21st August, 2018 - New Delhi: The inaugural session of Krishi India 2018 expo/Wellness India 2018 expo saw Union Minister of State for Tourism Shri KJ Alphons speak about India being the country of wellness, and Kerala being at the heart of the wellness tourism industry owing to the numerous wellness retreats offering a combination of Ayurveda, yoga and other Indian systems of medicines.

“The healing powers (of traditional Indian systems of medicines) don’t depend on chemicals; it rather depends on the earth. The products that heal us are actually Ayurvedic,” he said.

With Transformational Experience’ as the punchline, the Ministry of Tourism’s recent ad film Yogi of the Racetrack, which has record breaking 75 million views per month, does justice to the depth of experiences that India provides. “Through five 60 seconds advertisements, the Ministry of Tourism is promoting a new perception and better understanding of yoga as a holistic way of life to attract more health-conscious, high-end travellers deeper into India. The ads, which feature millennials, show the effect of yoga and its techniques and how it can be related to even the toughest race positions.”

Shri Alphons who has been in Kerala for the last one week, made an urgent appeal for donations to help the people of the flood-battered state. “Nature’s fury has struck Kerala and the wellness hotspot is devastated, with 1 million people living in relief camps.”

India’s efforts of staying healthy should be connected with Japan’s efforts, pointed out Mr Yasuro Koizumi, Executive Vice President, CFO & CIO, FiNC, Japan. Shri Anil Khandekar of World Vision said that World Vision’s motivation for participating in the Wellness India expo for the second year in a row is the well organized EIG team and the big buyers that visit the exhibition.

That Indian agriculture is cereal-centric i.e. production of wheat and rice production is preferred over oilseeds and pulses was a recurring theme during the session on Farming and Agriculture: An Overall Perspective. Observing how the country’s cereal-centric (limited to wheat and rice) food security approach actually harmed interests of farmers, Dr Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog, said, “The per capita consumption of cereals has remained more or less the same for about 50 years though per capita consumption of edible oils, for instance, has grown by 300 percent since 1992-93. However, India has not taken advantage of this growth and 70 percent of our edible oil demand is still met by imports.” He also pointed out that exporting water guzzling crops like paddy was not in the interest of the nation or its farmers. “We should aim to get more productivity from less resource if we want to double farm income by 2022.” The session also witnessed discussions around private sector investment in supply chain infrastructure and services that would lead to a reduction in waste and more added value.

During the session, Bringing Wellness to You, MasterChef India winner Smt Pankaj Bhadouria and an advocate of ‘Think Global, Eat Local,’ said, “With increase in population and urbanisation, life style changes have taken place and diseases have increased. FAD foods and diets don’t have any benefits. All the damage we’ve done to our body, cannot be undone overnight. It needs time of over a decade, and we should start making healthy choices today itself. Ayurvedic food, which is not seasonal, is healing.”

Stressing on the fact that we should take pride in our produce, Shri Nitin Puri, Senior President, YES Bank, gave the example of Modena in Italy, famous for its balsamic vinegar made from carefully harvested grapes grown there. “Italian farmers sell the top quality balsamic vinegar at a price that is four times higher than others.”
The launch edition of Krishi India 2018 expo and the second edition of Wellness India 2018 expo is being held at Pragati Maidan New Delhi from 20-22 August 2018.

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