WTCA (World Trade Center Association) agricultural committee in association with agro-industry bodies intend to be a catalyst to the food and agricultural industry in India. World Trade Center Chandigarh is an active member of the agro committee which is a sub-community under WTCA focusing on the food and agribusiness.
Punjab is the largest producer of rice, wheat, cereals and citrus fruits and has evolved as a start-up hub for food and agriculture. Having the largest food park in India, Punjab is ranked No.1 by World Bank in Ease of Doing Business. Considering the significance of agro business in Punjab, the community intends to establish a mechanism and the platform to facilitate technology transfer and knowledge exchange.
Speaking on the development, Khair Ull Nissa, WTCA board member and member of food and agriculture committee said, “World Trade Center fraternity has a network of many World Trade Centers who are focusing on agriculture and have the best practices for it. WTC Chandigarh is setting up a center-of -excellence for food and agriculture where all the stakeholders such as government bodies, trade organisations, trade associations, professionals, WTCs and even accelerators, incubators, startups would be major contributors.”
“This center-of-excellence is different from the rest of the centers-of-excellence in the country. There are five elements on which our center is focused on; skill development, up-skilling, entrepreneurship, innovations and R&D,” Nissa added.
The center-of-excellence is an initiative to boost the industry which would provide access for innovations and new technology. This would facilitate mentorship and training programmes through industry-academia engagement. In addition, CoE would be an impetus to food-tech entrepreneurs and the major focus being technology exchange and best practices between global markets and the Indian market.
Over the years, agriculture has seen technological advancements leading to improved efficiency. With a similar notion, the CoE is focused on adopting new technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Enabled Farming, Farm Management Platforms, Smart Irrigation, Drones and UAV, Sustainable Urban Planning, Solar and Drip irrigation.
Agriculture is the largest employment generator in India and accounts for around 50 percent of the country’s total workforce and is their primary source of livelihood.