India loses an estimated 15-25 percent of crop production due to pests, weeds and disease at a time when the country needs not only to raise production but also ensure food security and nutrition for its growing consumption needs, this was said by Hukmdev Narayan Yadav, Chairman, Standing Committee of Parliament on Agriculture. He has called for concerted efforts to forge a R&D-led strategy to save the loss of crops due to to this menace.
Yadav was speaking during the 6th National Agrochemicals Conference – 2016, jointly organised by FICCI, Department of Agriculture Cooperation & Farmers Welfare and Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals, Government of India in New Delhi.
He said that the need of the hour was to adopt a holistic approach to be implemented in a very systematic manner to the farming sector in India. The strategy would have to be implemented with full involvement of farmers who are the main stakeholders, he added. He invited the farming community to imbibe latest knowledge and technologies and thus empower themselves. He also suggested for more focus to R&D for ensuring sustainable development.
Expressing concern at the rising menace of spurious pesticides including biologicals laced with chemicals, Yadav suggested that the situation should be tackled collectively by farmer associations, industry players, government and pesticide regulatory bodies in a time bound manner.
On the occasion, he released a Knowledge Paper, ‘Next Generation Indian Agriculture – Role of Crop Protection Solutions’, prepared by FICCI in association with the Tata Strategic Management Group.
A UN study on global population trends predicts that India will surpass China to become the most populous nation in the world by 2022. With a present size of 1.2 billion population, India currently supports nearly 17.84 percent of the world population, with 2.4 percent land resources and 4 percent of water resources. About 15-25 percent potential crop production is lost due to pests, weeds and diseases. Keeping pace with these growing numbers, the country will not only have to raise its agricultural production but also the productivity to ensure food and nutrition security of the nation.
Crop protection and crop enhancement solutions, based on the best global practices and the latest technologies available are the answer. There are good emerging trends and solutions for sustainable crop protection which include crop protection chemicals, agronomy, fertigation, seed treatment, biotechnology development among various others. The next generation agriculture in the country will have to encompass all such possible solutions using the best mode in a given scenario. The sector has huge unrealized potential for growth, given the presently very low levels of application of crop protection chemicals, as compared to the global norms coupled with fast increasing awareness in young, educated farming class. The sector faces many challenges and solution to same can lead to India becoming a global manufacturing hub of quality crop protection chemicals.