19 January 2022, New Delhi: PHDCCI organized a webinar on “The Growth Engine of Present Day Agriculture” on 18th January, 2022 to discussing the factors and multitude of opportunities along with the prevailing issues in the agricultural sector. The session was titled The Growth Engine of Present Day Agriculture.
Mr. Pradeep Multani, President, PHDCCI in his presidential address said that, the target of Doubling Farmers’ Income by 2022 has brought a major change in the focus of the agricultural sector. From traditional production orientation to income orientation has created renewed interest among the agricultural research community, policy makers, state authorities, extension agencies, private players, industry professionals, the farming community, youths, students, and all major stakeholders in the country.
Delivering the theme address Mr. N K Aggarwal, Chair – Agribusiness Committee, PHDCCI mentioned, “Our country needs to raise its growth trajectory while transitioning to a more inclusive, stable, and resilient growth of agriculture and agri-food system. Only then the agriculture sector would be able to ensure household nutritional security and improve the livelihood of millions of smallholder farmers in the country.
Dr. Ashok Dalwai, IAS, CEO, National Rainfed Area Authority & Chairman, Doubling Farmers Income Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, GOI, mentioned that in the 21st century, a new technological revolution is empowering the agricultural sector like never before. He emphasised the importance of promoting High Value Agriculture (HVA), which includes Horticulture, Dairy & Livestock, Fisheries & Aquaculture, and is critical to income revolution of farmers. HVA needs a robust Agriculture Value Chain, hence building of strong agri-logistics including cold chain and processing is critical.
Dr. HP Singh Chairman, Confederation of Horticulture Associations of India (CHAI) Former DDG (Hort.) ICAR; Vice Chancellor – RAU, Bihar; Horticulture Commissioner, GoI highlighted that, horticulture today is at the stage of ‘modern horticulture’, which has been immensely powered by technology. Horticulture has always been an early adopter of technology, driving its growth over the years. He discussed about various technologies being adopted in Horticulture Value Chain. It is high time for the inclusion of the Horticulture Sector in the priority sector, because it comprises a wide array of verticals that have huge potential for doubling farmers’ income and providing nutritional security.
Dr. RK Singh Former Director-cum-Vice Chancellor ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Uttar Pradesh, Indian Council of Agricultural Research informed that the key factor driving the global animal health market is the growing number of R&D activities in the veterinary pharmaceutical sector to facilitate real-time disease analysis, as well as the emerging trend of pet humanizations. Based on the animal type, the global animal health market has been segmented into commercial animals and companion animals. Currently, commercial animals hold the majority of the total market share. He discussed the importance of the livestock sector for increasing farmers’ income.
Dr. L. Narasimha Murthy, Senior Executive Director, National Fisheries Development Board, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, GoI informed about the challenges and opportunities in the fisheries sector. He discussed in detail about the schemes of the GoI for promoting inland and marine fisheries. He emphasised on the creation of post-harvest infrastructure to reduce losses, which will add to the farmers’ income.
Dr. Ashok Dalwai, while talking on Secondary Agriculture informed that the key factor driving today’s agriculture has new and emphatic demands. Therefore, instead of focusing on the old mandate of agriculture based on just providing food and fodder, a shift towards a new mandate that is focused on employment and better income is important. However, this must go hand in hand with the moral duty of providing food and nutrition security. Secondary Agriculture, which includes food and non-food processing, should be promoted to generate jobs and supplementary incomes.
Dr. Sudhanshu Secretary Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) Ministry of Commerce and Industry, GoI highlighted on the Agriculture Export Policy (AEP) and discussed about the development in various clusters identified. Farmers can be educated about export-oriented quality production by working with Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs), Cooperatives etc. The farmers can be sensitised for having an export-oriented quality production. In collaboration with these organisations, APEDA is working with farmer groups to build a sufficient amount of capacity so that farmers know what kind of crops are to be grown based on demand.
Kunal Gupta, Co-Chair – Agribusiness Committee, PHDCCI in his closing remarks, concluded all the views about the strategies and way forward for doubling farmers’ income and gave a clear future perspective to all stakeholders.