Versatilty of Agribiotechnology - Presentation by Shri Ashwin Shroff

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Presentation by Shri Ashwin Shroff at 3rd National Conference on Agribiotechnology of CII held on 10-11 December 2013 at Bangalore

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Versatilty of Agribiotechnology - Presentation by Shri Ashwin Shroff

  1. 1. Versatility of AgriBiotechnology Ashwin Shroff Chairman, CII Sub Committee on Agribiotechnology & Chairman, Excel Crop Care Limited 2013-14
  2. 2. Major Challenges Facing Globe / India / Indian Economy, Agriculture, Food ( Producers, Consumers, Govt.) “Versatility of AgriBiotechnology” – Ashwin Shroff, Chairman, CII subcommittee on Agribiotechnology & Chairman, Excel Crop Care Limited, Mumbai
  3. 3. Green Revolution (Global, India) Green Revolution transformed agriculture around the globe, World Grain Production increased by over 250% Credited with saving over a billion people from starvation Technologies & Tools used  Improved Crop Varieties  Water through Irrigation Projects  Synthetic Fertilizers  Pesticides  Active Govt. support through Policies & Subsidies  Highly Energy Intensive  Focus on few Crops “Versatility of AgriBiotechnology” – Ashwin Shroff, Chairman, CII subcommittee on Agribiotechnology & Chairman, Excel Crop Care Limited, Mumbai
  4. 4. Green Revolution  First Green Revolution relied very heavily on externally supplied inputs  Water  Nutrition  Crop protection  Energy  Money through subsidy “Versatility of AgriBiotechnology” – Ashwin Shroff, Chairman, CII subcommittee on Agribiotechnology & Chairman, Excel Crop Care Limited, Mumbai
  5. 5. Effects of Green Revolution Desirable & Not so Desirable  Quantity of Food  Quality of Food “YES” Nutritional, Chemical residues ?  Ground Water Depletion, Pollution ……..  Lot of Dependence on Fossil Related Materials & Energy  Huge Financial Subsidy Burden on Govt.  Skewed & Unbalanced use of Crop Nutrition ie. Fertilizers “Versatility of AgriBiotechnology” – Ashwin Shroff, Chairman, CII subcommittee on Agribiotechnology & Chairman, Excel Crop Care Limited, Mumbai
  6. 6. Revisiting Green Revolution Context & Issues The Stakeholders  Farmers  Consumers  Govt. & Economy  Agriculture Scientists  Agriculture Input Industries Broader Issues  Climate Change  Food related Inflation  Consumerism  NGOs & Media Role “Versatility of AgriBiotechnology” – Ashwin Shroff, Chairman, CII subcommittee on Agribiotechnology & Chairman, Excel Crop Care Limited, Mumbai
  7. 7. Challenges Facing Indian Agriculture  Depleting Soil Organic Matter (Soil Health & Productivity)  Food Quality Issues – Nutritional, Residues – Qty. vs. Quality Emerging Multi-Nutrient Deficiencies of Secondary & Micronutrients  Water – Groundwater Availability, Quality, Energy to pump out  Energy – On Farm, Transportation, Cold Storage, …  Stagnation / Slow Growth in Agricultural Productivity  Climate Change & uncertainty of Weather  Very High Subsidy Burden – Foreign Currency Dependant “Versatility of AgriBiotechnology” – Ashwin Shroff, Chairman, CII subcommittee on Agribiotechnology & Chairman, Excel Crop Care Limited, Mumbai
  8. 8. Next Green Revolution  What should we do to make it Sustainable !!  Both Economical as well as Environmental  Helpful & Profitable to Farmers across whole India  Acceptable & Affordable to Consumers…. Possible approaches  Reduce heavy dependency on externally supplied Agri-inputs (Water, Nutrition, Crop Protection, Energy)  Using and recycling farm based resources & others eg. City Waste  Cover rainfed areas (Approx. 60% of Agriculture in India) with Crop Diversity  Use New Science & Technology like Biotechnology along with Known Tools judiciously i.e. IPM, INM…. type of concepts “Versatility of AgriBiotechnology” – Ashwin Shroff, Chairman, CII subcommittee on Agribiotechnology & Chairman, Excel Crop Care Limited, Mumbai
  9. 9. Hybrids Tissue Culture Farm Energy NATURAL RESOURCES PLANTING MATERIALS GM Seeds Water Water VERSATILITY OF AGRI BIOTECHNOLOGY Soil Health NUTRITION Organic Manure Bio Fuel Bio Fertilizer Diagnostics PEST & DISEASE MANAGEMENT Bio Weather Pesticides Forecast (Botanicals, Microbial) “Versatility of AgriBiotechnology” – Ashwin Shroff, Chairman, CII subcommittee on Agribiotechnology & Chairman, Excel Crop Care Limited, Mumbai
  10. 10. Why Biotechnology?  Inspired by Nature  More akin to Nature  Encourages use of tools from Nature  Benign  Less interventionist  Soft on Environment, Farmers, Consumers “Versatility of AgriBiotechnology” – Ashwin Shroff, Chairman, CII subcommittee on Agribiotechnology & Chairman, Excel Crop Care Limited, Mumbai
  11. 11. Climate Change Agriculture and Hence Food Security Highly Threatened – Needs to be tackled Climate Change Big problem for Agriculture !! Is Agriculture a problem for Climate Change? “NO” On the contrary, Agriculture is a solution to Climate Change Reversal Agriculture ≡ Photosynthesis ≡ CO2 capture Agriculture is Answer to Climate Change “Versatility of AgriBiotechnology” – Ashwin Shroff, Chairman, CII subcommittee on Agribiotechnology & Chairman, Excel Crop Care Limited, Mumbai
  12. 12. Communicating AgriBiotechnology  Biotechnology needs to be understood & evaluated in a balanced manner.  Some myths & fears are being perceived & spread & perpetuated, by sections of Society, either out of ignorance, but also by many with vested interests.  Some myths about Biotechnology :  It is human intervention in God’s design, with nature, so we should not encourage or allow.  Though it sounds good, we don’t know if it has / will have any adverse side effects.  It is controlled by Private Sector, that too MNCs, who can make Farmers & Consumers dependent on them & exploit them.  Others Contd…. “Versatility of AgriBiotechnology” – Ashwin Shroff, Chairman, CII subcommittee on Agribiotechnology & Chairman, Excel Crop Care Limited, Mumbai
  13. 13. Communicating AgriBiotechnology  Some Realities & Possible Answers :  Agriculture as an activity is itself a human intervention. (Similarly, milk production by domestication of cattle, transport by use of horses)  Many Agri advances have been human interventions – tilling of land, fertilizers, Pesticides, pumping of water, etc.  Many of modern Techniques & Devices taken for Granted Today are through Scientific advances & human understanding and interventions – Electricity, Cars, Phones, Food, Longer Life Spans, and many more.  We Welcome the Advances in Pharmaceuticals & Health Care, in common as well as dreaded diseases like Cancer.  But Food is equally vital. So is Water. So is Energy Availability. Contd…. “Versatility of AgriBiotechnology” – Ashwin Shroff, Chairman, CII subcommittee on Agribiotechnology & Chairman, Excel Crop Care Limited, Mumbai
  14. 14. Communicating AgriBiotechnology Biotechnology has the Answers to many of these Burning Problems facing India and the World. Let us Welcome it, Encourage this Versatile Tool, with an “Objective and Open Mind” “Versatility of AgriBiotechnology” – Ashwin Shroff, Chairman, CII subcommittee on Agribiotechnology & Chairman, Excel Crop Care Limited, Mumbai
  15. 15. Thank you “Versatility of AgriBiotechnology” – Ashwin Shroff, Chairman, CII subcommittee on Agribiotechnology & Chairman, Excel Crop Care Limited, Mumbai

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