‘Decreasing landholdings make agriculture less profitable’
LUDHIANA: Advocating for development of new processing technologies for value addition, BS Dhillon, vicechancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, said decreasing landholdings had made agriculture less profitable for majority of farmers and their children were being forced to look for other avenues of employment.
He was speaking at the inaugural function of the regionallevel exhibition on showcasing of agriculture technologies organised by Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology ( CIPHET), under NAIP Sub-Project Mobilising Mass Media Support for Sharing Agro Information.
The exhibition was represented by top food processing industries, agricultural universities, ICAR institutes, including Adani Agri Logistics Ltd, Cremica Industries Ltd, Ricella Health Foods Ltd, Tru Milk, Kashmir Aparies, Punjab Agricultural University, PAU Kisan Club, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Science University, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi; Directorate of Wheat Research (DWR), Karnal; and Central Potato Research Institute (CPRI), Shimla.
Besides, financial institutes like NABARD, Punjab and Sind Bank and Punjab National Bank and especially innovative farmers also displayed their products and technologies in the stalls at CIPHET grounds.
Addressing the gathering, Dr BS Dhillon showed dissatisfaction on low level of processing and value addition of fruits and vegetables prevailing in the country.
"Only 2.2% of fruit and vegetable production is processed for value addition in India, as compared to 30% in Thailand and 80% in Philippines and Malaysia," he said.
Stressing that efforts should be made to develop technologies and strategic plans to promote profitability of farmers, Dhillon said value addition always paid when supported by state of the art technology.
Dhillon suggested that CIPHET and PAU work together for developing and standardising various useful technologies.
CIPHET director RK Gupta said the institute always tried to work in close collaboration with farmers and industry for development of technologies.
He said value addition could help to a great extent for maintaining profitability in agriculture.
SK Nanda, project coordinator ( PHT), said work was being carried out under All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) at national level.
Transfer of Technology Division head Deepak Raj Rai said their effort was to bring industry, ICAR institutes, agriculture universities and farm technologies under one roof, so that farmers and entrepreneurs could get maximum benefit.
MS Gill, director, extension education, PAU, said the postharvest sector was very crucial for increasing income of farmers.
ICAR institutes, including CIPHET, had always adopted need-based consortium model for the development of techologies, said former dean and professor, PAU, SR Verma.