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Govt Encouraging Youth to Join Agri Sector; Focus on Sustainable Practices: Tomar at FICCI Sustainable Agriculture Summit & Awards

The country's agricultural infrastructure needs to be filled in, according to the government. The government has created a Rs. 1 lakh crore agriculture infrastructure fund to help the fisheries and animal husbandry industries.

Shivam Dwivedi
Focus on natural and organic farming to mitigate the climate change impact in the Agri sector.
Focus on natural and organic farming to mitigate the climate change impact in the Agri sector.

Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Govt of India said that food security and consistency in agriculture always go hand in hand for the development of any nation. We cannot achieve food security unless sustainable agricultural practices are adopted.

Addressing the ‘2nd FICCI Sustainable Agriculture Summit and Awards 2022’, Tomar emphasized the need to adopt a holistic approach in the Indian agriculture sector. “There is a need to have a balanced vision of totality in the agriculture sector,” he added. Tomar stated that in the agriculture sector, we should have a diversified vision for all crops, including productivity, yield, etc., rather than focusing only on a few crops.

Highlighting the importance of millets in Indian tradition, Tomar stated that the demand and importance of millets are growing globally. The UN has also declared to observe 2023 as the ‘International Year of Millets.’ Tomar also appreciated that more of the young generation was foraying into the agriculture sector, and the government is promoting them through various schemes and policy interventions.

He went on to say that today, 85-86 percent of farmers in the country have small farm holdings, and that the government has taken various steps to promote them, including the establishment of 10,000 FPOs in the country. The government also offers short-term loans with low interest rates.

Highlighting the importance of technology in agriculture, Tomar stated that the government had allowed the use of drones in farming by setting up SOPs. The scope of micro-irrigation is also being expanded along with thrust on natural and organic farming to mitigate the climate change impact in the Agri sector.

According to Samuel Praveen Kumar, Joint Secretary, as a community, we must focus on using, reusing, and repurposing all resources because we must include this and adopt the circular economy approach. He also stated that we must collaborate with educational institutions and schools to ensure that sustainability is incorporated into the curriculum for future generations.

According to Pravesh Sharma, Chairman of the FICCI Task Force on FPOs, we may not be able to achieve the desired result in the agriculture sector unless we have a holistic vision. "We should hope to achieve agricultural sustainability in the next two decades," he added.

"While the Indian government is championing the cause of sustainable agriculture development, there is a need for unprecedented efforts from the private sector to complement these efforts," said Niranjan Banodkar, Chief Financial Officer and Head of Sustainability at YES BANK. It is critical for business leaders to evaluate their product portfolios and business processes through the lens of sustainability, and to implement specific interventions that improve farm economic viability, promote efficient use of natural resources, combat climate change, and popularise sustainable consumption."

Congratulations to the FICCI Sustainable Agriculture Award winners; Banodkar added, "YES BANK is committed to building knowledge, frameworks, and methodologies required to mainstream 'Sustainability Thinking,' as well as collaborating with like-minded partners to implement best practises on the ground."

Jitendra Joshi, Director Seeds, South Asia, Corteva Agriscience and Chair FICCI Task Force on Millets highlighted that a conducive policy ecosystem is essential, which encourages investments in sustainable technologies to promote 'growing more with less. Secondly, incentivizing farmers to adopt sustainable practices is a critical component of sustainable agriculture strategy.

He praised the government's efforts to promote millets. He stated that the FICCI Task Force on Millets aims to give ecosystem participants an integrated platform to advance the millet industry. The event saw the release of the FICCI-YES BANK Knowledge Report, "Promoting Sustainability in Indian Agriculture: Focus Areas for Responsible Growth."

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