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The exhibit delves into the many superpowers of millets, showcasing their diverse varieties, cultivation methods, and culinary uses.

In collaboration with India’s Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Google Arts & Culture launched a new digital exhibit, “Millets: Seeds of Change,” celebrating the rich history and growing international importance of millets, of which India is the world’s largest producer. The digital exhibition highlights the history of millets from ancient grains to modern-day superfoods, as well as their nutritional benefits, contribution to global climate resilience, and potential to address global food security challenges.

The exhibit delves into the many superpowers of millets, showcasing their diverse varieties, cultivation methods, and culinary uses. It features simple and delicious millet recipes from celebrated chefs like award-winner Chef Thomas Zacharias, who is leading a millet revival movement. Interactive elements like quizzes and crosswords allow visitors to test their knowledge and engage with the content in a fun and informative way.

Launching the exhibit at Krishi Bhavan, Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare stated: “When India spearheaded the UNGA resolution to declare 2023 the International Year of Millets, we did so with the objective of sharing our agricultural practices and experiences with the world. We were gratified to see ‘Shree Anna’, which holds immense potential for multiplier impact – including offering India’s small farmers a doorway to prosperity – receiving interest during the global G20 Summit. Our hope and ambition are that the conversations that have been generated over the past year translate into the advantages of millets spreading farther and wider. I thank Google Arts & Culture for supporting us in this endeavour with a dedicated digital exhibit.”

Amit Sood, Director, Google Arts & Culture remarked on the collaboration: “Google Arts & Culture is dedicated to leveraging technology, offering global audiences an interactive way to engage with cultural and historical treasures that shape our world. We are proud to have worked with India’s Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare to celebrate one such prime example from the ancient world that is capable of transformative impact – for the world of today and of tomorrow. Given its long-standing versatility in addressing multiple nutritional and sustainability challenges, it is little surprise that millets are witnessing a global resurgence. We are glad to lend our technology and platform to support the growing popularity of this food group.”

The exhibit delves into the many superpowers

Introducing farmers to the carbon market will not only benefit them but also accelerate the adoption of environment-friendly agricultural practices

Arjun Munda, Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare and Tribal Affairs, launched the Framework for Voluntary Carbon Market in the Agriculture Sector and Accreditation Protocol of Agroforestry Nurseries in Delhi. Secretary Manoj Ahuja, Secretary of DARE and Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Senior officials of Central and State Ministries and Various Organisations related to agriculture were present on the occasion, while many stakeholders also joined the programme virtually.

In his address, Munda said that the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare prepared a framework to promote the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) in the agricultural sector of the country to encourage small and medium farmers to avail benefits of carbon credit. Introducing farmers to the carbon market will not only benefit them but also accelerate the adoption of environment-friendly agricultural practices. He requested full cooperation from the concerned ministries of the Centre and the States and other concerned organizations to promote the carbon market in the interest of farmers. He said that work should be done in this direction in collaboration with the farmers of the southern areas, in a manner convenient for them and along with the solution; there is a need to focus its benefits on our farmers. This is the first step in which we want to ensure everyone’s participation. Global challenges like global warming are in front of all of us; hence we have to move ahead with caution. He asked ICAR to play an active role in this direction and do good work in the right manner.

Munda said that the Accreditation Protocol of Agroforestry Nurseries will strengthen the institutional arrangements for production and certification of planting material on a large scale to promote agroforestry in the country. He asked all the stakeholders to adopt it so that quality planting material can provide assured returns and the objectives and goals of the National Agroforestry Policy can be achieved. He also urged for proper use of natural resources.

Introducing farmers to the carbon market will

Currently, the Chatbot is available in English, Hindi, Bengali, Odia, and Tamil. In a short period, it will be available in all 22 languages of the country.

Kailash Choudhary, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India launched AI Chatbot for the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Scheme at New Delhi. The launch of AI Chatbot marks a significant step towards enhancing the efficiency and reach of the PM-KISAN scheme, and also providing farmers prompt, clear, and accurate responses to their queries.

Launching the AI Chatbot, Choudhary said the AI Chatbot will help in accessing scheme information and resolving grievances. He also called upon the need to widen the service to link it with other related issues like weather information, soil conditions and bank payments etc. The minister complemented the Ministry officials for onboarding the technology in a short span of time and added that it will ease the burden for agriculture officials at the Centre and states.

During the virtual event, dignitaries from the Government of India and the State Government gathered to celebrate this significant milestone in the agricultural sector. The successful launch of the AI Chatbot for PM KISAN scheme reaffirms the Government’s commitment to leveraging technological advancements for the welfare of farmers.

 Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Family Welfare noted that the AI chatbot will also be implemented for other major schemes of the Ministry in coming months.  Pramod Mehreda, Addl. Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Family Welfare made a detailed presentation on the features of Chatbot and its benefits for farmers.

The AI Chatbot acts as a comprehensive guide for the beneficiaries, providing them with timely and accurate responses to their queries related to the scheme. This is the first AI Chatbot integrated with a major flagship scheme of the Union government. It has been developed and improved with the support of EKstep foundation and Bhashini. The introduction of the AI chatbot in the PM-KISAN grievance management system is aimed at empowering farmers with a user-friendly and accessible platform. In its first phase of development, the AI chatbot will assist farmers in seeking information related to their application status, payment details, ineligibility status, and other scheme-related updates. The AI Chatbot, accessible through the PM KISAN mobile app, is integrated with Bhashini, which offers multilingual support, catering to the linguistic and regional diversity of the PM KISAN beneficiaries. This integration of advanced technology will not only enhance transparency but will also empower farmers to make informed decisions.

Currently, the Chatbot is available in English,

President Murmu conferred the ‘Plant Genome Saviour Communities’ Award ‘Plant Genome Saviour Farmers Reward’ and ‘Plant Genome Saviour Farmers Recognition’ awards to the invited Indian farmers

Droupadi Murmu, President of India, inaugurated the first ‘Global Symposium on Farmers’ Rights’ (GSFR), in a ceremony held at ICAR Convention Centre, National Agricultural Science Centre, New Delhi. President Murmu conferred the ‘Plant Genome Saviour Communities’ Award ‘Plant Genome Saviour Farmers Reward’ and ‘Plant Genome Saviour Farmers Recognition’ awards to the invited Indian farmers. These awards are instituted by the PPVFR Authority as per the provisions of the PPVFR Act, 2001. She also inaugurated the newly constructed ‘Plant Authority Bhawan’, the office of the PPVFR Authority, and an online plant variety ‘Registration Portal’. Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, MoS Kailash Chaudhury and Secretary, Manoj Ahuja were also present on the occasion.

In her address, Droupadi Murmu congratulated organisers FAO and the Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (the Treaty) for appropriately choosing India as the country to host the prestigious meeting, given its rich agricultural, cultural and ethnic diversity. She welcomed the delegates in the land of ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumabakam’ (the world is one family), a philosophy deeply ingrained in India’s culture and traditions. She said that farmers have toiled and enterprisingly developed or conserved landraces, wild relatives and traditional varieties of crops, and provided the building blocks for the modern crop breeding programs, thus ensuring food and nutritional security for human beings and livestock alike. She said that holding GFSR was very appropriate, as farmers are primary food producers (‘annadatta’) and only if there is food then there is a body, and if there is a body then any work gets done. That is why farmers need to be saluted and it is our duty to protect their rights and future.

President Murmu conferred the ‘Plant Genome Saviour

National Conclave aims to discuss and identify comprehensive support systems for Agri Startups in India that will foster innovation, sustainability, and profitability and make their solutions accessible to farmers

Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in partnership with FICCI, CII & PHDCCI organised a National Conclave ‘Unleashing the Potential of AgriTech Startups for the Benefit of Farmers.’ Secretary, Manoj Ahuja, Additional Secretary, Faiz Ahmed Kidwai, Joint Secretary (RKVY), Ashish Kumar Srivastav and Joint Secretary (Extn.), Samuel Praveen Kumar along with other senior officers from Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and representatives of FICCI, CII and PHDCII attended the conclave.

The conclave aimed to discuss and identify comprehensive support systems for Agri Startups in India that will foster innovation, sustainability, and profitability and make their solutions accessible to farmers. The conclave also explored strategies to overcome challenges, leverage technology, and capitalize on market opportunities to empower Agri Startups and drive positive impact in the agriculture sector.

FICCI organised two breakout sessions. The theme for session 1 was “The State Government’s Vital Role in Building Enabling Ecosystem for AgriTech in partnership with state governments”. Session 1 brought out the challenges faced by start-ups at the state level and recommendations on how the state governments can help in building an enabling ecosystem to overcome these. The major recommendations include- creating an AgHub: An inclusive agri innovation ecosystem, Agri Data Management Framework (2023), Creating a nodal agency for start-ups within the state governments, developing a start-up portal with a repository of information, knowledge and schemes with a chatbot facility, Start-up India can include an exclusive website with information on agriculture start-ups.

National Conclave aims to discuss and identify

This Scheme has resulted in the creation of more than 31, 850 agri infra projects in the country with ₹24750 crores as loan amount under AIF with an outlay of ₹ 42,000 crores

Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare launched a new campaign for banks under Agri Infra Fund titled BHARAT (Banks Heralding Accelerated Rural & Agriculture Transformation). This one month-long Campaign (from 15th July 2023 to 15th August 2023) with a target of Rs 7200 crore was launched through a Video Conference attended by more than 100 Banking Executives that included MDs/Chairman, EDs of Commercial Banks in the public and private sector, Regional Rural Banks, Small Finance Banks, NBFCs and select cooperative Banks. While addressing the gathering of Bank Executives and Ministry Officials Samuel Praveen Kumar, Joint Secretary (AIF) highlighted the progress made since the inception of this ambitious flagship Scheme. In his welcome address, he complimented the Banks for their active involvement and support to promote this Scheme which has resulted in the creation of more than 31, 850 agri infra projects in the country with ₹24750 crores as loan amount under AIF with an outlay of ₹ 42,000 crores.

Expressing satisfaction at the support from the MoA&FW and Project Monitoring Unit of AIF, participating executives from Banks came up with many suggestions to take the AIF scheme to newer heights. Secretary, MoA&FW congratulated the top performing Banks in different categories, namely State Bank of India, Canara Bank, Punjab National Bank, HDFC, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Madhya Pradesh Gramin Bank, Madhyanchal Gramin Bank and Punjab Gramin Bank, for their laudable effort in contributing to taking this scheme forward and appealed to all the Banks to achieve targets considering the vast potential for agri infra projects in our country. The Banks were also advised to carry out an assessment of the impact of the projects created under the scheme at ground level.

This Scheme has resulted in the creation

The project focuses on leveraging sample hyperspectral data from Pixxel’s pathfinder satellites to develop analytics models focused on the crop mapping

Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare signed an MOU with Pixxel Space India Pvt. Limited in the presence of the Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, DA&FW, Pramod Kumar Meherda, Additional Secretary, DA&FW and other senior officers of the Ministry at New Delhi. C. S. Murthy, Director, MNCFC signed the MOU on behalf of the Government of India, whereas Abhishek Krishnan, Chief of Staff represented M/s Pixxel Space India Pvt. Limited. It aims to develop various geospatial solutions on a pro bono basis for the Indian Agriculture Ecosystem using Pixxel’s hyperspectral dataset. The project focuses on leveraging sample hyperspectral data from Pixxel’s pathfinder satellites to develop analytics models focused on crop mapping, crop stage discrimination, crop health monitoring, and soil organic carbon assessments. This will enable the Government to develop use cases with hyperspectral data provided by PIXXEL. MNCFC on behalf of the DA&FW will associate with the Pixel team for developing and implementing the suitable methodologies.

Hyperspectral remote sensing technology includes spectral measurements in narrow wavelength bands by satellites and such measurements offer certain unique indices to monitor and assess the health of crops and soils. This is an emerging technology with unique capabilities for monitoring agriculture. Crop health monitoring by detecting the changes in chlorophyll content and canopy moisture status, using hyperspectral data would be beneficial to find crop risk management solutions for farmers.

Soil nutrient mapping including soil organic carbon assessments is one of the important applications of hyperspectral technology. The soil reflectance observations measured by the sensors offer more direct, cost-effective datasets to estimate soil organic carbon. This will also help to develop the early detection of crop stress and accurate diagnostics of crop stress due to pest/disease or water using hyperspectral data offering numerous opportunities to strengthen the current advisory system of the Government benefiting millions of farmers.

Secretary, DA&FW expressed that such types of collaboration with young startup companies will go a long way for developing innovative geospatial solutions using advanced satellite imaging technology. The new technology will reduce dependence on manual surveys and measurements which are time-consuming and prone to errors.

The project focuses on leveraging sample hyperspectral

The trade between Iran and India reached $510 million in the first quarter of this year

Agricultural officials of Iran and India have agreed to form a joint committee for agricultural cooperation between the two countries within the next three months, According to the Iran media.

The agreement was signed in a meeting between Mohammad Mehdi Borumandi Iran’s Deputy Agriculture Minister and Manoj Ahuja Secretary of India’s Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Ministry in New Delhi.

Borumandi, recently visited New Delhi to hold talks on the agricultural cooperation between Iran and India and met with his Indian counterpart to review the latest status of bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture.

The officials also agreed to hold the first joint working group on agricultural cooperation between the two countries in the near future.

In the meeting, Borumandi stressed Iran’s readiness for cooperation in various fields including horticultural products, medicinal plants, combating plant pests, agricultural technologies, exchange of professors and experts, and collaboration between research institutions of the two countries.

He stressed removing tariff barriers on agricultural trade as necessary for the future expansion of relations.

Manoj Ahuja announced that the ban on the exports of kiwi to India, which had been temporarily prohibited since last year due to quarantine considerations, has been lifted.

The trade between Iran and India reached $510 million in the first quarter of this year, according to the data released by India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

According to the report, agricultural products, especially rice, had the largest share in India’s exports to Iran. Rice accounted for 63 per cent of the total volume of exports, while fruits with $15 million, and tea with $10 million ranked second and third.

The trade between Iran and India reached

Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare highlighted the importance of Life Style for the Environment and stressed chemical-free farming

Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare organised an event on Mission LiFE on the occasion of ‘World Environment Day’ at Dr C. Subramaniam Auditorium, NASC Pusa, New Delhi.  The program began with tree plantation activity on the premises of the venue by Kailash Choudhary, Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, with other dignitaries. Manoj Ahuja, Secretary DA&FW, Additional Secretaries and Joint Secretaries of Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare were present at the event along with a staff of ICAR and DA&FW, FPOs, Agri-start-ups, Students, Scientists, Officers and Farmers from various States. This was followed by the inauguration of an exhibition on Natural and Organic Farming showcasing and creating awareness of the sustainable agricultural practices symbolising Mission LiFE.

The program was inaugurated by Kailash Choudhary, Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, by lighting the lamp.  In his remarks, he highlighted the importance of Life Style for the Environment and stressed chemical-free farming as one important option for sustaining the resources for future generations. He emphasised the adoption of Mission LiFE in agriculture to address the adverse impact of climate change. Quoting the example of Rajasthan, he mentioned that the state is having pre-monsoon showers more frequently than in earlier years. Untimely and heavy rains are causing distress to the farming community. Farmers are highly vulnerable to climate change. Keeping this in mind ICAR developed 1750 climate-resilient varieties after 2016 and these have the potential to give normal yields under adverse conditions in vulnerable areas. He also stressed upon recycling of wastes in agriculture as it is the best example of the circular economy. He emphasised that we should all take care in day-to-day life to save resources. Then, he administered the pledge on Mission LiFE with all the audience present at the event.

In his address, Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, DA&FW briefed on the global temperatures rise from the pre-industrial era and its direct and indirect impacts on agriculture and allied sectors. Maintenance of soil health through natural and organic practices having a beneficial effect on soil flora and fauna is leading to better availability of nutrients in the soil. He also mentioned the saving of water through the adoption of Per Drop More Crop as India consumes more water for irrigation compared to other countries. There is a need to adopt all the 7 principles of MissionLiFE in day-to-day agricultural practices besides making policy towards sustainable agriculture.

Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers

Till date about 81 per cent more than the area covered during pre-PDMC 8 years

A National Workshop on Per Drop More Crop (PDMC) was organised by the Department of Agriculture& Farmers Welfare (DA&FW), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India discussed with the stakeholders the various approaches which can be adopted for increasing penetration of micro irrigation in the country. Participants from various Ministries/ Department of Central Government, States and UTs, Irrigation Industries, Startups working in the water management sector and Farmers Producer Organisations were present in the event.

Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, of the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) inaugurated the event. He emphasised the adoption of technologies in the implementation of the programmes and focused on enhancing micro-irrigation coverage and thereby increasing overall efficiency and water productivity of agriculture for ensuring the food and nutrition security of the country and incomes of the farmers, particularly in rainfed areas. Dr Himanshu Pathak, Secretary, of the Department of Agricultural Research & Education (DARE) also addressed the inaugural session. He urged all participants to make efforts to adopt micro-irrigation on a large scale to reduce the water footprint of the agriculture sector.

Franklin L Khobung, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare explained in detail the Per Drop More Crop (PDMC) Scheme and the progress made so far. It was informed that the Department of Agriculture, Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) is implementing a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Per Drop More Crop (PDMC) from  2015-16 in all the States of the country which focuses on enhancing water use efficiency at the farm level through Micro Irrigation viz. Drip and Sprinkler irrigation systems. An area of 78 lakh ha has been covered under Micro Irrigation from 2015-16 to till date which is about 81 per cent more than the area covered during pre-PDMC 8 years. The Government has been focusing on increasing water productivity in agriculture and thereby sustainable agriculture and incomes of farmers. A Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) with a corpus of Rs. 5000 Crore has been created with NABARD during 2018-19 with the major objective to facilitate the States in mobilising the resources to provide top-up/additional incentives to farmers for incentivising micro irrigation beyond the provisions available under Per Drop More Crop as well as innovative integrated projects including projects in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) for expanding Micro-irrigation. A Budget announcement has been made to double the initial corpus of the Micro Irrigation Fund under NABARD, by augmenting it by another Rs. 5,000 crores.

During the programme, five Best Gram Panchayats from the States of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu were recognised for their efforts in high micro-irrigation adoption and best practices in the water management sector.

Till date about 81 per cent more

Agriculture sector is growing at a fast pace, and we need to have frameworks to strengthen the eco-system in the agriculture sector.

“The government is devising a model for development of the agriculture sector under the PPP mode. It will allow the private sector to work with the government for the benefit of the farmers. Due to the increasing demand coming in the maize sector in coming years, we would require a quantum jump in our production to the level of 40-45 million tons in the next 4-5 years. We also need to systematically understand the wastage and losses in the entire value chain and solve it,” said Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Govt of India. Ahuja was addressing the 9th edition of ‘India Maize Summit 2023’, organized by FICCI in New Delhi.

 Ahuja also emphasized that agriculture sector is growing at a fast pace, and we need to have frameworks to strengthen the eco-system in the agriculture sector. We need to have workable frameworks in which we can work together in a collaborative and easy manner. It will bring more ease of doing business, certainty, clarity and transparency while working with the government,” he added.

 Abdul Sattar, Minister of Agriculture, Govt of Maharashtra said that Maharashtra government is committed to support the industry coming forward to support the welfare of farmers and agricultural sector. “The state government will provide all necessary support to the industry along with providing financial support and connecting with the farmers. Through this process we can also increase farmers income by increasing the maize production,” he stated.

The Minister further added that Maize is a safe and secure crop since it is less perishable as compared to other crops. “We must work to motivate farmers to move towards maize production,” he emphasized.  Sattar also highlighted the need to work together to create a system for maize storage and stocking. The role of industry, government and other agencies will be key in this, he noted.

Mr TR Kesavan, Chairman, FICCI National Agriculture Committee & Group President, TAFE said that we must look at establishing Centre of Excellence for mechanization in agriculture sector which will be crucial for India.

 Anuja Kadian, Government & Industry Affairs Director, Asia Pacific, Corteva Agriscience said that a sustainable roadmap to strengthen maize value chain needs a holistic approach and is need of the hour. Adoption of new seed technologies by farmers will take Indian maize to next level. She also highlighted that multi-stakeholder approach with the coming together of policymakers, research institutions and the private sector to develop strong foundation to meet future demand of maize is imperative.

 Sunjay Vuppuluri, Head-Food & Agribusiness Strategic Advisory & Research segment, YES BANK shared the insights on FICCI- YES BANK knowledge report. He highlighted that for India to meet the growing demand for maize and remain competitive in the global market, it is essential to promote innovative technologies and practices across the maize ecosystem.

Agriculture sector is growing at a fast

Important outcomes included identifying the critical need for aligning the centres’ research activities with the country’s priorities and planning for a similar meeting every year

At the invitation of the Government of India’s Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, 16 International Agricultural Research Centers (IARCs), including 10 CGIAR centres attended a meeting at ICRISAT Headquarters in Hyderabad, to update on their research activities in India and innovations in the pipeline.

Important outcomes included identifying the critical need for aligning the centres’ research activities with the country’s priorities and planning for a similar meeting every year in January/ February to synergise the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the IARCs’ research activities.

Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW), Government of India, who participated virtually, set the context of the meeting. In his concluding remarks, he expressed the need to ‘institutionalise’ the annual meeting to integrate knowledge from all the centres and plan effectively both for the short, medium and long-term research goals.

“Any knowledge, idea or practice useful to the farmer in India, should reach them as quickly as possible before the opportunity is lost. We need a sandbox environment to test new ideas/ knowledge and then quickly roll it out and find out how much it can be scaled out,” Manoj Ahuja.

Shubha Thakur, Joint Secretary (Crops, Oil Seeds & Administration, CVO), DA&FW, who participated actively in the discussions, emphasised the need to build strong seed systems and facilitate easy accessibility of improved varieties to farmers. She said she was happy to be part of the ‘first common meeting’ of all the IARCs.

Temina Lalani-Shariff, Regional Director, South Asia, CGIAR, presented case studies on technologies developed by the One CGIAR for regions across India, which were appreciated by officials from DA&FW.

Arvind Kumar, Deputy Director General-Research ICRISAT, highlighted the many achievements of ICRISAT and its work across disciplines and across agriculture for the development value chain. He cited the example of soil and water conservation in Bundelkhand which caught the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and spoke of plans to out-scale to other regions.

Important outcomes included identifying the critical need

The partnership will look into innovation opportunities related to agriculture and food security in the context of climate change, in the present scenario of experiencing a rise in extreme temperatures, floods, and droughts.

Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, has entered into a partnership with The Development Innovation Lab (DIL) at the University of Chicago, in New Delhi, to explore the opportunities to harness innovation to improve food security, address climate change, and allow farmers to increase their incomes. The DIL, founded by Nobel Laureate Michael Kremer, University Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago, and 2019 co-recipient of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel, was represented by the University of Chicago Trust in India during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The partnership will look into innovation opportunities related to agriculture and food security in the context of climate change, in the present scenario of experiencing a rise in extreme temperatures, floods, and droughts, as well as changes to the monsoon system.  Innovations in digital services, weather forecasts, and soil health management could help farmers adapt to these shocks and improve their livelihoods, while improving environmental sustainability of agriculture. DIL will assist DA&FW in its efforts to identify, develop, test, and refine innovations in these and other priority areas, to support India’s small holder farmers.

Secretary (A&FW) Manoj Ahuja expressed happiness over the signing of MoU with DIL and felt that this would immensely help the small and marginal farmers in addressing the challenges of climate change and increasing farm productivity.

The Development Innovation Lab (DIL) uses the tools of economics to develop innovations with the potential to benefit millions of people in low- and middle-income countries.

The partnership will look into innovation opportunities

Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare inaugurated conference as “India Cold Chain Conclave” in New Delhi

Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, along with PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PHDCCI) in association with National Centre for Cold Chain Development (NCCD) as a knowledge partner, organised a one-day exhibition and conference as “India Cold Chain Conclave” in New Delhi today. The conference was organised with the objective to bring together all the stakeholders on one common platform where they can contribute thoughts and ideas for the growth of industry in a sustainable manner and to explore ways of reducing post-harvest losses with relevant technologies. An exhibition was also organised concurrently to demonstrate Innovations and Excellence in Cold Chain Sector by industry leaders.

The Conclave and exhibition were inaugurated by Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. He said that Ministry of Agriculture recognises the importance of the cold chain industry in ensuring food safety, reducing food waste and increasing the shelf life of perishable products and ministry has set up an extensive outlay of policies and programmes to give strength to this sector. Technological innovation is crucial for the growth and development of the Indian Cold Chain industry. With the advent of advanced refrigeration and cooling systems, the industry is now able to store and transport goods at much lower temperatures, which helps to extend the shelf life of perishable products. This has led to an increase in the export of perishable goods from India, as the products can now reach international markets in better condition.

Abhilaksh Likhi, Additional Secretary (DA&FW) said that the Indian Cold Chain industry is expected to experience significant growth in the coming years. The increasing demand for perishable goods such as fruits, vegetables, and meat products, as well as the rise in e-commerce and online grocery sales, are driving this growth. As the demand for these goods continues to grow in India, the government recognises the need to support the development of the cold chain industry in order to ensure food security and public health.

Priya Ranjan, Joint Secretary (Horticulture) said that the Agriculture Ministry, under the dynamic leadership of Agriculture Minister, is working fast in understanding the new needs which are emerging on the cold chain front and we are progressing ahead with various programmes initiated to bring new developments in the cold chain sector.

During technical sessions, various issues relating to Logistics and cluster development to unlock Cold chain development prospects, Cold chain energy efficiency, Refrigeration technology and Importance of Internet of Things in Cold-chain etc were deliberated in detail by the delegates with the objectives to bring improvement of the development of cold-chain industry in sustainable manner.

The event was attended by other senior officers from the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, APEDA, Bureau of Energy Efficiency etc. The conclave was also attended by over 250 participants/delegates belonging to Various Government Departments, Corporates, Technology Providers, Traders, Exporters, Researchers and other stakeholders from various parts of the country.

Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and