MODERN AGRICULTURE TECHNOLOGIES TO COMBAT DROUGHT

Photo credit: ICRISAT

Chief guest Sri Krishna Byre Gowda, Minister of Agriculture, Government of Karnataka, addresses the participants at InterDrought-V as conference chair Francois Tardieu, chief organizer Rajeev Varshney, ICRISAT DG David Bergvinson and DDG Research, Peter Carberry look on.

 

INTERDROUGHT-V CALLS FOR MODERN AGRICULTURE TECHNOLOGIES TO COMBAT DROUGHT

Harnessing modern tools is critical to help farmers overcome the devastating effects of drought. This was the key message from Sri Krishna Byre Gowda, Minister of Agriculture, Government of Karnataka at the InterDrought-V conference held in Hyderabad, India.

Every year, drought related disasters affect vast regions that impact food production. The most immediate consequence is a drop in crop production due to inadequate and poorly distributed rainfall.

“Given the severity of drought, a central challenge for researchers and policy makers is to devise technologies that lend greater resilience to agricultural production under this stress. Therefore 942 participants from 315 organizations from 56 countries assembled here to address this important issue,” said Rajeev Varshney, the Conference Organization Chair and Research Program Director, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

In the inaugural address, Dr Rob Bertram, Chief Scientist, Bureau of Food Security, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said, “A combined approach including crop improvement, agronomic practices and irrigation needs to be used for mitigating drought stress in developing countries.”

“By using a holistic approach, organizations like ICRISAT need to work together and contribute to this important international food production constraint to feed the world. Prime Minister Modi has laid before us the challenge to double the income of farmers. It will be essential to enhance crop production and link farmers to markets,” said Dr David Bergvinson, Director General, ICRISAT.

“Farmers need to be placed at the centre of research and developing activities related to drought so that they can have more produce and better incomes,” said Sri S Pattanayak, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India.

“Drought research needs to be handled from different angles. We need breeding, physiology, biotechnology, agronomy to make the crops resilient,” said Dr JS Sandhu, Deputy Director General-Crops Sciences, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

Read the full article: ICRISAT

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.