Agri and Horti universities should be merged – Shobha Karandlaje
Shobha Karandlaje, the Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, said here on Friday that the agricultural and horticultural universities should be merged so that farmers can learn more and share their knowledge better.
When she talked to the media here, Ms. Karandlaje said that she had also told the State government about her ideas and that they were being thought about.
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She said that if a farmer in one part of the state wanted to use horticulture to its fullest potential, he had to go all the way to Bagalkot, where the university of horticulture was. Also, agriculture and horticulture were not separated like they are now, so she suggested combining the two.
The Minister also said that the best way to make better use of Agriculture Infrastructure Funds was through the district agricultural plan (DAP). She also said that the DAP had not yet been thought up and put forward for approval in most States.
Ms. Karandlaje said that the DAP also called for the different ministries that deal with agriculture to work together and coordinate more. There were many departments or ministries, such as agriculture, sericulture, horticulture, fisheries, and sugar. Agricultural exports were handled separately, which the Minister said made it harder to make sure there was synergy and the best use of resources in agriculture.
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Ms. Karandlajge said that India used to be a country that bought food from other countries, but now it is a top exporter of food and ranks ninth in the world in terms of agricultural exports. During the pandemic, India sent food not only to countries that were still developing but also to countries that were already well-off.
The goal was to change agriculture, and the Minister said that instead of just growing food, the government would help farmers export their extra goods and help them make more money.