CHANDIGARH,06.10.21-The Government of Himachal Pradesh is working towards creating a marketing platform for apples growers of the state with a view to help them sell their produce at appropriate prices, said Shri Virender Kanwar, Hon’ble Agriculture Minister Government of Himachal Pradesh at the CII Northern Region Agri Inputs Summit organised through virtual platform today. The summit was organised with the theme ‘Transforming Agriculture for Global Challenges’ and was attended by over 300 delegates from the agri inputs industry.

In his inaugural address, Shri Kanwar emphasised that the State is encouraging apples growers to move towards natural farming as this will help put an end to the malicious campaign against HP Apples being carried out by vested interests under which our apples are being branded as poisonous. Shri Kanwar further said that the Government of Himachal Pradesh is committed towards rapid economic upliftment of the farming community through planned agriculture development and our strategy for future is towards sustainable agriculture and production through improvement in productivity and quality. Shri Kanwar requested the industry to jointly organise awareness campaigns in the State for creating awareness amongst farmers about judicious use of right quality of fertilizers and pesticides.

Dr S K Malhotra, Agriculture Commissioner, Government of India was the Guest of Honour in the Summit and in his address, Mr Malhotra said that an efficient input delivery system is the base for success in Agriculture and the Government of India is open to provide all support on regulatory front to industry to ensure Hon’ble Prime Minister's vision of Atamnirbhar Bharat and doubling farmers' income.

While setting the context for the Summit, Mr Mayank Singhal, Chairman, CII NR Committee on Agriculture, Food Processing & Dairy & VC & MD, PI Industries Ltd said that in pursuit of our Hon’ble Prime Minister’s initiatives viz. “Make in India”, “Doubling the Farmers’ Income”, “AatmNirbhar Bharat” and making Indian Farmers and Agriculture sector self-reliant, it is imperative to educate farmers about the justified use of plant protection chemicals, how to increase crop yield and spread awareness about the difference between genuine and spurious pesticides and benefits of getting GST bill with every purchase amongst others. Mr Singhal emphasized that the new Pesticide Management Bill should incentivise introduction of new and safer products by R&D based agro chemical companies as against fly-by-night operators.

In his welcome address, Mr Ramit Bharti Mittal, Co-Chairman, CII Regional Committee on Agriculture, Food Processing & Dairy & Executive Chairman & Director, Gourmet Investments Pvt Ltd emphasized that the time has come for Indian agri inputs companies to reinvent their perspectives by understanding farmers better; to view them as not just receivers of information but also as collaborators; and to understand the enormous impact of smart phones, mobile apps, internet-based technologies and e-commerce, etc.

Speaking on the ocassion, Mr Srinivasa Kumar Karavadi, Head of Market Development – Crop Science Division – India, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka, Bayer Crop Science Ltd highlighted that we should take a holistic view on sustainable agriculture that focuses on environmental, social and economic progress. Mr Karavadi added that Government policies can enable an agri eco system that supports croup productivity, farm profitability and farmer prosperity and agri inputs are going to play a key role in this.

Some of the other eminent speakers who addressed delegates included Mr Juzar S Khorakiwala, CMD, Biostadt India Ltd; Mr Rahul Dhanuka, COO, Dhanuka Agrotech Ltd; Mr S K Chaudhary, Group Director, Safex Chemical India Ltd; Mr Lalit Bansal, MD, Saraswati Agro Chemicals India Pvt Ltd; Dr Raju Kapoor, Director – Public & Industry Affairs, FMC India Pvt Ltd; Mr Venkatram Vasantavada, MD & CEO, Seedworks International Ltd; Mr Aman Dayal, ED, Dayal Fertilizers Pvt Ltd; Mr Neeraj Kedia, MD, Chakradhara Chemicals Pvt Ltd; Mr Ajai Rana, MD & CEO, Savannah Seeds; Dr Arvind Kapur, MD, Ascen Hyveg; Mr Mallikarjun Javali, Head – Public Affairs, Yara Fertilisers India Pvt Ltd and many more.

The summit witnessed deliberations on Policy, Regulations & Guidelines for Crop Protection Industry; Policy, Regulations & Guidelines for Indian Seed Industry; Policy, Regulations & Guidelines for Growth Nutrients/Fertilizers.