30 September 2023, New Delhi: CropLife India organized a national conference on the occasion of its 43rd Annual General Meet. The conference witnessed the congregation of two Agriculture Ministers from the states of Andhra Pradesh and Haryana; senior Government officials, experts, academia, and industry leaders. Yes Bank was the knowledge partner for the event.
CropLife India & Yes Bank knowledge report was released during the event. The report highlights crop protection usage in India at 0.37 kg/hectare compared to a staggering 11.24 kg/hectare in Japan. It also mentions INR 2 lakh crores worth of crop yield is lost annually due to pests. The report further stresses on the role of state governments in enabling ease of doing business and ease of doing agriculture. India now stands as the 2nd largest exporter of agrochemicals globally, after China, making it a key participant in the global crop protection industry as per the latest data made available by WTO, said the report.
Deliberations during the national conference focused on the theme “India – An Emerging Global Food Hub: Role of Sustainable Crop Protection Solutions”. The focus of the Inaugural Session was “The Rise of Indian Agriculture – World’s Emerging Food Basket & the Role of States”. Plenary Session I focussed on “Women driving the growth of Indian Agriculture” and Plenary Session II dwelled on “Innovations for the New-Age Farmers”. The Valedictory Session deliberated on the “Role of Agrochemicals in the growth of Indian Agriculture”.
Kakani Govardhan Reddy, Minister of Agriculture, Government of Andhra Pradesh during his inaugural address said, “The State Government is committed towards Farmers’ education for enhanced use of new technology in agriculture; which has led to multiple novel initiatives viz. ‘E-KYC Know Your Crop’ aims to provide farmers with essential digital resources. The State is considering implementing the State Minimum Support Price Act to further bolster inclusive agricultural practices”.
Mr. J. P. Dalal, Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture Government of Haryana said, “Farmers of Haryana are being encouraged to take up crop diversification and produce as per the market demands. Asia’s largest market, spanning over 550 acres, is under construction in Ganaur in Haryana and will be better than the markets in developed countries like Spain and France. The market would provide farmers with facilities for grading, packaging, and sorting at the block and tehsil levels, thus helping in export quality products to the international market”.
Dr. Ashok Dalwai, Chairman, Committee on Doubling Farmers’ Income, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India participated in the Industry Leaders’ Interaction and shared his views on the public-private partnership for providing better technologies to the farmers for increasing the productivity and the production and also suggested for data-based research studies.
Dr. P. K. Singh, Agriculture Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India said, “Adopting the ‘One Health’ approach to balance and optimize the health of people, animals and the environment is non-negotiable for the nation’s growth. The role of technology in enabling multiple crop cycles in the same field; educating farmers and reframing the perception of agrochemicals is the need of the hour”.
Dr. S. C. Dubey, ADG (Plant Protection), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India shared, “Agrochemicals are crucial for minimizing crop losses and increasing productivity, along with Nutrient & water management. Investment in R&D is imminent for sustainable agriculture and policies should be prioritized towards environmental sustainability, farmer well-being,] and long-term profitability”.
Dr. K. C. Ravi, Chairman, CropLife India said, “As India emerges as a Global Food hub, the need for a predictable, stable, and science-based policy and regulatory regime for the proper growth of the crop protection sector is imperative. This would promote innovation and new product introduction to address the current and upcoming challenges faced by farmers; while paving the way with the introduction of cutting-edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Drones”.
CropLife members work closely with farmers, the scientific community, and policymakers to address current as well as future challenges. The industry body says that the cost of research has gone up and it is estimated that the cost of discovery and development of a new active ingredient is around INR 2000 crores. If Indian agriculture must flourish, be more competitive, quality driven, reducing wastages as well as losses to enable our farmers to be more successful, it is essential that a progressive policy environment is in place that fosters innovations.
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