I was delighted to see the Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA) being awarded the Sardar Patel Outstanding Research Institute Award, at the recent 87th Foundational Day celebrations of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
Held in Patna, Bihar, out of Delhi for the first time, the ceremony was attended by the Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi who presented 82 ICAR awards to institutions, scientists, teachers, agricultural journalists and farmers.
PM Modi praised Indian scientists for their work and emphasized the need for scientific innovations in the agriculture sector to move from “lab to land,” so that farmers can benefit from them.
He called for an increase in the productivity of Indian agriculture, the need to increase production of pulses and oilseeds, and for a focus on youth. He announced his Strategy 2050, which includes a specific program to incentivize youth to get back into agriculture.
CRIDA has been very active in preparing states and their districts with strategies to manage the impact of climate change, especially drought. I had the privilege of travelling with CRIDA Director Dr Cherukumalli Srinivasa Rao to see their Climate Smart Villages in March, which I wrote about in an earlier entry in the Journal.
Dr Rao has visited ICRISAT on several occasions with regards to work on watersheds. We are strengthening our relationship with CRIDA because our organisations both work in the rain-fed ecologies that cover 60% of India.