Prime Minister Narendra Modi today visited the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), in Philippines. PM inaugurated a Resilient Rice Field Laboratory by symbolically breaking the ground. PM Modi, a keen technology enthusiast, showed great interest in a demonstration of the use of drones in agriculture. He saw how farmers can make effective use of technology in rice farming for spraying pesticides and monitoring crop growth and other activities. After his visit to IRRI, he took to Twitter and said, “Was shown drones that could be used in the agriculture sector and help farmers.” To which Jayant Sinha, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation, assured that the new drone policy will enable the valuable solutions to the agriculture sector. Sinha wrote, “Our new drone policy will enable all these valuable solutions.”
Was shown drones that could be used in the agriculture sector and help farmers. pic.twitter.com/GSuP6joE64
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 13, 2017
Our new drone policy will enable all these valuable solutions http://t.co/760clWaTxl
— Jayant Sinha (@jayantsinha) November 13, 2017
PM Modi also interacted with Indian scientists, students, researchers working at IRRI. India’s ICAR and IRRI have been cooperating for four decades. At IRRI, PM was shown varieties of rice that would greatly benefit Indian farmers. Later PM took to the microblogging site and wrote, ” I was shown rice varieties that would greatly benefit Indian farmers. The flood resistant rice variety can withstand 14-18 days of submergence. This will help farmers in Eastern India. It will help in food security and enhance income of farmers.” He added, “Salinity tolerant rice varieties will help farmers where the soil is saline, for example, Kutch. I also saw a drought tolerant rice variety that can help farmers in times of droughts.”
PM Modi’s cabinet in July 2017 approved a proposal for IRRI to set up its South Asia Regional Centre at Varanasi. Once operational, this centre would be instrumental in improving the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; and protect the rice-growing environment for future generations. It will certainly play an important role in achieving the Modi government’s goal of doubling farm incomes by 2022.