Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, in his inaugural address gave the projections of agriculture production and productivity of the country to meet the demand of the nation. He pointed out the role of research and development for combating the challenges faced the farmers in past like Bengal famine etc. Shekhawat praised the performance of agriculture, fisheries, horticulture and other sectors for record production during current year but still there is a scope for further improvement to meet the ultimate demand of the nation. He pointed out that India is importing about 68% of cooking oil and thus there is the challenge for farmers and scientists to decrease the import of cooking oil and make the availability of the cooking oil sufficient to feed the nation.
Shekhawat said that olive oil consumption has increased five times from last ten years and there is large probability for enhancing its acceptability due to high value index. Thus it becomes challenge for scientists to produce the quality planting material and work on different research aspects of olive for making it a success story for lots of states. India has a vast potential for olive cultivation. He praised the efforts made by the scientists of ICAR-CITH, Srinagar for the olive cultivation under Kashmir conditions a success story.