Workshop and Summit at Shangri La organised jointly by the Department of Agriculture and Department of Innovation & Technology, under the umbrella of Bengaluru Tech Summit

Bengaluru, 28 March 2018: The Department of Agriculture and Department of Innovation & Technology, present the highly anticipated, “TECHNOLOGY IN AGRICULTURE”today atHotel Shangri La. Maheshwar Rao, Secretary to Department of Agriculture and Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary to Department of IT BTinaugurated the event in the presence of various dignitaries.

“Technology in Agriculture”, was organized under the aegis of “Bengaluru Tech Summit”, with emphasis on how new & emerging technologies like IOT, Drones, Smartphones, GIS etc. as they are impacting the Agriculture sector. The event had participation from corporate leaders and young startups who had shared their experiences, and narratives from International best practices.

The event showcased the important role played by Government and various institutions in driving the change in application of the new technologies to Agriculture.A number of technology initiatives have already become self sustaining, with lot of traction among all the stakeholders. However, the experiences have not been shared on a single platform, which is sought to be achieved by this workshop.

At the inauguration Maheshwar Rao spoke on the programme on tech in agriculture gaining importance. He said “ 50% of the population is dependent on agriculture and agriculture has a 10% contribution to the GDP. Karnataka is one of those technologically advanced states and is considered the R&D hub and has huge capital for such an ecosystem. Technology is used to see how farmers can be benefited and to increase the value for them. Today’s workshop will have discussions on emerging trends in agriculture and what technology can do. When we look at employment, the food and agriculture space has a good scope and a thriving future. MSME’s are audio encouraged to be a part of this space.”

InaugurationThe inauguration also had Ms. Dana Kush the Consul General of Israel to South India talking about Indo Israel partnership in agriculture. “ Both our countries are so similar we see how ancestors connect our today. Several acres of land are going to be utilised for agriculture under this partnership.”

Speaking at the event Gaurav Gupta said, “ Technology has such a rich that it has a hold on the less privileged as well, that is what we are trying to achieve. We see immense potential in the centre for innovation in applying emerging technology in agriculture. We hope this workshop helps in showcasing different Technology impacting agriculture.”

Shri Krishna Byre Gowda said, “Today I can proudly say that Karnataka is a food-secure state. This has been possible only because of the efforts of our Kannada farmers, who have overcome monumental odds to get us here. The state government has also been taking a lot of steps to support them, including providing international forums, best practices, subsidised electricity and water, among others. It is now time to take the next leap in agricultural technology, and I look forward to this workshop, to give our sons and daughters of the soil all the help they need.”

The day-long workshop featured 3 sessions, with each focussing on specific topics and themes. Sessions on the role of corporate houses in driving new agricultural initiatives, agri-based startups, international best practices and techniques, and government and institutional interventions in agriculture, will see experts from various sectors share their way forward for the agricultural sector. Discussions covered imaging and GIS mapping, Internet of Things, drones, and smart phone based tools.

Shri PriyankKharge, whose ministry recently went through a transformation to emerge as the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, also commented on the need for innovation in agriculture. He said, “The world of IT is constantly coming up with new buzzwords and technological breakthroughs. And Bengaluru, as the hotbed of innovation in the country, has taken full advantage of it. But these developments must not be restricted to a few elites in the cities, this must benefit the entire population of the state. I believe this Agricultural Technology workshop will find great new ways to take technology out of offices, and into the very earth of our state, and that everybody enjoys the fruits of innovation.”

Following the plenary sessions, a way-forward and road map will be drafted for implementation. Additionally, ways of nurturing future technology and early adoption will be chalked out.

This is one more example of the Karnataka government’s proactive approach to governance, and another way in which the state lives up to its people-first policies.