The Government of Andhra Pradesh in India, recently hosted a global event to discuss innovative ideas for agricultural transformation. Global leaders, start-up founders, policymakers, technology experts, farmers and students of agriculture convened at the AP AgTech Summit 2017 in Visakhapatnam.
ICRISAT was invited to showcase its research that contributes to the goal of increasing farmer’s income and developing the agriculture sector towards prosperity. Stalls were set up by ICRISAT scientists with videos and posters depicting proven technologies. ICRISAT Research Program Director Dr Suhas Wani and team presented impacts of the Rythu Kosam Program– aimed at rapid development of agriculture, implemented in partnership with the Andhra Pradesh Government’s Primary Sector Mission. The unique ihub – a creative and participatory space where diverse stakeholders collaborate to improve the entire agriculture value chain, was presented by Ram Dhulipala, Head – Digital Agriculture & Youth, ICRISAT.
A drone surveillance that uses NDVI- a mapping method to monitor cropping area on variables such as water stress and crop health developed by ihub partner Aegis was at display. In addition a survey was designed in partnership with another partner Verdentum to capture the priorities and needs of visitors, especially farmers. Most of the farmers indicated that providing good quality education for their children as a top priority and being informed about market prices as a top requirement. Above 500 visitors took part in the survey which had seven questions in the local language as well.
The global event was inaugurated by the Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu and the Chief Guests were N Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and Bill Gates, Co-chair and Trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Chief Minister Naidu visited ICRISAT’s stalls and discussed in detail the progress of Rythu Kosam project and enquired about the assessment of various programs implemented by ICRISAT. Recognizing the strong commitment from ICRISAT in the Andhra Pradesh Primary Sector Mission, Chief Minister Naidu offered maximum support.
“A non-competing alliance with stakeholders is a must to transform agriculture for the benefit and empowerment of farmers,” stressed Dr Bergvinson at a panel discussion on ‘Enablers for Effective AgTech Transformation’.