Agri-culture to agri-business...
Dr T Ramasami
Former Secretary, Department of Science and Technology
Agriculture is a cultural practice in our country. It needs to be converted into a business activity. This will make agriculture remunerative and attract more man-power into farming. With proper support systems, guidelines and attractive returns, the target of doubling food output can be achieved. This will improve the overall prosperity of the country.
Agriculture led growth desirable...
Dr J P Mishra
Advisor (Agriculture), Niti Aayog
The framework of agriculture has changed. Today the crop is raised in one place, processing units are at another end and consumption is somewhere else. Pulses are produced in Andhra, processed in Kanpur and transported to Andhra for consumption! This is adding to the cost of agriculture produce to the consumer.
14 states have either partially or fully modified their APMC acts that provide for leasing land without alienating ownership over long term. Many states allow contract farming and leasing of land. We are moving in the right direction but the pace is slow. To attract youth, diversified farming is required. It should be of high value and high return. Agriculture-led growth will be desirable.
Form an agri network...
Dr K Ramasamy
Vice Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University
Doubling food output is achievable. We have the technology. We need to form an agriculture network, which showcases the latest findings and developments that take place across the country in a single platform. This will help in sharing the best practices across the nation.
One major challenge today is that more than 50 per cent of agriculture graduates are women. Farming needs to be made suitable and remunerative to retain them in the field. If we fail to do it, this educated lot will move away. Machines should be unisexual and easy to use.
Cropping patterns are changing rapidly. Coimbatore was once a large producer of cotton but today there is no cotton production here. For the textile mills in and around Coimbatore, cotton is imported from other states.