New Delhi: The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has asked scientists and researchers to regularly interact with farmers and work in a mission mode to double the farmers income by 2022 as envisaged by Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. He further said that doubling of farmers income can be achieved through reduction in input cost, value addition and proper marketing of agricultural produce.
Speaking at the 10th Convocation of Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University in Bidar, Karnataka today, he emphasized the need to focus on blue revolution and said that fisheries must be encouraged and given priority along with agriculture and the dairy sector. The Minister for Co-operation, Karnataka, Shri Bandeppa Kashempur and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
The Vice President asked authorities to make sincere efforts to ensure that the livestock farmers move from subsistence farming to a financially viable livestock enterprise.
The Vice President said that the allied activities such as animal husbandry, dairy and poultry play a crucial role in improving the farmers income as they support the livelihood of farmers by providing supplementary income.
The Vice President said that it is not just doubling the farmers income by 2022, the major global challenge is to ensure food and nutritional security. He further said that there is a need to alleviate poverty in developing countries by producing more and safe food, especially of animal origin, against a shrinking animal genetic diversity and increased global trade. The livestock production in the developing world should be more than double to meet the growing demand of meat and milk in these countries over the next 20 years, he added.
The Vice President said that animal husbandry provides employment and also manure for crops. There is evidence to show that farming households with some cattle head were able to withstand better the distress caused by extreme weather conditions and cattle wealth is national wealth, he added.
Referring to the proposal to establish Integrated Indigenous Cattle Centres or Gokul Grams in the breeding tracts of indigenous breeds, the Vice President said that the Gokul Gram will be self sustaining and will generate economic resources from the sale of A2 milk, organic manure, vermi-compost and production of electricity from bio-gas for in house consumption and sale of animal products.
The Vice President said that integrated farming system models should be demonstrated and popularised among farmers. He called upon the scientific community to adopt the 4Ts formula and integrate Tradition, Talent, Technology and Trade.
Stressing the need to reform and streamline our education system, the Vice President asked universities to make youngsters become part of knowledge revolution which is sweeping the world. He has also asked them to make good use of technology and expand the knowledge to students through distance mode by using online courses. School dropouts and farmers can benefit from distance learning, he added.
The Vice President opined that unfortunately our education system is focused not on the creation of knowledge, but on the mass production of an educated workforce. He said that Universities must encourage culture of research and innovative thinking rather than focusing on exam-oriented method to become a knowledge-based economy
The Vice President asked the students to play an active role in making livestock and fisheries sectors profitable through scientific approach and technological innovations.
Quoting Swami Vivekanand, the Vice President said that we want that education by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded, and by which one can stand on ones own feet.
Following is the text of Vice President’s address:
“It is a matter of great privilege and honour for me to deliver the 10th Convocation address of the Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University, Bidar.
It is always a joy to participate in Convocations as they not only symbolise the valuable additions to our trained human resource, but also remind us of the important role played by educational institutions in laying strong ethical and moral foundations for the new generation.
Today, certificates, degrees and medals have been awarded to more than 200 students. This is the result of the hard work done by you at this distinguished institution, which recently got an award from Indian the Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi for producing highest number of Junior Research Fellowship holders.
Convocation is a major academic event in the calendar of an institution of learning. It is an important landmark in the career of a student and indeed everyone connected with the pursuit of knowledge in the University. On this occasion, I wish to congratulate all those who are obtaining their degrees. I feel extremely happy because most of you have come from rural background and have successfully completed your studies. This is not just a degree or certificate in your hands, but it is a certificate of hope and aspiration to your parents and millions of farmers, who feed us.
I am confident that all of you will play an active role in making livestock and fisheries sectors profitable through scientific approach and technological innovations.
Animal husbandry sector supports the livelihood of farmers by not only providing the main income but also supplementary income. It provides employment and also manure for crops. There is evidence to show that farming households with some cattle head are able to withstand better the distress caused by extreme weather conditions.
The development of the dairy sector has been a major success story in the country. With an estimated production of 146.3 million tonnes in 2014-15, India continues to be largest producer of milk in the world. Per capita availability of milk has reached 322 gms per day during the year 2014-15 which is more than the world average of 294 gms per day. Similarly, in the case of meat, egg, wool and fish production, we have achieved substantial progress. The animal husbandry sector not only provides essential protein and nutritious human diet through milk, eggs and meat, but also plays an important role in utilisation of non-edible agricultural by-products. Livestock are the best insurance against the vagaries of nature like drought, famine and other natural calamities.
Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world with an annual growth rate of over eight percent. Nearly 50 per cent of the total fish production is now contributed by the aquaculture globally and this is also becoming gradually true in India. Marine capture fishery production in Karnataka is also highly significant because Karnataka is blessed with very large coastal line. Sustainable aquaculture appears to have a bright future as a source of human food and biological production.
Though, India has achieved both green and white revolutions, there is lot of emphasis now on blue revolution. This is the thinking of the government. Along with agriculture and the dairy sector, the fisheries too will be encouraged. Sincere efforts should be made to ensure that the livestock farmers move from subsistence farming to a financially viable livestock enterprise. They should get access to credit on low interest rate from financial institutions and arrangements should be made by the breeders’ association to provide services and goods as required as also sustainable market for the product. The village group/ society/ should also take up marketing of animal products.
On this occasion, I appeal to all scientists to regularly interact with farmers and work in a mission mode to double the farmers’ income by 2022 as envisaged by Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. Doubling of farmers’ income can be achieved through reduction in input cost, value addition and proper marketing of agricultural produce. Integrated farming system models should be demonstrated and popularised among farmers.
As you all are aware, one of the prestigious programmes being implemented by the Government of India is the Rashtriya Gokul Mission to enhance the productivity of the indigenous breeds in India through professional farm management and superior nutrition. The “Rashtriya Gokul Mission” aims to conserve and develop indigenous breeds in a scientific manner under National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development, with an outlay of Rs 500 crore during the 12th Five Year Plan.
It is also proposed to establish Integrated Indigenous Cattle Centres or Gokul Grams in the breeding tracts of indigenous breeds. The Gokul Gram will be self sustaining and will generate economic resources from the sale of A2 milk, organic manure, vermi-compost and production of electricity from bio-gas for in house consumption and sale of animal products. Cattle rearing has been a traditional livelihood in India and is closely linked to agricultural economy. Output from milk alone is almost at par with the combined output value of wheat and paddy, which makes milk as the single largest commodity among the food group.
It is not just doubling the farmers income by 2022, the major global challenge is to ensure food and nutritional security. There is a need to alleviate poverty in developing countries by producing more and safe food, especially of animal origin, against a shrinking animal genetic diversity and increased global trade. The livestock production in the developing world should be more than double to meet the growing demand of meat and milk in these countries over the next 20 years. At the beginning of the 21st century more than 1.2 billion people lived in extreme poverty, while 850 million are chronically hungry and the number is increasing. Most of these people are found in sub-Saharan Africa and South and East Asia.
A wide diversity in animal genetic resources is crucial to adapting and developing livestock production systems. Climate change and the emergence of new and virulent animal diseases underline the need to retain adaptive capacity. For hundreds of millions of poor rural households, livestock remain a key asset, often meeting multiple needs, and enabling livelihoods to be built in some of the world’s harshest environments. The reported rate of breed extinctions is of great concern, but it is even more worrying that unrecorded genetic resources are being lost. Strenuous efforts to understand and protect the world’s animal genetic resources for food and agriculture are also required.
The global population is expected to increase by some 90 million people annually. The human population growth between 1990 and 2004 for the different regions of the world has shown that Africa and Asia have the largest population growth. This means that the world’s farmers especially in the developing world will have to increase their production at least by 50 per cent to feed the growing population. Availability of affordable food of livestock origin would go a long way in helping to overcome the challenge of protein malnutrition and chronic hunger.
The demand for veterinary graduates is rising side due to commercialisation of veterinary industries and establishment of more international industries dealing in food manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and vaccine production.
There is a need to adopt strategies in accordance with new technologies, changing demand patterns, upcoming value chains and supermarkets, revolution in communication technology, institutional innovations and globalisation. The scientific community should adopt the 4Ts formula and integrate Tradition, Talent, Technology and Trade.
I am emotionally attached to Karnataka though I hail from the neighbouring State. Karnataka’s economy largely depends on agriculture and a sizeable 71 per cent population in the state is engaged in farming. The state is the largest producer of coffee, raw silk and sandalwood in the country and also contributing significantly to the horticulture production of the country.
KVAFSU has excelled in many areas of research, education and development. Among the Veterinary Universities in the country, this University has the largest component of colleges, institutes, and research stations and extension units. The university’s contribution to education, research and extension is laudable.
The technologies developed by KVAFSU are contributing for the improvement of animal health and production of livestock, poultry and fisheries in the State. Vaccines developed and supplied by the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals are in great demand throughout the country.
The pride of this University lies in the service extended to our farmers in the form of saving the lives of animals by providing better health care. Another feather in the university’s cap is the execution of World Bank-aided KWDP-Sujala-III project in seven backward districts namely, Bidar, Kalaburagi, Yadgiri, Gadag, Chamrajnagar, Davanagere and Koppal through livestock support and extension activities in farmers’ fields itself. These success stories are becoming “Hot Spots” and are serving as an inspiration for other farmers.
The Vice Chancellor and the Faculty deserve particular praise for their commitment to academic excellence and for ensuring various programmes to be socially relevant.
Universities are expected to generate knowledge. Unfortunately our system is focused not on the creation of knowledge, but on the mass production of an educated workforce. If we are to become a knowledge-based economy, the first thing we have to do is to encourage a culture of research and innovative thinking rather than focusing on exam-oriented method. We need to reform and streamline our education system so that our youngsters do not lag behind in the knowledge revolution which is sweeping the world-scientists are exploring and mapping newer kinds of knowledge from bio to nanotechnology, gene to genomics, space explorations to GIS and Weather Satellite Accuracy. In the present inter-disciplinary world, research outcomes in many areas will have an impact livestock and fisheries.
Another, important role the university can play is reaching the unreached through distance mode. The online courses being offered through distance education mode have revolutionised the learning process. For people like school dropouts and farmers, distance learning is emerging as a powerful tool to disseminate knowledge to the grassroots level.
My dear graduates, you need to break the barriers of mediocrity and excel in your area of specialisation.
I would like to conclude with the quote of Swami Vivekanand, who had said: ‘We want that education by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded, and by which one can stand on one’s own feet’.
I once again congratulate all the graduating students and the faculty members, who have shaped the young minds.