Building Modern Agriculture and Diversifying Exports
Kerala Looks Ahead is an International Conference and Consultation scheduled to be held from February 1 to 3, 2021. The Conference, organised by Government of Kerala, seeks to consult frontline international experts in certain areas identified as critical to Kerala’s economic future. The Conference will discuss the future prospects for Kerala in different areas such as agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, e-governance, higher education, industry, information technology, skill development, and tourism.
There will be two special sessions – on Local Governments and Federalism and Development Financing – that will showcase Kerala’s initiatives in the respective fields. There will be a special industry session which will discuss a roadmap for the future industrial growth in Kerala. The Conference will serve as a platform for us to learn from the experiences and best practices across the world in our efforts to modernise the economy and bring the benefits of growth and development to the people of Kerala.
The Kerala State Planning Board is the main organiser of the Conference. The Conference will be held online.
The Conference seeks participation from policy makers, scholars, academicians, researchers, students, industry groups and associations, organisations and institutions in related sectors and all stakeholders who can benefit from the discussions on the future path of growth for Kerala.
- Bridging yield gaps and increasing production in selected crops: In order to ensure productivity growth, Kerala has to embrace the best technologies in use globally, particularly with respect to modern seeds and planting material, and crop management.
- Strengthening extension methodologies. Explore new IT-based extension methods.
- New forms of production organisation: Given the nature of land distribution and homesteads in Kerala, production organisation is a major challenge in the State. Kerala will benefit from learning from international experience in successful farmers’ cooperatives, while always keeping the specific features and needs of Kerala’s farmers in mind.
- Water use: Kerala’s agro-ecological diversity demands that agricultural growth be based on a watershed plan. This local-level thrust should continue. At the same time, the State’s next stage of planning for water should include a larger plan to ensure efficient use of water from the 41 rivers that empty into the Arabian Sea. For this purpose, a coordinated development of surface and groundwater irrigation, major and minor, will need to be considered. Focus should also be on precision technologies like drip and sprinkler irrigation as well as poly-houses and greenhouses.
- The future of spices and plantation agriculture: Kerala’s agricultural growth has historically been hinged to the dominant presence of spices and plantation crops. However, given the export orientation of these crops and the presence of central commodity boards, the State has not given the required direct attention to these crops. Their markets and price formation lie outside the control of the State government. Kerala needs a specific plan for the development of this sub-sector of its agriculture.
The session will bring together scientific, practical, and policy-making expertise from Kerala, the rest of India, and other parts of the world. A strategy paper that brings together the concerns discussed above will be an outcome of the session.
Kerala State Planning Board.
Pattom, Thiruvananthapuram KERALA 695 004