India racing towards food self-sufficiency ! | Kalvimalar - News

India racing towards food self-sufficiency !- 23-Feb-2024

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In the face of a rapidly expanding population, the imperative for robust agricultural endeavors becomes all the more pronounced to meet escalating food demands and realize the goal of food self-sufficiency.

Challenges loom large as agricultural land diminishes while water scarcity intensifies. Concurrently, the specter of climate change casts its shadow, exacerbating the complexities of ensuring both food security and nutritional adequacy. Within this dynamic milieu, the pursuit of agricultural studies assumes paramount importance, accompanied by a burgeoning necessity to embrace emerging food-related industries.

At the heart of this endeavor lie the core courses offered by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, which comprises 18 Member Colleges and 28 Affiliated Colleges. Annually, approximately 5,500 students enroll in diverse programs, including B.Sc. Agriculture in both Tamil and English mediums, alongside offerings such as B.Sc. Horticulture, B.Sc. Agri Business Management, B.Sc. Sericulture, B.Sc. Food, Nutrition, and Dietetics, B.Sc. Forestry, as well as B.Tech. programs in Agricultural Engineering, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Post-Harvest Technology, and Agricultural Information Technology.

Noteworthy achievements underscore the university's impact, with 450 alumni from the Forrest College and Research Institute contributing significantly to sectors such as the Indian Forest Service and forest management roles nationwide. Embracing the evolving landscape, disciplines like agro-horticulture, agricultural biotechnology, nanotechnology, remote sensing, and geographical information systems ascend in prominence, reflecting the imperative of adapting to changing environmental realities.

A testament to inclusivity, the university's distance education center extends its reach through diploma, certificate, and short-term courses, democratizing access to knowledge for farmers and enthusiasts alike. Mandating certification from the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University for aspiring proprietors of fertilizer and agricultural medicine outlets underscores the commitment to raising industry standards. Presently, over 13,000 individuals partake in diverse distance learning offerings, with courses in home and terrace gardening emerging as popular choices.

As India commemorates a century of independence, concerted endeavors aim to propel the nation towards food self-sufficiency and comprehensive development. Collaborative partnerships with industrial and educational entities, underscored by signed Memoranda of Understanding, signal a proactive embrace of modern technologies and the fostering of innovative start-ups to catalyze agricultural advancement.

--Geethalakshmi, Vice-Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore.

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