Government ready to face monsoon challenge: Pawar

With the monsoon playing truant, it will be really a challenge for the agriculture sector to maintain the excellent performance of the last two years, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said today.

Talking to the media on the sidelines of the ICAR Foundation Day Awards ceremony, Pawar, however, said the government was ready to face any eventualities.

He said there are sufficient quantities of seed of late-sown varieties of various crops and these have been dispatched to different states. Steps have also been taken to provide sufficient quantities of seeds of rabi pulses to compensate for any loss in pulses production in the kharif season, he added.

Earlier, addressing the awards ceremony, the minister recalled some of the significant research outcomes.

''Indian research institutions have developed promising crop varieties, especially CR Dhan 701 of rice, chickpea, mungbean and maize hybrids, along with improved production technologies. Recent breakthrough in decoding of tomato genome will help in combating biotic and abiotic stresses. Further, successful breeding of silver pompano fish; birth of mithun calf through ETT and cattle calf using ovum-pick-up and IVF technology; diagnostic kits for disease of livestock and poultry would prove useful in future,'' he said.

The minister called for evolving next generation technologies with the help of global research organisations, including private sector research majors in order to meet the challenge of increasing farm productivity while maintaining the natural resource base.