Private sector called upon to partner with government to develop agricultural solutions at Agri Intex 2024

Himanshu Pathak, Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education, and V. Geethalakshmi, Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), said the private sector should join hands with the government to develop technology for farmers.

Inaugurating the five-day agricultural fair Agri Intex 2024, organised by Coimbatore District Small Industries Association (CODISSIA), on Thursday, Mr Pathak said the agriculture sector, which has made a lot of progress in the last 10 years, is also facing many challenges. There needs to be a combination of policy, technology, finance and farmers to bring about the next revolution in agriculture and overcome the challenges.

Private industry should join forces with scientists and research organizations. ICAR has a program through which it tries to reach out to industry for public-private and political partnerships. Industry will be involved in identifying problems, developing and commercializing the solution and delivering it to farmers.

“Today’s agriculture is based on knowledge, technology, machinery and market, and in the next 15-20 years it will be even more different. Stakeholders should be ready to adapt to changes so that agriculture becomes profitable and sustainable,” he said.

According to V. Geethalakshmi, vice-chancellor of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, smart farming should be encouraged and the university has launched a programme to ensure that farmers earn an annual income of at least ₹2.5 lakhs. A scientist has been assigned to each of the 385 blocks in the state and baseline data collection is underway in all the blocks. “We are working on a programme to increase farmers’ income,” she said.

SV Balasubramaniam, chairman of Bannari Amman Group, said climate change is a major challenge for the agriculture sector. It is essential to improve green cover and preserve biodiversity.

K. Dhinesh Kumar, chairman of the exhibition, said the event at CODISSIA Trade Fair Complex has around 490 exhibitors and will see the launch of new machines. A delegation from Korea has set up a pavilion and has a few small machines.

M. Karthikeyan, President of CODISSIA, welcomed the gathering.

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