Monday, November 26, 2012

72nd annual conference of Indian Society of Agricultural Economics ends

Varanasi, November 18, 2012: The 72nd annual conference of Indian Society of Agricultural Economics concluded at Swatantrata Bhawan in Banaras Hindu University (BHU) with agriculture specialists and scientists discussing several issues like information communication and technology, cotton production, impact of pesticides, research and development, investment in agriculture, protected agriculture and public private partnership.

Society suggested various measures to Government of India for policy making decisions. Suggestions of society act as an assisting report in policy making to planning commission. Government of India has always been concern to the suggestions of the society.

Major suggestions of the society for planning commission are as follows:

Science has considerable potential to generate alternative technologies for enhancing food and agricultural production. Research agenda should include all technologies, traditional or modern that has visible impact in terms of yield improvement, cost savings and quality.  There is need to adapt new methods and procedures to estimate the impact of technologies on yield, risk and on environment.

There is need for broad economic impact studies on modern technologies encompassing economic, social, and environmental and health impacts. The studies should address issues like, scale bias, distributional impacts on producers, consumers and innovators.

Studies are required on the role of government policies on pricing of embedded technologies like B. T. cotton on attracting research investments and incentivizing innovators. How far the existing regulatory policy and institutional mechanism is adequate to protect the interests of stake holders? More studies are required in this direction.

Another area which requires in-depth analysis is the economics of Bt cotton seed production including the cost of trait value.

Studies on how the information communication technologies play an important role in enabling the farmers ‘access to information, impact on transaction costs associated with acquisition of information and on farm income.

Appropriate Institutional mechanisms to forge partnership between public-private public and private sectors in developing, sharing and dissemination of information needs to be developed. The contents should be in vernacular language and should be free from technical jargons./ effectiveness and impact of alternative innovative ICT models need to be studied.

There is also need to explore use of GIS and remote sensing crop and assessment of crop loss due to pests and diseases and extreme climatic events. GIS use in precision farming is another important socio-economic research avenue.

Increasing demand for vegetables creates new opportunities to farmers to grow off season vegetables under protected environments. Studies indicate that protected agriculture is highly remunerative but to realize wider impacts of these technology farmers need to be linked to markets through costs effective institutional innovations.

Economic gain of nano technology in agricultural production and food industry is another area of research we need to look into.

Studies are required to analyze the role of technology in mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

The pace and structure of future-agriculture would be driven by the knowledge intensive technological approaches such as biotechnology, geo-system and IT applications, nanotechnology, etc. The role of frontier technologies in agriculture has to be evaluated in the context of increasing demand for food, declining quality of land and water resources and challenges posed by emerging climatic change in impacts.

Another important area is the application of GIS and remote sensing in soil fertility mapping and developed equation to obtain optimum dose of fertilization for targeted yield of crops. The developed equation can be utilized to prescribe balance fertilization which will improve soil health as well as reduce the cost of crop production.


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