It gives me special pride this year as India enters her 75 year of independence to reflect on the immense contribution that our industry has been making to serve our farmers. As mentioned by our Prime Minister, the next 25 years can be the “Amrit Kal” of Indian agriculture and India can feed the world as Indian agriculture is at the threshold of immense opportunities for sustained higher growth trajectory. From a mere 50 million tonnes at the dawn of independence, India is headed towards a record food grains production of 315.72 million tonnes as per the fourth advanced estimates. Rice is estimated at a record 130.29 million tonnes, Wheat 106.84 million
tonnes and equally impressive production in Cereals, Maize, Pulses, Gram, Oilseeds among others. This remarkable achievement is not only due to the introduction of quality High Yielding Variety (HYV) seeds but also equally to the inputs of fertilizer and crop protection products.
It is also testimony to the importance of crop protection for farmers to combat climate change as well as other biotic and abiotic challenges that the government has identified agrochemicals as one of the champion sectors. While speaking at the last year’s CropLife India Annual Conference, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar lauded us for having risen to the occasion even during the pandemic and working with the Government to ensure that our farmers get uninterrupted supply of inputs. This year was also quite challenging with heat wave, unpredictable rains and dry spells as well as newer pests and diseases. But our industry continued to work hand in hand with the farmers to overcome the challenges. But there were equally many opportunities in the year gone by. Indian Agriculture saw the further influx of Artificial Intelligence and Digitalization. The grower apps that are being introduced will not only change the way that we will serve our farmers but will also tremendously help in reducing the environmental load by optimal utilization of our scarce resources. The use of Drone which have been allowed for spraying of crop protection products for instance would not only reduce the time, increase productivity, but also conserve the most precious resource water making farming more sustainable. The opportunities are immense in resolving the pain points of the farming community. Our Prime Minister’s aim of’ Chhota kisan bane desh ki shaan’ can be achieved by deployment of scale neutral technologies and reaching the small farmers to increase their collective strength.
CropLife India was in the forefront of paving the way for the introduction of drones for spraying of crop protection products. We submitted our inputs, suggestions and shared best practices during the deliberation process for expeditious release of SOP and Guideline for spraying of agrochemicals through Drones. The Prime Minister’s special focus on introduction of Kisan Drones, I am confident, it will make them our Indian farmer’s new best friend helping save time, cost and increasing productivity as well as ensuring safety. CropLife India continued to promote safety as the key driver for resilient and sustainable agriculture during the last year. Recognising our efforts, CropLife India was awarded for Farmers’ Awareness Campaign at Agri Business Summit Award (ABSA) 2022 adding another recognition to the one the previous year. CropLife India continued to champion several initiatives for sustainable agriculture, safe food as well as judicious use of crop protection products for the education of farmers even during the pandemic.
The road ahead is clear and we have to make the best use of the “Amrit Kal”. Partnerships and Implementation would be key. CropLife India would reinforce the efforts to work with all stakeholders to ensure a predictable, science based policy and regulatory regime for further enhancing the ability of the crop protection sector to make our farmers and Indian agriculture sustainable – this will be our continued agenda. As always, the Secretariat has been in the forefront of all our activities. A big thank you and compliments to the entire team who worked tirelessly to implement all the initiatives during the year. I am thankful to the leadership and guidance of all Committees / Groups in making the year highly productive for our industry.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Anil and Srinivasa for their continued support during the year. I thank our Board of Directors for their contribution in making the last year significant one in the backdrop of the pandemic. It is also heartening to note that the CropLife India Board meetings, various Committee meetings, Seminars and meetings with external stakeholders took place with record participation, inspite of restricted movement, thanks to the digital platforms! With the situation easing, I look forward to more face to face interactions in the coming months.
I wish all the members continued success and prosperity as we strive together to leverage CropLife India’s platform for nation building.
Dr. K. C. Ravi
Chairman, CropLife India