Agriculture Current Affair 16 February 2020

Ecosystem development for Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Food & Agri

Indian agriculture has to become modern, resource efficient and profitable for the benefit of the farmer, the consumer, the country and the environment. Modern science and technology have a huge role to play in this effort. Digital technology is one of them. In this context innovation and entrepreneurship in food and agriculture is to be stimulated and encouraged.

There is an increasing uptake of agri tech and food tech enterprises. Experts say that 2019 is an inflection point in this journey with more than 300M$ investment in one year! Rapid penetration of smart phones in rural areas is helping to drive the widespread application of agri and food tech based products or services. Increasing emphasis on Farmer Producer Organizations is also helping in aggregating farmers and increasing their capacity to absorb new technologies.

Doubling farmer’s income: Ease doing of agri-business

To achieve this by FY23, incomes must grow at a CAGR of 23-24% over the next three years, a feat unprecedented at the national level.

The past few successive Union budgets have referred to PM Modi’s dream of doubling farmer incomes (DFI) as the principle guiding the government’s agricultural policies. It is both encouraging and heartening to know that this government is still steadfast on the dream, and is finding ways to achieve it. We take stock of the situation.

The PM first announced the goal of DFI at a farmer’s rally in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh in February 2016. He shared that he wanted to achieve this goal by FY23. The year was chosen as it marks the 75th year of India’s independence, and this would be an ideal gift for the farming community on the occasion. Between FY16 and FY23, the PM had seven years to achieve this dream.

EPS to Centre: Support declaration of Cauvery delta as agri zone

Five days after a delegation of AIADMK MPs led by Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar handed over a letter written by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, to Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, announcing that the Cauvery delta region will be declared a Protected Special Agricultural Zone, the contents of the letter was released to the media on Saturday. In the letter the CM said, “Drop any plans for exploration as well as mining of hydrocarbon in the ecologically sensitive agricultural zone of Cauvery delta region comprising of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts and delta blocks of Pudukkottai, Cuddalore, Tiruchy, Karur and Ariyalur districts, which contributes over 32 per cent of State’s food production in an area of 28 lakh acres.” 

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