Promote cultivation of items currently being imported: Goyal tells ICAR

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New Delhi, Jan 27 (PTI) Stressing that India's development is not feasible without farmers, Food Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday asked premium agri-research body ICAR to promote domestic cultivation of those items that are imported in the country to boost income of farming community and make the country self-reliant.

Addressing the 92th annual general meeting of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), he said, 'ICAR should collaborate with the commerce ministry to collect date on food items being imported in the country'.

He said the country imports floriculture worth Rs 230 crore and fruits worth Rs 5,000 crore every year.

The minister said that these agriculture, horticulture and floriculture crops should be promoted in the country.

'Research and innovation, which is the main objective of the ICAR, can bring a big change in the lives of the farmers of the country and their future,' Goyal said, adding that this would also help in attracting youth in the agriculture sector.

He asked the ICAR to organise training camps for school and college students to promote agriculture.

Goyal said measures should be taken to increase farmers' income by linking farmers and startups, which will get new ideas.

He said e-commerce can be used for exports of farm produce.

Goyal highlighted that the government has given a lot of priority for Research and Development (R&D) in the last six years.

He also asked the ICAR should focus on new inventions to modernise the Indian agriculture sector. PTI MJH RAM