In this project we aim to look at high-tech solutions, suited to Indian context, to address challenges in the Indian AgriFood system.
The project supports Green Revolution spearheaded India from a food importing nation towards a food secure, self-sufficient and a food exporting one. This led to agriculture being one of the most important sectors, which currently contributes to 14% of Indias GDP, 11% of total exports and is the primary source of livelihood for more than 50% of Indian population. Furthermore, India is now the second largest producer of agri-food products, feeding more than 1.39 billion people. This, however, is a partial picture of an agri-food system which in actuality is facing significant challenges, like:
1. Climate change leading to unpredictable and increased incidences of abiotic (flooding, drought, heat, etc.) and biotic (fungal, bacterial and pest) stresses affecting productivity and leading to increased pesticide usage.
2. Resource intensive agriculture practices leading to freshwater depletion and soil degradation.
3. Considerable food losses during harvest and postharvest stages leading to a further reduction in food availability and issues around food safety.
4. Lag in increasing fruit, vegetable and protein production to match the demands of the burgeoning urban population (from food security to nutrition security).
5. Lack of knowledge, technical know-how and networks with regards to leveraging and adopting latest agrifood technologies to resolve the above-mentioned issues.
In this project we aim to look at high-tech solutions, suited to Indian context, to address these challenges.