Transport Minister S.S. Sivasankar underscored the significance of value addition in agricultural products to uplift the income of farmers and allied agricultural workers. Speaking at the inauguration of the two-day National Food Processors’ Expo-cum-Roundtable organized by the Southern India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) at Dhanalakshmi Srinivasan College, Minister Sivasankar lamented the disparity between the toil and investment of farmers and the returns they receive. He pointed out that middlemen and large corporations often reap the benefits of farmers’ hard work, stressing the urgent need for a shift in this paradigm.

Government’s Commitment to Agricultural Promotion

Minister Sivasankar commended the state government’s dedication to promoting agriculture and supporting farmers’ income. Highlighting the allocation of a separate budget for agriculture annually, he emphasized Chief Minister M.K. Stalin’s proactive approach to leveraging governmental resources to bolster agricultural activities.

Addressing Challenges Faced by Farmers

SICCI president Arun Alagappan acknowledged the multifaceted challenges confronting the agricultural sector. He cited climate change, dwindling natural resources, and the necessity of enhancing productivity while maintaining environmental sustainability as formidable hurdles. Alagappan stressed the importance of ensuring farmers’ welfare, facilitating access to markets, and promoting the adoption of modern technology, particularly in remote areas.

Embracing Technological Advancements for Agricultural Growth

Alagappan proposed the adoption of precision farming, data-driven decision-making, and the integration of cutting-edge technology as catalysts for a new era in agriculture. He affirmed SICCI’s commitment to devising strategies for the inclusive growth of farmers, leveraging technological innovations to overcome existing challenges.

Industry Participation and Technological Display

The expo witnessed participation from prominent industry figures such as Rafiq Ahmed, Chairman of Kothari Industrial Corporation, Arun Nehru, Managing Director of GSNR Rice Industries Pvt. Ltd., Y.V.N. Krishna Murthy, Board Member of IIT Tirupati, and M.V. Subramanian, Board Member of SICCI, among others. With over 50 stalls showcasing a range of technologies and equipment, from nursery cultivation to harvest, the event attracted a significant turnout of farmers.

As the expo continues to facilitate knowledge dissemination and technological advancement, it promises to contribute significantly to the growth and sustainability of the agricultural sector.

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