The purpose of celebrating World Food Day this year is to demonstrate our global commitment to achieve the goal of creating “Zero Hunger World” by 2030. Modi government is working continuously in a phased manner to achieve the goal of zero hunger. At the inauguration ceremony of Agri Startup & Entrepreneurship Conclave on the occasion of World Food Day today, Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that the efforts of farmers and techniques developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) have contributed to an increase in agricultural production and food security. As per the fourth advance estimate, foodgrain production is estimated at 284.83 million tonnes in 2017-18, an increase of over 20 million tonnes as compared to 2013-14.
The Minister informed that horticulture crops, which contribute significantly to nutritional security, have witnessed record production this year at 307 million tonnes. Today, India occupies the top spot in horticulture production. In the year 2015-16, the production of pulses was 16.25 million tonnes, which increased to 25.23 million tonnes according to the fourth advance estimate in the year 2017-18, which is about 9 million tonnes higher compared to the production achieved in the year 2013-14. The role of high quality crop variety, seed and technology has been significant in increasing production, the Minister stated. He added that 795 crop varieties were released for production during 2014-18 as compared to 448 crop varieties during 2010-14. The demand and production of breeder seeds during 2013-14 was 8479 tonnes and 8927 tonnes respectively which rose to 10405 tonnes and 12265 tonnes in 2016-17.
On ‘Skill India’ the Minister said that the Scheme was launched by the Indian government on a large scale nationwide. According to statistics, a requirement of 22 lakh skilled youth is in the agricultural sector, for which training of skill development is being conducted in various employment areas with the help of the Agriculture Department ICAR and Krishi Vigyan Kendras. The Modi Government has encouraged entrepreneurs through skill development and start-ups.
To attract the youth of the country towards agriculture, a project called 'Arya' is being run through Krishi Vigyan Kendras and the Farmer Fest program is also playing a leading role in this direction. Skill development internships for youth are provided at the graduation level. There is tremendous potential for startups in the fields of seed and plant production, food processing and post-mortgage management, veterinary, farm machinery, poultry, fish production, biological products and bioplasty.