Amity University showcased its path-breaking Agricultural Innovations at the 2nd Edition of SUFex 2023 (Smart Urban Farming Expo) held at Thyagaraj Stadium, INA, New Delhi from 24th to 25th March 2023. The Expo is India’s only specialized trade show for the industry and an ideal platform for organizations to showcase the most innovative products and services for the Urban Farming Sector.
During SUFex 2023, Dr. Nutan Kaushik, Director General, Amity Food and Agriculture Foundation, chaired a symposium on “Urban and Peri-Urban Farming: Status and Way Forward”. The key objectives of the symposium were to understand urban and peri-urban farming techniques, agri-startups pertaining to hydro and aeroponics and scope of “controlled environment agriculture” in harnessing entrepreneurship and innovation.
Addressing the gathering, Dr. Kaushik, said, “The growing urban population will have an impact on urban poverty and food insecurity. To reduce this adverse effect, there is a need to ensure adequate food supply and distribution systems, and therefore, urban and peri-urban agri-horticulture has emerged as a substantial contributor to the urban fresh food supply chain. Urban and peri-urban agri- horticulture complements rural agriculture and improves the national food system’s efficiency. Academicians, policymakers, and practitioners alike have focused on urban agriculture as a potential solution to meet the food needs of rising city populations while mitigating some of urbanization’s negative environmental and economic repercussions. Urban Farming provides a platform that caters to the new generation of urban farmers who cultivate their crops on balconies or rooftops. So far, the technology has remained dependent heavily on imported components, and it is now the right time to build our own models under the “Make in India” initiative, catering to the needs of various categories of people including a cost-effective model for marginal farmers.”
Emphasizing upon the significance of Urban Farming and Agriculture, Dr. Ashok K. Chauhan, Founder President, Amity Education Group, stated, “India is an agriculture- based country, where a huge population depends upon agriculture for their source of income. Urban farming is the fastest-growing sector of the agricultural business which caters to the special needs that are not met by conventional farming techniques. This is the first time that Amity is participating in an Agricultural Expo and Amity encourages its students to pursue a career in agriculture and food technology, which can enhance the agricultural productivity by applying innovative technologies, thereby contributing to nation-building.”
In addition, Amity also displayed its innovative technologies and products including Zero Energy Cool Chamber (ZECC), Cool Bot, a simple low-cost technology for postharvest management cold storage using simple air conditioning systems, Agrivoltaic, a technology which increases the efficiency of solar panels by reducing the temperature due to water transpiration from crops, Rootonics, the magic fungus that promotes agriculture, horticulture and productivity, at SUFex 2023. In addition, Fruits and millet-based fusion foods products such as Lotus stem Jam, a Manipuri dish called Singju, Banana-Ragi cake, developed by the M.Sc. (Post Harvest Technology) students of Amity also attracted the largest number of visitors to the Amity stall. Another innovative product, Roselle Muffins, was also displayed, which has the USP of being rich in bioactive components such as ascorbic acid, anthocyanins, phenolic content and antioxidant activity, with no added preservatives. Dr. E. Muthuraman, Chairman, MSME Promotion Council, interacted with the students of Amity and appreciated their efforts in developing these products and pursuing their interest in urban farming. A large number of students inquired about the academic programmes and courses being offered by Amity in the area of Food Technology and Agriculture, during the expo. During the Valedictory Ceremony, awards were also presented to the winners in different categories by Dr. Nutan Kaushik, Director General, Amity Food and Agriculture Foundation and Dr. A.K. Singh, Deputy Director General, Horticulture, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).