Context: Recently, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) celebrated its 92nd foundation day. 

More on the news:

  • On this occasion, the Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare appreciated the efforts of the ICAR, contributing immensely in the progress of agriculture in the country during the last nine decades. 
  • Today India is surplus in foodgrains production due to the research contribution of the scientists and hard work of the farmers.

About ICAR:

  • It is an autonomous organisation under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India. 
  • It was established in 1929 as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. 
  • The Council is the apex body for coordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences in the entire country. 
  • With 102 ICAR institutes and 71 agricultural universities spread across the country this is one of the largest national agricultural systems in the world.
  • The ICAR has played a pioneering role in ushering the Green Revolution and subsequent developments in agriculture in India through its research and technology development, making a visible impact on the national food and nutritional security
  • It has played a major role in promoting excellence in higher education in agriculture.

Vision Document:

  • Transformative changes that the world has been undergoing: Growing population, changing lifestyles, expanding urbanization and accelerated climate changes are creating new challenges for the national agricultural research system. 
  • New challenges: Whereas in the past, the challenge was to supply adequate food, but now it is to provide adequate nutrients to promote health and in the future, the challenge would be to provide optimal nutrients based on an individual's genetic profile. 
  • Developments in science: 
    • Fortunately, along with challenges, the developments in science are creating new avenues for tackling the challenges. 
    • The ICAR and the National Agricultural Research and Education System are determined to harness the advances of science for the welfare of society. 
    • The Council is committed to transform itself into an organization engaged fully with the farmers, industry, entrepreneurs and consumers at large.
  • ICAR: Adapting with time: To keep pace with the changing environment, the ICAR has been updating its visions and strategies from time to time.
    • The first systematic effort to envision the challenges and opportunities, and formulate its own strategy was undertaken in 1999 by preparing ‘Vision 2020 document’. 
    • The next attempt was in 2004 by bringing out the ‘Perspective Plan’ and the ‘ICAR Vision 2030’, coinciding with XI plan. 
    • ‘ICAR Vision 2050’, provides the strategic framework for innovation-led inclusive and sustainable agricultural growth in the country.

Some key initiatives of ICAR:

  • Farmers Innovation Fund: ICAR is all set to start a system to scientifically validate, scale-up and propagate the innovations of progressive farmers.
    • The system intends to link farmers and farming with science and encourage farmers to continue their innovations.
  • Organic Farming: ICAR has developed 45 different organic farming models suitable for different agro-climatic regions and has validated 51 integrated farming systems to help increase farm income.
  • Nano fertilisers and Nano pesticides: ICAR is developing nano fertilizers and nano pesticides to promote organic farming and to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers
  • Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture (Arya): A programme named Arya is also being implemented to improve rural bio-economy and attract youth to agriculture.
  • Farmers’ Science Congress: It was inaugurated in 2020 for the first time in the 107 years of history of the Indian Science Congress highlighting the importance of farmer’s innovations and their scientific validity.

Future targets: 

  • To ensure that the Pusa Institute (IARI) gets upgraded from a national institute to an institute of international status.
  • There is a need to reduce dependence on imports, increase production of healthy foods and also increase production of pulses and oilseeds. 
  • Palm oil production needs to be increased by research and increased cultivation and development of new varieties of oilseeds needs to be emphasised.
  • The near self-sufficiency achieved in pulses production needs to be replicated for oilseeds production also so that import of edible oils is reduced.

Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) 

  • It is an agricultural extension center in India usually associated with a local agricultural university.
  • These centers serve as the ultimate link between the ICAR and farmers and all KVKs fall under the jurisdiction of one of the 11 Agricultural Technology Application Research Institutes (ATARIs) throughout India.
  • Objective: To apply agricultural research in a practical, localized setting. 


Image Source: wikipedia