The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that combine Agricultural Technology with Information Technology to improve Agricultural Sector in the country. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating AP AgTech Summit 2017, in Vizag, Andhra Pradesh today. The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu, the Minister for Agriculture, Horticulture, Sericulture and Agri-Processing, Andhra Pradesh, Shri Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy, the Minister for Human Resources Development, Andhra Pradesh, Shri Ganta Srinivasa Rao, the Minister for Endowments, Andhra Pradesh, Shri Pydikondala Manikyala Rao and other dignitaries were present on the occasion. The Vice President said that agriculture plays a vital role in India’s economy. Agriculture, along with fisheries and forestry contributes around 17 per cent of the Gross Value Added (GVA) during 2016-17 at 2011-12 prices, he added. The Vice President said that we have formidable challenges confronting us and we have set for ourselves a very ambitious target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022. If we have to achieve this, the progress in various sources of growth has to be accelerated by 33 percent, he added. The Vice President said that business as usual will not do and we have to innovate, work with farmers to infuse knowledge and technology. We must use technology to enhance productivity and see that the economic benefits of increased production reach all the farmers, he added.
The Vice President said that growing needs of our country’s increasing population require us to evolve our own home grown food security strategy. He further said that increased production and efficient distribution of food grains can move our country forward to achieve the goal of zero hunger and adequate nutrition for all. The AP AgTech Summit 2017 is an excellent opportunity for global leaders, start-up founders and technology experts to discuss innovative ideas for agricultural transformation in Andhra Pradesh as well as in the rest of India, he added. The Vice President said that technology can help improve farmers’ lives in a number of ways - to know the health of the soil and help him choose from a variety of crops that can be grown on the land; forecasting the seasonal conditions in advance; intensification and diversification of farming in order to increase productivity and farmers’ incomes; diversify towards other allied occupations as well like dairy and forestry; conservation of water, rain water harvesting, construction of check dams, drip and sprinkler irrigation; infrastructure like rural roads, dependable quality power, godowns, cold storage facilities, refrigerated vans and market yards; food processing; timely credit facilities at reasonable interest rates and farmer-friendly insurance policies and the market. We need to work collaboratively and strategically to make a difference in the lives of our farmers and tap into the nature’s bounty, he added.