Mumbai, Jan 12 IANS | 2 years ago

Over 500,000 farmers from across the country will participate in "Krishi Vasant" (Farm Spring) an agro fair-cum-expo jointly organised by the Union Ministry of Agriculture, Maharashtra government and CII in Nagpur next month.

To be inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee, the mega-farm fair will be held Feb 9-13 at the Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR) in Nagpur, top officials said here Sunday.

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said the gathering would be the "Maha-Kumbh" of agriculture, an unprecedented event never before even attempted in the country.

"Last year, India was the biggest exporter of rice and the second-largest exporter of sugar, wheat and cotton in the world. This is the perfect time for organising 'Krishi Vasant'. It will be the largest ever gathering of farmers and everything involved with farming," Pawar said.

Terming the expo a "long felt need," Pawar noted that while all sectors of the economy were suffering, the agriculture sector was witnessing accelerated growth.

The agriculture sector grew at a 3.64 percent growth rate last year, the minister said.

"We now have 260 million tonnes of foodgrain, enough to feed the country and export some as well," Pawar said.

Chavan said "Krishi Vasant" will be the largest event for any sector ever in the country, and would attempt to put farmers and farming on the centre-stage in our agro-based economy.

"Farmers need the knowledge, interaction and networking to take agriculture to the next level. We want them to see success stories, witness and understand technology, view live demonstrations around crops, and learn about agricultural practices," Chavan said.

He said that every aspect of the rural economy will be touched and the massive intellectual and logistical effort will enrich farmers with technology and networking to give them confidence and knowledge to take farming notches higher.

"The first Green Revolution in India was technology-driven, the next one will be information-driven, with Information Technologies being used on a massive scale to disseminate information. The event will be a watershed in the history of Indian agriculture," Chavan said.

Besides the participation of over half a million farmers, the expo will attract half a million visitors and another five million farmers shall be connected through dedicated webcasts around the country, the organisers said.

The event will have more than a thousand stalls and demonstrations, see 307 varieties of 54 different types of crops exhibited, besides interactive sessions with scientists and experts in regional languages.

(Posted on 12-01-2014)