Developed world to help small farmers in developing nations: India at WEF

Developed countries should walk the talk on transforming food systems by helping smallholder farmers in developing countries with cheaper access to irrigation, fertilisers and markets, said RK Singh

IANS Davos

Photo: World Economic Forum

Developed countries should walk the talk on transforming food systems by helping smallholder farmers in developing countries with cheaper access to irrigation, fertilisers and markets, said R.K. Singh, India's Minister for New and Renewable Energy, in a session on "Interplay of Food, Energy and Water" at the 53rd World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.

India is providing millions of solar water pumps to farmers, and will soon produce enough green ammonia to stop imports of ammonia-based fertilisers, which form a big chunk of its import bills, the Minister said.

Asked why India is continuing to import cheap Russian gas despite international opprobrium, Singh said India imports less gas from Russia in a month than Europe does in a day, adding: "India had a conflict with its northern neighbour; did the West do anything about it? Stop importing from it?"

Speaking of his experience as a Goodwill Ambassador for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the actor Idris Elba said IFAD's interventions show the systems that work and are replicable but more public-private partnerships (PPPs) are needed.

"Countries need a food systems ministry, not just an agriculture ministry. One that relies on people-centric policies, incentivises the private sector for early adoption of new systems, has multifaceted goals."

Vietnam has already operationalised such PPPs, said Tran Hong Ha, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam.

Also Read

Sectors, states' efforts needed to get 500 GW renewable capacity: Khuba

SJVN eyeing to develop 5,000 MW renewable energy projects in Punjab

KKR, Hero Group to invest $450 mn in Hero Future Energies

India to have over 65% power capacity from non-fossil fuels by 2030: Singh

Composite materials domestic consumption to touch 7.68 LT by 2027: Report

Poorest learners benefit least from public education funding: UNICEF

Russia's oil output up 2% in 2022 despite sanctions, says Prez Putin

Davos 2023: CEOs buzz about ChatGPT-style AI at World Economic Forum

China's GDP growth falls to 3% in 2022, second lowest growth in 50 years

WEF Davos 2023: Global leaders roll up sleeves to tackle a tough 2023

"Farmers in developing countries are usually not wealthy and need partnership among all stakeholders -- producers, consumers and others along the value chain -- in order to contribute knowledge and share profits."

He added that there is inevitably friction, too, and governments can play a balancing role to ensure that each sector can develop fully.

Proclaiming PepsiCo to be "mainly an agricultural company," Ramon Laguarta, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, the US, said his company is striving to make agriculture regenerative, sustainable and positive for the planet.

As the owner of the largest private fleet of vehicles in the US, PepsiCo is making its vehicles low-emission.

"We have beautiful brands that have the power to educate consumers on sustainability," he added.

Calling for an international agreement whereby every country would become accountable for transforming its food system, he said it is imperative to put the farmer at the centre, and make sure the farmer makes good money while using fewer resources and producing fewer carbon emissions.

Emphasising the need to "make farming sexy," Laguarta said there will be no next generation of farmers unless farmers love their profession, earn a living and continue to invest in farming.

"We must help with technology, training, funding," he added.

"It's happening; it is the future of our company."

Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister of International Development of Norway, said it was absurd that "the very people who go hungry are food producers," adding that "now, with increasing cost of inputs, it will get worse."

Speaking of the US Department of Agriculture's Global Fertiliser Challenge, she made a case for precision agriculture that maps soil to enable optimum fertiliser and water use.

Agreeing with Indian Minister Singh that de-risking should be a key element of financial support to farmers in developing countries, Tvinnereim said Norway has been able to use its taxpayers' money to crowd in private money.

"We have the technologies, we know what to do, but we need investment to create a virtuous cycle of investment."



(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Jan 18 2023 | 10:07 AM IST

Explore News