Agriculture continues to be the back bone of our country in its path towards prosperity and development. In the more recent years, Horticulture sector has become vibrant both in terms of its role in employment generation and also in improving the country’s nutritional security.
When compared to the overall agriculture sector, Horticulture is generally considered a high value, high risky vocation owing to the way in which the produce is utilized and also due to perishable nature of the produce. However, practicing Horticulture by adoption of latest technologies and post processing practices can contribute tremendously towards a stable source of income for our farming community.
Tamil Nadu as a state is endowed with seven agro climatic conditions and enjoys the presence of a wide variety of fruit, vegetable, flower and millet crops. As one of the leading horticultural state, Tamil Nadu contributes to about 5.88% of its horticulture production to the country. Specific to mention is in the contribution of “Loose Flower” segment, where Tamil Nadu leads the country contributing 19% of its production to the nation.
With the focus of, “Doubling Farmers’ Income” and making Agriculture a “Profitable Venture” and in order to deliberate and demonstrate key technologies and practices that can showcase the hidden potential of the state’s Agriculture sector, CII Salem is organising an Exhibition and Conference titled “Olirum Uzhavu” (Progressive Agriculture) during 20 & 21 June 2019 at Salem, Tamil Nadu.
Taking cue from the fact that, most of the Farmers spend their valuable time, resources and efforts towards cultivating a less optimal crop considering the prevalent agro climatic zone of their region; it is desirable to create better awareness among them in identifying the correct crop suitable to that climatic condition, support them to aggregate their produce through Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) and finally to integrate them with processing industries for better utilization of the farm produce. This move will certainly lead to higher agricultural productivity, greater value addition possibility to the final farm produce eventually leading to better farm gains for farmers.
In this context, the first edition of “Olirum Uzhavu” will focus on nodal crops grown in the Western and North Western zones of Tamil Nadu and will deliberate on reducing the gap between the current status and the existing potential in the production and processing of nodal crops grown in these zones. About 10 of the nodal crops have been identified and are placed in the below three “crop groups” for deliberations during the event:
Perennial Fruit Crops (Mango, Sapota, Pomegranate, Amla)
Annual Crops (Millets, Tomato)
Annual Flower Crops (Chrysanthemum, Marigold, Tuberose, Jasmine)
“Olirum Uzhavu” is planned as a Two day Conference and Exhibition focusing on Key Pre Harvest and Post Harvest practices to be undertaken for improving the production of nodal crops in the state.
Starting with the Session on bench marking the current status of production, the conference is expected to cover topics including, Organic Cultivation, Role of Farmer Producer Organisations, Supply Side Experience Sharing by Private Players, Digital Marketing Avenues, Potential for Buy Back Arrangements, Water Security, Value Addition Possibilities (specific to Millets) and Supporting Schemes from State and Central Governments.
The Exhibition is expected to have the presence of all key players engaged in the value chain of the nodal horticulture crops, not limited to, Input Manufacturers, Farm Machinery Manufacturers, Post Harvest Equipment Manufacturers, Processors, Exporters, Consultants, Research Institutions and Nodal Government Agencies etc.
“Olirum Uzhavu” is expected to provide an advocacy to the State and Central Government, post the event, through a Report on “Potential for Improvement” in the production and processing of nodal crops for the benefit of all stakeholders engaged in Agriculture.
In its subsequent editions, “Olirum Uzhavu” will focus on deliberations and action plans required in other Agro Climatic Zones of Tamil Nadu and will support the Government of Tamil Nadu in its plan towards making Agriculture an “Attractive and Profitable Venture”.