Krishi Jagran as the media partner at the show has brought informations and knowledge to benefit the farmers and agriculture peoples. Glimpses from the second day were not unnoticed.
With the focus now being on the ‘profitability aspect’ rather than the ‘productivity aspect’ of farming to achieve the 2022 target of doubling farmers’ incomes, the session on ‘Processing and Value Addition of Farm Produce’ explored and analysed how farmers could be integrated into modern value chains that can raise their incomes and also minimise the risks. Dr. J.P. Mishra, Adviser (Agri), NitiAayog, explained that there exist two kinds of risks - production risk and price risk, adding that Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana covers the production risk. Pointing out that India has the problem of plenty with the amount of food being produced, Dr. Mishra admitted, “Post production activity in India has issues for which a larger ecosystem needs to be created.” He added that post harvest value addition has been debated at the level of the Prime Minister.
Shri Pradipta Kumar Sahoo, Business Head, SAFAL Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable Pvt. Ltd., said, “Value chain intervention is key to an efficient farm risk mitigation mechanism.”
Stating that farmer produce needs to be demand driven, Shri Gokul Patnaik, Chairman, Global Agri Systems Pvt. Ltd., said, “Farmers lack critical management skills and technology which are necessary for them to make profits.”
A shift from agriculture to agribusiness is being viewed as an essential pathway to revitalise Indian agriculture and improve farmers’ livelihoods. Dr Shruti Sethi, senior scientist, PHT, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), opined that value can be added by the manufacturer through branding and marketing.
The Modi Government is making considerable efforts to strengthen the current cooperative structure. There is a huge network of cooperatives in the country, the largest in the world. With around 8,33,560 cooperatives in existence, 98% villages are covered by these cooperatives, and farmers have easy access to them. Cooperatives are a formidable force for farmers, with all types of cooperatives eligible for National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) assistance. Defining the concept of farmer producer organizations Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), Ms Deepa Srivastava, Chief Director, NCDC, said, “The concept of FPOs consists of collectivization of producers especially small and marginal farmers to forming an effective alliance to collectively address the many challenges of agriculture such as improved access to investment, technology, inputs and markets.”
The session on ‘Marketing Innovations and Infusion of Technologies in Agriculture’ saw panelists discuss the various technologies and their role in schemes like Soil Health Card, eNAM, Neem Coated Urea, etc. Prof. M. Moni, Chief Advisor (IT), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, underscored digitalized agriculture; digitalized agro-met advisories; digitalized agricultural resources information system and micro level planning for creating smart villages and achieving smart farming; and digitalized agricultural value chain from Farms to Profits for nearly 400 commodities, as key for doubling farmers’ income by 2022.
Ms. Nora Galway, Agriculture Counselor, Australian High Commission, highlighted how digital technology was fundamentally changing agriculture in Australia, where decisions are based on objective data, adding, “It would be nice to see technology transfer in agriculture from Australia to India.