Underlining the need to increase investment in research and technology sector of agriculture, Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha speaker Brij Bihari Lal Butail said the demand for food was expanding worldwide with land and water resources limiting.
Butail was addressing the 59th commonwealth conference being held at Johannesburg in South Africa (SA) on the subject “Role of parliamentarians in transfer of technology and research to boost agricultural productivity”.
“Agricultural research and extension has undoubtedly contributed profoundly to development as demonstrated by the green revolution,” Butail said, adding that agriculture was the crucial sector for alleviation of poverty.
Underlining the role of parliamentarians, he said parliamentarians, through their statements in the media, questions in the House and participation in debates bring into sharp focus the seriousness of various issues related to agriculture.
“Members can also raise a number of questions over the execution of various programmes and policies laid down by the government,” he said.
Agricultural universities and training institutes re-engineered their approach to education and offer a variety of job-oriented courses for agriculture graduates, he added.
Expressing concern over low budgetary allocation for agricultural research activity, Butail said agricultural research and development budgets were very low in most of the developing countries whereas agricultural research enhances the capacity of small farmers to increase their production and productivity.
Butail said Parliament must ensure appropriate budget allocation to research and development activity of agriculture. “Parliamentarians can ensure a policy framework for increased regional networking and collaboration among countries,” he said.