Adopting new technologies can improve agri exports
Hyderabad chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) organised a summit on Agri Innovation Summit for the benefit of entrepreneurs and startups in Agri-tech industry. The objective was to bring together policy makers, influencers, entrepreneurs, academicians, researchers, progressive farmers, investors, all under one roof to deliberate, discuss and find ways and means to rejuvenate India’s past glory.
Emphasising on the summit’s objective, Challa said, “During the Budget speech, Union Finance Minister has boldly addressed that farmers’ income will double in the next five years. Thus, keeping in mind the vision, TiE Agri- Innovation Summit is initiated.” He was of the opinion that, a way to achieve the vision is by increasing productivity and reducing inefficiency in the system, which will make India from self-sufficient a surplus exporter.
On a sad note, he stated, “In 2015, India became the fastest growing economy in the world, however, the agriculture grew only by 0.2% in FY2015.” India has faced two consecutive years of drought and unseasonal rains in rabi season. Adding to the unwelcomed situation, the drop in food prices in the global markets has driven farmers to a desperation. Thus, embracing and new method of farming and turning agriculture around should be the top priority in 2016. “The share of agriculture and allied sectors in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which was 51.9% in FY1951 came down to 13.7% in FY2013. That contribution is abysmally low for a sector that employs about 50% of the country’s population,” he added.
Addressing the challenges of agricultural sector, he mentioned, “Indian farmers should reduce the dependency on rains, for instance, Israel is a country that exports food products though it receives very little rainfall. Our farmers are still dependant on middlemen for marketing as they have no idea about the market price and there is no good mechanism to track the best price.” Tallying on the issues, lack of proper logistics also slows the growth of agri-exports in the country.
He suggested that tech-companies and startups should help the farmers and rural youth by demonstrating how to increase agricultural products by using new machinery and tools. “Good water management techniques like sprinkler irrigation should be adopted by the farmers instead of using ancient methods like flood irrigation,” he recommended.