Nagpur to host mega agricultural fair 'Krishi Vasant 2014'

The union ministry of agriculture and the government of Maharashtra will jointly organise 'Krishi Vasant' a farmer centric fair-cum-exhibition from 9 to 13 February at the Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR), Nagpur.

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) will be a strategic partner of the grand event, which was launched in Mumbai today.

The national agriculture fair-cum-exhibition will see participation by 2.5 lakh farmers from the state and around 1 lakh farmers from other states, according to the agriculture ministry.

"Indian agriculture has experienced a turnaround. It has seen 3.64 per cent growth rate and we now have 260 million tonnes of foodgrain that is enough to feed the country and export some as well. Last year, India was the largest exporter of rice and second largest exporter of wheat, sugar and cotton in the world.

''This is hence the perfect time for 'Krishi Vasant' the largest ever gathering of farmers and everything involved with farming ever in the country. This event was a long felt need," union minister for agriculture and food processing industries Sharad Pawar said while launching Krishi Vasant 2014.

Pawar recalled an agricultural fair and exhibition of this scale held in Delhi when Panjabrao Deshmukh was the agriculture minister. Pawar also said that the president has agreed to visit Nagpur to inaugurate the event.

The exhibition would have over 1,000 stalls, displaying 307 varieties of 54 different types of crops with demonstrations and interactive session with scientists and experts in regional languages.

The event will have over half a million visitors and over five million more farmers will benefit from dedicated webcasting of the event across the nooks and corners of the country, down to the block level, he said.

"This is the most ambitious agricultural exposition and demonstration ever in India. It is also the largest event for any sector ever in the country. In our agro-based economy, this is the beginning of putting farmers and farming in the centre-stage. Farmers need the knowledge, the interaction and the networking to take agriculture to the next level," state chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said.

"One of the main purposes is to allow farmers to see success stories, to see and understand technology, see live demonstrations of various crops and know about agricultural practises," Chavan added.

"The first Green Revolution in India was technology-driven, the next one will be information-driven and information technologies will be used at a massive scale to disseminate information. This event will be a watershed in the history of Indian agriculture," Chavan said.

"When all other sectors of the economy have not been doing as good, agriculture has provided the silver lining. Not only is the event being organized in spring that gives a message of renewal, growth and prosperity of harvest, it is also a precursor to what we intend to do in the next few years in the field," Ashish Bahuguna, secretary, ministry of agriculture, said.

"It will be a multi-sectoral event where agro industries, research institutes, central and state government organizations, farmers, producers, students, academics, scientists, etc, will converge for five days of direct access to the latest knowledge and technology concerning agriculture," added Sanjeev Gupta, joint secretary in the ministry of agriculture.