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At G20 agriculture meeting today, India emphasized increasing investment in R&D

"At G20 agriculture meeting today, India emphasized increasing investment in R&D"

At the G20 agriculture meeting on Saturday, India emphasized the importance of increasing investment in agricultural research and development (R&D) in light of the challenges of climate change and the expected increase in food demand by 2030. The G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting is one of several ministerial meetings planned as part of the G20 Leaders Summit 2021, which will be held in Italy in October.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar stated during a session on the topic ‘Research as a Driving Force Behind Sustainability’ that agricultural research has played a significant role in transforming India from a net food importer nation to an exporter nation.

Also Read: Country’s biggest challenge for exporters in Agriculture sector – PSA

‘Today, with an annual output of 308 million tonnes of food grains, India is not only in the domain of food security, but is also catering to the needs of other nations,’ he further added that India has witnessing a revolution in the field of agricultural and allied sector due to efficient and dedicated research by scientists.

However, foodgrain demand for consumption is expected to grow to 350 million tonnes by 2030-32, with India’s population expected to reach 150 crores. Food demand will rise due to depleting natural resources and the threat of climate change, he said in a statement issued.

In this context, the minister stated, ‘There is a need to rethink and adapt agricultural reseach and revelopemnt, as well as increase investment in scientific research, to achieve adequate and nutritious food while also ensuring environmental sustainability.’

He claims that research makes a significant contribution to the three aspects of food security: availability, access, and affordability.

To achieve self-sufficiency, he said, concerted efforts will be made in agricultural research in areas such as genomics, digital agriculture, climate-smart technologies, and methods, efficient water use equipment, development of high yielding and bio-friendly varieties, systematic production, quality and safety standards, and so on.

The minister also stated that the strategy for meeting the increased demand tends to revolve between increasing productivity and farmer income.

The minister emphasised the importance of practising sustainable agriculture, stating that the farm sector is facing challenges such as achieving food security, adapting to climate change, and mitigating climate change and preserving the environment.

‘Important resources such as water, energy, and land are rapidly diminishing. There is an urgent need for sustainable agriculture’ He stated.

The agri minister stated that India has developed and released 17 different crop varieties that are resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses.

Likewise, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is working on bio-fortified varieties to meet people’s nutritional needs, he said, adding that a national mission on sustainable agriculture has been launched to integrate farming systems (IFS) approaches in agriculture.

Tomar concluded that India will continue to work cooperatively in the exchange of best practises, research and development, and programme interventions to boost productivity through trade promotion and the development of agricultural value chains, as well as the sustainable use of natural resources for the benefit of the people.

Also Read: Need to boost private sector investment, encourage to set up food processing units – Agri Minister

In 2011, the G20 Agriculture Ministers met for the first time in Paris to discuss the impact of the economic crisis on the agricultural sector, which was threatened by price volatility. They have met annually since 2015 to discuss food security, nutrition, and global agricultural development.

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