U.S Awasthi, MD of IFFCO and Deepak Shah, CMD of Sulphur Mills honoured with ABSA Lifetime Achievement Awards

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03 September 2021, Hyderabad: Hyderabad based agri consulting company, RAY Consulting organised an Agri-Business Summit at Park Hyatt Hyderabad on Thursday. 

Welcoming the gathering, Mr. Raj Kumar Agarwal, Founder & Managing Partner of Ray Consulting informed that Agri sector across India have participated in this one full day, annual event “Agri-Business Summit and Agri Awards ABSA 2021”. 

Raghunandan Rao, APC & Secretary to Govt. Agri & Coop Dept, Govt of Telangana; Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Govt of Telangana; Dr V Praveen Rao, VC Prof Jayashankar Telangana State Agriculture University (PJTSAU) among other dignitaries graced the inaugural function as guests. 

Dr U.S Awasthi, MD of IFFCO, the world’s largest fertilizers cooperative and Dr Deepak Shah, CMD of Sulphur Mills both were bestowed with “ABSA Lifetime Achievement Awards for the years 2020 and 2021”.

Addressing the gathering Dr. Awasti said, I am often asked why I chose cooperatives? I answer… because Cooperatives are the real models of growth of any nation. IFFCO Group contributed significantly to the GDP of the country with a turnover of over 7 billion dollars. Our plants are one of the best in the world. We have reduced our average energy consumption by 1/3rd and water consumption by 3/5th since the inception of our plants, Dr Awasti explained. We reach out to 2.5 million farmers each year, he added. 

Also Read: Grid mapping slashes P and K fertiliser bills

Dr. Deepak Shah, CMD of Sulphur Mills who spoke on Innovation in Agriculture said we on our part instead of innovating a new molecule, took a different path and worked on reducing dosages of all our products. He said we must have a culture of innovation and these must reach every farmer in the country. 

Singireddy Niranjan Reddy, Minister of Agriculture, Marketing, Civil Supplies, Govt of Telangana couldn’t attend the event and shared his voice message with the attendees. In his message, he said “Farmers need innovative products and methods. Together we all play a crucial role in this journey to enable innovations in the Agri Sector. Research and Extension plays a central role in Innovation”.

Speaking further the Minister added that building an agricultural ecosystem is very important to the overall ecosystem. We in Telangana are witnessing a Golden Age in Agriculture. The government is giving special importance to setting up food processing zones. He urged the companies to come forward and set up Food Processing units in the state.  

Raghunandan Rao, APC & Secretary to Govt. Agri & Coop Dept, Govt of Telangana said for the government in the last 7 years Agriculture remained the focus of its activity. Telangana is the only state to provide 24 hours power supply to all the sectors and is the first state to provide investment and input assistance to every farmer twice a year at the beginning of the crop season. 

Rs 40,000 crore assistance has been extended under the scheme so far. It is the only state which has fully functional farmers’ insurance. As a result of these efforts, there is a growth of 40%  under cultivated area in the last 7 years and huge investments have gone into irrigation. 

Jayesh Ranjan highlighted the various efforts put in by the government to promote agri-food processing centres in the state and urged Agri entrepreneurs to utilise the opportunity thrown open by the government. 

A panel discussion on “Agriculture was the silver lining in Covid times, how we convert to golden opportunity” was moderated by Mr S Siva Kumar Group Head Agri and IT Businesses, ITC. The panellists were Ms Joanna Kane Potaka, ICRISAT; Dr Kalpana Sastry, MD AgriHub Foundation-PJTSAU; Dr P. Chandra Shekara, Director General, MANAGE; Mr. Ram Kaundinya, Co-Founder, ThinkAg.

One of the jury members Mr Ram Kaundinya Founder – ThinkAg (platform for Agri and Food innovation), Ex MD Cyanamide, Advanta Seeds, said there were awards in every category. More cine stars are given away awards. But there are no Awards for Agri Professionals in AgriScience and Agri Input Industry. Not many Padma Awards are given to the Agri Sector. The Agri industry is undergoing a huge transformation. 

Over 200 Senior Corporate Executives, Industry Captains from over 150 companies participated in the Summit. Among the attendees included decision-makers and influencers from the Agri Inputs industry, researchers,  Government, Finance, Universities, start-ups, etc.

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