ICAR to launch farmers’ innovation fund in fiscal 2020-21

Bengaluru, Jan 6 (IANS) The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) will start a Farmers' Innovation Fund (FIF), said Director General Trilochan Mohapatra at the first ever Farmers' Science Congress, a part of the ongoing 107th Indian Science Congres.

“We will start in a small way to see how successful it is and then move in a big way. We will see how farmers are showing interest,” said Mohapatra on Monday.

Though no quantum of money has been allocated to the fund yet, he said ICAR will start operating the FIF in fiscal 2020-21.

Mohapatra said the fund's nitty-gritties are currently being worked out, and ICAR may even start it with as low as Rs 1 crore for a beginning.

“We also have a proposal to include the fund in the Union Budget. Even if it doesn't feature in the Budget, we will create it in our own ICAR budget,” said Mohapatra who is also the Secretary of the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE).

After the farmers' congress, he said farmers are conserving the biodiversity and local germ plasma.

“If we can give some support to their innovations by way of financial support, innovation validation and market linkage, farmers will be encouraged to continue that,” Mohapatra said.

He said innovative farmers will be the applicants of the fund.

ICAR falls under the purview of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

Separately, University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) vice chancellor and the science congress organising committee chairman Rajendra Prasad said that all the tangible recommendations from the congress will be presented on Tuesday at the valedictory function.

“All the tangible recommendations from the 14 sectors of the science congress, women's science congress, children's science congress, farmer's science and science communicators will be presented in the valedictory function,” said Prasad.

The 107th edition of the Indian Science Congress scheduled from January 3-7 is currently underway at the University of Agricultural Sciences here.

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