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BW Businessworld

‘Our Road Shows Have Been A Big Hit’

Neelkamal Darbari, principal secretary, Agriculture & Horticulture, talks to BW Businessworld’s about the Global Rajasthan Agritech Meet 2016.

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Neelkamal Darbari, principal secretary, Agriculture & Horticulture, talks to BW Businessworld’s Brij Pahwa, about the Global Rajasthan Agritech Meet 2016.


Where does Rajasthan stand in terms of agricultural output when compared
with other states?

We have a good track record in certain crops. We are doing well in oil seeds, pulses, fruits and plantation crops. The cotton plantations are among the finest in India, which can be proved by the fact that the per hectare productivity of cotton in Rajasthan is the highest. We recently won the Krishi Karman award for wheat productivity.

How successful have the road shows on GRAM been?
Very successful. We have done four already, one each in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Kolkata, and the fifth one is in New Delhi. The attendance has been fantastic, and we have been getting a lot of queries and responses as well. It is worth mentioning that interest showed by people in Rajasthan has been phenomenal. All of this motivates us.

What kind of support are you getting in this regard from CM Vasundhara Raje?
It is her leadership that has been instrumental in designing the whole concept. She has been telling us to look at it from the perspective of the farmers and to ensure that their income doubles within a stipulated time. This concept primarily has a socio-economic impact with employment potential interwoven in it.

Are there any plans to venture into newer areas of agriculture like organic farming and genetically modified (GM) crops?
Organic, yes. We are making a conscious and focused effort to convert large tracts of land for organic farming as we have seen the effects of indiscriminate use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Recently, we declared Dungarpur as an ‘organic’ district, and we are trying to implement it in a timely manner. Our modus operandi is to proceed block-by-block and gradually switch over to organic farming throughout the district. As for GM crops, we are genetically hybridising cotton and we have large tracts of land under BT cotton in Ganganagar and Hanumangarh.

Who are your potential partners for GRAM 2016?
We are expecting large delegations from Israel, Canada, the Netherlands and Australia. Large-scale participation from Japan and China is expected; we have been talking to their ambassadors and secretaries.

What do you hope to achieve with GRAM 2016?
The event is in November. We will bring 50,000 farmers from Rajasthan to the event to witness the innovations in agriculture.