1. Strengthening the existing institutions in upgrading the infrastructure to changing technologies acquisitions in the field of agriculture, horticulture, animal and fisheries sciences to solve issues of national importance.
2. Investment in agricultural research and education be raised to provide one percent of the GDP of agriculture and allied sector to facilitate the development of basic and strategic research.
3. A nation wide programme needs to be launched for the conservation of plant, animal, fish and micro-organism resources in the country.
4. Science and Technology are the drivers of change in farm operations and output. New technologies which can help to enhance productivity per units of land and water are needed for overcoming the prevailing technology fatigue. Frontier technologies like biotechnology, information and communication technology, renewable energy technologies and nanotechnology provide uncommon opportunities for launching an ever-green revolution capable of improving productivity in perpetuity without ecological harm.
In field of genetic enhancement, 10 premier institutions should be identified where breeding of specific crops should be carried out by integrating the tools of both conventional and molecular methods of plant breeding. Expedite marker assisted transfer of multiple traits into regional varieties and hybrids should be expedited. Both molecule markers and transgenic technologies need to be given equal and high importance.
5. The seed replacement in varieties should reach 40% and in hybrids touch 80% which will not only make demands on seed producing agencies but will also largely induce private entrepreneurs to invest in seed production. An orientation of public sector research in “hybrid development with commercial viability” has to be reintroduced on a mission mode at least in crops like Pigeonpea, soybean, wheat and mustard on priority. Good quality seed and disease free planting material are essential for crop productivity and security.
6. Development of district-wise crop-potential map district-wise to focus research on crop improvement and production management within the potential region for each crop. Block level agro-climatic, land use and socio-economic data collection and analysis should be carried out.
7. Focused research on hill-ecosystem to concentrate on low temperature tolerant and rainfed crops of rice, wheat, millets and temperate pulses. Under hill ecosystems, bio-fertilizer, zero-tillage and organic nutrient based crop improvement research has to be initiated as priority since the region is compatible with such activities having small sized un tillable fields.
8. Agricultural Biosecurity covering crops, trees, farm and aquatic animals is of great importance. Bio-Safety Testing and Research at national and regional level be strengthened and facilities in the different agroecological regions is an absolute necessity if India intends to covert the transgenic development research to product development levels with commercialization prospects to quickly and safely reach the farmers.
9. The overall concepts of crop health management have to be imbibed in order to focus on cost-effective crop production. This should have high priority for the XIth Plan period.
10. The evolution of national data base on pesticide residue status in commodities is another prime area of focus for the next five year plan period.
11. There is a need for interdisciplinary research in plant protection to elucidate basic issues of herbivory as well as to develop suitable mitigations.
12. Introduction of plant health management as a thematic emphasis on integrated pest management(IPM) in educational programmes of the country through broad-basing agricultural education; contextual fortification of extra-mural research; introduction for social needs to form para-agric team to practice plant health management similar to para-medical teams in human health care.
13. One of the major weaknesses in viral disease management is the poor understanding of vector relationships and their biology. Although there have been good strides in the case of aphids, plant hoppers and whitefly in crops such as potato, cotton or rice, many potential vectors such as thrips, bugs and mites are not studied for their exact role and biological association in viral transmission. Strong network programme on this is essential to make viral disease management in Indian crop health scenario through vector control.
14. Perishable commodities like fruits, vegetables, and flowers incur huge post- harvest losses due to poor handling, storage and processing. Post-harvest management and value addition of horticultural crops be dealt with separately.
15. North Eastern Region (NER) covering eight states (Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghlaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Sikkim and Mizoram) offers unique opportunity for development of horticulture industry. Rich germplasm, suitable agro-climate and farming practices are unique features of NER. Therefore, there is a strong need to establish a central research institute for horticulture for the NER focusing hill horticulture.
16. Improvement of water use efficiency and water productivity through multiple water use for diversified agriculture. Rain water management through equitable water harvest technology based on participatory approach.
17. The development of biofuel species such as Jatropha, Pongamia and other Tree Borne Oils (TBO’s) based agroforestry systems for different agro-climatic conditions and to develop complete package of practices for cultivation of bio-fuel species.
18. Due to intensive use of nitrogenous fertilizers in the “Green Revolution” areas, large amounts of nitrogenous compound have built-up in the soil water, ground water, drainage water, water flowing in rivers and reactive N2 in the atmosphere. The reactive N amount needs to be documented, methods to manage it need to be found, and better use of N-fertilizer needs to be formulated and the new knowledge needs to be spread to farmers, industry, extension workers and environmentalists.
19. There is a need to identify alternative cropping systems with higher and stable yields and/or profit in different agro-ecological regions. The integrated farming systems internalizing synergies of different components for enhanced resource utilization, income and livelihood generation and minimizing environmental loading need to be developed for different agro-ecologies. A more diversified food basket will provide better food and nutritional security to the people.
20. The effluents discharged into the sewage and irrigation water need to be catalogued and examined for the build up of toxicities in soil-plant-animal-human chain. There is a need to develop low cost pre-treatment technologies for waste waters and quick cheap and easy to handle testing tools for contaminants.
21. Development of appropriate methodologies employing GIS and remote sensing for detail soil resource maping and land use planning at watershed level. The exercise is desired for taking up priority treatment of 20 m/ha of degraded lands envisaged by the Planning Commission, Government of India. Developing blue prints for increasing crop production in low producing districts of the country having sufficient potential of irrigation water but low fertilizer use, employing remote sensing and GIS tools is required.
22. Timely and dependable advice on weather conditions will be very helpful to farm families to plan their sowing and other operations. Therefore, upgradation of weather based forewarning mechanism and provision of value added agromet advisory services are needed.
23. Impact of climate change on agriculture through experimental and modeling studies, assessment and maping of geographical shifts on crop and horticultural regions and other vegetation due to climate change, need to be studied. A planned research programme needs to be undertaken to enhance understanding of N-cycle at eco-regional level due to climate change.
24. Maping of disaster prone areas, pest and disease hotspots using GIS and remote sensing technologies need to be taken up. There is an urgent need to establish a wide interlinked network of automatic weather stations with real time data dissemination across the country particularly in the eco-regions important for food security.
25. A major programme for rainfed/limited irrigation suited crop variety development is the need of the hour to provide new technologies to nearly 55% of cropped area. In the rainfed crop production system, the most crippling factor in achieving the required crop growth rate. There is need to get to the root of the problem of yield limiting factors. These need to be identified crop, location wise and addressed genetically for physiological enhancement of the crop so that the stress related loss in production and quality are minimized. An integrated approach to use limited irrigation under rainfed situation is the better option than unpredictability associated with rainfed cropping alone.
26. Dryland horticulture, medicinal, aromatic and seed spices, fuel, oil and wood yielding tress and bushes have immense potential to augment the income of farmers in rainfed areas. Thus, concerted research efforts are required to improve the productivity of these crops both as sole crops and in different intercropping systems. Research strategies for areas receiving less than 500 mm rainfall should be primarily livestock based, 500-700 mm crop-livestock based, while areas between 700-1100, crop-horticulture-livestock-poultry based and those with > 1100 mm should have enterprises based on multiple use of water (water for inland fisheries, aquatic plants and irrigation of arable crops/horticulture).
27. Intensify the use of molecular biology tools by introducing biotic and abiotic stress tolerance and infusing organoleptic characters in rainfed crops. Indigenous plant types that inherently possess genes responsible for higher nutritive value (more protein, micronutrients etc) need to be identified and used for enriching nutrients in rainfed crops.
28. Agricultural engineering/technology interventions should aim to achieve sustainable growth in land, livestock and fisheries productivity; reduced production and processing cost; reduced production and post-harvest losses; upgrade value addition technology to achieve high quality products and develop technologies for economic utilization of production agriculture and processing byproducts and waste. Work stress, safety and comfort of workers, particularly of women, should receive proper consideration in the design and development of hardware and processing farm mechanization and post-harvest processing.
29. Productivity Enhancement and Management of Animal Genetic Resources through development of methodologies and technologies for conservation and improvement of indigenous livestock and poultry breeds for high yielding strains for milk, meat and fiber through crossing and selection, fertility using newer embryo biotechnological tools, marker assisted selection to improve disease resistance (small ruminants – parasitic diseases) & fertility and buffalo genomics.
30. Designing of diagnostics and vaccines for major diseases of Cattle, Poultry and other domesticated animals and development of new generation vaccines against important diseases should receive high priority.
31. Studies on manipulation of rumen ecosystem for improving digestibility of low quality roughages, isolation of cellulose gene, rumen fungi and fungi from wild animals, bio-availability of nutrients and micronutrients, improvement and utilization of local feed and fodder resources should be strengthened.
32. Both coastal and inland fisheries provide employment and livelihoods to millions of families. Therefore, the thrust on fish production and productivity should be on responsible fisheries to achieve sustainability and optimum utilization of the resources in marine and coastal fisheries and aquaculture; marine biodiversity and conservation of resources; strengthening mariculture and coastal aquaculture activities; developing resources specific fishing techniques; post-harvest and product development using unconventional fish species; reduced post-harvest losses and developing technologies for mass culturing of fish feed organisms as compliment of aquaculture to generate additional income for women.
33. There is a need for sweeping reforms in agricultural education for improving quality and standards because of emerging challenges of making Indian agriculture not only sustainable but also internationally competitive. Therefore, enhanced resources are required to initiate / strengthen research and facility / faculty development in new and emerging area such as Nano-technological applications in agriculture; Precision agriculture; Automation, Biosensors; Biotechnology and biosafety testing facilities; Micro-array and BAC resource center; High-tech horticulture especially floriculture; agri business; Modernization of libraries and farms; Establishing Centres of Distance Education and video-conferencing facility.
34. Human resource development holds the key to overcoming the stagnation in agricultural growth and productivity. An investment in the human resource development is crucial so that a balance between basic / strategic and applied research is maintained in such a way that sufficient number of researchers are engaged in basic research to provide a high quality scientific information base for its conversion to knowledge and internationally acceptable strategy aimed to increase profitability of crop commodity through enhanced crop production and productivity.
35. The research in extension education is the weakest link in the growth of transfer of technology. The recent advances in the field of communication and information technology, behavioral sciences including management have great implications for improving research in extension education as well as development of models of technology generation, assessment and refinement.
36. Demand and supply projections on a regular basis for all agricultural commodities at national and regional level, including nutritional implications of dietary diversification should be given the priority. Implications of Globalization, WTO and trade agreements; agricultural and rural markets and future trading should receive attention. Appropriate strengthening of departments of agricultural economics marketing and agribusiness (AEMA) in SAUs and ICAR Institutes should be done to improve the education and research in agricultural economics and agribusiness to enhance the output of well trained man power to suit future needs. The status of NCAP should be elevated to National Institute level.
Organization, Management & Finance
37. ICAR is a lead national organization with a global face in agricultural research and education. It should align all its activities and resources to become a truly global thought leader in cutting-edge agricultural research and innovations. ICAR should also envision a much greater role for itself in international agricultural research. It should in particular strengthen linkages with the NARS in Africa and Asia through appropriate mechanism, besides continuing partnership with the CGIAR system.
38. ICAR should increasingly focus on research coordination, networking and partnership to increase efficiency and effectiveness of agricultural research. ICAR should foster these institutional mechanisms, especially partnership with private sector in new IPR environment, and strengthen linkages between research, extension and farmers.
39. There should be a standing committee on gender-related issues in the Council and it should be headed by a deputy-director general level person. This committee should guide the Council on the policy matters, promote the schemes to empower women, and coordinate research programs.
40. ICAR should strengthen the efforts to integrate outcome of various programs undertaken by different ICAR institutes/schemes for greater visibility of research outcomes and impacts. A special Division may be established in the Council for this purpose which should have close linkages with such units in the institutes. Monitoring and evaluation needs to be strengthened for better output.
41. Nearly one-third of plan funds of ICAR should be dedicated for competitive funding with well-defined objectives and research priorities, and only public institutions should be eligible to compete for these funds.
42. For externally-funded projects, ICAR institutes should charge an institution fee(20-40% of total budget) for maintenance of research infrastructure of the institute after completion of the project.
43. Management of intellectual property and transfer of technology through commercialization and public routes should be institutionalized in a sustainable manner. For this ICAR should have a Plan Scheme in XI Plan with a budgetary support to the tune of Rs. 200 crore. This scheme should develop an institutional mechanism for IP management with required expertise (in-house and outsourced) and eventually it should become self-sustaining over a period of time.
44. ICAR should develop some of its institutions as centres of excellence in cutting-edges science which should emerge as global leaders in their respective fields. These centres should have direct linkages with applied research programmes on the one hand, and on the other, these should attract foreign students and scientist for higher education and training. In order to encourage students from Asia and Africa, the option of offering fellowships should also be explored.
45. The different sub groups have recommended the establishment of large number of new institutes, national centres, coordinated/network projects, regional centres. There is need to consolidate the programmes to optimize output and enhance efficiency. Proliferation of projects/schemes results in spreading the resources thinly. However, depending upon the national priorities, the new establishments may be created in consultation with the stakeholders.
46. The financial health of SAUs is a cause of concern, hence, support to SAUs may be given to the tune of Rs.10,000 crore.
2. LIST OF INSTITUTIONS IN XTH FIVE YEAR PLAN Following were the institutions engaged in research under Xth Five Year Plan : NATIONAL BUREAU OF GENETIC RESOURCES