Government plans to bring 14-million-hectare land, approximately 10% of total arable land under organic farming upto the year 2025 from the current 2%: Dr Gagnesh Sharma, Director of National Centre for Organic and Natural Farming (NCOF)
Hyderabad, October 19, 2022…. BIPA (BioAgri Input Producers Association), a 19years old, Hyderabad-based trade body of BioAgri Input Producers in India inaugurated its 2nd Edition of BioAgri 2022 International Conference at Hotel Park Hyatt, Banjara Hills on Wednesday. It is the biggest BioAgri Solutions Conference and Exhibition.
Many distinguished professionals in the industry such as Deepak Shah – Chairman SML Ltd, Pradeep Jaipuria – PJ Margo, and Office Bearers of BIPA graced the inaugural function.
Addressing the 200-plus gathering Chief Guest Dr. SK Malhotra, Former Agricultural Commissioner, Govt of India said the three pillars of agriculture are soil, seeds, and fertilizers. Now four more are added which include machines, bio-stimulants, pollinators, and Agronomy and Analytics.
The MSME-dominated bio-stimulant market in India has a regulatory framework in place. Now companies are subject to regulatory provisions put forth by the Government of India. But this is not comprehensive and is still evolving. It should be revisited and re-reviewed to address changing needs and challenges, he said.
Speaking further he added that bio-stimulants prime benefit is they increase metabolic activity. Their cellular mechanism interaction needs to be researched. This will give strength and power to the plants and address mitigating abiotic stress. Because people want safe food. World over bio-stimulants is discussed as Agri-inputs. There is a demand to include microbial in the Bio-stimulants category he said and added that he also agrees. So regularly guidelines need to be re-visited to address these demands, he added
We need to enhance the reputation of bio-stimulants which is emerging as a new sector. The world is asking for them. Europe is a big market. BIPA can play a bigger role in helping firm up more comprehensive policy guidelines, he said, and added that he also supports for the long-felt demand to reduce GST on Biopesticides to 5% from 18%.
Dr. SK Malhotra, who is currently Project Director with ICAR Directorate of Knowledge Management opined that Biostimulants are all-ready and safe products. Testing for multiple toxicological parameters needs to be rationalized.
Dr. Gagnesh Sharma, Director of the National Centre for Organic and Natural Farming (NCONF) a nodal organization for the promotion of organic farming under the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India said NCONF came into existence for implementing National Project on Organic Farming (NPOF).
He spoke about Government’s initiatives to popularise bio-fertilizers in India. We have 537 bio-fertilizer units across India. Their installed capacity of them is 3 lakh metric tonnes approximately. And Indian market stands at Rs 1200 crore.
He said the biotech consortium of India’s report indicates 3 times the requirement of Biofertilizers in the country in comparison to the present installed capacity by the year 2025, to cater to the growing demand for organic products.
There are 34 quality testing laboratories in India. Speaking further he said various central sector schemes such as PKVY (Paramparagt KrishinVikas Yojana), MOCVD-NER (Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region), CISS(Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme)
and SHM etc promote and support the usage of organic inputs including bio-fertilizers for the promotion of organic farming.
Dr. Gagnesh Sharma also added that under Atma Nirbhar Bharat, the Government is planning to bring 14-million-hectare land which is approximately 10% of total arable land under organic farming up to the year 2025. Whereas the current organic farming coverage is approximately 28 lakh hectares which is nearly 2% of the total farmland of the country.
Towards the end of his talk, he talked about challenges such as the availability of region-specific and efficient bio-fertilizer strains; ensuring the supply of quality bio-fertilizers to farmers, R& D, etc.
Dr. Venkatesh Devanur, Secretary of BIPA reported the activities it held last year as this also happens to be an annual meeting of BIPA members.
Mr. Raj Kumar Agarwal, Executive Director of BIPA welcomed the gathering. He gave an insight into the Bio-Agri conference last and this year.
Dr. KRK Reddy, President of BIPA explained the context and significance of the theme “India-The Global Gateway for Bio Ag Solutions”. The world is slowly recognizing the potential of India’s biological agri-inputs and has started working towards them, he said.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India, several ICAR Institutions, PJTSAU, research organizations, and 200 plus companies are taking part.
Agri is an international series of conferences and exhibitions initiated by BIPA last year at Hyderabad., informed Dr. Venkatesh Devanur.
World agriculture moves towards biological agriculture due to climate resilience and the ill effects of chemical-based farming practices. Among all the input verticals, phenomenal growth is witnessed in BioAgri inputs. The economic benefits to the farmers, health benefits to the consumers, and safety to the environment ensure BioAgri inputs as the most sought-after products. Their sustained use further rebuilds the soil health, and fertility and makes them carbon-rich; thus, becoming an inevitable tool in modern agriculture, added Dr. Venkatesh.
India became a pioneer in world agriculture to innovate, standardize and promote world-class Agri-Inputs through its well-defined regulatory framework, infrastructure, and technology know-how, he shared.
Agri 2022 brings the National and International BioAg inputs manufacturers under one roof on recent technologies, delivery systems, and business opportunities in India and across the globe.
The two days conference and expo are deliberating on policy issues and technological advantages and challenges by the stakeholders besides showcasing innovations and tech-based products by the companies promoting biological agriculture for safe food, health, and the environment.
An expo organized in connection with the conference was also inaugurated and has ten stalls.