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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Engaging rural youth in agriculture crucial for sector’s long-term viability

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New Delhi: Experts and industry leaders gathered at the Brand R.Comm. Rural Communication Summit and Awards 2024 in New Delhi to emphasise the crucial role of engaging rural youth in agriculture for the sector’s long-term viability and wider reach.

Dr. KC Ravi, Chairman of CropLife India and Chief Sustainability Officer at Syngenta, highlighted the significance of youth involvement in rural engagement, stating, “By providing young people with education, training, and entrepreneurial opportunities in agriculture, rural engagement initiatives can stem rural-urban migration.”

Speaking at the summit, Dr. Ravi emphasised that rural engagement facilitates the adoption of innovative technologies and digital solutions, enhancing agricultural productivity, efficiency, and resilience. “Promoting technology transfer, capacity building, and knowledge sharing can empower farmers to leverage digital tools,” he added.

Chairman of the Brand R.Comm Awards, Padma Bhushan Awardee Prof. RB Singh, stressed the importance of effective communication for sustainable agriculture. “The unique challenges of rural environments require a thoughtful roadmap for successful communication strategies,” he remarked. Prof. Singh also emphasised the need for robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to track the effectiveness of rural communication efforts.

Rajvir Rathi, Director Public Affairs, Science, and Sustainability (South Asia) and Lead of Traits Licencing Business at Bayer CropScience, highlighted the potential of technological advancements in making agriculture more appealing to rural youth. “Engaging rural youth and effectively communicating farmers’ challenges to policymakers can drive us towards sustainable agriculture,” he stated.

The one-day event, organised by Snail Integral LLP, aimed to bridge the communication gap from ‘Lab to Land’ and ‘Land to Lab’ with a strategic approach taken by the industry. Mr. Amit BK Khare, Founder and Managing Partner of Snail Integral LLP, emphasised the need to address the disparity between rural-centric and urban-centric communication approaches. “As our country embraces technological advancements, bridging these gaps becomes necessary to promote inclusive communication strategies,” he explained.

Raj Kumar Gupta, Managing Director of Thakar Chemical Ltd., commended Snail Integral for its efforts in bridging communication gaps. “Snail Integral has been instrumental in supporting Thakar Chemicals with its rural communication initiatives,” he noted during the inauguration session.

The discussions at the summit underscored the importance of empowering rural youth, adopting innovative technologies, and implementing effective communication strategies to ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of the agricultural sector.

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