Technology penetration in agriculture sector is least and there is scope to further enhance adoption through AI, ML, deep learning
Yara India, a subsidiary of Yara International and a global leader in crop nutrition, partnered with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to host a knowledge-sharing session titled "Harnessing Agriculture’s Potential – 2035, with a focus on the last mile."
Experts and thought leaders, representing agricultural think tanks, public sector partners, and value chain collaborators, graced the session. The discussions centered on the prevailing challenges within the sector, emerging areas in agribusiness, and potential solutions.
The primary aim of this knowledge-sharing session was to address the challenges faced by stakeholders across the agricultural value chain while also exploring the promising opportunities that lie ahead in this sector.
The event featured two engaging sessions and panel discussions, with a key focus on ‘Vision for the Agribusiness Sector for India @2035, Overview of the Challenges and Opportunities for stakeholders in the Agri value chain, Key challenges and Transformative opportunities in the sector and how can value chain partners play a role’.
Sanjiv Kanwar, Managing Director, Yara South Asia, said, “The agri-channels who have been in this space for over 50 years are the original start-ups of Indian Agriculture- they believed in the future of Indian agriculture and committed themselves to making India self-sufficient by serving farmers with right agri inputs and technology support. Channel partners have to be recognized for providing the last Mile connectivity from lab to land. Their contribution to the nation's agricultural growth has been highly appreciable. They ensured timely delivery of essential agri inputs to the farmers. Through this knowledge sharing session, I would like to congratulate all the channel partners for their commitment and consistency in serving the rural India for over the past 5 decades. They have conducted business with a strong sense of purpose serving farmers through the thick and thin over several years to become successful and profit making!”
Samuel Praveen Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India said, there are challenges that the sector is facing and the main is the market access, value additions to agri products, getting better prices to farmers, fragmented nature of land holdings, inetegrated cold chains for storage, conditioning, processing, distribution of farm products and institutional credits to farmers. “Governments have implemented schemes for agricultural infrastructure that will transform the agriculture sector by addressing inefficiencies in the supply chain," he said.
He said that earlier the government had a production centric approach in the agriculture sector but now we focus on the entire value chain. He empahsised on having a collaborative approach amongst stakeholders to make the Indian agriculture sector more robust, resilient and climate friendly. He said that the government is addressing these issues through FPOs and Agriculture Infrastructure Fund. “Till date, close to Rs 30,000 crore has been disbursed for these projects and this in turn has brought in investments of around Rs 50,500 crore. This is going to change the landscape of the agriculture sector in the country as it is through infrastructure only that we can address the other inefficiencies in the supply chain,” he adding that Indian agriculture sector needs to adopt technology.
He stated that technology penetration in agriculture sector is least as compared to other sectors like education, health, etc., and there is scope to further enhance technology adoption through AI, ML, deep learning. “The Ministry is using these technology tools to develop a few applications including capturing innovations at the farm level, digital crop survey along with creating the agri-stack,” emphasized Kumar.
Speaking on the issue of institutional credit for farmers, he said that it is one of the focus areas of the government. “A robust value chain would ensure that the loss suffered by a farmer should be minimal and evitable including farm or operational loss,” said Kumar.
Siraj Hussain, Advisor, FICCI and Former Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Govt of India said, “FICCI is thrilled to have partnered with Yara India for this knowledge-sharing event, 'Harnessing Agriculture’s Potential – 2035'. This partnership opens doors to explore needs of input dealers and channel partners. They play an important role in communicating to farmers the advancements in use of inputs. They enable robust relationship between Indian farmers and emerging scientific technologies."
Ajai Rana, CEO, Savannah Seeds Pvt Ltd said that we can improve our farm production by utilizing high-quality seeds, proper crop nutrition, and efficient mechanization in the farming process.
Kaushal Jaiswal, Co-Chairman, FICCI National Agriculture Committee and MD, Rivulis Irrigation India Pvt Ltd said with so much potential in the agriculture sector, it becomes imperative that the Agri channel partners are suitably identified, supported and handheld so as to mainstream them for the long run.
Deepak Verma, Domain Lead- Agriculture, ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce) said that ONDC brings all technology providers on one platform to provide unified solutions to the end user.
Arvind Chaudhary, Director General, Fertilizer Association of India said that there is a need to create awareness about balance use of fertilizers in farming. “It is important to conduct soil testing in order to determine the appropriate amount and type of fertilizer needed for optimal crop growth,” he added.
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