Can Emerging Technologies Solve Agriculture Sector Challenges?

Workshop and Summit at Shangri La organised jointly by the Department of Agriculture and Department of Innovation & Technology, under the umbrella of Bengaluru Tech Summit

Bengaluru: The Department of Agriculture andDepartment of Innovation & Technology, present the highly anticipated,“TECHNOLOGY IN AGRICULTURE”today atHotel Shangri La. Maheshwar Rao, Secretaryto Department of Agriculture and Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary toDepartment of IT BTinaugurated the event in the presence of variousdignitaries. 

“Technologyin Agriculture”, was organized under the aegis of “Bengaluru Tech Summit”, withemphasis on how new & emerging technologies like IOT, Drones, Smartphones,GIS etc. as they are impacting the Agriculture sector. The event had participationfrom corporate leaders and young startups who had shared their experiences, andnarratives from International best practices. 

The eventshowcased the important role played by Government and various institutions indriving the change in application of the new technologies to Agriculture.Anumber of technology initiatives have already become self sustaining, with lotof traction among all the stakeholders. However, the experiences have not beenshared on a single platform, which is sought to be achieved by this workshop. 

At theinauguration Maheshwar Rao spoke on the programme on tech in agriculturegaining importance. He said “ 50% of the population is dependent on agricultureand agriculture has a 10% contribution to the GDP. Karnataka is one of thosetechnologically advanced states and is considered the R&D hub and has hugecapital for such an ecosystem. Technology is used to see how farmers can bebenefited and to increase the value for them. Today’s workshop will havediscussions on emerging trends in agriculture and what technology can do. Whenwe look at employment, the food and agriculture space has a good scope and athriving future. MSME's are audio encouraged to be a part of this space.” 

Theinauguration also had Ms. Dana Kush the Consul General of Israel to South Indiatalking about Indo Israel partnership in agriculture. “ Both our countries areso similar we see how ancestors connect our today. Several acres of land aregoing to be utilised for agriculture under this partnership.” 

 Speakingat the event Gaurav Gupta said, “ Technology has such a rich that it has a holdon the less privileged as well, that is what we are trying to achieve. We seeimmense potential in the centre for innovation in applying emerging technologyin agriculture. We hope this workshop helps in showcasing different Technologyimpacting agriculture.”

Shri KrishnaByre Gowda said, “TodayI can proudly say that Karnataka is a food-secure state. This has been possibleonly because of the efforts of our Kannada farmers, who have overcomemonumental odds to get us here. The state government has also been taking a lotof steps to support them, including providing international forums, bestpractices, subsidised electricity and water, among others. It is now time totake the next leap in agricultural technology, and I look forward to thisworkshop, to give our sons and daughters of the soil all the help they need.” 

The day-longworkshop featured 3 sessions, with each focussing on specific topics andthemes. Sessions on the role of corporate houses in driving new agriculturalinitiatives, agri-based startups, international best practices and techniques,and government and institutional interventions in agriculture, will see expertsfrom various sectors share their way forward for the agricultural sector.Discussions covered imaging and GIS mapping, Internet of Things, drones, andsmart phone based tools. 

Shri PriyankKharge,whose ministry recently went through a transformation to emerge as the Ministryof Innovation and Technology, also commented on the need for innovation inagriculture. He said, “The world of IT is constantly coming up with newbuzzwords and technological breakthroughs. And Bengaluru, as the hotbed ofinnovation in the country, has taken full advantage of it. But thesedevelopments must not be restricted to a few elites in the cities, this mustbenefit the entire population of the state. I believe this AgriculturalTechnology workshop will find great new ways to take technology out of offices,and into the very earth of our state, and that everybody enjoys the fruits ofinnovation.” 

Followingthe plenary sessions, a way-forward and road map will be drafted forimplementation. Additionally, ways of nurturing future technology and earlyadoption will be chalked out. 

This is onemore example of the Karnataka government’s proactive approach to governance,and another way in which the state lives up to its people-first policies.

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