AHMEDABAD, Sept 12 : Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat, who is also a deep rooted researcher, shared with Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Science and Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh, some of the Agritech innovations developed by him, when the latter called on him at Raj Bhawan here.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, Acharya Devvrat, besides being Governor of an important State, can also be appropriately described as an Agritech StartUp, who has developed innovative methodologies in natural farming which are quite different from organic farming and at the same time, much more lucrative compared to several other avenues of livelihood.
Acharya Devvrat, who is a great votary of natural farming as a way to avoid the ill effects of chemicals used in conventional farming, informed Dr Jitendra Singh that only last week, he launched a PhD programme in Natural Agriculture by Gujarat University at the Indian Institute of Sustainability (IIS). He said, it will cover its various aspects like rural management, environment management, innovation, Agri-entrepreneurship, Agribusiness and Value Chain Management.
Acharya Devvrat supported the proposal of Dr Jitendra Singh for an integrated approach to promote Agritech Start-ups to make farming easy and more profitable by pooling the resources and experiences of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), and Department of Science and Technology at the Centre and other similar research bodies at Agricultural colleges and Universities.
Dr Jitendra Singh briefed the Gujarat Governor that a trend of Agri-tech Start-ups has come up in India in the last few years due to active encouragement provided by the Modi Government to address the problems of Indian agriculture such as supply chain management, use of outdated equipment, improper infrastructure, and inability of farmers to access a wider range of markets with ease. He also pointed out that PM Modi launched 100 Made in India agricultural drones across the country in February this year, which carried out farm operations in unique simultaneous flights. The Minister said, many young entrepreneurs are now quitting their jobs in IT sectors and MNCs to establish their own StartUps in agriculture, dairy and other allied sectors with huge profit margins.
Dr Jitendra Singh also informed Acharya Devvrat that the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) became architect of “Purple Revolution” in India by introducing high-value essential oil-bearing lavender crop through its Jammu based laboratory, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicines (IIIM) for cultivation in districts Doda, Kishtwar, Rajouri, Ramban, Pulwama, etc. In a brief span of time, aroma/lavender cultivation has become a popular option in farming for agricultural Start-up and it is now being replicated in other hilly States with similar climatic conditions like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and in North-Eastern States as a pilot project.