Take technology to farmers, government tells corporates

February 20th, 2009 - 6:47 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) With food security remaining a prime concern, the government Friday said it was looking at more cooperation and involvement of the corporate sector and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to take technology to farmers.
“We are looking at networking with private organisations and NGOs who can help take innovative technologies concerning agriculture to farmers and ensure there is maximum yield from the resources available to us,” T. Nandakumar, Secretary in the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, said at a seminar on agriculture and technology.

Nandkumar said the involvement of the private sector in agriculture would help bring in new technology to farming, which now is largely conventional.

“We need to have a maximum yield out of the available resource. Small machines can do wonders in increasing agriculture productivity. For this, we have to ensure that the rights of the farmers are not hurt,” he said.

Referring to climatic changes, he said: “This is one challenge we are trying to address. There will be more uncertainty in weather, temperature and climate. This will lead to pests, which will harm the farm sector. We need to have more protective measures and facilitate farmers to tackle such a situation.”

Nandkumar also said the government was not looking at price control of agricultural produce from private farming, stressing that it was promoting contract farming.

Bharti Enterprises vice-chairman Rakesh Bharti Mittal later told IANS that some concerns needed to be addressed, especially those related to availability of land and willingness of farmers to participate in contract farming.

The Bharti group has tied up with with Del Monte India - producer, distributor and marketer of fresh and fresh-cut produce - for distribution and sale of farm products.

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