‘Focus on value addition in farm produce’
Speakers at the inaugural of a day-long symposium on “Emerging Technologies in Agricultural Engineering” organised at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University – Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute at Kumulur near here on Tuesday, underlined the role of agricultural engineers in protecting the depleting resources and protecting the environment and conservation of soil and other natural resources.
They appealed to the students to update their knowledge in research and development, through an in-depth study of minute information.
S. Natarajan, General Manager of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, who inaugurated the symposium, appealed to students to focus on innovation in their research-based mechanisation projects. There was scope for taking up projects in areas such as post-harvest technology cold storage. He specifically appealed to students to focus on value addition in agricultural produce.
He said that NABARD had planned to set up 60 Farmers Producers Organisations in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry this financial year. These organisations would be a registered body and would cater to the needs of farmers from a strategy known as “seed to market”. Crop protection, good practices in cultivation, and provision of attractive marketing strategy would be the objective of these organisations. Steps had been taken for forming about 15 to 20 organisations in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, he added.
K. Ramaswamy, Dean (in-charge) of the college, said that excessive use of fertiliser and chemicals had caused more harm to the nutrients of soil. Students should address these issues.
Reeling out statistics, he said that fall in the capacity of dams and reservoirs was another problem which resulted in under-utilisation of irrigation waters.
Explaining the efficacy of modern agriculture strategy, Dr. Ramaswamy said that agricultural engineering students should learn the nuances of land management, conservation of natural resources, and environment-related issues. He underlined the need for incorporating the current-day issues confronting the agriculturists in the agricultural engineering colleges across the country.
S. Suresh Kumar, Assistant General Manager, NABARD, Tiruchi, G.L. Sivaprasath, General Manager, Yanmar Coromondel Agri-Solutions, and K.R. Udhyakumar, consultant on real estate values, spoke.