Modi for use of hi-tech in farming to curb price rise

By Sarkaritel June 12, 2014 12:16

Modi for use of hi-tech in farming to curb price rise

New Delhi, June 12  Use of modern technology in farming and proper management with the help of real-time data will help curb food inflation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Wednesday.

In his reply in the Lok Sabha to the debate on motion of thanks on the president’s address, Modi said there is adequate availability of food products in the country.

“There is enough food in the country. What is required is proper management,” Modi said in his maiden speech in the parliament.

“We are committed to bringing down prices. It is our collective responsibility to ensure nobody sleeps hungry,” he said.

Modi said efforts should be made to gather “real-time data” of agricultural products that would help regulators take the required action to manage prices.

“Today the world looks at India for software engineers. But we are yet to come up with a technology that provides real-time data,” he said.

“An agri-rail network should ensure movement of food during lull hours of railways,” Modi added.

The prime minister indicated that the Food Corporation of India (FCI) could be restructured for better management of agricultural produce.

He suggested that three different entities be set up for procurement, storage and distribution of food products. Currently, the FCI is responsible for all the three aspects.

Modi also emphasised on the need for taking action for increasing agricultural productivity as land is limited.

“Agriculture need to be modernised. We have to take measures to enhance productivity of our land,” the prime minister said.

Modi called for introduction of pan-India “soil health card” in line with Gujarat to help farmers use proper fertilisers and grow only those products which are suitable to that particular piece of land.

He suggested that the students from the agricultural universities should be deployed to do soil testing and laboratories and infrastructure of schools and colleges across the country could be used for this purpose.

“By doing such kind of experiments, we can change the things,” he said.

Referring to the use of word “Rurban” in the president’s address to the joint house of parliament earlier this week, Modi said the word is coined in the spirit of providing the facilities and infrastructure associated with urban areas to the people in villages.

“We should take a pledge that by 2022 there should be no family in the country who don’t its own house. Every house should have tap and there should be water in the tap,” Modi said.

He also said that the government would concentrate on developing agro-based industries.

Welcoming the prime minister’s statement, India Inc expressed hope that the government would now have a focused approach towards easing supply-side issues in agriculture.

“The productivity of most major crops is lower in India compared to most other countries and improvement in agricultural techniques can bring about improvement,” CII president Ajay Shriram.

“This will increase supply of food products, make farming more remunerative and have an impact on controlling food inflation,” Shriram said.

FICCI president Sidharth Birla said building real-time data for agro products and modernising Food Corporation of India would significantly address the problem of food inflation.

By Sarkaritel June 12, 2014 12:16