Union minister V K Singh on Monday asked G20 countries to work towards promotion of crop diversification, efficient use of inputs like fertilisers and post-harvest management, and said the latest digital tools should be used in agriculture across the world.
Singh, the minister of state for civil aviation, road transport and highways, inaugurated the G20 Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) here, according to an official statement.
"Singh urged the G-20 countries to look into diverse areas of sustainable practices that promote diversification of crop production systems, efficient utilisation of water resources and fertilizers, assimilation of horticulture practices, soil, health management, and post-harvest management of crops, among others," it added.
MACS is the 100th G20 meeting during India's G20 Presidency.
Singh said India's G20 Presidency theme 'One Earth, One Family, One Future' signifies collective efforts for achieving SDGs (sustainable development goals). The theme of MACS, "sustainable agriculture and food system for healthy people and plant", resonates the emphasis put forth in the theme.
The minister said that bio-fortified crop varieties are the quicker solution to improve health and address nutrition issues of women and children.
Over 5 million hectare area in India is under bio-fortified varieties of different crops, he added.
Singh said the emerging digital technologies should be utilised to usher in ease of farming across the G20 countries and the world.
He stated that the UN General Assembly, based on India's proposal, has declared 2023 as the International Year of the Millets, which will help highlight the benefits of millets to the world. He said India has made it a people's movement and appealed to all the G20 countries to support the move.
Himanshu Pathak, Secretary (DARE) and Director General (ICAR) and MACS Chair, graced the occasion. Later, he led the proceedings of the Meeting.
Sanjay Garg, Additional Secretary (DARE) and Secretary (ICAR), welcomed the delegates and dignitaries of the meeting.
He said that in view of the International Year of Millets 2023, India has proposed a G20 initiative on millets and other ancient grains international research initiative (MAHARISHI) for adoption by MACS.
About 80 delegates from G20 member states -- Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, France , Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkiye, the United Kingdom, the USA and European Union -- are participating in the tree-day meeting.
Representatives from guest countries, viz. Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain, UAE, Vietnam and several international organisations including United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Health Organization, World Trade Organization, etc. are also invited at the event.
Besides, the International Solar Alliance, CDR and Asian Development Bank are special invitees from India.
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