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.