Natural farming in UG, PG courses in agricultural universities from next academic session, says ICAR official

Education


The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is working on revamping the curriculum of undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) courses in the field of agriculture and will add natural farming as a key component, an official said Thursday.

S P Kimothi, ICAR’s assistant director-general, told indianexpress.com, that the council’s education division is still working on framing the curriculum of natural farming. “A committee has been constituted and it will soon submit its report. Since natural farming is a system to improve the efficiency of production and reduce the cost, it is imperative for young professionals in the field to be well-equipped with the knowledge,” said Kimothi.

In December 2021, an eight-member committee, headed by Praveen Rao, vice-chancellor of Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU), was constituted to incorporate the components of natural farming into the curriculum.

Kimothi added that natural farming was not taught as a separate topic until now and was only a part of organic farming lessons. “Since the committee is still working on finalising the coursework, it is unlikely for it to come into practice this year. Natural farming will be introduced as a part of all UG, PG courses in agricultural courses from next academic session onwards,” he said.

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Wednesday that the central government is working on a scheme to promote natural farming and is mulling incorporating this traditional method of cultivation in the syllabus of agri-varsities.

Tomar made the comments while addressing the valedictory function of the annual conference of vice-chancellors of agriculture varsities and directors of ICAR institutes. “Scientists should research traditional farming methods and it should be made part of the syllabus in agri-varsities,” he said, adding that ICAR has set up a committee to look into the matter.

Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Minister Parshottam Rupala said the agriculture education syllabus should be updated in line with the speed at which the farm sector is changing. Even fieldwork files of students should be genuine as this will help them to emerge as entrepreneurs, said Rupala. — With inputs from PTI





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