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Maharashtra govt committed to support industry coming forward for farmers welfare: Maharashtra Agriculture Minister

Apr 18, 2023

  •  Govt devising model for development of the agriculture sector under the PPP mode: Union Agriculture Secretary

 

NEW DELHI, 18 April 2023: Mr Abdul Sattar, Minister of Agriculture, Govt of Maharashtra today said that Maharashtra government is committed to support the industry coming forward to support the welfare of farmers and agricultural sector. 

 

Addressing the 9th edition of 'India Maize Summit 2023', organized by FICCI, Mr Sattar while highlighting the benefits of maize in ethanol blending, he invited the private sector to come forward and setup blending process in the state. "The state government will provide all necessary support to the industry along with providing financial support and connecting with the farmers. Through this process we can also increase farmers income by increasing the maize production," he stated.

 

The Minister further stated that Maize is a safe and secure crop since it is less perishable as compared to other crops. "We must work to motivate farmers to move towards maize production," he emphasized. Mr Sattar also highlighted the need to work together to create a system for maize storage and stocking. The role of industry, government and other agencies will be key in this, he noted.

 

Mr Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Govt of India emphasized that agriculture sector is growing at a fast pace, and we need to have frameworks to strengthen the eco-system in the agriculture sector. "We need to have workable frameworks in which we can work together in a collaborative and easy manner. It will bring more ease of doing business, certainty, clarity and transparency while working with the government," he added.

 

He also stated that the government is devising a model for development of the agriculture sector under the PPP mode. It will allow the private sector to work with the government for the benefit of the farmers. "Due to the increasing demand coming in the maize sector in coming years, we would require a quantum jump in our production to the level of 40-45 million tons in the next 4-5 years. We also need to systematically understand the wastage and losses in the entire value chain and solve it," added Mr Ahuja.

 

Mr TR Kesavan, Chairman, FICCI National Agriculture Committee & Group President, TAFE said that we must look at establishing Centre of Excellence for mechanization in agriculture sector which will be crucial for India.

 

Ms Anuja Kadian, Government & Industry Affairs Director, Asia Pacific, Corteva Agriscience said that a sustainable roadmap to strengthen maize value chain needs a holistic approach and is need of the hour. Adoption of new seed technologies by farmers will take Indian maize to next level. She also highlighted that multi-stakeholder approach with the coming together of policymakers, research institutions and the private sector to develop strong foundation to meet future demand of maize is imperative.

 

Mr Sunjay Vuppuluri, Head-Food & Agribusiness Strategic Advisory & Research segment, YES BANK shared the insights on FICCI- YES BANK knowledge report. He highlighted that for India to meet the growing demand for maize and remain competitive in the global market, it is essential to promote innovative technologies and practices across the maize ecosystem. Mr Pravesh Sharma, Chairman, FICCI Taskforce on FPOs and Director, Samunnati delivered the vote of thanks.

 

During the event, FICCI- YES BANK knowledge report - 'Transforming India's Maize Sector: The Critical Role of Technology and Innovations', was released. 

Key highlights of the report on Transforming India's Maize Sector: The Critical Role of Technology and Innovations

Globally, 1.21 billion MT of maize was produced across 205.87 million Ha in 2021. USA was the largest producer of maize contributing to about 32% of global production, followed by China (23%), Brazil (7%), Argentina (5%) and Ukraine (3%). These five countries contribute 70% of the global maize production. India ranked 4th and 6th in terms of global maize acreage and production, contributing to about 3.96% and 2.13% respectively.

In the year 2021, International trading of maize reached approximately USD 52 billion across 155 countries. Most of the global export value came from the top five maize exporting nations, which accounted for about 77% of total exports. The leading exporters were USA (37%), Argentina (17%), Ukraine (11%), Brazil (8%) and France (4%).

In the year 2021, India imported roughly about 24 thousand MT of maize worth USD 14.20 million, while the country's maize exports amounted to 3.62 million MT valued at about USD 935.61 million, a 2.4X increase in export value over the previous year. This significant rise in exports was driven by surging maize prices across the globe, which made Indian maize prices more competitive in the international market. In addition, the demand resurgence in the South & Southeast Asian countries (for example: Bangladesh, Vietnam, Malaysia) and lower supply from traditional regions of Argentina and Brazil amid bad weather conditions further boosted maize exports.

Despite a significant growth in production, the productivity of maize in India (3.07 MT/Ha) is still far lower than that of other major maize-growing nations such as USA (10.51 MT/Ha) and Argentina (7.86 MT/Ha). It is likely that this productivity gap is due to limited adoption of technological advancements across the maize supply chain. Historically, conservation agriculture practices have been successfully employed in Indian maize-based cropping systems to maintain productivity and profitability. However, to keep up with future demand and remain competitive in the global market, it is essential to implement modern technology-driven practices throughout the entire maize supply chain.

The Government of India, along with state governments, has taken numerous proactive steps to promote adoption of modern technology and innovations in the agriculture sector. The government has introduced various developmental initiatives and schemes that have a direct bearing on rate of introduction and adoption of innovative technologies in Agriculture. Such initiatives include the National Food Security Mission, the National Livestock Mission, National Project on Soil Health and Fertility, National Agriculture Markets (e-NAM), National e-Governance Plan in Agriculture (NeFP-A), PM-Kusum, promotion of agritech start-ups, promotion of digital extension services and investing on Agri-Stack.

In addition to these initiatives, the Government has launched the Digital Agriculture Mission 2021-25 to promote the use of digital technologies in agriculture. The mission aims to cover one million villages across India, providing farmers with real-time market information, enable direct market linkage and facilitate e-commerce platforms for agricultural products. 

To ensure that maize technology interventions are being leveraged to their fullest potential, it is necessary for all stakeholders, including policy makers, researchers and private sector to work collaboratively. This report identifies five distinct action areas for identification, adoption and scaling of innovations and technologies. They include: 

o    Promoting public private partnership to leverage technologies

o    Improving adoptability of new technologies

o    Devising effective extension programs

o    Building necessary connectivity infrastructure

o    Developing an enabling regulatory environment for introduction and adoption of new technologies

 

 

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