Agriculture in 21st century is undergoing transformation to face enormous challenges to feed the 9.6 billion people billion people that the FAO predicts are going to inhabit the planet by 2050: food production must increase by 70 per cent by 2050 in the backdrop of major demographic dynamics and the changing demand for food with a rapid growing population.India being a global agricultural powerhouse faces multiple challenges to feed growing population.
Though India is the world’s largest producer of milk, pulses, and spices, and has the world’s largest cattle herd (buffaloes), as well as the largest area under wheat, rice and cotton but India’s productivity is much lower than several developing and developed countries’ productivity. For example, rice yields in India are one-third of China’s and about half of those in Vietnam and Indonesia.
Indian agriculture has witnessed several phases of agriculture since Green Revolution. Green Revolution of the 1970s made India self sufficient in food-grains and reduced the threat of famine. Between 1970s and 1980s agriculture intensification resulted in increased demand for farm labour that raised rural wages and declined food prices, reducing rural poverty. In 1990s and 2000s agriculture growth slowed down. Growth in Indian Agriculture is almost stagnant for more than a decade. In this backdrop, technologies & innovations are looked at as primary means to overcome the challenges and to ensure food security of the country and increasing the income of the farmers.
Global Agri Connect is a flagship programme of National Skills Foundation of India (NSFI) organized every year. Global Agri Connects held in 2011, 2012, and 2013 were marked highly successful platforms where in GAC 2011 was organised on ‘Transformational Changes in Indian Agriculture: The Next Decade’, GAC 2012 was organised on ‘Hi-value Agriculture: A Gateway to farm prosperity’ and GAC 2013 on ‘Evolving Skill Dimensions: The lever to agricultural growth’. Every year the event brings together various stakeholders like corporate bodies, department of agriculture and various other government bodies to discuss and deliberate on various perspectives of agriculture that can protect the country from the trends of declining production & productivity.