Pre-Summit Ministerial Roundtable of United Nations Food Systems Summit held
According to Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare Shobha Karandlaje, India has transformed its agri-food systems into sustainable systems
Image Credit: PIB
Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare Shobha Karandlaje virtually addressed the Pre-Summit Ministerial Roundtable on 'Transforming Food Systems for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: Rising to the Challenge' of United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021.
She said, "The UN Food Systems Summit has given us a lead to define the national pathways to transform our food systems into economically, socially and environmentally sustainable systems. The minister informed the summit about various steps India has taken to transform its agri-food systems into sustainable systems, to provide income support to farmers, improve rural incomes, as well as address the issues of under-nutrition and malnutrition in the country."
Emphasising the importance of the agriculture sector, Karandlaje said that India has a strong conviction that agriculture has to play a vital role in socio-economic transformation in developing countries and in securing a sustainable future for the planet. She said that agriculture has been a great success story in India. The Green Revolution in the 1960s catapulted India from a country with perennial food shortages to a food grain exporter as of today.
Speaking on priorities set by India for the agriculture sector she said that India is now focusing to enhance productivity, make post-harvest management robust and give farmers and buyers a unified national market for optimising benefits to both.
Karandlaje said India has embarked on very ambitious reforms in the agriculture sector to double the income of farmers in coming years and numerous interventions have been put in place in recent times due to which India's farm sector performed exceedingly well even in the pandemic crisis with production surpassing earlier records.
The Minister thanked the UN and other countries for accepting India's proposal of celebrating the year 2023 as the 'International Year of Millets'. She said that for addressing nutritional challenges and also to bring diversity in our agri-food systems, the government is supporting diversification from predominantly food grain-based systems to other high-value crops like fruits and vegetables.
The minister said India is actively promoting organic farming for ensuring sustainable productivity, food security and soil health. India has launched a scheme to increase water use efficiency at the farm level by using micro-irrigation technologies for which a dedicated micro-irrigation fund of $672 million has been set up. India has developed 262 abiotic stress-tolerant varieties of different crops.
The Minister assured the summit that India will continue with its efforts in transforming our agri-food systems into sustainable systems and to achieve the targets set in the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.