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"Farm Mechanization Can Double Farmers' Income"

Follow the discussions at the 1st Edition of Farm Tech Summit and the 4th Edition of Apollo Tyres Farm Power Awards 2022, which is happening today at Hotel Le Meridien, New Delhi.

Shruti Kandwal
Eminent speakers and participants present at the 1st Edition of Farm Tech Summit 2022 organized by Agriculture Today.
Eminent speakers and participants present at the 1st Edition of Farm Tech Summit 2022 organized by Agriculture Today.

The Farm Tech Summit witnessed many eminent speakers under one roof sharing their views on several important topics. Along with an Inaugural Session, four more sessions were conducted with the theme: Mechanization for Farm Efficiency & Profitability, IoT & Automation- Challenges Opportunities, Unlocking the Potential of Farm Equipment Industry, and Empowering Small & Marginal Farmers.  

Session 1: Mechanization for Farm Efficiency & Profitability

Manish Vig, Founder & Director, WORLD1 Solutions said, “More than half the Indian population depends on Agriculture. Labour is becoming a challenge as it is costly, and unpredictability is increasing. Farm Mechanization is the only solution.”

He further added, “The current government is using technology to make India Atmanirbhar through subsidies which have made India the fintech leader in the world. We are developing and inventing local farm mechanization for the availability of small marginal farmers. Drones, sensors, and artificial intelligence are helping reduce the unpredictability that is coming up due to climate change and other major issues.”

Rajeev Rellan, Chief of Sales & Marketing, Mahindra & Mahindra who joined the summit organized by Agriculture Today through zoom meeting said, “Mechanization has to be involved keeping in mind the main points of the farmers. Only then, farm mechanization can double farmers' income. Usually, farm mechanization is used in land preparation of only wheat and rice but farmers need to use farm mechanization for spraying, weeding, etc.”

“Mahindra and Swaraj have two initiatives in horticulture to end farming problems. We provide information to farmers on how, what, and when to use products to enhance productivity,” he added.

Bimal Kumar, Director of Special Projects, Agriculture, CNH Industrial speaking at the summit said, “When it comes to improving efficiency and productivity, it is seen that farm mechanization is directly linked to improving productivity. There is a severe lack of farm technology in other operations such as transplantation. KVKs and other stakeholders need to work together to make this happen. The technology exists, the idea is that it needs education, extension, and government subsidies to implement them."

Session 2: IoT & Automation- Challenges Opportunities

Dr. Murtaza Hasan, Principal Scientist, ICAR said, "Now our work has shifted to smart agriculture. We are working on two major projects, right from soil preparation to the processing stage, we are working on how we can install more farm technology and IoT. We are using all types of crops and modern technology for this project."

Further talking about these projects he said," Lots of efforts are being put into how we can grow crops in extreme weathers by using different structures like a greenhouse, soil-less cultivation, hydroponics, and aeroponics. 300 start-ups are working on this so you can imagine how important the aim of this project is." 

Morup Namgail, Head Agri-Tech, IFFCO Kisan shared his views and said, "IoT is really important because we are getting information about the farm of the farmers through this. There is a lot of work that needs to be done in this field. IoT sensors need to be used at a higher scale and to be made affordable." 

Session 3: Unlocking the Potential of Farm Equipment Industry

Sanjay Kapoor, CEO & Managing Director, LEMKEN India said, "Some other fundamentals mechanization industry should double by 50 percent using machines and their cost of production should reduce at the same time. Only that way we can achieve our PM's dream of Atmanirbhar Bharat. Mechanization should cover the majority of crops, soils, and drop patterns." 

"Affordability is a huge issue here. How will a farmer afford such costly machines? Repair and maintenance should be really low and the life cycle should be more than 10 years," he added.  

Farid Ahmed, Head Marketing-OHT (APMEA), Apollo Tyres was also one of the speakers present at this summit. He said, "Machine meets the ground through the tyres. The functionality of the tyres determines the productivity if the machine, specially tractors. We need to mechanize all the processes of agriculture."

Session 4: Empowering Small & Marginal Farmers

Bheem Reddy, Head Marketing, VST Tillers Tractors said, "VST is the company that was there in India before farm mechanization became an industry. Whenever things go wrong in this world, India provides support be it Covid 19 or the Russia-Ukraine war. The 86 percent of small and marginal farmers helped it. We say tractorization has happened but mechanization is yet to happen, especially for small and marginal farmers. We need to introspect what we can do for our farmers. 

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