Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday called for a close co-operation between SCO member countries to maintain normal functioning of the food supply chain in the present conditions for ensuring food as well as nutritional security.
The minister was addressing virtually the 8th meeting of Agriculture Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries.
Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, China and Pakistan participated in it along with India, according to an official statement.
Under the chairmanship of India, SCO member countries adopted the Smart Agriculture project.
Highlighting that India has become self-sufficient in foodgrains production, Tomar said the country will continue to share its best practices and build capacities with other countries, bilaterally as well as in collaboration with international organisations, so that they too become self-reliant and food secure nations.
He expressing satisfaction over the smart agriculture action plan and the initiative of innovation in agriculture.
Tomar said the prime minister's emphasis is on the overall development of agriculture in the country through technology. In this direction, India has taken several concrete steps to promote smart agriculture.
Tomar said that India gives importance to its relations with SCO in promoting multilateral, political, security, economic and people-to-people interactions.
The minister said that it was a matter of pride that a meeting has been organised to discuss strengthening cooperation in food security and nutrition, especially in the current situation.
Tomar said, "In order to maintain the normal functioning of the food supply chain in the present conditions, there is a need for close contact and cooperation between various countries for food and nutrition security."
He noted that India is the largest employer globally in the agriculture sector, where more than half of the country's population is engaged in agriculture and allied sectors, while India also represents an important economic activity for many countries.
Its importance is evident from the fact that the budget allocation for agriculture and allied sectors in India has increased more than 5 times in 10 years from 2013-14, the minister said.
Over the years, India has performed well in the agriculture sector, contributing to global food security with food grain production, registering a significant growth in exports, and exports of agricultural and allied products have crossed Rs 4 lakh crore.
Tomar said India's public distribution system and price support system for farmers are unique in the world.
India is self-sufficient in food grains. The country is a leading producer of many commodities like cereals, fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, fish.
He said the welfare of the farmers and overall development of the agriculture sector has been the top priority of the government of India.
Tomar said the rich agricultural research has played an important role in solving the issue of food security, improving the income of farmers and agriculture workers and also for the sustenance of the people.
Efforts are being made by the government to make the country self-reliant in the agriculture sector with concerted efforts in innovation, digital agriculture, climate smart technologies, development of high-yielding, biofortified varieties and agricultural research.
India is also making efforts towards improving the life and livelihood of the farmers by making their agriculture sustainable and friendly, he said.
(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.)