The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
FACT SHEET: Expo on Agriculture and Food Security
India and the United States share a passion for and demonstrated leadership in agricultural research, technology, and education. Working together, they can discover and launch innovative solutions for tackling challenges that confront not just the United States and India, but in countries around the world.
By co-hosting the Agriculture and Food Security Expo, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) demonstrate the potential of partnership. The exposition showcases the efforts of U.S. and Indian institutions, including universities, non-government organizations, and corporations, to develop tools and technologies that are revolutionizing the lives of Indian farmers. Farmers who use the technologies will be on-site to demonstrate and discuss their impact on daily life.
Through the President’s initiative, Feed the Future, the United States is redoubling its commitment to solving global hunger and food security. The innovations showcased at the expo offer important insights on new tools and technologies that, when scaled, have the power to transform the agricultural landscape in India and abroad.
The Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering (CIAE) has been working to create more compact, lighter versions of common farming tools – such as the sickle, groundnut decorticator, maize sheller, and twin wheel hoe – to enable female farmers to become more productive in their labor. For example, the weeder reduces labor by 25 percent than traditional hand hoeing. CIAE designed these tools based on anthropometric and strength capabilities of Indian farm women. More than 285 million women in India earn their livelihoods from agriculture.
Pritam Chandra, Director; Laxman Gite, Farmer; Ujjwale Gite, Farmer (Tools for women)
IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited (IKSL), through Airtel’s mobile platform, provides mobile services to farmers in India through the societies of the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative (IFFCO). Through the service, farmers receive information related to agriculture production and markets. The company, which provides technical support by phone, has enrolled seven million farmers in the service.
Manish Trehan, COO; Nilesh Sangodkar, Farmer (Cell phone technology)
Pioneer Hi-Bred International, a subsidiary of DuPont, has been developing and providing hybrid seed for farmers in India for more than 30 years and is one of India's leading suppliers of improved seeds. Pioneer has an extensive sales and agronomy team that works closely with Indian farmers. This year Pioneer released 16 new maize and rice hybrids for farmers across India. These new hybrids will offer higher yields and choices to farmers. Pioneer is committed to increasing global agricultural productivity to meet the growing demand for food, feed, fuel, and materials through innovation-rich products developed specifically to meet farmers' needs within the means of their ecosystem. Pioneer looks to India and the United States as key partners in finding solutions to these global challenges.
Kolli Subbarao, Country Manager; Naga Lingam, Farmer; Minoshi Rellan, Public Affairs (Maize and rice hybrid seeds)
Mahindra & Mahindra has developed the Yuvraj 215, a small, inexpensive tractor aimed at the small and marginal farmer seeking to increase productivity at an affordable price. The tractor, which costs 175,000 Rupees ($3,800), is about three times the cost of a pair of oxen but has a five-time higher production capacity. Since 2008, Mahindra has partnered with USAID to extend its network to be more responsive to small rural farmers. Through that partnership, there has been a growth of Samriddhi farm centers across India. Mahindra is expanding its manufacturing base with a new plant in the United States which employs more than 200 people.
Pawan Goenka, President; Lalit Vairagade, Farmer (Red Tractor)
PepsiCo is reaching approximately 80,000 small farmers under a contractual system with inputs ranging from quality seeds, fertilizer, and advisory services in order to optimize the quality of potato production. Pepsi has a buy-back arrangement which offers these farmers a minimum of 15 percent cost saving when selling to Pepsi than selling through the market system.
Vivek Bharati, Executive Director; Ram Todkar, Farmer (Potato planter)
Aries Agro pioneered several unique development initiatives for spreading knowledge of world class plant nutrition concepts to more than eight million farmers across 26 states in India. The company has a unique young farmers network of 10,000 farmers. These farmers, who are between 25 and 40 years-old, share knowledge to improve farm productivity and develop Indian good agricultural practices standards for all key crops. The network also sends agriculture information using mobile text messages, provides soil testing services, and trains post masters in 768 post offices to disseminate information in remote communities. Furthermore, the network pilots rural skill development certification programs and conducts a series of flagship national conferences, called Agromax.
Rahul Mirchandani, Executive Director; Murali Tammineni, Farmer; Nirmal Yadav, Farmer; Yugandhar Yanamadala, Farmer (Truck with instructional videos)
Digital Green (DG) was founded by an Indian-American and seeks to disseminate information on agricultural practices targeted to small and marginal farmers through digital videos. Using a participatory process for video production, DG works through existing networks to reach more people. DG has produced 707 videos to train more than 23,000 farmers in India. DG videos have increased the adoption of improved agriculture practices by a factor of six over traditional, in-person agriculture training. DG has plans to expand into East Africa within the year.
Rikan Gandhi, Director; Ms. Vandana Bhairikoppe, Farmer/Facilitator (Instructional video)
ITC has developed the e-Choupal innovation to address agricultural challenges: fragmented farms, weak infrastructure, and numerous intermediaries. E-Choupal are village-level internet kiosks, managed by trained farmers, communities can access information on market rates that could be achieved at local markets and enables farmers to negotiate the sale of produce with ITC. The kiosk also provides training on best practices and risk management. By the end of 2010, 20,000 e-Choupal kiosks will cover 100,000 villages in 21 states. USAID is supporting ITC to evaluate and optimize its rural business practices to reach remote Indian communities more cost effectively.
Rajnikant Rai, COO; Purshottam Wanjari, Farmer (Internet kiosk)
Jain Irrigation Systems, Ltd. provides extension and training services for farmers, bankers, government officials, and agricultural students. Jain’s research, development and demonstration farm in Tamil Nadu has successfully cultivated rice through drip irrigation without compromising yield and with a water savings of more than 66 percent compared to conventional paddy farming. Jain’s irrigation systems have reduced water usage by 50 percent and fertilizer usage by 40 percent. Jain and USAID partnered in 2008 to align the company’s grades and standards with international food safety standards, raising the quality and safety of Indian-produced food. Jain uses U.S. technology in its irrigation system and has five plants in the United States that collectively provide jobs to more than 300 people. Jain sells its products in the United States, Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Anil Jain, Managing Director; Sanjeev Mane, Farmer (Solar pump, irrigation system)
CII’s Food and Agriculture Centre of Excellence (CII-FACE) will work towards building efficiencies across the agricultural value chain from farm to fork and improving food security. CII-FACE will work with farmers, companies, institutions and non-governmental organizations to bring about a quantum leap in agricultural production and productivity, enhance economic value, act as an information hub for sharing global best practices, and undertake agriculture sector research. With technical support from USAID, CII-FACE will endeavor to adapt and apply global best practices as well as information systems and technology to the Indian market, positioning itself as the premier food and agriculture knowledge hub in India. (Center model)
Ingersoll Rand’s B100 small refrigerated vans can deliver temperature-controlled and refrigerated products, ensuring the freshness of perishable food items such as fruits and vegetables. The battery operated B100 is an ideal innovation for India as farmers will now be able to transport efficiently farm produce to Primary Collection Centers.
Venkatesh Valluri, Chairman; Ashish Gupta, Farmer (Refrigerated truck)