Sharad Pawar calls for strengthening international research institutions and sharing knowledge to boost agriculture productivity
Rome/ June 19, 2013
Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has called for strengthening international research institutions and sharing knowledge so as to realise higher yield potential of different crops. The Minister was addressing Food & Agriculture Organization, FAO Conference in Rome.
Mr. Pawar highlighted India’s recent initiatives in the field of agriculture have led to more than 3.5% growth in the last five years. “ We are setting new records in production of food grains year after year. It is a matter of great satisfaction that the food basket of the country has been widened with increasing share coming from relatively under developed regions” he said. The Agriculture Minister also added that besides feeding the 17% of the population, India was able to export 20 million tonnes foodgrain.
Mr. Pawar however expressed concern over stagnation in realizing higher yield potential in different crops. He called upon adoption of new technological tools especially through genetic engineering to build tolerance to various abiotic and biotic stressed that inhibit crop yields.“Research products made available should be easily accessible and affordable to all. In this regard, we call for strengthening international research institutions for generating significant technological innovations that could then be easily adapted and up scaled by the National Agriculture Research Systems” he added.
Agriculture Minister informed FAO that India is now poised to enact the National Food Security Act , that will legally entitle nearly 800 million people to have access to adequate quantities of foodgrain at affordable prices.
The Indian delegation for the FAO Conference in Rome, led by Sharad Pawar, also includes Mr. Ashish Bahuguna, Secretary, Agriculture and Mr. Raghav Chandra, Additional Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries among others. The Indian delegation also held bilateral meeting with delegations of the United States and Canada and a meeting with Ms. Ertharin Crousin, Executive Director, World Food Programme of the United Nations.