New Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee Tuesday called for a second Green Revolution in agriculture that is more holistic and widespread.
"This second Green Revolution should be accompanied by development of rural infrastructure, human development and increased sensitivity to ecology and environment. The government should seek right partnerships by building innovative structures that adequately encourage the involvement of the private sector in this area," said Mukherjee.
The president was speaking at the inauguration of a national conference on 'Ushering Second Green Revolution in Indian Agriculture through Public-Private Partnership', organised by the ministry of agriculture in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at Vigyan Bhawan here.
"The linkage that the agriculture sector has to almost all facets of society is indisputable. Its growth can spawn the much-needed social and economic transformation, without which economic growth in other areas and that of the nation as a whole would lose its meaning," Mukherjee said.
"Despite the economic progress the country has made in the last six decades, we cannot ignore the majority of our rural population which depends on agriculture for their livelihood. Agriculture is the heart and soul of this nation. It is the most fundamental of activities that the human race depends upon for its existence," said Mukherjee.
"Close to 69 percent of India's population resides in rural areas. According to the Planning Commission Survey, the poverty ratio amongst the rural populace is about 34 percent as compared to the all-India poverty ratio of about 30 percent. To alleviate poverty, promote inclusive growth, promote food security, increase employment opportunities and boost rural incomes. It is vital that agriculture grows at a much faster pace," he said.
Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Tariq Anwar, CII president Adi Godrej and CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee were also present on the occasion. Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has been admitted to Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai for health reasons.