“In the hands of a single smallholder, the right information can lead to a 20% revenue increase for one farm”: Shri Bill Gates
The “Eighth International Conference on Agricultural Statistics (ICAS-Vlll)” was inaugurated 18th November, 2019, at New Delhi in the presence of Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India and Shri Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The theme of the event is “Statistics for Transformation of Agriculture to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.
The Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare (MoA&FW), Government of India is organizing this conference in New Delhi from 18th to 21st November, 2019.
India is hosting this conference for the first time, thus providing an opportunity to highlight and share Indian expertise in the field of statistics and agriculture. The event also provides a platform for professionals to interact with global experts and to be part of international scientific developments, thus, bringing the most updated and current knowledge to Indian scientific community.
Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare stated that it is a proud moment for India to host the “8th international Conference of Agricultural Statistics - 2019”. He stressed on the importance of agricultural statistics in realizing the Government of India’s various agricultural-centric schemes. The Minister stated that the statistics holds a crucial place in agriculture like other spheres of life. Shri Tomar regarded the conference to be a great opportunity for the national and international experts to share and exchange their expertise in the field of statistics.
The Chief Guest at the event, Shri Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, addressed the audience on the theme of improving agricultural productivity using data and innovative technologies. In his speech on the occasion, he said, “In the hands of a single smallholder, the right information can lead to a 20% revenue increase for one farm.” He further added, “We can help the world’s 2 billion smallholders adapt to climate change much quicker if everybody in the agriculture sector has access to quality information.”
While applauding the various statisticians and scientists working in the field of the agricultural statistics, Shri Kailash Choudhary, Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare highlighted about the Government’s various schemes that are aimed at doubling the farmers’ income. He emphasized that the four-day conference will be a fruitful opportunity in realizing the desired goals.
Prof. Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog, India stressed on adopting some effective ways to monitor the statistics of agricultural data promptly and efficiently. He also emphasized on electronically monitoring of the statistical data. This would help in saving the time and maintain the accuracy of the data.
Shri Pravin Srivastava, Secretary, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation stated that the huge informal economy in India poses challenges to collect the statistical data. As the manual data collection is a challenge, it is necessary to adopt the latest technologies for the agricultural statistical data collection.
Dr. Michael Steiner, ISI CAS and World Bank stated that it is really opportunate to organize such types of conferences in the agriculture-centric countries like India. He emphasized on the importance of managing the agricultural statistics for the overall development of the country.
Shri Yugo Astuto, Ambassador, European Union of India stated that the statistical data helps to realize the sustainable development goals. It plays a crucial role to monitor the progress of the country.
Shri Pietro Gennari, Chief Statistician, FAO, Rome mentioned that the conference has provided a great platform for the experts of the agricultural field to interact and exchange their expertise of agricultural statistics. It is indeed a great opportunity to discuss and finalize the several future plans on maintaining and monitoring the agricultural statistical data promptly.
Earlier while delivering welcome address, Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary (DARE) & Director General (ICAR) accentuated that the prompt management of agricultural statistics is vital for agriculture-centric country like India. Dr. Mohapatra stressed that in order to deal with the challenges posed due to the climate change, enhancing the farmers’ income, eradicating poverty and malnutrition and meeting the vision of sustainable development goals requires joint efforts towards strengthening the statistical system. He emphasized that the conference will be a great platform for the exchange of expertise in the field of agricultural statistics.
Over 600 delegates, including about 200 delegates from various International Organizations, such as, FAO, USDA, EUROSTAT, ADB, AfDB, World Bank and from 100+ countries across the globe are participating in the conference.
(Source: ICAR- Directorate of Knowledge Management in Agriculture, New Delhi)