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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Step up rubber cultivation, says CSIR Director General

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Thiruvananthapuram: At a time when the global demand of rubber products is increasing, national scientific institutions should make interventions to popularise rubber cultivation across the country, Dr N Kalaiselvi, Director General, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Secretary, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), has said.

“We have to try to popularise rubber cultivation across the country as a climate-resilient and all-region crop wherever it is possible. NIIST should take it up as a challenge,”Dr Kalaiselvi said while inaugurating the ‘One Week One Lab (OWOL)’ programme of CSIR-NIISTat its campus at Pappanamcode in the city on Monday.

Since Kerala is known for its heritage in rubber, NIIST can work with farmers and make rubber cultivation as an end-to-end support system, which will help create employment, rubber-based industries and farmers could be given more than enough benefits and advantages, Dr Kalaiselvi said.

“We are having dependence on a lot of countries for rubber-based products whether it is tyre or value-added rubber products. When the country is talking about Atmanir Bharat, self-reliance and Make in India initiatives, NIIST has to take up the new initiative by trying to promote more farmers into rubber cultivation and help them get a cherishable income,” Dr Kalaiselvi said.

She said NIIST can also promote interventions in coir and spices sectors of Kerala.

Noting that the next 25 years of India is scientifically important, Dr Kalaiselvi urged researchers to adopt one industry problem by each one of them and address it and take a maximum of three years to come up with a solution.

Later addressing a press meet, Dr Kalaiselvi termed the achievements of NIIST in solid waste management, generating eco-friendly manure from biomedical waste and leather products from agricultural waste as ‘magic’, and told the prestigious institution to come up with more strategies.

Dr Kalaiselvi also inaugurated the stalls of the Millet Exhibition as part of the OWOL programme. Dr C Anandharamakrishnan, Director, CSIR-NIIST, Thiruvananthapuram, presided over the function.Prof Javed Iqbal, Chairman, CSIR NIIST Research Council, was the Guest of Honour.

As part of OWOL, CSIR-NIIST, a constituent laboratory of CSIR, Union Ministry of Science and Technology has also lined-up a series of high-profile seminars featuring top scientists, technocrats and administrators.

Dr Anandharamakrishnan said the highlights of OWOL are the Millet Festival, marking the International Millet Year and the extensive support being given to the MSME sector.

He said the first such initiative, OWOL seeks to showcase the achievements of major research projects of each of the 37 laboratories of CSIR and their application for social and economic development touching diverse domains.

Three MoUs for transfer of the technologies developed by NIIST were exchanged at the function.

Prof Javed Iqbal said NIIST has ample resources and it has to look beyond for coming up with further innovations.

Dr Nishy P, Chief Scientist, CSIR-NIIST, was also present. In the farmers meet held as part of the Millet Festival, a lot of farmers from various districts took part.

Top scientists, technocrats and administrators from major institutions across the country will attend a series of seminars at the event in a bid to explore ways of effectively leveraging the fruits of scientific and technological research yielded by the national institution for the wellbeing of the society.

The high-profile deliberations will cover a wide spectrum of live topics relating to agricultural, environmental and defence sectors as part of OWOL programme launched by the Government of India.

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