Third annual Krishi Unnayan Mela begins at Mati Tirtha
Agriculture and industry must complement each other to accentuate growth of economy and foster people’s prosperity, said Pradip Mazumdar, adviser to the Chief Minister of West Bengal on Agriculture & Allied Sectors.
He was speaking at the third Krishi Unnayan Mela organised by CII in association with West Bengal’s Department of Agriculture, at the Mati Tirtha Ground in Burdwan on Friday.
“The development of the farm sector should form the basis of human development index. And that is exactly what the Government of West Bengal has been following,” Mazumdar explained at the inaugural session.
Sanjeev Chopra, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture, echoed the view saying there is absolutely no competition between agriculture and industry, and for that matter, services,” he said.
A native of Punjab, Chopra recalled how the fabled Green Revolution in India not only catapulted Punjab as the country’s front-ranking state and made it a symbol of prosperity, but also gave the entire country the much-needed self-sufficiency in food.
“The very fact that CII, arguably the largest industry body in India, is organising an agri fair of such a scale is an eloquent illustration of the importance it attaches to agriculture,” he added.
Earlier, Mazumdar said thanks to the State Government’s pronounced policy to increase farmers’ income and a slew of measures taken by it, average income of a farmers’ family has almost doubled. “This is also a state where the growth of farm mechanisation is 50 per cent, which is the highest in the country.”
B Sumant, Chairman, Agriculture & Food Processing Taskforce, CII Eastern Region & President – FMCG Business, ITC Ltd, who stressed the need for optimum use of land and diversification of it and its crops, said this is a CII initiative aimed to explore and maximise West Bengal’s potential in the agri space. He also dwelt upon the urgent need for handholding small farmers and farm-based entrepreneurs in selling their produces and products in new markets.
Paritosh Bhattacharyya, Director, Agriculture, Debu Tudu, Sabhadhipati, Zilla Parishad, Burdwan, Prabhat Kumar Mishra, Secretary, Water Resources Investigation & Development Department, Debabrata Das, General Manager, National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD), Dr Mumtaz Sanghamita, Member of Parliament; and Swarup Datta, Chairman, Burdwan Municipality, also shared their perspectives.
A highlight of Krishi Unnayan Mela is the Krishak Pathshala, which is an interactive tutorial for the farmers, on the modern methods and technologies to increase productivity and income. Top farm experts are training farmers in ways and means to master the practices followed by agriculturally advanced countries in high-value farming, including hybrid vegetable and seed production, safe and judicious handling of pesticides, benefits of balanced feed in agriculture, etc.
A CII Feasibility Study of Potato Cold Store in West Bengal was unveiled.