Technology Vision 2020 document on Food and Agriculture envisaged that the demand for food grains would be in the range of 324 to 343 million tonnes by the year 2020. This programme aimed at demonstrating the potential of technology intervention towards achieving the aforesaid target and undertook technology demonstration projects in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Sikkim. Projects in Agriculture sector addressed the issues on
- Increasing agricultural productivity and crop diversification linked with primary processing, organic farming, Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
- Improving resource use efficiency
- Dissemination of improved agricultural technologies and enhancing farmers’ income through crop diversification, primary processing linked with marketing.
These initiatives resulted in enhanced farm income and capacity building of farmers. The projects in Bihar (Paliganj in Patna district), Eastern U.P. (Deoria & Ballia districts) and Tamil Nadu (Kancheepuram) witnessed significant increase in agricultural productivity especially in paddy and wheat due to systems approach. Farmers of Uttarakhand (Pinder Valley region) and Sikkim (Central Pandam, Tarku & Chamgaon) projects benefited from demonstration and promotion of vegetable cultivation under protected conditions and cultivation of spices and medicinal plants. Cropping intensity increased in Orissa (Nayagarh) as a result of micro water recourses development. Management of deep water area and reclamation of acid soils with paper mill sludge were demonstrated at Puri and Balasore districts in Orissa. In Eastern U.P. (Siddharth Nagar, Sant Kabir Nagar, Azamgarh & Mau districts) locally available scented rice (Kalanamak) with improved varietal lines was promoted.
Other important activities under this sector include popularization of bio-pesticides in select villages of Kota & Jaipur districts in Rajasthan and demonstration of quality mode extension system in different villages of Varanasi.
Sustainability of the technological intervention was the key component of these projects. Actions in each project were decided after carrying out base-line survey, soil & water testing, interaction with farmers etc. In these projects, TIFAC provided technical guidance, field level advice, training to farmers through vast national network of scientific intellect available in the field apart from financial support. Participation of farmers and training to local youths were integral component of project management.
Projects in fisheries sector aimed at value-addition of low value aquatic resources at grass root levels through technology interventions, resulting in production of quality aquatic products, optimal utilization of resources, increased income and socio-economic empowerment of fisher-folk.