Agri business expo kicks off

Agritech India – 2012, an agri business exhibition, is back in Bangalore for the fourth time, bringing together all the agrarian business stakeholders under one umbrella.

The three-day event, being held from August 25 to 27 at the Palace Grounds will see participation from 300 companies from 20 countries. Countries like the Netherlands, Nepal and Turkey will be partners at the convention.

JD(S) leader and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda inaugurated the convention on Saturday.

It will cover all facets of agriculture and offer an insight into farm mechanisation, pre and post-harvest management of food crops, food processing, marketing and retailing.
The primary focus of the event is to help farmers, especially those facing “unpredictable weather and unprofessional market situations,” said officials.

The convention also hopes to find solutions to turn these farmers into rural entrepreneurs by giving them means to adopt the latest technology, to compete in the global markets.

Partnership

The government of Netherlands, which has signed a pact with Karnataka to promote horticulture, will partner with the State in food processing, dairy and meat processing.
Henk Van Duij, the Councillor for Agriculture at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Delhi, said that food security is a challenge faced by most countries, and  that there is a need for global efforts to overlap when it comes to increasing production.

Deve Gowda rued that the fragmentation of land and labour shortage were major problems which affect scores of poor and marginalised farmers across the country. He said nearly 79 per cent farmers in Karnataka had less than 1.25 ha of land.

Gowda also revealed that a strong lobby currently prevents the import of potato seeds from the Netherlands.

“Karnataka farmers are struggling with poor quality potato seeds. The situation can be
reversed if India is allowed to import the seeds from the Netherlands. However, my attempts to enable this have remained unsuccessful, because the lobby is too strong,” he said.

Gowda also added that Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was not “getting support” to change policy.

“Unproductive programmes and wasteful expenditure have prevented the country from reaching its full agricultural potential,” he said and added that mechanisation was not the only answer to successful farming.

“I can, however, understand the introduction of contract farming. It has become necessary if a farmer needs to lead a dignified life. I will not discourage this concept,” he said.

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