Strengthening partnerships: NABARD Chairman emphasizes research-farmer interface at MSSRF
September 17, 2020: “An active interface between research, credit facilities and the farmer is required to take agriculture and rural development forward,” said Dr G R Chintala, Chairman, NABARD today. Speaking at the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Dr Chintala was addressing scientists and senior leadership team of the institution. “Core research is being done by labs but it has to be customized to the farmers’ requirement, in terms of what is called action research,” he said. The NABARD Chairman visited MSSRF along with a team including Chief General Manager, Tamil Nadu regional office, Mr S Selvaraj.
Speaking about the visit Prof Swaminathan, Founder MSSRF said, “NABARD is the most powerful financial instrument in our country to help small farmers and its growth is essential for sustained intensification and diversification of agriculture. I was very happy to see the Chairman visiting us, since MSSRF has been a partner with NABARD in helping small and women farmers from the beginning. This will get further strengthened with this visit. Co-operation and partnership between NABARD and MSSRF, will accelerate progress in achieving the goal of the Prime Minister of India, namely, doubling the income of farmers.”
Dr Madhura Swaminathan, Chairperson MSSRF, addressing the meeting online, reiterated that while high science was being done by the institution, it was very much in partnership with communities to reach the research to them.
Mr Selvaraj, also emphasized that NABARD also had a research turn of mind, for impact. Executive Director MSSRF, Dr K S Murali, while recalling the effective partnership of MSSRF with NABARD, presented the impact of the various joint initiatives including tribal community initiatives, coastal systems research and with Farmer Producer Organizations.
Dr Chintala also visited a model garden on campus, with naturally occurring crops researched and categorized based on nutritional properties, as part of a project to educate people on malnutrition across four regions of India. He also expressed interest in the concept of ‘bio-parks’ that can utilize the biomass of crops such as rice and pulses, for both economic and environmental gains to smallholder farmers and the rural community, particularly on the government’s slogan for doubling farmers’ incomes.