28 April 2023, New Delhi: Bayer organized a National seminar “India Horticulture Future Forum 2023” on Wednesday, to deliberate upon the future of Indian Horticulture and nutrition security concerns that can be alleviated through the Fruits and Vegetables segment. In this one of its kind event, the spotlight was on the challenges, opportunities, and advancements of the segment from the lens of empowering the smallholders for better economic prospects.
The event involved presentations as well as panel discussions on effective policies, schemes, implementation models, and programs aimed at boosting the sector’s competitiveness and growth. The event was attended by senior policymakers, regulators, researchers, academicians, subject matter experts, corporates from across the value chain, and representatives of financial institutions and importing countries.
The global horticulture market size was valued at USD 20.4 billion in 2021 and is expected to surpass USD 56.5 billion by 2030. The growth of the market is attributed to the rising acceptance of sustainable horticulture practices and increasing demand for agricultural products to meet the growing needs of the global population. The India Horticulture Future Forum 2023 held insightful sessions with an India-centric perspective, discussing development opportunities in the sector. The event featured several engaging sessions, including “AgTech Revolution focusing on Horticulture,” “Fruits and Vegetables for Better Health and Nutrition,” “Export Opportunity for India in Horticulture,” and “Insights into Policy Developments and Key Regulations.”
All these key pillars were deliberated upon by the experts to create diverse workstreams to address the key concerns and opportunities for the sustainable growth of the segment. Grant Thornton Bharat LLP served as the Knowledge Partner for this event and will be facilitating these task forces along with Bayer.
In a special message read out during the event, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India said, “The country has today graduated from largely targeting food security issues to nutritional security issues. In this setting, horticulture production is the key to addressing both the challenges.”
Speaking at the conference, D Narain, President of South Asia, and Global Head of Smallholder Farming, said, “India will witness a threefold jump in demand and consumption of horticultural crops within the next three decade apart from the opportunities associated with global exports. In this context, the India Horticulture Future Forum is an effort to create a collaborative ecosystem to fully harness the potential of the horticulture segment from a macro lens of nutritional security and national economic growth while at the grassroots level, positively impacting the incomes and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers. We are humbled by the positive response we have received from the Government and the stakeholders across the entire value chain to drive a clear actionable agenda to solve some of the key challenges at scale through innovations and interventions to unlock its true potential”
Professor V. Padmanand, Partner, Grant Thornton LLP, said “Strengthening the horticulture value chain will involve interventions in the production, post-harvest and processing infrastructure and marketing and logistics space. Team Grant Thornton has been working extensively on these areas with the government, private stakeholders, farmers as well as global development partners. The need of the hour is to upscale best practices and models countrywide through synergized joint action.”
India is actively exploring opportunities in the Food and beverage industry by prioritizing exports, policy developments, and key regulations. The National Horticulture Mission (NHM), a centrally sponsored scheme launched in 2005-06, aims to increase horticulture production and double farmers’ income. Despite the sector’s significant achievements, it faces several challenges, such as post-harvest losses, insufficient storage infrastructure, price, seasonality, and market volatility.
At the seminar, experts discussed urgent steps required to integrate and revamp the horticulture production and value chain system, promote healthier and more nutritious foods, and improve farmers’ income. Viable solutions to these problems and the untapped potential of Indian Horticulture were also discussed by the attendees.
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