Speaking in the meeting of South-South cooperation in agricultural research for development Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan has called upon Member Countries to pull out all the stops to meet the challenge of poverty and hunger in the region.
The 5th Regional Coordination meeting of ICARDA has representatives from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, Egypt, India, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sudan. The international meeting is being organised at NASC Complex, Pusa, Delhi.
The theme of the meeting was “Strategic Partnership towards enhancing Food and Nutritional Security”. Speaking on the occasion the minister recounted India’s strengths in the field of agriculture such as strong national agricultural research systems, second-largest arable area and diverse agro-climatic zones. He underlined India’s global leadership in terms of production of rice, wheat, fish, fruits and vegetables. India is also the world’s biggest milk producer, he said.
However, the minister also mentioned about challenges still persisting in Indian agriculture like ramping up farm yield and doubling farmers’ income by raising their socio-economic status.
ICARDA has considerable experience of working closely with most African countries to deliver science-led technologies for the benefit of farmers, and can act as a catalyst in this endeavor under an India-Africa-ICARDA initiative, Minister underlined.
Singh said Indian approach to partnership with African nations in agriculture is driven by the aim of South-South Cooperation through research for development, capacity building, access to Indian market, and support to Indian investments in agriculture in Africa.
India and ICARDA have had a long-standing collaboration in the field of agricultural research and development, which has only strengthened significantly over the years.
Union Agriculture Minister said that at present ICARDA collaborates with 8 ICAR institutions and 15 State Agricultural Universities, and has introduced several thousand landraces, wild species and newly developed breeding lines to India of the its mandated crops, and shared with its partners. Singh revealed that India remains one of the biggest global importers of ICARDA germplasm for research.