Agri Business

Agri sector growth reduced GDP slide: Tomar

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 16, 2020 Published on October 16, 2020

Narendra Singh Tomar, Agriculture Minister   -  PTI

Food processing is one of the largest industrial sectors in the country, and contributes nearly 32 per cent of the total food market. Also, consumption habits of youngsters is making it even larger,” Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Friday.

Tomar, who inaugurated over a video conference facility this year’s Agro & Food Tech – India International Food and Agri week, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, said the Ministry of Food Processing has initiated an awareness campaign Ann Devo Bhava to honour farmers and create awareness among people not to waste food.

The Agriculture Minister also used the opportunity to assure farmers that the recently-passed farm Bill will have no impact on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime and existing mandi system in the country.

Agriculture shores up GDP

He said during the first quarter of the current financial year which saw the GDP nosedive by 23.9 per cent, agriculture remained the only sector that gave impetus to the Indian economy by registering 3.4 per cent growth rate. “If agriculture sector would not have performed the Indian GDP may have recorded further downfall,” Tomar said.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said his State ran all 119 sugar mills in the State during the lockdown to ensure that farmers are not impacted.

He said UP has already come out with a policy for farmer producer organisations (FPOs) and the first phase of formation of FPOs at block levels underway. Adityanath said his government has already allocated ₹1,297 crore from the ₹one lakh crore agriculture infrastructure fund announced by the Centre and through the One District One Product scheme agricultural produce from various districts are being promoted.

Industrialist Ajay S Shriram, who is the chairman of CII Agro & Food Tech 2020, said CII Agro Tech, since its inception in 1994 has brought together agribusiness communities from all around the world. This year it has been rechristened as ‘Agro & Food Tech’ — the India International Food & Agri Week, to ensure that our farming fraternity and agri industry stakeholders are not deprived of the critical information and knowledge of latest advancements in the field of agriculture and related technologies.

Shriram said with private sector intervention, chilli farmers in Andhra Pradesh have been able to increase productivity by almost 13 per cent with adoption of good production practices. They are further supported by the private sector with farm gate procurement.

Similarly, rice farmers in Haryana are benefiting from introduction of blockchain technology which has resulted in enhanced exports, he said.

According to Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, the theme adopted for this year’s event is Technology in Food & Agriculture: Increasing Farmers Income.

At present given the ongoing travel related restrictions digital delivery portal for services and market linkages is being developed. The programme is expected to impact over 50,000 farmer families by 2021 and 200,000 farmer families by 2023. Some of the value chains prioritised under the programme this year are rice, maize, soybean, pulses, banana, tomato, potato, spices and chilli, Banerjee said.

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Published on October 16, 2020
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