Chandigarh: “I’m happy to share the platform with the President of Israel, a country that has made a mark in agriculture through innovation, technology solutions and converting its knowledge into value addition. Israel has created water and food surplus by successfully using technology,”said Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Hon’ble President of India while speaking at the inaugural session of CII Agro Tech 2016.
The President was speaking at the inaugural session of 12th edition of CII Agro Tech 2016 at Parade Ground in Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Sunday.The Guest of Honour was His ExcellencyMrReuvenRivlin,Hon’ble President of Israel.Among other prominent dignitaries present were MrRadha Mohan Singh, Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture, Government of India, Prof Kaptan Singh Solanki, Hon’ble Governor Haryana, Mr V.P. Singh Badnore,Hon’ble Governor Punjab and UT Administrator.Dr Naushad Forbes, President, CII & Co-Chairman, Forbes Marshall Pvt Ltd, Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, Dr AbhayFirodia, Chairman, CII Agro Tech 2016 & Chairman, Force Motors Ltd and Mrs Rumjhum Chatterjee, Chairperson Northern Region and Group MD Feedback Infra.
Applauding the efforts of CII towards initiatives like Agro Tech, the President said, “I have had the privilege of interacting with CII and I deeply appreciate all the contribution and efforts they are making for advancement of agriculture in the country.It is even more special that such an event is being organised in Punjab and Haryana where the first Green Revolution started. As we stand on the cusp of a second Green Revolution, we can take inspiration from this land,” he said.
He mentioned how for several years India has been growing at a substantial rate of 7.6 per cent despite a slowdown in the world economy after 2008 and how new initiatives and schemes of the Central government like Clean India, Digital India and Make in India are better for growth. “There is much to learn from Israel, a country which has converted its disadvantages to advantages with courage, conviction and fortitude. I was a part of the decision making team in 1992 that entered into a partnership for defence equipment with Israel, and I am happy we can do so in the field of agriculture as well.”
Guest of Honour, Mr. Reuven Rivlin, Hon’ble President of Israel started by expressing his delight at being a guest at CII Agro Tech 2016. Mr. Rivlin started his speech with reference to the hindi word, jugaad. “During my visit to India, I learned a new word called jugaad. Jugaad means –a clever solution born out of trouble. If you know Israel and Israelis, you can guess how quickly I fell in love with this word. Just imagine a small nation, suffering for being different. The State of Israel is Jugaad! Jugaad is the way we think, the way we invent, the way we work,” he said.
He delighted in the friendship between India and Israel, which has produced amazing results, he said. ““We in Israel were concerned about homeland security, but India taught us to think about food security. And this is why we are all here today. India and Israel are both ‘old-new nations’. We both know that building a home means being able to provide food for your family, and that building a nation means to be able to produce and provide food for its people; now, and for the next generations. It is about taking care of your home with your own two hands; it is about taking care of your people and your land.
“Food security is not only about surviving – it’s about thriving,” he said. The role that companies in Israel are playing in bringing its technology to India and improving the lot of farmers here is aimed to strengthen the synergy between the two nations. “A few days ago I visited Karnal where Indians and Israelis are developing new kinds of cherry-tomato, which are an Israeli invention. When Indian experts and Israeli experts place solar panels on the roofs of trucks so that the solar energy can keep the food inside the trucks fresh and prevent food waste – they are doing magic together. When Israeli companies and Indian farmers create professional and financial networks to help the farmers keep growing their crops, they are doing magic together,” he said. Making special reference to the Central government’s Make in India programme, he added that, “Israel not only thinks that it can Make in India, but also Make with India.”
Referring to CII Agro Tech 2016, Mr Radha Mohan Singh, Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture, Government of India, said an event like CII Agro Tech 2016 helps to connect many stakeholders— farmers, innovators, business leaders and investors. “It is appreciable as how CII is bringing digital krishi to farmers. When we talk about India’s agricultural production, the states of Punjab and Haryana get a supreme mention because it was here that the Green Revolution was started. However, in the last few years, water levels in these states have depleted and we need to develop ways to use water more judiciously.” He emphasised on how CII’s efforts corroborate the efforts of the Central government to increase agricultural production and water conservation with schemes like zilasinchaiyojana, soil health card, rashtriyagokul mission and introduction of neem coated urea.
Dr AbhayFirodia, Chairman, CII Agro Tech 2016 & Chairman, Force Motors Ltd said over the years, CII Agro Tech has positioned itself as India’s Premier Biennial Agro Technology & Business Fair. Briefing about CII Agro Tech 2016, he said CII Agro Tech 2016 has 140 Exhibitors, six concurrent shows and four special pavilions. He added, “We are expecting around 1 lakh farmers to visit CII Agro Tech 2016 from the region as well as the neighbouring states.”
Dr Naushad Forbes, President, CII & Co-Chairman, Forbes Marshall Pvt Ltd said Israel has been able to bring in cutting-edge technology in agriculture which has given a new impetus to Indo-Israel relationship.
Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, said, CII Agro Tech started in 1994 and it was a privilege to have the Israel President here on the occasion of the inaugural of the 12th edition. India-Israel partnership has strengthened over the years. He said Israel and India partnership was very special.
Mrs Rumjhum Chatterjee, Chairperson, CII Northern Region delivered a vote of thanks to the Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and the Israel President for having graced the occasion.
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