I recently travelled to Europe for two important conferences: the International Plant Protection Congress in Berlin and World Water Week (WWW) in Stockholm.
The IPPC is always an interesting venue as it brings together plant protection disciplines from not only across the globe but also across various disciplines like weeds and pests, diseases and insects and so forth. The Congress addressed some of the big issues in plant protection today such as climate change and its impact on pests, and legal issues such as how to put in place legal instruments that support responsible use of technology for plant protection.
During the Congress there were a lot of very good isolated projects presented and discussed but I think the challenge is how do you connect them – all these research outputs & projects – into an integrated approach to increase crop productivity in a sustainable manner?
In the opening session I was fortunate enough to receive an Award of Distinction – one of six awards given out at the Congress. The meeting was attended by some 1400 delegates from 95 countries. The IPPC meets every 4 years and coincidentally the next Congress is being hosted by ICRISAT in Hyderabad in 2019.
Opportunities opened this week for new models to work with private industry. I spent the day at a Confederation of Indian Industry event and was inspired by the success of a range of Indian agribusiness people and their ideas for partnership to ensure research leads to innovations and adoption. I can see these new connections are going to bring about a new way for us to do business and achieve our mission.
This was all started thanks to attending the Confederation’s Agri Technology and Mechanization Summit in New Delhi. Leaders in agribusiness discussed not only mechanization but the shift to innovation and adoption and especially the roles private industry, researchers and government should take in this regard.
Issues from how to make precision farming relevant to the small holder farmer to challenges around commercialization and approaches needed to ensure adoption were discussed. Mr Anthony Cherukara, VP (Strategy) and Head of Agri & Allied Business, Kirloskar Oil Engines (KOEL) noted that 64% of land holdings in India do not have a tractor or any similar mechanical devise. I also spoke on an area I am leading within ICRISAT on digital agriculture. Here is a part of my presentation and some key points