‘De­creas­ing land­hold­ings make agri­cul­ture less prof­itable’

HT Ludhiana Live - - City - HT Live Correspondent ludhlivedesk@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

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.

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