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President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the 13th edition of CII Agro Tech India-2018 at Chandigarh today.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that Indian agriculture needs a renewal of its marriage with contemporary technology; protection against climate change, price fluctuations and demand shocks; and sustained investment by and partnership with business. Together these will enhance agricultural value and competitiveness – as well as lead to better incomes.
The President said that through human history, agriculture has moved ahead with cross-fertilisation. It is the ideal stage for partnerships, for symbiosis and for mutual learning and sharing. Partnerships can be formed across sectors and across geographies. In previous decades, manufacturing and mechanisation have been of appreciable utility to agriculture. Today a strong relationship is emerging between agriculture and the services sector. Biotechnology, nanotechnology, data science, remote-sensing imaging, autonomous aerial and ground vehicles, and artificial intelligence hold the key to generating more value for agriculture. He expressed confidence that Agro Tech India-2018 will promote specific partnerships that will benefit India’s farmers.
Pointing to the issue of pollution due to stubble burning, the President said that the farmers of Punjab and Haryana are a matter of pride for our country. They have never shied away from a challenge and a responsibility to larger society. Today we are facing a problem related to disposal of crop residue and of safe and clean removal of husk or stubble. In an extreme form, the burning of such items is leading to pollution that affects even little children. It is for all of us, including the state governments, the skilled and large-hearted farmers, and other stakeholders, to come up with a solution. And no doubt technology will help us find a solution.