Confederation of Indian industry (CII) organised a Virtual Conference on ‘Water: Role of Technology Towards Smart Farming’ today as part of CII India International Food & Agri Week 2020. The Conference aimed to understand the importance of agricultural sustainability focusing on technologies, process and data analytics enabling to take holistic, integrated and informed decision.
Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Hon’ble Minister for Jal Shakti, Government of India opined that water security could be achieved by participatory water management. It is necessary to work fast on demand side management, he added. Smart farming and use of technology in irrigation should improve productivity in agriculture. Drip irrigation will save 50 per cent water in the country. Haryana is a good example of crop diversification and it is a big achievement said Shekhawat. He aslo said that we should work towards food production for global needs and help farmers to achieve good prices for their produce to booth income from agriculture.
Dr Alka Bhargava, Additional Secretary – Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India emphasised that we should encourage use of micro irrigation for water-guzzling crops. The nexus between water, food and energy is gradually becoming important. We should focus on intercropping and integrated farming system, Dr Bhargava said.
Mr Ranganath N Krishna, Conference Chairman, and Water Ambassador, Grundfos Pumps India Private Limited remarked that India’s water woes will disappear if we save at least 10 per cent of the water used in agriculture. There is a need for implementation of technology, for which quality and affordability of technology, better governance, enabling policies for sustainable development need to be considered.
Mr Nikhil Sawhney, Chairman, CII Northern Region, and Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Triveni Turbines Limited mentioned that technology like drip irrigation can play a major role in diminishing use of water in the agricultural space. There is a need to overhaul, review and reassess the way in which water is used. Farmers should be incentivised in the sense that they must be given water rights which should be tradable, Mr Sawhney said.