The President of India Ram Nath Kovind on Friday said that Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) played a critical role in the Green Revolution that changed the course of food production in the country, he was addressing the 56th convocation of the IARI.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that he was happy to note that students from 14 countries are being educated in this institution and that IARI is helping in the development of agricultural capacities in neighbouring countries.

Kovind said that Mahatma Gandhi had observed that agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy, which is is relevant even today.

Enhancement of income of farmers and overall development in rural areas is the priority of the entire country, he said. In this endeavour, students of IARI could contribute through innovations, he said.

Kovind stated that there is a relative shortage of land and water resources in proportion to country’s population, calling for the need to innovate so that productivity can be increased.

The President said that IARI should start ‘Innovation Centres’ or ‘Incubation Centres’ to help students to launch start-up ventures in the agricultural sector. There are several schemes of the central and state governments that offer special incentives to enterprises engaged in the agriculture sector, he said.

“There are also many venture capital funds that can come forward to invest in agriculture-based enterprises. Students should use these opportunities, set up their ventures and become job creators,” Kovind said.