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11 July 2014

Develop agriculture and you develop all industries

Written by Jayant Chaudhary

Agriculture is our core competency, developing this segment will help develop every other industry, said Ponraj Vellaichamy, advisor to APJ Abdul Kalam. He was speaking at Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Foundation (RAIF) Talks organised by IIT Madras in association with the RAIF recently.

“Though agriculture is our core competency, its contribution to GDP is only 17 per cent. Developing agriculture and agro food processing industry would mean developing every other industry. This is because the consumer base will increase with the development of agriculture,” he said. Diverting funds that are provided for industries like automobile to innovation in agriculture will enable generation of a larger share of jobs, especially since the land for these is already available with the farmer, he said. By 2020, India will have to grow much more crops to feed the growing population. But the land available for agriculture and manpower in the industry will reduce.

This calls for huge innovations in the area. Engineers from various colleges in the State should look at agriculture as an avenue for innovation, he added. Speaking about innovations like unmanned aerial vehicles, he said that many of these can be used to solve common problems. “We have sophisticated unmanned aerial vehicles developed for surveillance and other defense purposes, but there are many areas which require this just as much. Unmanned vehicles might be of great use if it can be used to unblock the drains instead of doing it manually,” he said.

News Source : The New Indian Express - Chennai, 8 July 2014

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