The Baramati model of agriculture has been designed to bring economic gains to millions of farm families, Sharad Pawar, President, Nationalist Congress Party, said while addressing a session on ‘Business of Agriculture & Bringing Agrarian Prosperity to Rural India’ at FICCI’s 89th AGM in New Delhi today.
He said that despite the fact that the share of agriculture and allied sectors to GDP fell from 28.3 percent in 1993-94 to 14 percent in 2011-12, half of the workforce remains dependent on agriculture. “Therefore, progress in agriculture has direct bearing on the fate of large proportion of low income farmers,” he added..
Pawar, said that the Baramati model of agriculture has been designed to bring economic gains to millions of farm families. Once barren and drought-prone, the region has now transformed into a booming and flourishing industrial and agricultural growth centre.
He said that Baramati and the surroundings which were once water starved villages, are today throbbing with full double and triple sowing crop cultivation due to water conservation measures.
Baramati has now become vibrant town and created modern facilities like milk processing units, bulk coolers, pre cooling machines and cold storages. Secondary agriculture and processing units are now the lifeline of Baramati agriculture. Pawar mentioned that one of the most encouraging feature of Baramati model is women participation through the Self Help Groups (SHG).
Pawar also mentioned that diversification has been one of the major game changers at Baramati with focus on dryland fruit cultivation, poultry, bee keeping, sericulture, nursery raising, sheep and goat rearing, cattle and buffalo breeding, cultivating high value crops such as grapes, banana, custard apple, pomegranate and ber. Diversification of table grapes to winery has been successful intervention as nearly 8814 MT of wine grapes are crushed annually.
P Karandikar, Senior Management Consultant, mentioned that inclusion and leadership are required for development of agriculture in the country. He opined that the future development of Indian agriculture should be driven by information technology and biotechnology.
Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary (DARE) & Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), said that the use of certified seeds, power, fertilizers and irrigation technology were the indicators of agrarian prosperity and business growth. He said that that the cropping pattern of the Indian agriculture has undergone a transition in present era. This diversification is one of the reasons which has increased the rural income level. He opined that well developed value chain at the ground level along with crop planning, diversification and sustainability can be the key contributors in making agriculture a successful business proposition.