NIFTEM VC in favour of corporatisation of farming sector

At a summit titled International Food Innovation 2016: Doubling Farmers Income Through Science, Technology and Innovation (organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce), Ajit Kumar, vice-chancellor, National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM), pitched for the corporatisation of the farming sector to integrate agriculture and farmers with prosperity and well-being, as that could be the single mantra to double their income as is being intended by the Narendra Modi government.

He also recommended that close to a lakh of Indian traditional dishes across the country should be standardised for their quality and hygienic values to make them globally popular. NIFTEM has already identified 13 such dishes for which equipment and tools will be put in place for their wider commercial circulation. He added that privatisation of agriculture was not the solution for doubling farmers’ income as the experiment had hardly yielded the desired results.

“What ought to be an experiment in the modern times is encouragement for corporatisation of Indian agriculture, as the government cannot be expected to alone explore the unexplored and in negotiated territories and patches, including landscapes of Indian agriculture with its own investments and technological tools,” Kumar said.

“Therefore, corporatisation could be an answer to serve this uncharted territory to bring in prosperity among farmers and the farming community by leasing out their land to corporates as with their investments. Indian agriculture could see better days,” he added.

According to him, another strategy that could be followed for the betterment of farmers is to equip all the villages with primary and secondary food storage units in which their farm produce could be stored and equip and link farmers with such facilities to gain higher returns for their produce.

Anirudh Tewari, principal secretary, industries and commerce, new and renewable energy and chief executive officer, Invest Punjab, endorsed Kumar’s views, adding that Punjab was a hub for industries that wished to explore its agriculture sector, as the state provided for more than 14 per cent of the incentives in terms of infrastructure to such investors as compared to other parts of the country.

Among others who spoke on the occasion comprised Wouter Verhey, agricultural counsellor, India and Sri Lanka, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; Pradeep Khanna, chief executive officer and founder, Global Mindset, Australia; Deepak Pahwa, chairman, innovation committee, PHD Chamber; V K Mishra, chairman, international affairs committee on Middle East, PHD Chamber, and Jatinder Singh, senior secretary, PHD Chamber.


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