BENGALURU: Playing on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Atmanirbhar’ message, Yelahanka MLA SR Vishwanath on Friday said that farmers’ incomes are not rising because of dalals (middlemen), and technology can play a crucial role in making farmers independent and wealthy.He pointed out that it is not farmers who are seeking Minimum Support Price (MSP) but middlemen, who are getting rich by exploiting farmers. Once this is rectified, farmers will benefit economically, but for this, they need to use technology. He was speaking at the valedictory function of the five-day National Horticulture Fair, organised by Indian Council of Agricultural Research-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (ICAR-IIHR).
Dr V Venkatasubramanian, Director, ICAR-Atari, Zone XI, Bengaluru, said the fair had set a record of sorts, with 16.25 lakh farmers, growers and other like-minded individuals participating in the event physically and virtually. It qualifies to be part of the Guinness Book of World Records, he added.
Venkatasubramanian said the ‘5Js’ should be given importance to sustain agriculture and horticulture -- jal (water), jameen (land), jaanvar (animals), jungle (forests) and jung (battle). He pointed out that the country faces the challenge of excessive production which is going waste, but this can be corrected with the right use of technology at the right time.
Dr Rajendra Prasad, Vice-Chancellor, University of Agricultural Sciences, said their participation has proved that agriculture and horticulture are important even during the pandemic, while floriculture has taken a beating. Technology and hybrid varieties should be available to all farmers soon at an affordable rate, though the present ones are expensive, he said. These days, people are moving towards organic products, he added. MoUs were signed, and farmers and companies dealing with farm products were honoured at the fair.
App to connect producers, market
IIHR Director Dr M R Dinesh said that as many as 2.63 crore users have already downloaded the Arka Yono app, and a new app, Arka Vyapar, would be available on Google Play Store by the month-end. Arka Vyapar is a unique mobile application developed by the institute, which connects producers with the market, he said.