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Minister of State (Agriculture) Shri Mohanbhai Kalayanjibhai Kundariya addresses the 4th CII National Conference on AgriBiotechnology / ‘Smart Agriculture: Transformation through Biotechnology’
Nov 25, 2014

Shri Mohanbhai Kalayanjibhai Kundariya, Minister of State (Agriculture) addressing the 4th CII National Conference on AgriBiotechnology at New Delhi said, “Our Government under the leadership of our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is committed to working with industry leaders to bring about a revolution in the agricultural sector in India. We will discuss the various issues and challenges around agriculture, agri-biotechnology and other related areas raised during today’s conference and come up with measures to provide an impetus to the sector.”

He further added that the role of private players is extremely important in bringing quality and affordable food to our growing population and that the government would work to provide better crop prices to farmers, remove trade barriers and support technologies that are environment friendly. Stressing on the importance of producing more from the available land and water, Mr. Kundariya said, “Technology, like agri-biotechnology, if used intelligently will play an important role in improving our agricultural output especially in the light of our limited land and water resources which are reducing day by day. Shri Kundariya absorbed the key challenges and issues in the agri-biotech sector raised by the various presenters.

The Conference started with highlighting the emerging context and major issues such as Sustainability, Innovation & Technology, limitations - both economical and ecological - of the tools used currently in Agriculture along with Climate Change and Food Inflation and Food Quality and others.

The first day of the conference witnessed eminent personalities from Government, Industry, Institutions and associations who deliberated key issues. An interesting mix of topics including sustainable Resource Use – Challenges and Answers, Lab to field – Successfully Reaping benefits and resolving Farmer & Consumers Challenges – Role  of Biotechnology were discussed at length during the first day of the Conference.

The Opening session of the conference was presided by welcome and introductory remarks given by Mr. Ashwin Shroff, Co-Chairman, CII National Conference on Biotechnology & Chairman and MD, Excel Industries Ltd “ Last century belonged to India because of IT and this century will belong to India because of Biotechnology”. He further said Potential of Biotechnology is often curbed by the pulls and pressures of the myths associated with it due to which opportunities are missed.

While addressing the opening session Dr. P. S. Ahuja, Director General, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) said 4-5% Agricultural is needed to annually to meet the growing demand. He said there is a need to combat salinity for making it drought resistant.

Mr. Rajesh Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary (Seeds), Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation, Government of India in his address said there needs to be a harmony in the new seeds bill to bring about positive change. He also added that integration of biotech to farming can revolutionize India. He further added that GM momentum is lost and it needs to be introduced in other areas of technology.

Mr. Ram Kaundinya, Director General, ABLE-AG stressed upon proper infrastructure and support to innovation and technology. He mentioned that there is a need to educate and aware all stakeholders about the evolving technologies.

The need to constantly & effectively communicate the responsible and safe use of Biotechnology by Government Agencies, Academia & the private players was emphasised.

New Delhi

25th November 2014

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