Address by Governor at the presentation ceremony of the “Doordarshan Sahyadri Krishi Sanman Puraskars”
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the presentation ceremony of the “Doordarshan Sahyadri Krishi Sanman Puraskars” organised by the Doordarshan, Mumbai at Ravindra Natya Mandir, Prabhadevi, Mumbai at 6 PM on Friday, 8th June 2018
Shri Mahadev Jankar, Hon’ble Minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries, Shri M.S. Thomas, Additional Director General, Door Darshan, Mumbai, all distinguished members of the Selection Jury, celebrities and artists, officials of Doordarshan, recipients of the Doordarshan Sahyadri Krishi Sanman Puraskars, viewers of Doordarshan – Sahyadri channel, ladies and gentlemen,
उपस्थित सर्व मान्यवर, पुरस्कार विजेते तसेच दूरदर्शन – सह्याद्रीच्या सर्व प्रेक्षकांना माझा सप्रेम नमस्कार.
दूरदर्शन सह्याद्री, कृषी सन्मान पुरस्कार, प्रदान सोहोळ्यामध्ये, सहभागी होताना, मला खूप आनंद होत आहे. आज, आपण देशाच्या, अन्नदात्याचा, सन्मान करीत आहोत, याचा मला विशेष आनंद होत आहे. यानिमित्त, मी राज्याच्या सर्व शेतकरी बांधवांपुढे नतमस्तक होत आहे.
येथे उपस्थित सर्व पुरस्कार विजेत्या प्रगतीशील शेतकऱ्यांचे मी मनःपूर्वक अभिनंदन करतो.
At the outset I congratulate Doordarshan Kendra Mumbai for instituting the Sahyadri Krishi Sanman Puraskars and for making it a tradition to honour excellence in various areas of agriculture for the last 11 years.
Even though more than 60 per cent of our population continues to depend upon agriculture for livelihood, there are not many television channels that think of the well being of our farmers and agriculturists and air programmes for their benefit.
The Doordarshan and its sister channels like DD – Sahyadri, definitely stand out in this regard, for maintaining their commitment to farmers, which is really commendable. Even today DD – Sahyadri runs programmes exclusively for farmers, which is remarkable.
The Doordarshan – Sahyardi Sanman is therefore a prestigious recognition from a people’s channel.
During the last 11 years, DD- Sahyadri has maintained highest standards of selection of various awardees. It has brought to the fore, various silent revolutionaries in agriculture, horticulture and other allied sectors. The credit for this excellent work goes to Doordarshan and the most distinguished Members of the Selection Jury comprising former Vice Chancellors and senior government officers among others. I congratulate all the members of the Selection Jury for their outstanding work.
Ladies and gentlemen,
India has been an agricultural country from the days of Indus Valley Civilization. Huan Tsang, renowned Chinese traveller, is said to have visited Maharashtra between 640 – 641 AD. It is said that the Chinese traveller was impressed by the prosperity of the region. He had made a very pertinent observation that the soil of Maharashtra was rich and fertile and was regularly cultivated.
India’s leadership and prosperity in agriculture continued even during the Mughal period. The British rule, however, completely destroyed our agriculture and industry. By the time, British left the country, India was reduced to one of the poorest nations in the world.
Thanks to the pragmatic leadership and vision of our founding fathers, the agriculture sector became one of the major success stories of post-Independent India. At the time of independence in 1947, India had an under-developed agricultural system. Between 1946 and 1952, we were a net food importer to the tune of an average 3 million tonne per year. Thanks to the ingenuity of our agricultural scientists and the hard work of our farmers, India has become self-sufficient in food grains.
India is today a leading producer of several food commodities – cereals, fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs and fish. We are also a leader in the production of several fruits. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, India’s production of foodgrains touched a record 279.5 million tonnes in 2017-18.
Even though, our farmers have made the nation self sufficient in foodgrains, many of our small and marginal farmers continue to live in poverty due to a variety of reasons.
Taking serious note of this anomaly, the Hon’ble Prime Minister has called for doubling the income of farmers by 2023..
Today there is an urgent need to rejuvenate agriculture and to encourage our farmers to take up supplementary professions like Bee Keeping, Sericulture, Vermi Culture, Poultry, Sheep and Goat rearing, piggery etc.
In my capacity as Governor, I am also the Chancellor of 20 public universities in Maharashtra, which include 4 agricultural universities and 1 university of Animal Sciences and Fisheries.
Our agriculture universities have been doing excellent work in the areas of agriculture research and extension.
What amazes me is that, our farmers, many of whom never had the opportunity to attend agricultural college or universities, are greatest of innovators themselves. In fact, I would say, our farmers have made more innovations in agriculture than our universities !
Earlier this week, we read the sad news of the demise of Dadaji Ramaji Khobragade in Gadchiroli. It was a national news. Dadaji Khobragade was a poor farmer with only 1.5 acres of land. However he was a farmer gifted with the spirit of innovation and enterprise. The late Shri Khobragade is credited for developing the famous HMT variety of rice and further seven more varieties of life.
All of today’s awardees are innovators in various areas connected to agriculture. I was extremely pleased to know about the innovative work being done in diverse areas such as Water Management, Agro Processing, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development, Fisheries, Flower, Fruits and Vegetable Cultivation, Social Forestry and Agro Forestry, Agriculture Extension and so on. I wish and hope that farmers from Maharashtra will take inspiration from today’s Krishi Sanman Awardees.
I will appeal to DD Sahyadri to make short films on every awardee and show it to its viewers.
Once again I congratulate all the recipients of the 11th Doordarshan Sahyardi Krishi Sanman and wish DD Sahyadri all success in its future endeavours.
A colorful entertainment programme will resume shortly and I would not like to stand between you and the artists for long. I wish all of you a memorable evening.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!