Jalgaon:  Maintaining that farmer suicides should not happen anymore, President Pratibha Patil on Saturday said the critical input for any agricultural growth is technology which will help increase productivity.

"The critical input for any agricultural growth is technology. In fact, it can only be through technological prowess that agriculture productivity can be increased," Patil said, speaking at the convocation function of the North Maharashtra University (NMU) here.

Efforts should be made for research and further interaction between students and farmers to enable the former to understand ways of village life and technological requirements of farmers. Students should help them in whatever manner they can, especially dryland farmers, where we find cases of suicide which should not happen anymore, she said.

In the modern world, an immense amount of information is available, she said. "The challenge is how to use it for research and new discoveries, as we cope with changes and new demands."

The university conferred a Doctorate Honoris Causa on the President on the occasion.

"I can definitely say that it was my education that was my greatest asset in life. I have always advocated the importance of education for all," she said.

"Education, while preparing students to be knowledgeable and skilled, should also make them aware of their responsibilities towards the growth of the nation, as well as the well being of society."