Farmers reap rich harvest at Chandigarh agri-fair

December 6th, 2010 - 12:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Harbhajan Singh By Alkesh Sharma
Chandigarh, Dec 6 (IANS) Farmers came from all over Punjab, Haryana and even from countries like Afghanistan to reap a rich harvest of technology at the Agro Tech 2010, and organisers said the response to the agri-fair from corporates too has grown this time.

The Dec 3-6 fair organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) saw thousands of farmers, entrepreneurs, agricultural scientists and engineering students visiting the stalls and exploring new farm equipment and other products.

Balwinder Singh, a farmer based in Derabassi town, told IANS: “I have been coming to Agro Tech for the past four years and have purchased many latest machinery at competitive prices from here.

“All leading tractor companies are present here and this time my aim was an ultra-modern tractor with new features.”

As many as 225 exhibitors, including 63 foreign exhibitors from nine countries, showcased their products at the ninth edition of the fair.

Canada, France, Germany, South Korea and Britain set up pavilions while companies from Australia, Italy, Spain and the US also showcased their products and services.

Harbhajan Singh, sarpanch (headman) of Chanumajra village in Punjab’s Mohali district, said: “There was so much to see and everything was latest. We do not get to see this anywhere else. I have gathered information from Canadian experts on how the dairy and poultry produce can be increased.”

The farmers were also seen exploring new technologies for crop production and dairy farming, exchanging ideas and technical knowhow.

Farmers from other countries also took advantage of the event.

“Afghanistan is basically a land of farmers and 80 percent of the population is engaged in agriculture,” Hedayatullah Omerkhail, president of Afghanistan-based Abdul Wakil Omerkhail Farmers’ Association, told IANS.

“We export walnuts, raisins, apricot, cherries and fruits to many Asian countries, but still the usage of technology in agriculture is nil in our country.

“We have learned so many new things here and will introduce them in our country. We also want Indian investors to come to our country and invest in agriculture technology,” he said.

CII (northern region) chairman R.M. Khanna told IANS: “Agro Tech has seen an encouraging response from the farmers. This year we have seen a good increase in the number of queries from farmers and corporates as compared to previous editions.”

“This year’s fair was dedicated to sustainable agriculture practices. South Korea and France set up pavilions for the first time at Agro Tech. This was strong evidence of growing international interest in the Indian agriculture sector,” he said.

Besides latest machinery, ‘kisan goshtis’ educated farmers on the latest techniques and gave live demonstrations of soil testing, usage of tensiometers to save water, emu birds, quails, turkeys, guinea fowls and hydroponics machines.

Sessions on natural resource management, soil and water conservation, green house cultivation and organic farming were also being held at the fair.

“I have attended all editions of Agro Tech in Chandigarh and every time it has something new to offer. Leading MNCs, which are into the business of farm equipment and agriculture sciences, showcase their products under one roof and give us a plethora of buying options,” said Gurdeep Singh Dhillon, who owns large agriculture land in Punjab and Haryana.

(Alkesh Sharma can be contacted at alkesh.s@ians.in)

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