Transformational Changes in Agriculture: The Next decade
With large bank of cultivable land (160 million hectares), adequate water resources and favourable climate condition suited to most crops, India can be the biggest agriculture producer in the world. However, food security and inflation continue to become a drag. In spite of the heavy investment on agriculture the lot of farmer has not improved. Rising uncertainty in farming is forcing farmers out of agriculture to join the unorganised sector. The big issue at hand is supplementing farmer's income through engagement in farm allied activities like livestock, beekeeping, poultry and diversification to high value crops like cultivation of fruits and vegetables. Such a strategy would not only augment farmer's income but also cater to the rising demand of milk, fruits, vegetables and other such products coming from an ever growing middle class.
As per the Mid Term Appraisal report of the 11th plan Government has to work on reforming the three "I"s: Investment, Incentives and Institutions to bring about transformational changes in Agriculture. The country has been debating this for a number of years, but the system remains full of strangling controls dissuading any major private sector investments in Agri value chain.
Global Agri Connect 2011 provides a platform to facilitate such a thought process for a new paradigm in agriculture by deliberations amongst Policy makers, Corporate, Academia, Farmers and NGOs.
* Create avenues for knowledge and experience sharing among diverse stakeholders in the agriculture sector.
* Strategies to make agriculture a profitable activity among farmers.
* Increase awareness amongst farmers on market in the domestic and export avenue and identify future trading linkages.
* Provide platform for extension reforms and new approach mechanisms.
* To explore potential areas in agriculture and allied sectors as in the food processing, Floriculture and related value added products.
* Catalyze the involvement of private and public private partnerships in the entire value chain from farmer to user and identify business opportunities.
* Induce investment in the agriculture and allied sectors and in food processing sector.
* Attract foreign investment in back end infrastructure and in farm support services like cold storage, warehousing.
* To sensitize farmers and government agencies about the importance of demand driven skill development among famers and small entrepreneurs in the agriculture and allied sectors.