8th International Conference Cum Exhibition themed “Food Security driven by Smart Agriculture and Enhanced Sustainable Practices” (2023: International Year of Millets) at PHD House
The 8th International Conference-cum-Exhibition, India Farm-2-Fork 2023 (30-31 March 2023) organized by the Agribusiness And Food Processing Committee PHDCCI was inaugurated on Thursday, March 30, 2023.
With 2023 being the International Year of Millets and Sustainability in the focus, the theme for this year was “Food Security Driven by Smart Agriculture and Enhanced Sustainable Practices”.
The two-day event was graced by the Chief Guest for the day, Dr. Vijaya Lakshmi Nadendla (IAS), Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, and the Guest of Honor, Shri. Franklin L. Khobung, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare. They joined the occasion to enlighten the role of the Ministry of Agriculture on the subject to date.
Col Saurabh Sanyal, CEO & Secretary General, PHDCCI welcomed the gathering by informing about PHDCCI’s Farm to Fork the flagship event, and how over the past decade, it has provided a platform for the industry to showcase its best practices and take advantage of the opportunity to tell its success story, And not just that, it has been bridging the gap to meet and greet solution providers and buyers to discuss business.”
While addressing the gathering, Chief Guest for the day, Dr. Vijaya Lakshmi explained in great detail how agriculture is not a simple issue but a complex subject and therefore at least 12-15 govt. departments are working together in tandem to make agriculture happen. Speaking further Dr. Vijaya said, “Agri-partnership is a new trend as a lot of FPOs are coming and creating new models in Agri space.” “There are 1200 startups working in the Agriculture space, which are creating Agri-preneurship. These startups are showcasing their success stories on how it becomes an Industry and how the farmers can become stakeholders of this innovation”, Dr. Vijaya concluded
Shri. Franklin L. Khobung, The Guest of Honour also added his valuable comments by highlighting how agriculture used to be production-centric and Food security was the priority but now it is more about nutrition, health, sustainability, and climate. He also explained how agriculture is going under great transformation and discussed various initiatives like PM KISAN which covers around 11 crore farmers across the country for promotions of Natural farming to clean planting material and micro irrigation as a part of precision of agriculture.
Shri Pawan Aggarwal, Former Secretary of the Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Former CEO FSSAI, currently, Senior Adviser IFAD, Dr. Suresh K Malhotra, Project Director, DKMA, Shri R V Ramakrishna, GM, NABARD
Shri Saurabh Sanyal, CEO & Secretary General, PHDCCI, Shri. N K Agarwal, Co-Chair, Agri-business Committee, PHDCCI , Dr. Yogesh Srivastav, ASG, PHDCCI and Ms. Mili Dubey, Director, Agribusiness and Food Processing Committee were among the other dignitaries on the dais.
Shri. N K Agarwal, the Co-Chair, of the Agri-business Committee, PHDCCI, said that healthy soils are the basis of healthy food production; what comes out of soil depends on what goes in it. This is where agriculture input makes its way towards higher, healthier yields. However, we must also act responsibly and should not exhaust our resources while creating a negative impact on mother earth. A sustainable approach to providing the right to food for people worldwide is the need of the hour, added Mr. Agarwal.
The First Technical session themed, Smart Agricultural Production Practices: emerging technologies in precision agriculture was moderated by renowned Techno Legal expert & corporate advisor-, Food & Agri Businesses value chain Mr. Vijay Sardana, where experts like Mr. C S Shukla, Senior Vice President, Crystal Crop Protection Ltd, Mr. Surinder Makhija, Sr VP and strategic advisor, Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd, Dr. Dinesh Chauhan, Vice President, Dehaat and Dr. K K Singh, Scientist (retd) Indian Meteorological Department provided their expert input on the subject.
Dr. Suresh K Malhotra, Project Director, Directorate of Knowledge Management in Agriculture, ICAR was the keynote speaker for the Second Technical Session, themed, Vocal for local sustainable food systems and relevance of millets. The Esteemed panel had experts like Chef Manisha Bhasin, Corporate Executive Chef, ITC Limited, Dr. Eram Rao, Professor at Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences, University of Delhi, Dr. Nidhi Kaushik, Quality Manager, CFRA, NIFTEM and Ms. Pallavi Upadhyay, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Millets for Health. The session was moderated by Ms. Namrata Khanna, Director, of India Honey Alliance.
Mr. Michiel Van Erkel, Agriculture Counsellor, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands who delivered a special lecture on the day spoke about the Netherlands, a small but agriculturally, very powerful country in Europe. He also explained how it is the second largest agricultural exporter in the world after the US. Throwing light on the Agriculture efficiency of the country, he also explained how Farmers are Water efficient by investing in hydroponics as they are agri-entrepreneurs and they know the value of cost in business due to wastage of resources.
Mr. Sanjay Sethi, Executive Director of, the Plant-Based Foods Industry Association, spoke on Plant-based food systems and how they can help achieve a greener future for the coming generations. He discussed how the dawn of the plant-based food age is not just about healthier food choices but how the world is looking at India as the hub of plant-based food industries.
Day one of the event was concluded by a vote of Thanks by Dr. Yogesh Shrivastav, ASG PHDCCI.
Dr. Tarun Bajaj, Director, APEDA also graced day two of the event as the Special Guest. During his address, Dr. Bajaj highlighted the importance of Food traceability for better opportunities in the Agri-Space. Further, he also mentioned how marketing is an equally important component when it comes to the success of a scheme or vision. Without proper awareness, there always remains a deficit in the target outcomes.
Two technical sessions namely, 1) Innovation, global advances, & warehousing solutions with the smart supply chain for Bio-Packaging against Green-washing and 2) the Role of FPOs & start-ups in the transformation of agriculture were on the agenda to discuss the sub-topics of Smart Agriculture practices, Sustainable food options and palatability of new-age foods.
The topics of Carbon crediting, Green warehousing, and the role of industries towards empowerment of FPOs were discussed in great detail by speakers and representatives from Boomitra, Mr. Ganesh Babu, MD-India, SFAC – Dr. Ranjeet Singh Rajput, Deputy Director (proj), ICAR- Dr. Akriti Sharma, Scientist, and NABARD-Mr. Ajay Nayak, Manager.
Mr. Anand Chandra, Executive Director & Co-Founder, Arya. Ag. at Sugermint and Mr. Rohit Dhanda, AVP- Strategic Alliances, Sammunati moderated the Sessions where, Mr. Rrahul Kapoor, Sales Head, Commercial Refrigeration, India Region, Carrier, Mr. Nagesh Bakshi, CMD, Bakshi Mark Pvt. Ltd. and Mr. Rajeev Pandey, Co-Founder and CEO, Shodh and Mr. Hariom Nagar, Rich Returns Krishi Producer Company Limited also shared their experiences in the field to enlighten the audiences about various challenges faced on the field and how to tackle the same.
The two-day event was concluded on Friday, March 31 by concluding remarks from Dr. Yogesh Shrivastav ASG, PHDCCI, and Ms. Mili Dubey, Director Agribusiness and Food Processing Committee PHDCCI.
The Diplomatist was appointed as their Media Partner.