‘India will have to double food production by 2040’

"Our current food production is 250 MT and we must double it by 2040 to feed the ever-increasing population. There is an urgent need to undertake a second Green Revolution by bringing research institutions, industry, governments and farmers together," said Gokul Patnaik, Chairman, Conferences CII Agro Tech 2012.

The inaugural conference at CII Agro Tech focused on the future of Indian agriculture and sustaining Indian agriculture growth.

Patnaik, while chairing the international conference said, "Our aim should be to take technology to the Indian farmer and guide the farmer and the farm industry towards maximum value creation. In order to meet the GDP projected target, we have to register at least 4 per cent growth in agriculture sector."

Param Vir Singh, Minister of Agriculture, Haryana, the chief guest saidthat in order to have inclusive growth, growth in agriculture sector is of paramount importance.

Salil Singhal, Co-Chairman, CII National Committee on Agriculture, said that since 65 per cent of the population is engaged in agriculture, the need of the hour is to revamp agriculture to make it economically viable. "We have to bring global technological advancements to the door step of the farmers," he said.

"There is a huge demand and supply gap in food supply. In order to address the issues, we have to undertake several measures including aggregation of farm land, deployment of new technology, crop diversification, value addition in food chain, investment in food packaging.," S Venkatraman, Senior Vice President & Principal, Rabo Equity Advisors, said.

Talking about the efforts of the Netherlands in sustaining Indian agriculture growth, Arie Veldhuizen, counselor for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Embassy of Netherlands said, "Under the Joint Action Plan we have identified areas in the field of horticulture, plant protection variety, animal husbandry in dairy production, food processing etc. We are setting up two centres of excellence in Punjab. The first centre will cater to the dairy sector and will focus on Genetic and Animal Health while the other centre will act as a Post Harvest Knowledge Centre for Potato farmers. In these centres, we are going to impart training to the farmers about best agriculture practices to make farming remunerative and at the same time increasing productivity and mitigating losses. Work on these centres is likely to be started by the March 2013," he added.

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