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Chairman Standing Committee of Parliament on Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Hukmdev Narayan Yadav called for concerted efforts to forge an R and D-led strategy to save the loss of crops due to pests, weeds and diseases.
An estimated 15-25 percent of potential crop production is lost due this menace at a time when India needs not only to raise production but also ensure food security and nutrition for its growing consumption needs.
Addressing the sixth National Agrochemicals Conference - 2016 on the theme 'Next Generation Indian Agriculture - Role of Crop Protection Solutions', organized jointly by FICCI and the Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare and Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Government of India here today, Narayan said that the need of the hour was to adopt a holistic approach to be implemented in a very systematic manner to farming sector in India.
The strategy would have to be implemented with full involvement of farmers who are the main stake holders, he added. He invited the farming community to imbibe latest knowledge and technologies and thus empower themselves. He also suggested for more focus to research and development for ensuring sustainable development.
Expressing concern at the rising menace of spurious pesticides including biologicals laced with chemicals, Narayan suggested that the situation should be tackled collectively by farmer associations, industry players, government and pesticide regulatory bodies in a time bound manner.
Crop protection and crop enhancement solutions, based on best global practices and the latest technologies available are the answer. There are good emerging trends and solutions for sustainable crop protection which include crop protection chemicals, agronomy, fertigation, seed treatment, bio-technology development etc.
The next generation agriculture in the country will have to encompass all such possible solutions using the best mode in a given scenario. The sector has huge unrealized potential for growth, given the presently very low levels of application of crop protection chemicals, as compared to the global norms coupled with fast increasing awareness in young, educated farming class. The sector faces many challenges and solution to same can lead to India becoming a global manufacturing hub of quality crop protection chemicals.
The conference debated various challenges faced by Indian Agriculture, such as High monsoon dependence/Unpredictable weather patterns/ Falling water tables/Reduction in arable land (per capita availability)/Decreasing farm sizes/Low per hectare yield/Increasing pest attacks/A very long supply chain (dominated by middle men) etc.
Various speakers advocated for application of best solutions, be that linked to agronomy, Plasticulture, fertigation, seed treatment, crop protection chemicals, bio-technology, precision farming etc.
The conference covered topics of relevance to the sector, incl. Facilitating ease of doing business. Making India global manufacturing hub of quality crop protection solutions, Key Issues and challenges faced by the industry, export potential of the sector as also some of the futuristic technologies such as Vertical Farming (a concept on which a party from Belgium made a presentation) etc. in a sustainable manner. Good presence and active participation of farmers indicated the keen interest of the farming community in the programme.