Hyderabad: Harnessing modern tools is critical to help farmers overcome the devastating effects of drought, Karnataka Agriculture minister Krishna Byre Gowda said on Saturday.
Speaking at the InterDrought-V conference held here, Byre Gowda said every year, drought-related disasters affect vast regions that impact food production. The most immediate consequence is a drop in crop production due to inadequate and poorly distributed rainfall.
“Given the severity of the drought, a central challenge for researchers and policy makers is to devise technologies that lend greater resilience to agricultural production under this stress.
Therefore 942 participants from 315 organisations from 56 countries assembled here to address this important issue,” said Rajeev Varshney, the Conference Organisation Chair and Research Program Director, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).
In the inaugural address, Dr Rob Bertram, Chief Scientist, Bureau of Food Security, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said, “A combined approach including crop improvement, agronomic practices and irrigation needs to be used for mitigating drought stress in developing countries.”
“By using a holistic approach, organisations like ICRISAT need to work together and contribute to this important international food production constraint to feed the world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid before us the challenge to double the income of farmers. It will be essential to enhance crop production and link farmers to markets,” said Dr David Bergvinson, Director General, ICRISAT.