“India has been blessed with an abundance of water, sunshine, land and other resources. The current water crisis in Chennai and other parts of the country is due to the lack of proper water management and not due to scarcity of water”, said, Dr. Jitendra K. Das, Director FORE School of Management, New Delhi during his inaugural speech at the National Summit-cum-award on Food, Agriculture & Dairy, organised by Associated Chambers of Commerce of India, ASSOCHAM on 23rd August 2019 in Ranchi.
Speaking on the topic, Dr. Das referred to India’s targeted growth as stated by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and said that the Five trillion economy target set for 2024 may seem difficult but is achievable. With the current assessed growth of approx. 7%; focus and special attention should be in rural development. Mapping the deficiency and gap in capacity with the available resources will help to capitalize on faster growth and propel the economy from 3 trillion to 5 trillion. Rural development can be the driving force for the economy but there has to be a driving force for rural development first.
The summit started with a Welcome Speech by Mr. Bharat Jaiswal, Regional Director, ASSOCHAM followed by a technical session – ‘Technology, Investment, Safety – Make in India to Invest in India’.
The session was chaired by Dr. Jitendra K. Das with the expert panelists – Shri Pradeep Kumar Hazare, Special secretary, Dept. of Agriculture, Government of Jharkhand; Dr. R K Jha, VC, Amity university Ranchi; Dr. Piyush Ranjan, Pro VC RAI University Ranchi and & Shri C B Chakraborty, Vice President, Amway India Enterprises Pvt. Ltd.
Mr. Piyush Ranjan mentioned while India is the 6th largest market place in food processing, 14% is wasted during the post-harvest management.
Mr. Pradeep Kumar Hazare stressed upon rural development and food production in India. He said that 230 million food produced in India can run for the next 9 months but what is of paramount importance is harvesting-management; cutting down on post-harvest waste and overall food processing management.
Interestingly according to the United Nations Development Programme, up to 40% of the food produced in India is wasted every year and the quantum of food that Indians waste in any given year is equivalent to the amount of food the UK consumes.
Dr. Jha from Amity University, while highlighting technology and other innovative processes that can contribute to the agriculture sector while, scientists have been working on ways to prevent food wastage, rethinking on ‘food waste is a valuable resource’ is a systematic approach towards sustainability. Citing an example Dr. Jha mentioned the type of Black soldier flies best known for consuming organic waste and being an excellent source of protein.
Mr. Chakraborty, VP, Amway India, mentioned that the firm has invested Rs 600 crore in a manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu as part of the Rs 1,000 crore investment plan in India and aims to be a Zero discharge plant.