India to set up agri-colleges in north-east
New Delhi, Jun 19:
The Indian government on Thursday said it will consider the demand of setting up six new agricultural colleges as well as upgrading the infrastructure of existing ones in north eastern states.
The assurance was given by Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh to a delegation from north eastern states, led by Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju.
The delegation also submitted a memorandum highlighting the requirements of the north-eastern region in the areas of
agricultural education and research.
Rijiju said,”There is a need to promote North-East in the field of agriculture. We have sought upgradation of infrastructure of existing colleges and stressed the need to establish new colleges as per the needs of each state in the region.”
Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh assured the delegation that their demands would be looked into.
Singh has directed Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) to look into the feasibility of opening more agricultural and veterinary colleges and universities in all the eight states of the region, an official statement said.
“They have demanded six new colleges. It would cost Rs 600-700 crore. We will look into it,” the minister said after the meeting.
During the meeting, it was felt that the Central Agriculture University in Imphal, Manipur needs to be strengthened as agri-education and research plays a big role in bringing in latest technology to farmers.
Earlier in the day, Singh also met UN food agency FAO representative in India, Peter Kenmore.
Kenmore apprised the minister of the work done by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) globally and in India towards ensuring food security, price stability, family farming and responsible agriculture, especially in the context of challenges related to climate change.
He lauded India’s efforts in extending support to global partnerships in agriculture and food security.
During the meeting, Singh said the new government’s agriculture policy would have renewed focus on marginal and small farmers, micro irrigation, soil health cards and access to credit.
The minister expressed hope that India and FAO will work together for food security, not just of India, but also of the entire region, and the world.