Food exports decline, imports on rise

Food exports decline, imports on rise
Highlights

Over the past few years, India’s food exports have been decreasing and imports are on the rise, agriculture experts have expressed their concerns over the present alarming situation.

Hyderabad: Over the past few years, India’s food exports have been decreasing and imports are on the rise, agriculture experts have expressed their concerns over the present alarming situation.

This is high time that the country needs modern technology applications in farming methods, opine speakers at CII Agritech South 2018, a three-day exhibition and conference concluded here on Sunday.

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Telangana Government and Prof Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) have jointly organised the agriculture exhibition and conference.

Moderating the valedictory session, Dr Praveen Rao, Vice-Chancellor, PJTSAU, said: “In the last year, India produced over 273 tonnes of food grains and 302 tonnes of horticultural commodities. Over the past few years, the food exports have been decreasing and imports increased.”

Rao further said, “today the farmer community is faced with various challenges as water scarcity, depleting soil health, climate change and decreasing profitability to the farmers among others,” while inviting the members of the Panel to share their views on how the farmers, in these circumstances, can increase their income.

During the three days of exhibition and two days of conferences, over 10,000 farmers from Telangana and other states had the opportunity to view the products on display and also interact with the experts from various backgrounds related to the agricultural sector to understand the new developments and innovations in agriculture.

The valedictory session of the Agritech South 2018 featured progressive farmers from across the country who have adopted these innovations to increase their productivity and thus increase their income.

Nukala Naresh Reddy, President, United Farmers Empowerment Initiative & Kakatiya Progressive Farmers Society, said: “I was able to increase my productivity by moving towards high density farming and using methods that use minimal water for Irrigation.”

Bojja Dasaratharami Reddy, Secretary General, Consortium of Indian Farmers Associations, in his address spoke about the various schemes introduced by the government towards farmers.

Gunvant Patil Hangargekar, member, Shetkari Sanghatana, and a progessive farmer from Maharashtra, said that there were two major problems faced by the farmer namely --weather and government intervention.

“Government needs to give the farmers the freedom to have access to new technologies and to set the prices for their produce. There are no rich farmers and that the only way a farmer can survive in India is when negative subsidies are eradicated.”

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