Usage of technology in the agriculture sector must be promoted: R G Agarwal, Dhanuka Group Chairman

R G Agarwal, Dhanuka Group Chairman
Meerut, Aug 10: Leading agrochemical firm Dhanuka Group Chairman R G Agarwal today advocated the usage of modern technology like Drones and Artificial Intelligence in the agriculture sector as it would help in improving crop yield, reduce cost and enhance farmers’ income.
He highlighted that drones are being used in the agriculture field for various activities including spraying pesticides, but felt that it should be promoted in a big way through a public-private partnership.
Mr. Agarwal also emphasized the need to provide farmers with good quality inputs such as seeds, fertilisers, and pesticides at a reasonable rate to improve productivity and production of crops and at the time pointed out the rampant sale of sub-standard pesticides in Indian agriculture and how it is affected crop yield and farmers income.
Agarwal also touched upon improving marketing infrastructure for agriculture items.
Participating at an event orgnaised by Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Agarwal said: "One thing which should be of concern for all of us is the sale of counterfeit and substandard agrochemicals in the market."
"Use of such substandard agrochemicals adversely affects soil fertility. Such bad products are unable to control insects and pests in crops, resulting in loss of crops and ultimately farmers’ income," he said.
Agarwal advised farmers to take proper bills when they purchase pesticides.
He demanded that both Centre and state governments should take strict action against entities found to be engaged in selling substandard agrochemicals. A national-level awareness campaign should also be considered.
On its part, Agarwal said the company along with ACFI has launched 'Jago Kisan Jago, an initiative to educate farmers about the perils of counterfeit products and ways to overcome them.
"It is imperative to tackle the menace of substandard and adulterated agrochemical, including pesticides, on priority in the interest of farmers and to ensure the Government’s noble objective of ‘Doubling the farmers’ income’," he asserted.
Agarwal also highlighted the role played by the agrochemical sector in increasing India's production of foodgrains and other major crops over the last five decades.
Although India is number one or two in production of all major crops, the productivity per hectare is very less compared to the global average, Agarwal said.
He said the judicious use of fertilizers and agrochemicals can help immensely in boosting crop yield.
We can see the scope of growth of Agriculture by increasing per hectare yield and quantum of Agri-produce in India, provided new technology pesticides are used appropriately in the prescribed quantities. These new technology products are not made available to our farmers which is evident from the fact that out of 1,175 pesticide molecules (of both chemical and biological origin) registered the World over, China has 950+, USA has 1057+, Pakistan & Vietnam have 450+, whereas only 299 molecules are registered for use in India.
This is because of our lax registration system, non-promotion of new technology pesticides and usage of fake, illegal, counterfeit, and misbranded pesticides. These are key reasons of the Indian GDP from Agriculture being almost 1/3rd in comparison to China.