Ministry of Textiles organizes National Conclave on Agrotech – Accelerating productivity of agriculture & horticulture products

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Source: The post is based on the article Ministry of Textiles organizes National Conclave on Agrotech – Accelerating productivity of agriculture & horticulture products published in “PIB” on 7th October 2023

What is the News?

The Ministry of Textiles has organized the National Conclave on Agrotech under its flagship scheme National Technical Textiles Mission (NTTM).

At the conclave, there was a special session also discussing future growth and opportunities in Agrotextiles.

What are Agro Textiles?

Agro textiles, also known as agricultural textiles or agrotextiles are specialized textiles used in agriculture to enhance crop growth, protect plants, and improve farming practices. 

Some of the common uses and types of agro textiles are:

– Crop Protection: Agro textiles are used to protect crops from adverse weather conditions, such as frost, hail, or excessive sunlight.They act as a barrier, shielding plants from external elements.

– Shade Nets: Shade nets are used to provide shade to crops and control the amount of sunlight they receive. This is especially useful for plants that require partial shade or protection from extreme heat.

– Fruit Packaging: Agro textiles are used for packaging and protecting fruits during transportation and storage. They help reduce bruising and damage to produce.

– Windshield Nets: Windshield Nets are designed for the protection of crops, small trees and plants from strong winds.They are UV stabilized in order to ensure durability and they are easy to install.

Insect Nets: Insect-proof nets or screens are employed to keep harmful insects and pests away from crops. They allow for adequate ventilation while creating a barrier against pests.

What is the importance of Agro Textiles in India?

Agro textiles offer various advantages in agriculture, including improved crop quality, increased yield, reduced pesticide use, and better resource management.

For instance, agro textiles in horticulture leads to an increase in farm productivity by 2-5 times, increase in crop intensity, reduction in water consumption by 30- 45%, reduction in fertilizer usage by 25- 30%, and higher harvest cycle per year.

India holds a tremendous potential in the global Agro textiles market of ~USD 12 Bn wherein India’s share is ~3%.

What are the steps taken by the Government for promoting agro textiles?

Quality Standards Notification: Ministry of Textiles have notified Quality Control Orders (QCO) for 20 agro textile items, effective from April 1, 2024. This will ensure superior quality and safety.

Research and Development: Government has sanctioned 11 research and development (R&D) projects in agro textiles.These projects aim to develop innovative agro textile products.

Climate Smart Agrotextile Demonstration Center: Government plans to establish a Climate Smart Agrotextile Demonstration Center in collaboration with SASMIRA.This center will focus on digitized microclimate farming to revolutionize agriculture practices.

Schemes like the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) have incorporated various agro textile products to promote their wider usage and adoption in agriculture.

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