Research boost to agriculture


The review meeting in progress. Picture by Vinod Kr Singh

Dhemaji, May 18: The Union agriculture and farmers welfare minister Radha Mohan Singh today said setting up of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in Assam was delayed as the previous state government could not provide land.

“The work to set up IARI Jharkhand is in progress in Ranchi. The work for the institute’s Assam branch was delayed as the previous state government couldn’t provide land. But six months ago, the Sarbananda Sonowal government provided 587 acres in the district where the construction will start. Now, with the cabinet’s approval, the route is clear,” Singh told reporters today after a review meeting with officials of Krishi Vigyan Kendra,Indian Council for Agricultural Research and state agriculture department in the conference hall of Mising Autonomous Council at Gogamukh.

He said the Centre will provide Rs 155 crore to set up the institute to promote agri-education and realise Green Revolution in the Northeast.

“IARI Assam will undertake research, education, extension programmes to develop quality human resource, generation of farmer-friendly technologies to enhance productivity, quality and profitability, promote agro-based industries and generate employment for holistic and sustainable development of the agriculture sector in the Northeast,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the fourth centre of IARI here on May 26.

The decision was taken in a Union cabinet meeting headed by Modi yesterday, he said.

Singh said the institute at Mohari camp near Gogamukh, nearly 365km from Guwahati, will work on the agrarian challenges and complexities of the region in tandem with all existing central and state government research and development institutions and private sector enterprises.

The institute will house a post-graduate centre in agricultural education. Various subjects such as field crops, horticultural crops, agro-forestry, animal husbandry, fisheries, poultry, piggery, silk rearing, honey production and other allied topics will be studied at the centre.

The first centre of IARI was set up in New Delhi in 1967. The Centre had announced plans to set up four such institutes in the country in its 2014-2015 budget.

IARI Assam will be fully funded by the Centre and a proposal for 98 staff posts has been approved. It will teach 67 MSc students and 106 PhD students, besides promoting research in agriculture.

By Vinod Kr Singh