Leverage skills, tech to benefit farmers: Parrikar tells DFRL

Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said he has directed the De­fence Food Research Labo­ratory (DFRL) authorities to utilise their technical skills for the benefit of local farmers and producers to increase their economic status.

He said, the DFRL tech­nology was not necessarily for the defence sector, but it could be used for the benefit of the civilians too.

Addressing mediaper­sons at the Mandakalli Airport in the city, he said that the DFRL could use its technolo­gy to cater to the interests of the farmers and the civilians though its primary focus re­mains military.

The Defence Minister visit­ed the DFRL Sunday morning before attending the valedic­tory of the Kodava hockey fes­tival Shantheyanda Cup held in Madikeri. Briefing on his visit, Parrikar said that he had suggested the DFRL officials to take up work at any of the two villages in Mysuru district.

MP Pratap Simha would launch the initiative, he added.

The minister noted that he had asked the DFRL scien­tists to educate and spread knowledge among farmers on how to preserve their produce such as vegetables by invest­ing less.

“With the available tech­nology, vegetables can be preserved for three to four weeks. And moreover, the DFRL has the technology. With this, economic status of the farmers will improve,” Par­rikar added.

Authorities have been di­rected to take up Swachh Bharat campaign in villages to ensure health of the villagers, Parrikar said.

Speaking about the ‘Make in India’ programme, he said that it has been successful in the defence sector. In the past two years, the centre has released Rs 78,000 crore to manufacture defence equip­ment. Now, the country was producing nearly 70 percent of the equipment under the programme, he added.

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