The private sector should come forward and support the government in reducing the use of fertilisers and pesticides in the agriculture sector, Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Govt of India today said while addressing the ‘11th Agrochemicals Conference 2022, organised by FICCI with the support of Department of Chemicals & Fertilizers and Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare in New Delhi.
Tomar while speaking virtually, added, “Profit is very important for the farmers in the agriculture sector. An increase in production is also necessary. It is imperative to increase the profits in the field of agriculture and post-harvest losses to the farmers should be minimal for which the government is working on several schemes.”
Tomar also stated that the government is promoting the use of new technologies to be adopted by the farmers to produce high-value crops. “Work is also being done to ensure uniformity in the production of crops along with ensuring quality in the production,” he added.
The minister also emphasised that today, horticulture should be promoted so that India can become self-reliant in every aspect. “Our country is in a very good position from the point of view of food grains. To compete at the global level, we have to look towards developed countries and move ahead with them,” he said.
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Addressing the conference, Bhagwanth Khuba, Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers, Govt of India stated that the government aims to move forward while keeping in mind the benefits for farmers. “With rising population, it is important to focus on food security along with ensuring farmers’ produce at lower cost and safeguarding the environment.” He further added that the government is farmers and business-friendly and works to remove barriers by amending policy and reforms as and when needed. “It is not only the commitment but conviction of the government to work towards doubling farmers’ income. It is our responsibility to adopt low-cost agrochemicals along with innovations to improve the agriculture sector. We need to also focus on organic fertilisers,” he stated.Bhagwanth Khuba
Khuba also urged the industry to focus on organic pesticides as this would take time to adapt to mitigate the side effects of pesticides currently used. “We must also promote manufacturing these organic pesticides in India as well”, he added.
Vijay Sampla, Chairman, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, Govt of India said that there is a need for the research and development to be communicated to the small and marginal farmers in their language. He also emphasised on the need to create more awareness on the use of pesticides to benefit the agriculture sector.
Speaking at the occasion, RG Agarwal, Chairman, FICCI Crop Protection Committee & Chairman, Dhanuka Group said, “We urge the government to reduce GST rates on pesticides and bring it at 5 per cent like fertilisers so as to benefit small and marginal farmers as well. The government should also provide PLI (Production Linked Scheme) to pesticide industry to develop the domestic industry as an international manufacturing hub.”
FICCI-PwC Knowledge paper ‘Policy Landscape for a Flourishing Agrochemicals Industry’, was also released during the event.