About Agritech Revolution
By: Dr. Imtiyaz Rasool Ganai
Agritech Revolution demands shift from traditional way of farming towards innovative agricultural practices driven by the integration of cutting edge technology. The agriculture research and innovation study has introduced the concept of smart farming which is not yet fully practical in all farming societies in rural areas but considerable number of farmers who are accustomed and equipped with agriculture extension and modern technology have got good dividends.
Smart farming concept is to be followed by farmers which is shift from age old farming towards precision agriculture empowered by modern technology, smart farming includes use of latest tools and techniques like internet of things (IOT), GPS based practicum, use of sensor, robotics, drones and data analytics for desirable reshaping agriculture operations. This trend is beneficial for crop health, cultivation, harvesting in real time and optimum use of resources for farming. It is a holistic approach for agricultural management which entails rapid rapport with farmers coupled with focussed attention towards crop management and development.
In 2020 the government of India with certain national and international agencies introduced the concept of FPO (farmers produce organisation) and under this scheme 10,000 FPO’S will be formed to promote cluster level farming by 2024. In this regard the NABARD, National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) and SFAC small farmers agribusiness consortium is providing support for promotion of FPOs. Through this organisation the farmers who are producers of agricultural products, can form a group to facilitate this process, SFAC was mandated by the department of agriculture and cooperation ministry of agriculture GOI.
The aim of FPO is to enhance farmers competitiveness and increase their advantage in emerging market opportunities .the basic functions and operations of FPO is to supply seed ,fertilizers a machinery, market linkage, training, networking financial and technical support, the FPO shall organise training, meeting and counselling session with farmers and experts to share the expertise with the farmers ,the farmers are made abreast with various initiatives in agriculture sector like improved agriculture practices and new schemes, etc.
The FPO can be constituted within a small village which are actively involved in any sort of farming practice, the members can of same village or within the prescribed location by the department. The farmers must have their own land holding up to 2 hectares, the all farmers must be partaking the particular farming practice so that they can mutually work within the ambit of constituted FPO. The minimum members involved in FPO must be 10 and maximum can be up to 100 or more as per the schedule set by the department.
As per the guidelines of NABARD for FPO it is notified that only those farmers are eligible who are only primary producers like family, households or group of framers who are actively involved in agricultural activities are eligible to form an FPO, the primary objective of FPO is develop agriculture entrepreneurship skills for farmers. Improve the farmers competitiveness and increase the advantage of farmers in developing opportunities in the market, the FPO can be an aggregator for their members and they can sell through e- trading ,eNAM directly avoiding the middleman in agricultural marketing hence they achieve economies of good scale through collective accumulation ,empowering the farmers with strong negotiation leverage as both major inputs buyers and producers ,the objective of FPO is to improve the financial standing of the small farmers in India ,via collective efforts and synergy with various stakeholders of buyers and producers etc.,
In JK many developmental intervention in agriculture, sector are in operation like HADP under its ambit various project were executed to boost the agriculture sector , in UT JKCIP ( Jammu Kashmir competitiveness ,improvement of agriculture and allied sectors project ) has ushered new dawn in the agriculture land scape and development , as per the government data 90 blocks will be covered in coming years with economic support of international fund for agriculture development IFAD with the tune of 100 million USD.
The objective of this project is to contribute the sustainable increase in income of rural households through improvement in competitiveness of farming operations through value chain approach. Covering production, value addition, marketing and business incubation with start-up /agriculture enterprise support .various schemes and projects are in operation for the welfare of farmers to ensure climate smart and market led production, agribusiness ecosystem development and support, support to vulnerable communities and project management. It is imperative for farmers to bridge the gap between them and the agriculture department so that agriculture sector can be developed to improve the economy and generation of jobs for the youth as per the date of Agriculture department till date roundabout 197 FPO’S are registered of which 49 have apple as primary product and 24 have vegetables as primary products and more than 50 FPOs will be established in near future.
The agriculture department, KVK’s and SKUAST are actively organising training and counselling programmes across the state in order develop human resource and expertise of farmers for sustainable development of farming and allied sectors. In this connection some training which are offered include water management system, protected cultivation units and expansion of niche crop cultivation through which youth and rural women are trained. It is obvious that FPO and Agriculture technology can be game changer in the farming sector of JK.
The inclusive development and growth will make famers self-reliant and self-sufficient, this is possible through the efforts for valued addition in the agriculture sector and boost the farmer’s income and usher sustainable growth and development.