India has one of the largest National Agricultural Research System (NARS) in the world, comprising 102 Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Institutes, 11 Agricultural Technology Application Research Institutes, 82 All India Coordinated Projects/ Networks, 4 deemed to be universities, 3 Central Agricultural Universities and 63 State Agricultural/ Veterinary/ Horticultural/ Fishery Universities including Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
The requisite infrastructure and expertise available with ICAR Institutions, SAUs and a network of 731 KVKs ICAR suffice to cater various technological interventions in various fields of agriculture and allied sectors to meet the demand of agricultural sector.
During last three years ICAR has released 946 field crop varieties comprising of 379 of cereals, 146 of oilseeds, 168 of pulses, 55 of forage crops, 158 of fibre crops, 26 of sugarcane and 14 of other crops (potential/minor crops) and 171 varieties of horticultural crops; developed 25 vaccines and 40 diagnostics for important animal diseases for diagnosis and their containment. Breeding and seed production technologies were developed for 161 food and ornamental fishes, 48 indigenous fish feed and 70 improved aquaculture systems and developed 90 resource specific gears & fuel-efficient fishing vessels for efficient fishing. Approximately 168 technologies/ machines were also developed during recent years. These improved varieties/ technologies/ machines/ vaccines etc. are aimed at for augmenting the production and productivity in Agriculture in country. The successful implementation of various Schemes/ initiatives relating to agriculture coupled with extension of above technologies and their extension through KVKs and other extension machineries has resulted in increase in production and productivity of field and horticultural crops. The production of pulses increased from 19.26 m tonnes (2013-14) to 27.75 m tonnes in 2021-22, horticultural production from 280.70 m tonnes (2013-14) to 341.63 m tonnes (2021-22) and food grains from 265.05 m. tonnes (2013-14) to 314.51 m tonnes (2021-22).
Recruitment to scientific positions is a continuous process and vacancies are filled up through established procedure by the Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board (ASRB) subject to the availability of qualified candidates. Presently, 144 posts of scientists are vacant in Maharashtra whereas it is 22 in Tamil Nadu. The vacancy position is monitored regularly within ICAR and with ASRB for timely selection and deployment of human resources.
This information was given by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.