Indian Council for Agricultural Research chief:Farming needs tech revolution to ensure food security
Dec. 21, 2017
"After the efforts of mechanising agriculture in the 60s and green revolution of 70s, taking information and communication technology to farmers is the need of the hour," said Arunachalam. "Rather than focusing on smart cities, we should focus on making villages and farmers smart," he said.
He also emphasised on opening up entrepreneurial avenues for farmers. "We must make 'agriprenuers' out of farmers," he said. Farmers have the disadvantage that their produce is perishable. So they are not in a position to fix a price for it, he said. If farmers get digital literacy and tap into the right business models, this can be changed, he said.
Citing data from food security risk index and global climate risk index, he said India is in the high risk category. "Through variety development methods we should create nutrient rich and climate resistant varieties of crops to tackle this," he added.
He said knowledge-based agriculture can be achieved if knowledge generation agencies and knowledge disseminating agencies work together.
Arunachalam said the Krishi Vigyan Kendra portal of ICAR gives regular information to farmers on weather and water availability through regular SMS. He added that around 3.6 crore farmers in India farmers benefit from the portal. Through the portal, farmers can get solutions from experts on the specific problems they face.
"If private players and educational institutions take up initiatives to create such applications, ICAR will rope them in to ensure micro-level connectivity to farmers," he said.