Speakers at the CII conference on ‘food security and sustainable agriculture’ stressed the need for embracing technology to make agriculture a profitable proposition.

Paucity of farm labour and lack of interest towards farm-related activities is driving people away from agriculture today. “We are living in a distorted world. The need of the hour is to come together to ensure food security, to make agriculture a sustainable and profitable proposition,” said the Vice-Chancellor of the farm varsity K. Ramasamy.

Delivering the special address, he said, “agriculture today is at a cross-road. While the allocation for agriculture in the Five-Year Plan period has seen a four-fold increase, there is lot of disparity within. We must unite to progress, improve the competitiveness of the sector by catalysing innovation, building capacity and enhancing productivity across agriculture and food value chain to ensure food security and sustainable growth.”

He urged entrepreneurs here to develop farm implements which could be used even in small and fragmented land holdings.

Tamil Nadu Minister for Agriculture S. Damodaran, in his inaugural address highlighted some of the schemes rolled out by the State in the interest and well-being of the farmer. “The State has achieved food production of over 101 lakh tonnes the past year and bagged the Krishi Karmaan award,” he added.

While hailing the achievement, the Minister also did not fail to point out that lack of planning at the sowing stage could lead to market surplus at harvest, poor returns and storage loss.

Emphasising the importance of strengthening the agriculture extension arm, he said farmers should be educated on risk mitigation and about getting a fair deal for their produce. They should have access to information about the market price even when they sow the crop, as this would help them plan better.

T Stanes and Co was the principal sponsor of the conference.

The chairperson of the conference Lakshmi Narayanan spoke about the challenges of increasing agricultural productivity in the face of climate change and environmental safety. She emphasised that producing adequate food at affordable cost for the people is the key.

CCI Tamil Nadu used this platform to ink MoU with the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University towards creating a CII- TNAU Forum for Agriculture that would work in consensus with all stakeholders towards ensuring an effective, enabling and supportive environment.

The areas of cooperation under the MoU include establishing industry-academia linkage, promote entrepreneurship development, showcasing India’s strength in agriculture and creating linkages and enabling partnerships.

(This article was published on September 22, 2013)
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