The two-day Bio Agri 2023 conference which was organised by the Hyderabad-based world’s oldest BioAgri Input Producers Association (BIPA) had fruitful deliberations. The two-day meet, the 3rd in the series, witnessed 30 speakers, and 300 delegates from across India and countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Singapore, the USA, the Philippines and other countries.
The theme of the conference was ‘BioAg by 2030 Miles to go-Billions to reach’
On day two on Thursday addressing the gathering Dr. Praveen Rao, Former Vice Chancellor of Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) spoke on soil health and importance and observed that we need a powerful Soil Policy.
The citizens should be able to exercise their ‘Soil Rights’. Soil is the basis for agriculture, he said
The soil in our country is deficient in nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon. 55% of our soil is low in nitrogen, 42% deficient in phosphorus, and 44% in organic carbon. Farmers always complain about the low nutrient quality of their lands and heavily use chemical fertilisers.
Dr. Praveen Rao spoke about Regenerative Agriculture, Conservation Agriculture, technology for regenerative agriculture and how drones are changing the future of agriculture. Regenerative Agriculture benefits incentivising Indian farmers for environmental outcomes, he said.
Regenerative Agriculture plays a vital role in reversing climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity, he added.
Regenerative agriculture is the only way forward to decarbonise the food system and make farming resilient to climate-related shocks. But to make it happen farmers need to embrace it. It must be commercially attractive for the farmers, he said.
Soil Stewardship (careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care) and care must be embedded in every fruit and vegetable eaten, in each grain in the bread consumed, in every glass of water used, in every breadth of air inhaled and in every science landscape cherished. He reminded law of the future as said by Sir Albert Howard, ‘The law states that the substance we take from nature must be returned to the place from which it was taken.
RK Goyal, Managing Director, South Asia, SEA & ANZ spoke about new opportunities for bio-stimulants and said the rising global population is expected to reach 9.7 billion people by the year 2050. The Indian subcontinent's population is expected to be 1.7 billion by 2050. Agricultural productivity growth in 2023 is 1.66% and needs to increase to 1.75% to address additional demand by 2050
Ashutosh Garg of Absolute Foods one of the speakers said humanity is facing life-threatening problems such as
01. Chemicals are found in our food. 5 toxic chemicals enter our bodies through just a single food item
02. There is an imbalance in production and consumption. Nearly 795 million will face hunger daily by 2040.
03. We have been eating Microplastics. 5 gms of microplastics are consumed by us daily
04. We have been suffering from side effects of modern medicine. Modern Medicine is the 3rd most common cause of death in the UK and boils down to prescribed medication. It is very strange.
Nature has the answer to humanity's greatest challenges. Biology has the potential to transform the world, he said
Speaking further he asked How do forests thrive without needing fertilisers or pesticides? How has Porifera been cleaning the oceans for 600 Million years? How have wetlands stored & sequestered carbon for millennia?
The Global market size for Biotech products. Today it is out at USD 1,224.31 billion by 2030, USD 3,210.71 billion.