16.07.2020 (www.outlookindia.com) - New Delhi, Jul 16 (PTI) Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday said the near self-sufficiency achieved in pulses production needs to be replicated in oilseeds as well so that the country can reduce import of edible oils.
Addressing the 92nd Foundation Day of the country''s premier Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Tomar said there is a need to reduce dependence on imports, increase production of healthy foods and also raise output of pulses and oilseeds.
"Palm oil production needs to be increased by research and increased cultivation," an official statement quoted Tomar as saying.
Laying emphasis on developing new varieties of oilseeds, Tomar said the near self-sufficiency achieved in pulses production needs to be replicated in oilseeds as well so that import of edible oils is reduced.
Edible oil is India''s third-biggest import item after crude oil and gold.
The minister further said the long-awaited agricultural reforms, which were announced recently, will empower the farmers and help them in getting remunerative prices for their produce.
He further said ICAR and Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) scientists also have to ensure that benefits of contract farming reach the small farmers.
Lauding ICAR''s contribution to the country''s farm sector, Tomar said India is surplus in foodgrain production due to the research contribution of the scientists and hard work of farmers.
He congratulated the farming community for record production of crops even during the coronavirus lockdown.
The minister also released eight new products and 10 publications.
Union Ministers of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala and Kailash Choudhary, ICAR Director General Trilochan Mahapatra besides agri-scientists and officials attended the virtual event.
On this occasion, ICAR gave away awards to best performing institutions, scientists, teachers, farmers and agricultural journalists for 2019.
ICAR, set up in July 1929, is the apex body for coordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences in the country.
With 102 ICAR institutes and 71 agricultural universities spread across the country, this is one of the largest national agricultural systems in the world. PTI LUX ABM ABM