Agriculture to see a bias towards value-addition in 12th Plan: ICAR

Agricultural production in the country is slowly shifting away from the traditional staple cultivation to production of value-added products and the 12th Plan, beginning this April, is expected to provide a big push to value addition in sectoral products.

''The secondary agriculture would be providing value addition to agricultural products, creating facilities for primary processing and stress management in agriculture. The 12th Plan (2012-2017) will see the shift from primary to secondary agriculture,'' S Ayyappan director general of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) said today.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function in Chennai, Ayyappan said, ''The value addition could be by grading the different quality of products, cold storage facilities to take up primary processing and taking steps to control soil and water degradation.''

This, however, would need concerted planning for capacity development through planning and education on a national basis, he said.

''We have to improve the course curriculum, faculty competence, infrastructure such as hostels for hands-on and skill development and student exchange programmes,'' Ayyappan said.

He said the ICAR was thinking over the concepts of 'Student Ready' and 'Farmer First' in order to bridge the gap between educational institutions and the economy's needs.