New Delhi, 20 April 2021: Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) jointly with ICAR organized Interface meeting for Kharif 2021 on 20 April, 2021through video conference. Divisions of Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare(DAC&FW) in consultation with their counter parts in ICAR formulated Group Recommendations on researchable issues for the pre-seasonal Interfaces held twice annually before Kharif& Rabi  seasons. These Group Recommendations are then discussed in detail at the Joint Plenary Session of DAC & FW-ICAR Interface.

The effort is aimed at understanding the key issues – both from Research and Development perspective in agriculture and allied sectors and evolving joint strategies to address those issues in the coming Kharif season. The issues warranting actions by States are then flagged in the National Conference on Agriculture and are discussed threadbare with the States in respective sessions to avoid any gap in their implementation.

Today, in the Pre-Kharif Interface workshop, the Divisions of DAC&FWsuch as Crops, Seeds, Horticulture, Plant Protection, Mechanization and Technology, Integrated Nutrient Management, Natural Resources Management &Rainfed Farming System and Extension, formulated Group Recommendations in response to emerging issues and identified issues based on deliberations with ICAR for the Kharif season 2021. The deliberations were led and guided by Secretary (Agriculture, Co-operation & Farmers Welfare) and Secretary DARE-DG (ICAR). DG (ICAR) appreciated the efforts of DAC&FW and ICAR in organizing Interface to address the major issues of both the Departments. He added that the current year is being celebrated as International Year of Fruits and Vegetables and our research and extension system including KVKs should actively showcase achievements in conferences during the current year.

Secretary (DAC&FW)  Shri Sanjay Agarwal in his concluding remarks emphasized on reducing the cost of cultivation by  using appropriate pest and disease resistant varieties of crops along with cultivation of bio-fortified varieties; enhancement of productivity of Kharif crops especially pulses and oilseeds; reducing the varietal mismatch,  use of drones in agriculture especially in pesticide application, adequate use of mechanization technologies; soil health management practices; management of invasive insect pests, etc for improving production and productivity in agricultural and horticultural crops. In order to address the issue of nutritional security alongwith food security, it has been decided to promote biofortified varieties of food grains including pulses through National Food Security Mission, now Ministry of Agriculture has decided to change name to National Food and Nutritional Security Mission. He also appraised about the preparatory stepstaken by Ministry of Agriculture for observance of  International Year of Millets  and requisite convergence modalities.He mentioned that frequent effective research-extension interfaces in agricultural sector are of paramount importance.He expressed that the solution provided to current issues will be passed on to states for further strategizing their action plant for augmenting the production and productivity through better prepositioning of inputs,  new seed varieties, pre decided seed rolling plan, nutrient management, pest management and modern machineries. He also informed that a National Virtual Conference on Kharif Crops-2021 is being organized by DACFW on 30 April, 2021 to discuss kharif season plan of sowing with all states Additional Secretaries, Principal Secretaries of Agriculture and Horticulture to achieve the food production targets and take full benefit of favourable monsoon forecasted recently by IMD.