Keynote Speaker Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, praised the Government of Andhra Pradesh for its efforts to enhance agricultural technology for smallholders during the AP AgTech Summit 2017 held November 15 - 17 in Visakhapatnam, India.
"...Andhra Pradesh is taking bold steps to transform the agricultural sector and set a model for others," said Gates. "There are two examples that I am very impressed with. One is the Mega Seed Park which really is a first of its kind and will make available lots of high quality seeds. And that, coupled with a new e-seed distribution application D-Krishi, which will help farmers access quality seed in a timely manner and to ensure that government resources are being wisely used. These are the kind of innovations that help to achieve the Chief Minister's goal of sustained double digit economic growth in AP over next decade."
"The Mega Seed Park will drive innovation, not only for higher yielding crops, but also for varieties of regional importance including more nutritious and resilient non-cereal crops like pulses," said Gates. "Even with these advances, local seed companies that market new varieties to smallholder farmers need to be confident that farmers will buy their seeds before they take on the expensive and risky process of introducing new varieties."
The purpose of the three-day Summit titled “Progressive Farmer, Smart Farming," was to bring together global leaders including business heads, start-up founders, leading policymakers, and technology experts to discuss innovative ideas for agricultural transformation in Andhra Pradesh.
Iowa State University is partering with the Andhra Pradesh State Government, Acharya N. G. Ranga Agricultural University, and other state agencies to construct a seed research center and Mega Seed Park located in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh.
View Full Speech Delivered by Bill Gates:
Mega Seed Park Project: (at 2:30 min. & at 8:00 min)
View Full Speech Delivered by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu:
Working with ISU on Mega Seed Park (at 19:20 min.)
Photo Captions: Above Top: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu and Bill Gates were speakers at the AP AgTech Summit 2017 in November.
Bottom: ISU Seed Science Center Global Program Leader Dileep Guntuku discusses the Mega Seed Park Project with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu and Bill Gates during the AgTech Summit.