To introduce the type and quality of agro-textiles used in agriculture and to update knowledge of faculty and students regarding agri-business opportunities in agro-textile based cultivation and allied fibre research a webinar on “Agro-textiles for Smart Farming and Entrepreneurship Development”was organized under NAHEP-IDP Project at UAS, Dharwad on 10th December 2020. Dr. P. U. Krishnaraj, Coordinator, IDP gave introduction on IDP and the webinar. Dr. Ashalatha K. V., Associate coordinator, IDP, introduced the chief guest.
Dr. P. G. Patil, Director, Central Institute for Research on Cotton Technology (CIRCOT), Mumbai, inaugurated the webinar and expressed that Agro-textile products are helpful in protected cultivation to improve productivity, quality and shelf life of the product. Hence to bring awareness among users and entrepreneurs regarding the agro textiles is essential. He also highlighted need to adopt eco-friendly and bio-degradable fibers for designing that bring environmental sustainability.
Dr. Mahadev B. Chetti, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, UAS, Dharwad opined thatAgro-textile is an important component of smart agriculture. One of the most important technical textiles that is used in agriculture for multi functional application includes, packaging, mulching, reduce pesticide dosage, conserve water, improving soil quality and thereby increase productivity and farmers income.He also mentioned that by adopting smart farming with Agro-textiles, our country can achieve sustainabilitylike other developed nations. . He also highlighted that more than 5000 agri start-ups are aimed to be initiated by the RKVY-RAFTAAR Project in state and nearly 50,000 start-ups in the country. Agro-textile may play an important role in doubling the farmer’s income by 2022.
Dr. Ravi Prakash Singh, Scientist, Principal Scientist D, CoE on Agrotech, SASMIRA, Mumbai, spoke on fundamentals of agro-textiles and different types of agro-textiles with the role of agro based fibers for smart farming and entrepreneurship development. Dr. Laxmikanta Nayak, Principal Scientist, ICAR, National Institute of Natural Fiber Engineering and Technology (NINFET), Kolkata and Dr. Vigneshwaran were the experts who spoke on productivity, biodegradable agro-textile and Agri-business opportunities in Agro-based fibres. The webinar was organized by Dr. Jyoti V. Vastrad, Dr. Sadhana D. Kulloli and Dr. Shameembanu Byadgi, Department of Textile and Apparel Designing, CCS, UAS, Dharwad.Total 175 students and faculties participated in the webinar.