The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu called upon the scientist and researchers to come up with new innovations and ideas to find solutions to the challenges faced by the Indian farmers.
Inaugurating the 2nd Edition of Exhibition and Conference on Agri-technology & Innovation at Prof. Jayashankar Telangana State Agriculture University in Hyderabad, the Vice President said that there has to be a meeting of minds between scientists, researchers, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and farmers, who are the main stakeholders, to adopt best practices and make agriculture remunerative.
Observing that a farmer is the best teacher on agriculture, Shri Naidu said that miracles can be created if farmer’s knowledge relating to the field and the research of the scientist are brought together. He suggested to the students studying agriculture to spend half of their time in classrooms and the rest with farmers to gain first hand practical knowledge and acquaint themselves with the problems of the farmers.
The Vice President also called upon the agriculture universities to focus on developing new varieties including the pest resistant and climate smart variants, apart from enhancing the productivity levels. Calling for collective efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in food production, he said that a country like India should not depend on imported food security.
Stating that freebies and loan waivers were not the solution, Shri Naidu said that they only provide temporary relief. What is needed are the long term and wholistic measures that make agriculture viable and profitable, he added.
Listing some of such long term measures, he suggested quality power supply, development of rural infrastructure including godowns, cold storage facilities, refrigerator vans apart from ensuring quality inputs and timely and adequate credit to the farmers.
Calling for the diversification of agriculture, the Vice President said that farmers should be encouraged to grow new crops in addition to traditional crops. He also stressed the need for taking up ancillary activities such as poultry, dairy, horticulture and aquaculture to supplement the farmer’s income.
The Vice President also emphasised the need for post harvest management and providing support to the farmers. He said e-NAM should be expanded to all regions in every state. Shri Naidu also highlighted the need for promoting food processing and value addition of agri products. He urged all entrepreneurs to evolve effective models in the food processing sector after consulting the scientific community, experts and farmers.
Expressing concerns over the fast depleting water resources, Shri Naidu called for preservation and protection of traditional water bodies. He appreciated the work done by Telangana Government in this regard.
Calling the organic farming as the need of the hour for mitigating farm crisis and climate change issues, Shri Naidu called for more technological tools to assist organic farmers.
Stating that the Agri Tech Exhibition will be useful in creating awareness about best practices and technologies among the farmers, the Vice President congratulated Telangana government, CII and the Prof. Jayashankar Telangana State Agriculture University to bring together the scientists, researchers and farmers on a single platform. He also visited various stalls put up after inaugurating the exhibition.
Shri Niranjan Reddy, Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Govt. of Telangana, Shri Mohammad Mahmood Ali, Home Minister of Telangana, Shri D Raju, Chairman, CII Telangana, Dr. V Praveen Rao, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Jayashankar Telangana State Agriculture University, Dr. B. Janardhan Reddy, Secretary, Agricultural Marketing and Co-operation Department, Govt. of Telangana, Dr. Peter Carberry, Director-General, ICRISAT, Shri G.V. Subba Reddy, Convenor-CII Telangana Agriculture Panel, Shri Anil Kumar V Epur, Chairman, Agritech South 2020 were among the dignitaries who graced the occasion.