S Parkash Singh Badal, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Government of Punjab, while inaugurating the 11th CII Agro Tech 2014, called on the Centre Government to fix the minimum support prices of crops like wheat, paddy etc, according to the relative ever rising input costs and implement the recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee while fixing the same.
Ashish Bahuguna, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, said, “The farmers in India earn just 1/10th of the total earnings of the non-farmers. To increase their level of income, we have to move towards newer vistas like Horticulture and Animal Husbandry.”
Ajay S Shriram, President, CII & Chairman & Sr Managing Director, DCM Shriram, said, “New developments by the government have added a renewed vigour to the sector and have provided a critical opportunity to India to establish itself at the top. But to achieve the same, key barriers need to be executed. Via stronger public-private partnership model, we need to help reduce post-harvest losses and thus rationalise the market.”
Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, said, “Today there is an urgent need for stakeholders to create value systems of operations. Via agricultural-industrial partnerships we can take the sector forward.”
Germany keen to partner with North Indian companies
“Since the agriculture scenario and its related challenges and opportunities in Germany and India are so much alike, it is imperative that the two countries work in tandem, learning and sharing from each other’s experiences’, emphasized Dr Hermann Schloder, Head of Division, Trade Promotion and Quality Policy, Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture, Germany.
“We are more than willing to share the research findings, our experiences, policies, latest technologies and best practices adopted back in Germany with the Indian farmers, especially in north as well, so that they can also benefit by adopting the same,” added Dr Hermann.
Rajesh Srivastava, Co-Chairman, CII Agro Tech 2014 Conferences & Chairman and Managing Director, Rabo Equity Advisors, said, “While India is amongst the top agricultural countries of the world, the core issue is of productivity which I feel can only be addressed by critical technological intervention. We all know that Germany is the King of Disruptive Technology, and this time is ripe for an amalgamation of German technology and Indian productivity.”
Organic farming is the need of the hour
Experts shared a forward-looking vision and interacted on avenues of reduced pesticide use and organic farming, solar energy and fish farming which are believed to be the standout techniques of the future of Indian agricultural sector.
Dr M K Paliwal, Assistant Director, Regional Center for Organic Farming, Principal Scientist, Indian Agriculture Research Institute, said, “Agriculture production through sustainable and renewable means and free from all kind of chemicals is the way forward and in order to ensure healthy future, it will be important to engage in the practices related to the natural farming.”
On the subject of reducing pesticide usage, Yudhvir Singh, Principal Scientist, Indian Agriculture Research Institute, said “Finding new methods to get rid of pests without requiring chemical inputs has increasingly become a priority for many farmers. Organic farming is not only healthiest for people and environment, but also turn agriculture outputs into the natural pesticides.”
The CII Agro Tech 2014 has acted as a platform to showcase the best practices, innovative techniques, latest products and advanced technologies being practiced in pockets in different parts of the country. Farmers from the region have been able to learn from their counterparts from other states.