Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh met the scientists of Central Agricultural University and Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) in this connection.
Emphasis should be given on production of farm manure from all organic waste, Mr Singh said after inaugurating the Academic Block of College of Post Graduate Studies, Central Agricultural University, Imphal.
He also laid the foundation stone for the new College of Agriculture, Kyrdemkulai, Meghalaya at the College of Post Graduate Studies, Umiam (Barapani) in Meghalaya and then inspected the ICAR Complex, Umiam, in Ri Bhoi District.
Later, at an awareness programme on 'Sustainable Hill Agriculture' at ICAR Complex, in Ri Bhoi district, Mr Singh encouraged the farmers to use organic manure and also spoke at length on e-marketing, where the farmers could sell their agricultural production in other parts of the country.
About Central Agricultural University, the Union minister termed it a unique agricultural institution in the country, which takes care of the agricultural education, research and extension needs of the six North Eastern Hill states.
The University has played a pivotal role in the overall development of the states under its jurisdiction, he said. In view of the huge agricultural potential and human resources development that the North Eastern Region could offer, six new colleges under the jurisdiction of the Central Agricultural University have been planned, he said.
Of these, 4 new colleges have already started their first academic session, Mr Singh said, adding that the other 2 colleges in Nagaland and Mizoram will be functioning soon.
"To empower the unemployed rural youths, the university has planned 6 vocational training centres and six multi-technology testing centers," Mr Singh said and hoped these centers will make rural youth employment generators rather than employment seekers.
The minister also appreciated the role of scientists of Central Agriculture University for participating in the government's 'Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav' scheme.
The effort by Central Agricultural University to develop and distribute 2,500 soil health cards to the farmers is appreciable, Mr Singh said and hoped that these efforts will continue and be beneficial for the farmers in future.
Turning to the issue of food and nutritional security of the North Eastern states, Mr Singh said it is important to promote the cultivation of oil seeds and pulses.
"The effort by Central Agricultural University to promote Rabi mustard is commendable," he said, adding the university will play an important role in increasing the cropping area of different pulses like lentil and lathyrus.
The inaugural programme was attended by Members of Parliament, the Director of Indian Council for Agricultural Research Complex, Umiam, SV Ngachan, Senior officers of the Meghalaya government, Vice-Chancellor of Central Agricultural University, scientists of CAU and ICAR, Umiam, students and farmers.
The Minister appreciated the performance of students of this Central Agriculture University for doing exceedingly well in the national level competitive examinations.
The minister said that he was informed that in 2014, the university obtained second position in India with respect to ICAR-JRF scholarships awarded to its students.
During his visit to ICAR, Complex, Mr Singh inaugurated the National Initiatives on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) Laboratory.
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