The role of the Vice-President of India in conducting the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) as its ex-officio Chairman often gets mired in controversies and allegations ranging from partisan political exercise against the opposition to being the “cheerleader” of the government.
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday asked to promote agro-based industries in rural areas so as to create employment opportunities for the rural youth.
Referring to the phenomena of reverse migration from cities to villages during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said that entrepreneurship in the agriculture sector could immensely benefit the Indian economy by creating jobs in areas where they are needed the most.
Addressing the second Annual Convocation of Dr Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University, Pusa at its Piprakothi Campus (East Champaran) in Bihar on Sunday, the Vice President said the Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) would immensely help small and marginal farmers with forward and backward linkages in the Food Supply Chains.
While urging universities to encourage farmers through technical help, he said the government should promote FPOs through handholding and capacity building and said there is a lot of scope for food processing in India.
Calling for greater use of technology in food management to ensure food security for all, he said “The developed world is already reaping benefits from the use of Artificial Intelligence in agriculture and India too must harness its potential to help improve farm income.”
Noting that the university is continuously evolving its research and pedagogy, the Vice President appreciated it for introducing courses in contemporary disciplines such as agricultural journalism, agro-tourism management and also for establishing a start-up incubation center to help students start their own business enterprises.
“Agro-based tourism which will boost farm economy and will also act as a detox therapy for urban tourists by letting them experience the natural beauty of the place, ethnic food, unique flora, and fauna,” he added.