Agriculture Policy Briefing

Lots of Innovation Happening in Agriculture, Farmers Need to Profit from Them: Shilpa Divekar Nirula

Shilpa Divekar Nirula is India region CEO of Monsanto. She has been associated with the food and agriculture businesses for the past 18 years. Here is her short address to industry chamber, Ficci’s seminar on doubling farmers’ incomes through “smart” agricultural solutions.

  • I see challenges on the demand and supply side, but also tremendous potential for India to be a food exporting country, since it has the second largest share of arable land in the world (after the United States).
  • There is a lot of innovation happening on the supply side; farmers are embracing technology.
  • There is scope to improve productivity across crops. We need to extend irrigation and crop insurance to protect farmers against weather risks.
  • But what happens when output increases? How do we ensure that a greater share of income generated by agriculture reaches farmers?  For instance, tomatoes are selling for Rs 100 a kg now but tomato acreages are under pressure this kharif.
  • Seventy percent of Indian agriculture is in the kharif season.
  • We need to work together; we need partnerships and collaboration between producers and buyers.

(Top photo of Shilpa Divekar Nirula at the Ficci seminar by Vivian Fernandes).

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