New Delhi: The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has stressed the need to promote integrated farming practices to improve the productivity of livestock and double farmers’ income.
Delivering the 8th Convocation address of Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University, in Tirupati today, Naidu said that Animal husbandry was vital for ensuring a more inclusive and sustainable agriculture system.
Referring to a study, Naidu said that there were no suicides in families of farmers who diversified into allied activities like poultry, dairy or aquaculture. He observed that farming households with livestock would be able to better withstand distress caused due to extreme weather conditions and crop failures.
Quoting NSSO statistics, estimates, the Vice President said that rural India had an estimated 90.2 million agricultural households and facilitating sustainable income for all these households must be the primary endeavor for everyone.
The Vice President said that a healthy and robust agricultural sector was an important prerequisite to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth in India. He called for measures to make farming a lucrative career opportunity, especially for the youth, by making agriculture economically viable and financially rewarding.
Observing that the rural economy was dependent on agriculture and its allied sectors such as poultry, dairy and others, Naidu said that the sector provides gainful employment to a large number of youngsters from rural areas. Naidu urged upon Universities to encourage research on veterinary sciences.
The Vice President urged the government, agriculture scientists and Krishi Vigyana Kendras to encourage farmers to diversify into allied services for financial stability. He opined that ensuring food security was crucial for India to harvest the dividend from its demographical advantage.
He urged Universities to continuously collaborate with each other and develop linkages with industries to develop human resource, augment technology and find solutions to problems faced by the farmers.
Expressing concern over the mismatch in supply and demand of veterinary manpower in India, Naidu tasked authorities to fill vacant positions in academic, R and D, extension and field institutions to serve the needs of farmers. He wanted all Veterinary Universities and Agricultural Universities to have engineering and IT Departments to make use of the endless possibilities of technology in general and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in particular.
The Governor of Andhra Pradesh and the Chancellor of the University, E.S.L. Narasimhan, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Dr. Y. Hari Babu, faculty, alumni and students of the University were also present on the occasion.
Later the Vice President visited the Veterinary Pathology Museum maintained by the Department of Pathology and appreciated the efforts of the University for setting up one of India’s best facility. He said that the museum would give great exposure to students and researchers of veterinary pathology.
The museum is curated by Dr. N. R. Gopal Naidu and faculty of Department of Pathology, houses more than 500 specimens of animal diseases and is being preserved since 1960. The museum also has a display of eminent scientists and milestones of medical history from around the world.