Inaugurating the first ever National Agrochemical Congress in New Delhi, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare exhorted that there is a need to address the issues of small and marginal farmers through generation of right knowledge access platforms and provision of basic agricultural inputs at affordable costs as these farmers predominantly comprises (around 86%) the farm sector today and their contribution towards national economy is quite significant. Earlier there was a time when the agriculture sector was not fully equipped but now with concerted efforts of farmers, scientists, and Government interventions like Direct Benefit Transfer, Crop Insurance etc., India’s agriculture sector is flourishing and is now a safe sector. By 2050, if ongoing surge in population continues, tons more food grains will be required to be produced. It is going to be a challenge.Shri Tomar said that there is an urgent need to focus from sustainable production to sustainable agri-food systems keeping in minds the climatic conditions, water conservation aspects etc. To alleviate the stress of farmers in country, farming has to be transformed from low key activity to a fully structured profitable livelihood profession. A ‘Farmer FIRST’ approach has to be adopted by all the stakeholders involved at various levels including Government, industry, scientists and extension machinery. The Minister requested all the stakeholders in the farm sector to come together and work together rather than working aloof, in order to make the sector prosperous and thus ultimately contributing to the nation’s progress.
The Minister said that farmers in India have been the crusaders of several revolutions in agriculture. What they need now are appropriate technologies and proper skilling. IARI, the premier institute of agricultural research and education in the country has made applauding contributions towards farmers’ as well as nation’s prosperity through generation and dissemination of cutting-edge technologies for various agro-ecological situations. The Institute has also developed several innovative extension methodologies for transfer of farm technologies across the country. The need of the hour is to enhance the efficiency of extension system to accelerate the diffusion of innovations among the farmers. Contribution of agro-scientists in the sector of agrochemicals is praiseworthy. They have made phenomenal contributions in the development, formulation and environmental safety aspects of agrochemicals including biopesticides, hydrogels, knowhows for synthesis of molecules and is contributing significantly in training manpower in the field of agrochemicals through training, teaching and extension programmes.The National Agrochemicals Congress: Country's Status on Various Fronts of Agrochemicals is being held in Pusa, New Delhi from 13th to 16th November, 2019. The Congress is conducted in view of the relevance chemical pesticides still continue to play in pest management as more and more target specific and environment friendly products are being introduced. The benefits of pesticide use are high relative to their risks. New concepts in crops, human health, resource management, nanotechnology, smart formulations and related sciences are likely to boost agricultural productivity. With this background, current status of agrochemicals on various fronts will be collated for researchers and policy makers in order to ensure agriculture grow in a sustainable manner.