BHUBANESWAR: With he demand for food grains in India projected to be around 405 million tonne per annum by 2050, scientific tools and technologies should be employed for smart farming to boost production and minimise post harvest losses, said former Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Vice-Chancellor of Central Agricultural University, Imphal Prof S Ayyappan. Speaking at the 38th convocation of Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) here on Saturday Prof Ayyappan said, “India being one of the largest agriculture economy has achieved the highest ever food grain production of over 288 million tonnes.
The food grain demand, however, is projected to be 350 million tonne by 2030 and 405 million tonne by 2050. Accordingly, there is a need to equip farmers with due knowledge and skills for which varied combinations of science, technology and innovation along with social engineering is required to be employed.” “Several tools and techniques such as big data analytic, IoT in farming, image processing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, block-chain technology, robotics, agrivoltaics and CRISPR gene editing technology would be employed for smart farming that would need a strong interface between different domains and stakeholders,” he said.
The annual post harvest losses worth over `1 lakh crore can also be prevented by the use of scientific tools that will ensure proper processing, storage, value addition and quality assurance. “As an agrarian economy, the focus of India should be on Agriculture- Food-Nutrition- Health-Environment-Employment,” he said. Chancellor of OUAT and Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal urged students and scientists of the university to develop models that are friendly to futuristic technologies besides being appropriate to local needs.
“The university should promote new innovations and new startups in the agriculture sector and make consistent efforts to link the local farmers with technology,” he said. The Governor, on the occasion, conferred the Honorary Doctorate Degree (Honoris Causa) on Principal Secretary to Prime Minister PK Mishra and former CMD of Nalco Ansuman Das. A total of 740 graduates, 482 post graduates and 30 Ph D students were conferred with degrees while 114 Gold Medals, including 58 University Gold, were awarded to students who had secured top positions in various disciplines. Agriculture Minister Arun Sahoo and OUAT Vice-Chancellor Pawan Kumar Agrawal were also present.