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DBT’s Smart Agriculture Conclave: Farm Zone in the making

Department of Biotechnology
Ministry of Science & Technology
Government of India, New Delhi

Press Release

The Indian Department of Biotechnology (DBT), under the Ministry of Science and Technology, is convening Smart Agriculture Conclave in New Delhi from 29th to 31st August 2017, in partnership with the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Research Councils UK (RCUK) India.

The objective of this conclave is to create “Farm Zone” a collective open-source for smart agriculture data platform to use biological research and data to improve the lives of small and marginal farmers. It is envisaged that “Farm Zone” will help cater to all needs of the farmer, from dealing with climate change, weather predictions and soil, water, seed requirements to providing market intelligence.

This conclave is DBT’s vision, which aligns with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s desire for an effective decision making in agriculture that integrates science, technology, innovation and the farm ecosystem.

With the agricultural conclave, DBT aims to advance the process of technological intervention to help small and marginal land-holding farmers, who constitute a major component of Indian agriculture.

Food security is global concern and the livelihoods of millions of families depend on small scale agriculture. The conclave is working in the direction to address this challenge collectively and showcases the enormous research strength in India and its international partners in a global context, to achieve impact and build strong and sustainable research and innovation partnerships.

Over the next two days national and international experts in policy, IT, agritech companies, academics, farmers and representatives, along with research and innovation agencies from India, the UK and other countries, will bring ideas, implementable solutions and their potential role in building new partnerships that will help co-design and develop “Farm Zone” a public good that can be scaled up and applied across varying agro-climatic zones in the world.

Prof K VijayRaghavan, Secretary DBT said: “This conclave opens up the enormous smart agriculture landscape in India to potential national and international partners, who share DBT’s vision to use research and technology to deliver “Farm Zone” that will focus on solutions in the farming ecosystem, especially for small and marginal farmers.”

Mr Steve Visscher CBE, Deputy Executive, International for BBSRC said: “The UK Research Councils have a strong, sustainable partnership with India – an important research nation. BBSRC and RCUK India are delighted to partners with DBT to translate their vision of ‘Farm Zone’ into a reality that will benefit India and the world, and demonstrate the vital role of research and innovation in delivering prosperity.”

The UK and India are delighted to be partnering on a joint initiative ‘Agriculture Data: enhancement by integration, interpretation and reusability’ led by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), BBSRC and DBT. This joint programme aims to enhance the value of existing agricultural data focussing on animal and plant health to generate new knowledge that will inform effective pest and disease management.

DBT Conclave Agenda