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Bayer Hosts India Horticulture Future Forum 2023 to Foster Collaboration and Boost Segment Potential

Yesterday, Bayer, a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of agriculture and healthcare organized a National seminar “India Horticulture Future Forum 2023.

Shivangi Rai
Panel Discussion on the future of Horticulture
Panel Discussion on the future of Horticulture

In order to discuss the future of Indian horticulture and nutrition security concerns that can be alleviated through the fruits and vegetables segment, Bayer, a global company with core competencies in the life science fields of agriculture and healthcare, organized a national seminar called "India Horticulture Future Forum 2023" yesterday.

The focus of this unique event was on the sector's opportunities, challenges, and advancements with the goal of giving smallholders access to better economic prospects. Presentations and panel discussions on successful plans, policies, programs, and implementation models aimed at fostering the competitiveness and expansion of the sector were part of the event. Senior policymakers, academics, regulators, corporates, and subject matter experts from across the value chain, as well as representatives of financial institutions and importing nations, attended the event.

The size of the global horticulture market was estimated at USD 20.4 billion in 2021, and it is anticipated to reach USD 56.5 billion by 2030.  The growth of the market is attributed to the rising acceptance of sustainable horticulture practices and the rising demand for agricultural products to meet the growing needs of the global population. The India Horticulture Future Forum 2023 held insightful sessions discussing development opportunities in the sector with an India-centric perspective. The event featured various interactive sessions, including "AgTech Revolution focusing on Horticulture," "Export Opportunity for India in Horticulture," "Fruits and Vegetables for Better Health and Nutrition," and "Insights into Policy Developments and Key Regulations."

The experts considered each of these fundamental pillars with the intention of establishing a variety of workstreams to address the most important opportunities and issues for the sector's sustainable growth. Along with Bayer, Grant Thornton Bharat LLP will support these task forces as the event's knowledge partner.

Honourable Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Tomar, stated in a special message read out during the event, "The country has today graduated from largely targeting food security matters to nutritional security matters. The solution to both problems in this situation is horticulture production.

Speaking at the conference, D Narain, President, of South Asia, and Global Head of Smallholder Farming, predicted that India would experience a threefold increase in horticultural crop demand and consumption within the next thirty years in addition to the opportunities brought on by international exports. The India Horticulture Future Forum is an initiative to establish a cooperative ecosystem to fully utilize the horticulture sector from a macro perspective of nutritional security and national economic growth while at the grassroots level, favorably influencing the livelihoods and incomes of millions of smallholder farmers. The support we have received from the government and the stakeholders along the entire value chain to advance a clear, actionable agenda to address some of the major problems has humbled us.

T. Mohapatra, Chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Authority, Government of India
T. Mohapatra, Chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Authority, Government of India

Strengthening the horticulture value chain will require interventions in the production, post-harvest, and processing infrastructure, as well as the marketing, and logistics spaces, according to Professor V. Padmanand, Partner, Grant Thornton LLP. With the help of the government, business stakeholders, farmers, and international development partners, Team Grant Thornton has been actively engaged in these areas. Upgrading best practices and models across the nation through coordinated, synergistic action is urgently needed.

India is actively looking into business opportunities in the food and beverage sector by giving exports, policy advancements, and important regulations a top priority. A government-sponsored program called the National Horticulture Mission (NHM), which was introduced in 2005–2006, aims to increase horticulture production and double farmers' income. Despite the industry's significant accomplishments, there are still a number of obstacles to overcome, including post-harvest losses, seasonality, and inadequate storage infrastructure.

At the seminar, experts discussed urgent steps required to integrate and revamp the horticulture production and value chain system, promotion of healthier and more nutritious foods, and enhance farmers' income. Viable solutions to these problems and the untapped potential of Indian Horticulture were also discussed by the attendees.

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