The new farm reform law has a great potential for diversification of horticulture crops, said AK Singh, Deputy Director-General of the Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR) on Monday.
Addressing the National Horticulture Fair (NHF) 2021, Singh said that the farm law will benefit the smallholders and agricultural labourers of low social statusand and agriculture sector as it has a great potential for farmers to diversify their farming systems, particularly with horticulture crops. Farmers can look forward to a better price, as these laws help to remove middle – man, Singh stated.
NHF 2021 is organized by the ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (IIHR) in Hesaraghatta, Bengaluru. The five-day fair from Feb 8-12, presents the theme of ‘Start-up India’ and ‘Stand Up India’ with a view to promoting entrepreneurship, said the director of the IIHR, MR Dinesh.
The fair presents new farm innovation and technologies such as hydroponics and presents a package of practices, new hybrids and varieties of fruit, vegetables and flowers developed by the IIHR.
T Mohapatra, ICAR Director General, said that the horticulture segment—through increased exports of fruit and vegetables and processed products—has a major role to play in the country’s economy, which is set to grow to $5 trillion by 2024-25. In addition, horticulture plays a key role in overcoming problems such as malnutrition, Mohapatra has said in his virtual address.
Highlighting the need to disseminate information to farmers, Mohapatra said that such fairs play a role in creating awareness about new innovations and technologies in the field. poInformation will empower and enhances the profitability of farming operations and make agriculture sustainable, said Mohapatra.
Approximately 50 incubation centers are being set up to help young entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector, he said.
Art of Living Founder Ravishankar Guruji, who inaugurated NHF 2021, said India must adopt sustainable organic farming. He also emphasised the need to transform the food culture and to encourage desi food in order to improve the immune system.