A growing world population, combined with the effects of advancing climate change, present enormous challenges for our global food system. The existing food system, built on large-scale mono cropping of maize, wheat and rice, is eroding ecosystems and crop diversity globally and reducing diversity on our plates. Although there is sufficient food in the world to feed all, some 900 million people still go hungry. In addition, more than one billion people worldwide are overweight or obese, and another two billion are suffering from nutrition deficiencies. Global dietary patterns have also changed dramatically over the past 50 years. Today, many people consume large amounts of meat, dairy products, oil, salt and sugar, which negatively affects both their health and that of the environment. These problems do not just affect developing countries, but consumers and agribusinesses around the globe.
In our view, we need a radical rethinking that recognises ecosystems as the basic foundation of societies and economies. But we also need to put citizens centre stage to build a new food system. Signs of the required transformation are emerging worldwide. In local communities, small enterprises are launching sustainable food products. Thanks to stronger producer–consumer linkages and progressive companies, governments are setting ambitious sustainability targets. Hivos’ first strategy is therefore to work with innovators to generate change amongst both producers and consumers. We invest in small and medium eco and people-friendly enterprises and strengthen the capacity of financial institutions to develop green financial products.
Indian Agri Scenario
In India, Agriculture contributes to 17.2% of GDP and shares nearly 55 per cent of total workforce. Agriculture has been playing a key role in the growing economy of India. Around 25 crore people in India are earning their livelihoods from farming, but the dismal growth prospects in agriculture compel three out of four farmers to shun farming and look for an alternative job. According to a report, three out of five farmers want their children to stay away from farming and settle in cities for forever. This trend is certainly disturbing.
Fundamentally, agriculture is not considered a profitable venture in India despite the fact that a number of corporate houses have entered into the business of agriculture. This is the major trigger for many to move away from agriculture and look out for high-yielding business. Education has a greater role here. Every school should impart courses on agriculture to make students familiarize with the theories and practices in agriculture. Students should know that the role of agriculture in human society is all pervasive – if you eat, you need agriculture; if you wear, you need agriculture; if you take medicine, you need agriculture; and agriculture is the backbone of society. The crisis in agriculture can be mitigated if it is seen as a career option. This will translate into improved farming practices.
In the recent context, the Union Government led by Prime Minister Modi has a clear focus on the modernization of agriculture and incentivizing farmers through various schemes. In the Union Budget 2018, the Finance Minister has outlined a slew of measures to boost agricultural production and the rural economy, announcing new projects as well as enhanced support for existing schemes to the tune of Rs14.34 trillion. This is a good sign for the future growth of agriculture sector.
On the contrary, India is yet to adopt the modern technologies in agriculture. This not only hinders the productivity, but also impacts the sector in a significant manner. At this vantage point, Agri Nation endeavors to bring about the novel concept of Agri Quotient – a national level competition amongst secondary and senior secondary school students – to spread the awareness on agriculture and allied sciences and imbibe the spirit of innovation early in the academics so that students can choose agriculture as a field for higher studies and research. Agri Quotient will act as a gold standard for measuring students’ knowledge and interest for the field of agriculture. Agri Quotient will drive the spirit of students to become innovators and investors in the field of agriculture.
Come and Scale High in Agri Quotient!
- Identify and nurture future agriculturists, agri-technologists, agricultural scientists and other farm/agri-management professional talents at high school level.
- Encourage students’ participation in national competitions/programmes/events.
- Disseminate knowledge and information on the latest technological developments in the field of agriculture.
- Instill a feeling of being a pioneer in the field of agriculture and contribute to the GDP of India.
- Encourage a healthy competitive spirit among students who have strong inclination towards the field of agriculture.
- Bring about a transformation in the classroom approach to agricultural science and technology & other allied subjects to make it more interactive, practical & innovative.
- Project Agri Quotient a global standard for students’ awareness and practical knowledge in the areas of research, innovation, and expertise in the field of agriculture.
The National Agri Quotient Test
The test will be organized in the respective schools of the participants during school hours.
- The paper is an objective-type test of 60 minutes duration comprising 40 objective-type (Multiple Choice) questions for classes 8 to 12.
- The question paper consists of three sections:
- Section-1: Scientific Knowledge of Agriculture
- Section-2: Agricultural Economy
- Section-3: Indian Policy on Agriculture
- Section-4: Agricultural Industry
- The medium of the test is English.
Registration of Students
The Agri Quotient Test is open to the students of classes eight to twelve. Prospectus containing the Registration forms is sent to all schools registered with Agri Nation Foundation. Schools not registered may also request for prospectus by sending an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org / phone call. Schools must return the registration forms to Agri Nation Foundation, duly filled in and complete in all respects by the due date.
A nominal participation fee of Rs. 200 is charged from each student. Part of it is retained by the school for its expenses as exam center. Details about the fee / mode of payment etc. are given in the School Registration Forms sent to schools.
About Agri Nation Foundation
Agri Nation Foundation is a step forward from Agri Nation – a popular monthly food and agriculture magazine which has been serving as communication linkage between farmers, people, industry and government for the last three years. The foundation is our realization of inculcating agri values in youth and bringing them into nation’s agri stream.
“I should like to slip out of the public gaze…to bury myself in the farm and devote my attention to farming and educating.” – Mahatma Gandhi
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