AGRO & FOOD TECH 2020: Various Measures To Ensure the Availability of Fertilizers: Shri D V Sadananda Gowda, Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India 

New Delhi: Speaking at the CII Conference on Agri Inputs, Shri D V Sadananda Gowda, Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers congratulated CII for its commitment to Agriculture sector by organizing the 14th Edition of CII Agro & Food Tech 2020 in the current times.

The Hon’ble Minister further stated that the theme of the Conference “Ease of Doing Agriculture – Farming Innovations” is apt and timely. He enlisted the steps taken by the government to streamline the supply of fertilizers to the farmers in covid times. He highlighted the role of Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) 2.0 in decision making by analyzing real-time information on demand vs supply. The DBT 2.0 launched in July 2019 is the next logical step over DBT 1.0; which was more about leakage proof payment to farmers.

Mr. Chhabilendra Roul, Secretary, Department of Fertilizers, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India too spoke on the innovative steps taken by the Ministry for the benefit of farmers.  The Secretary highlighted the two initiatives, dashboard “Urvarark” for farmers to give real-time information on the availability of farmers and as an extension of it, an SMS gateway that gives real-time information on fertilizers in retail stores. He shared with the audience on how the government is engaging with farmers on the use of new types of fertilizers such as nano or biofertilizers for productivity and sustainability. Mr. Roul said that his motto is Ease of Living for 140 million farming families.

Mr. Ajay S Shriram, Chairman, CII Agro & Food Tech 2020, and Chairman & Senior Managing Director, DCM Shriram Limited stressed the need to create an enabling regulatory framework in the research & development department in the agri inputs sector. He underlined the importance of Digital Technology and the role it plays in the entire value chain and its potential in bringing both economic and ecological benefits.  AgTech innovations are on the rise in India and in terms of deals recorded, as per a report in 2019, India was next only to the U.S.  

The government needs to be congratulated for taking bold measures, said Mr. Salil Singhal, Past Chairman, CII Northern Region, and Chairman Emeritus, P I Industries Ltd, and said that the positive impact of such progressive measures will be seen in the coming 2-3 years. He thanked the government for unshackling farmers on where to sell.  However, a lot of unshackling needs attention in the Agri Input sector. The current regulatory framework needs attention and has to speed up the approval process substantially.   

Mr. Sameer Goel, Managing Director, Coromandel International Ltd stated that the next green revolution will be driven by digital technology and shared that the Farming community is quick to adopt the technology. He also congratulated the Government of India on the recently passed bills pertaining to agriculture and also thanked the Hon’ble Minister and Secretary for ensuring the availability of Fertilizers to farmers in the pandemic times. 

Dr. Arvind Kapur, Chairman, Conference on Agri Inputs and Managing Director, Accent Hyveg Pvt Ltd welcomed the dignitaries of the government and also shared his views on the need to reform the regulatory framework in the Agri Inputs sector. 

A very well attended conference saw leading players from both the private and public sectors. Mr. Virendra Nath Datt, CMD, National Fertilizers Ltd, and Mr. S C Mudgerikar, CMD, Rashtriya Chemical & Fertilizers Ltd shared the PSU perspective and the steps taken for the benefit of farmers and congratulated CII for such an important initiative.

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