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New institute to usher second green revolution: PM

New Delhi, Aug 15 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday announced a new scientific institution to help develop new seeds and technology for farmers named after Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug to ensure a four percent farm sector growth.

‘Our country has not witnessed any big technological breakthrough in agriculture after the Green Revolution. We need technology which would address the needs of dry land agriculture,’ the prime minister said in his Independence Day speech.

‘I am happy to announce that the Borlaug Institute of South Asia is being established in India. This institute would facilitate availability of new and improved seeds and new technology to the farmers of India and other countries of South Asia.’

The Nobel laureate is often called the father of India’s Green Revolution of the 1970S and 1980s that used new seeds and better irrigation techniques to significantly raise India’s food output.

‘In the history of Indian agriculture, Norman Borlaug commands a special place. Years back he developed new and more productive seeds of wheat. Under the leadership of Indira Gandhi, India achieved the Green Revolution by adopting these seeds.’

The prime minister said his government had laid special emphasis on the welfare of farmers and farm productivity. ‘After we came to power in 2004, we realized that the state of Indian agriculture in the preceding 7-8 years was not satisfactory,’ he said.

Accordingly, the public investment in agriculture was hiked, new schemes were introduced to enhance production and planning was encouraged at the district level, which raised the farm sector growth.

‘But we are still far from achieving our goal. We need to work harder so that we can increase the agricultural growth rate to 4 percent per annum.’

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