West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi today said the country has witnessed enormous growth in agriculture which can play a significant role in alleviating poverty. “As per the current estimates there have been a record 267 million tonne of foodgrain production, 281 million tonne of vegetable production,” Tripathi said addressing a convocation at West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences here. “All these figures show how agriculture can play a significant role in alleviating poverty in India. Livestock is the base of sustenance of 70 per cent population,” Tripathi said, and added that West Bengal has been a major contributor in livestock in the country.
Describing the university as a national institution, he said, “It was no mean feat that the institution has got accreditation by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for five years.” “West Bengal has been leading in fish production in the country and the state shares 30 per cent of the production in India,” the governor said.
Vice-Chancellor Purnendu Biswas said that the university is implementing various projects like conservation of near extinct livestock, avian and fish species. Biswas said under the aegis of the university, three Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) have come up – one each in Jalpaiguri, Murshidabad and North 24 Parganas districts. “These KVKs are 100 per cent financed by the ICAR,” he said.
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A total of 77 students were given graduation degrees in the faculty of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, faculty of Dairy Technology and faculty of Fishery Sciences. Post-graduate and doctoral degrees were awarded to 65 and 17 scholars respectively while 25 gold medals were also conferred.