Humanity faces numerous challenges and most of them are linked to food security of the exploding population which is expected to cross the 9 billion mark by 2050. Food security and sustainable agriculture are now on top of the global development agenda (UN, 2012). Sustainable agriculture is central to everlasting development and the judicious application of science and technology can help to achieve “zero hunger” goal even much before 2050.
Globally, the contribution of agriculture to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is declining, but agriculture still supports the livelihood of more than 2.6 billion people in the world living mostly in rural areas. Indeed we have transformed our country from a food deficit to a food surplus country. The contribution of agriculture sector in national GDP increased to 19.9 percent in 2020-21 from 17.8 per cent in 2019-20.
The world as a whole is undergoing several transformative changes. Growing population, changing lifestyles, expanding urbanization and accelerated climate changes are creating new challenges for the national agricultural research system. Whereas in the past, the challenge was to supply adequate food, but now it is to provide adequate nutrients to promote health; and in the future, the challenge would be to provide optimal nutrients based on individual’s genetic profile.
The current trends indicate that by 2035 the growth rate of rural population will turn negative, leading to increase in the size of cultivation units, tightening of rural markets and increased mechanization of agriculture. By 2050, very few well-trained and farmer-cum-entrepreneurs will produce food. Their production systems are likely to be more commercial-oriented, operating at high productivity levels in a highly mechanized environment. It is more likely that today’s small holders will organize themselves into producer companies and will have more bargaining power.
It is time to rethink on how food is cultivated, processed, shared and consumed. This calls for a paradigm shift in how agriculture was viewed, “from a rural livelihood sector to a modern business enterprise”. Therefore, the country’s research and development agenda has to be re-oriented to develop and promote such technologies that would raise agricultural income and generate employment opportunities in the agri-supply chain.
The National Agricultural Education System in India with its network of Higher Education Institutes is committed to meet these challenges by developing sustainable technologies, producing skilled human resources and disseminating the technologies to the end users.
The DBCA as a component of NAES under the umbrella of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University is determined to harness the advances of science for the welfare of society.
DBCA with its dedicated work force of teaching, technical and non-technical staff members and well equipped infrastructure is committed to nurture young brains to cater the need of agricultural professionals to the society and nation. The DBCA is committed to transform itself into an organization engaged fully with the farmers, industry, entrepreneurs and consumers at large.
So far about 146 students have earned their under graduate degree and about 1500 students obtained Diploma in Agriculture from this Institute and are working around the state and country.
Extension Education services is another important fundamental mandate of this Institute. Transfer of technology through effective demonstration, trainings, exhibitions, farmer fairs and many more extension activities are carried out round the year for the benefit of farmers. Moreover, DBCA is also rendering services like analyzing soil and water samples through well-equipped laboratories and lend farm equipments at a subsidized rate.
I am sure, DBCA, will continue to attain better achievements and recognitions with the enthusiastic involvement of our Salesians of Don Bosco, Provincial, Vice Provincial, Economer, Salesian Province of Chennai, Governing Council Members, Rector, Secretary, officers, faculty, supporting staff and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.
I am glad to have this opportunity to serve as the Principal of this glorious and historical institution and congratulate all who have chosen this prestigious institute for their academic and career development.
Dr. K. Sekar, Ph.D.