“2022 was a challenging year for agriculture and food industry globally with factors such as climate change, supply chain, inflation, and geopolitical issues disrupting every economy and triggering a possible global slowdown, apart from the food crisis. This year’s budget outlay must be directed towards not only cushioning but also adding resilience to Indian agriculture. As India is likely to become the most populous country this year and has ambitions to be a major food supplier to the world, the need of the hour is to ensure higher productivity with minimal environmental impact. The investment made in agricultural research and development (R&D) pays back many times over in the form of increased production or mitigated losses, as well as higher incomes for farmers. The private sector players are dedicating a significant share of resources & investment in research, promoting sustainable agricultural practices in rural India, and must be incentivized or allowed tax exemptions basis the impact created by their initiatives. In the upcoming Union Budget. It will also be critical to focus on creating an enabling ecosystem, with a faster registration process to introduce newer technologies and molecules for better productivity. This will be vital for an inspiring India.
Innovations in agriculture are being seen as a great enabler in revamping the sector and will be key to ensuring food and nutritional security while enhancing input use efficiency over the next decade. The introduction of drones in farming has been a great step in this direction. Further, defining clear guidelines to facilitate the introduction of biological and microbial pesticide formulations will support integrated pest management & organic farming in the country. Additionally, the rationalizing GST on agrochemicals to be at par with other agri-inputs will reduce cost pressures on the farmer. There are already a host of agri-tech companies determined to serve the farming community, especially smallholder farmers. Policies that enable the hassle-free introduction of new global technologies, practices, and molecules, while improving the ease of doing business will yield more efficient and sustainable farming practices in India. The availability of support and speedy access to new-age technologies to farmers will be a game-changer in fulfilling India’s aspirations of being a global food supplier while boosting farmer incomes.”-Mr. Ravi Annavarapu, President, FMC India