged scientists to explore ways to make crops climate-resilient, nutrition-efficient, and less water consumption.

“Global warming and climate change were affecting the weather patterns in an unpredictable manner and causing massive devastation at times,” he said. He sought to know from the scientists whether the issues faced by farmers because of nature’s fury could be mitigated.

Addressing the seriousness of the situation, Naidu emphasised upon the important role of technology in improving both the quality and quantity across the agriculture value chain from the use of inputs at the pre-production stage to post-production and marketing to improve the income of farmers.

The Vice President observed that science should search for the solutions to issues like increasing urbanisation, pollution, urban-rural divide, growing antibacterial resistance, genetic & non-communicable diseases and water scarcity, to name a few.

Urging schools to lay the foundation for the spread of a strong scientific culture in the country, he stressed that such a foundation would become the basis for creating an ecosystem for creativity and innovation to thrive.

“The need of the hour is to foster the spirit of inquisitiveness, curiosity and scientific temper right from the primary school level”, he said.

Observing that there was a crying need for our universities and scientific institutions to promote R & D on a big scale, the Vice President called for expanding the academia-industry linkage to promote research and innovation in a big way. “India like no other country has a huge demographic dividend and can emerge as the innovation and knowledge if our universities and scientific institutions invest more on R & D and significantly the raise the standards of research”, Shri Naidu stressed.

The Vice President also urged corporate India to develop a symbiotic partnership with the universities and to identify and fund a dozen futuristic projects.

Naidu lauded government initiatives such as Make in India, Digital India and Start-Up India that promote indigenous manufacturing, empower people digitally and wealth-creation through innovation.

He wanted senior scientists to mentor and hand-hold the young ones to benefit from such schemes and realize their scientific and entrepreneurial potential.

Chief Minister of Karnataka, BS Yediyurappa, Former Prime Minister of India, H D Devegowda, the Union Minister of Chemical and Fertilizers, D V SadanandaGowda, General President of Indian Sciences Congress, KS Rangappa, and the, Vice-Chancellor, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru, Dr S Rajendra Prasad were among the dignitaries who marked their presence at the event.