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'Agri research policy must respond to changing environment'

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Business Standard
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Agriculture research policy must respond to a changing agricultural, scientific and economic environment and the new paradigm underscored pluralistic institutional structure with dominant role for private sector, a senior union agriculture ministry official said today. 

The reforms were generally proceeding at slow pace in developing countries, where there was a large proportion of small scale farmers and the public sector still dominated the research system, Agriculture Commissioner J S Sandhu said. 

Thus, the focus of research policy should remain on improving efficienty of the public research system and encouraging the participation of private sector whereever possible, Sandhu said delivering his address to 34th Convocation of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University here. 

A systematic approach was needed for identifying land use and production system that were sustainable in each land and climate zone, he said. 

In order to reinvigorate agriculture and ensure a resourceful living standard for the rural poor, Indian agriculture must undergo an important transformation on both the demand and supply side, along three primary direction --emphasising higher value output, increasing productivity and redefining the roles of public and private sector, he added. 

"As the structural transformation of Indian economy proceeds, the share of agriculture will likely continue to decline, which almost declined significantly from about 40 per cent in 1960, to around 12 per cent in 2011," Sandhu said.

Author: Sustainability Outlook