Mr. Kailash Choudhary, Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, said: “We should give prominence to agriculture and redesign image of farmers to inculcate a sense of self-dependence to encourage more youth to adopt agricultural livelihood opportunities”.

Mr. Choudhary was speaking at the CII Northern Region Seminar on Seed Technology Innovation for Sustainable Rice Production: Increasing Productivity, Sustainability and Profitability in New Delhi. He emphasized on the spillover effects of agricultural progress on businesses.

Dr. Prem Kumar, Agriculture Minister, Government of Bihar, in his address, said: “Bihar has huge opportunities for distribution of seeds for production of rice. The State is in the process of finalizing State Seeds Policy which focuses on providing administrative and financial assistance through PPP model to private companies”. He stressed on the importance of diversifying rice crop production to sustain in adverse climatic conditions. “Government of Bihar through its units and farmers recognized by Bihar State Seeds Corporation is able to supply only 65,000 quintals of seeds out of the 6.6 lakh quintals required. The balance supply is managed through the private sector”, he added. He apprised the audience that Bihar is encouraging farmers to sow seeds through Zero-Till Seed Drill Machine in uneven Gangetic delta plains.

Mr. Atul Mehra, Co-Chairman, CII Regional Committee of Agriculture & Food Processing, and Chairman, Tasty Dairies Pvt. Ltd., remarked that to better India’s global ranking in the global agriculture landscape, India needs to impart awareness and training to its farmer population on latest innovations and increase expenditure on R&D.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ajai Rana, Director, Federation of Seed Industry of India & Rice Crop Group Lead, said: “Rice crop covers nearly one-fourth of arable area in India and globally ranked number 1 for acreage but in terms of productivity ranked very low. By increasing adoption of hybrid rice, high yielding varieties and direct seeded rice India can take quantum leap in rice productivity while preserving land, water and energy. Improving rice productivity and resources efficiency will help in increasing farmer’s income and profitability”.

Mr. S.K. Sharma, Managing Director, Global Agri Systems Pvt. Ltd., said that India must adopt improved seed technologies and have agronomic interventions to make India achieve pinnacles in global food production.

The seminar was attended by over 120 delegates from Government, academia and industry members from agri and allied sectors.