Cabinet’s nod to establishment of new platform in agricultural research

New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the establishment of Food Legumes Research Platform (FLRP) at Amlaha in Madhya Pradesh.

The research platform will be established with satellite hubs in West Bengal (for pulses) and Rajasthan (for natural resource management) by the International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA).

The Madhya Pradesh government will provide 71 hectares (or 175.42 acre) of land at Amlaha Farm for the project on rent of Re 1 per acre per year for 30 years on lease.

The Cabinet also gave ‘in principle’ approval for conferring on FLRP an international status as contemplated in Clause 3 of the United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act, 1947, an official release said.

“The establishment of FLRP will enable India to harness the best of international science in meeting the emerging food security challenges. A major international R&D institution will make India an even bigger centre for agricultural research in the world and this in turn, will attract further research and development investment in the country,” the release said.

“ICARDA will carry out research through a multi-disciplinary team of scientists for enhancing productivity of crops range-land and livestock. This platform will contribute significantly towards reducing poverty, improving food security, improving nutrition and health, and sustaining the natural resource base,” it added.

It said that the research output would benefit farmers of all regions, whether big, small or marginal.

Established in 1977, the ICARDA’s founding mandate is to promote agricultural development in the dry areas of developing countries.

Dry areas cover 41 per cent of the world’s land area and are home to one-third of the global population. The dry areas face challenges such as rapid population growth, frequent droughts, high climatic variability, land degradation and poverty.