‘Agriculture graduates have a big role to play in corporate farming’

By Times Of India on 14 Apr 2018 | read
MADURAI: Agricultural graduates have a greater role to play especially when corporate farming is becoming the norm in future and agriculture will stay relevant because there is no alternative for food sector, additional chief secretary to the government of Tamil Nadu, K Shanmugam said at a function held at the Agricultural College and Research Institute here on Friday.
During his address, he urged agricultural graduates to take up research on agriculture and pursue their higher studies abroad. With the exposure gained in foreign universities, they should return home and start their own ventures in villages and provide employment for rural people. He also pointed out there are numerous export opportunities in the food sector. Only when food processing enterprises are established in the locality, farm prices could be stabilised, saving farmers from price fluctuations, he said.

Agricultural production commissioner and principal secretary to the state, Gagandeep Singh Bedi said that farmers have to go beyond farming and involve in value addition of their farm produce. Tamil Nadu government is giving lot of thrust on value addition of farm produce and 200 rural value addition centres have been established with state funding of Rs 10 lakh each. The objective is that farmers should get profit share with their value addition and he encouraged agricultural graduates to stay back at their villages and carry out farming and become good farmers and entrepreneurs.

Bedi also said that state is planning 10 food parks and there is a doubt within the government whether there are enough entrepreneurial agricultural graduates.

On the fruits and vegetables front, the government is planning to establish primary processing centres in 10 districts with modern facilities like cold storage. Around Rs 400 crore funding is planned which will be the first of its kind in supply chain management, he added.

Commissioner of agricultural marketing and agri-business, S J Chiru in his felicitation address said that everyone has an entrepreneur within and agriculture from its traditional fold is going into a new phase which is product-oriented and market-oriented. Tamil Nadu government is in the forefront in this regard taking farming into market driven phase, he said.

During the function, foundation stone was laid for agri-business incubation centre by Nabard (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development).

The bank's deputy managing director, R Amalorpavanathan laid the foundation stone. Tamil Nadu Agricultural University vice-chancellor, K Ramasamy presided over the event.