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Green Revolution in Agriculture

New Delhi: The applications of technical textiles in agriculture will help to bring in the second Green Revolution in Indian Agriculture, said Smt. Rita Menon, while addressing the workshop on Agrotech and Oekotech Textiles, here today.

Agriculture is the main stay of Indian economy and 70% of the population is dependent on Agriculture for their livelihood, and it is the bounden duty of the Government to ensure foods security for its citizens, said Secretary (Textiles).There is little scope for increase in land for agriculture activities, with conflicting demand for industry and allied activities, and there is an immediate need to increase yield and stem the post harvesting losses, said Secretary (Textiles). Agrotech will play an important role and we hope to double the fruit and vegetable production to 340 million ton in next five years from 170 million ton at present with the judicious use of Agrotech, similarly, post harvest foodgrain wastage can be reduced from 7% to 4% by applications of Agro Textiles, said Secretary (Textiles).

Secretary (Textiles) said that the Agrotech textiles have a huge potential, and its market size is expected to increase from Rs.553 crore in 2007-08 to over Rs. 1,300 crore by 2012-13. There is an urgent need to develop standards, procedures and manufacturing capacities of international standards, if India is to compete globally and ensures food security and income security to farmers, emphasized Secretary (Textiles).

Secretary (Textiles) said that the Government have set up a Centres of Excellence (CoE) for Agrotech group of technical textiles at Mumbai to provide one-stop facilities for testing, human resource development and research and development. Already Government has removed fiscal anamolies affecting the development of technical textiles and we are providing 10% capital subsidy under Technology Upgradation Fund Schemes (TUFS) for machinery used for manufacture of technical textiles, said Secretary (Textiles).

The environmental sustainability and waste management has become the prime focus of policy maker, said Shri Vijai Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forest. Daily 150 million tons of waste is generated in our country and we are recycling only 10% to 20% of it, compared to 60% to 70% in developed countries, said Secretary (MoEF)). We have to increase consciousness of the community about the need for sustainable development and waste recycling and there is an urgent need to set standards, higher level of definitiveness and creates synergy between Industry and Government to increase the use of Oekotech group of technical textiles. We should immediately institutionalize the consultative process and set up an Inter-Ministerial Group on these issues with participations various stakeholders. If this initiative has to succeed there is a need to develop of public private partnership modle and develop entrepreneurship to sustain the momentum, said Secretary (MoEF).

Technical Textiles products used in the agriculture are known as Agrotech and those used for environmental protection are called Oekotech. The technical textiles are used in agriculture to fabricate shade-nets, crop-covers, mulch-nets, anti-hail nets, bird protection nets, fishing nets and greenhouse covers. The use of these items is very limited in the context of Indian agriculture. The major applications of Oekotech are for landfill waste management. It includes products used to prevent leakage of municipal or hazardous waste in landfills and suitable use of waste. The consumption of these technical textiles products remains limited despite their perceived benefits. With rapid urbanisation, the waste management has because major issue in India and Oekotech applications provide an effective way of managing the waste in an environment friendly manner.

The workshop sensitized the stakeholders about myriad applications of technical textiles in agriculture and environmental engineering and to create awareness amongst the stakeholders about the benefits of these items. The Workshop also focused on various rules/legislations that need to be amended to facilitate the use of these textiles in various applications.


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