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“Careless Use of Chemical Fertilizers Has Badly Impacted Soil Quality”: Shivraj Singh Chouhan at G20 1st Agriculture Deputies Meeting

According to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, protecting the health of the earth is our highest duty. He emphasised the importance of adopting eco-friendly technology, saying it is critical to continue Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Natural Farming campaign.

Shivam Dwivedi
Chouhan inaugurated an exhibition on the sidelines of the G20 1st ADM that showcased the potential, achievements, and progress made by Agriculture and Allied Sectors
Chouhan inaugurated an exhibition on the sidelines of the G20 1st ADM that showcased the potential, achievements, and progress made by Agriculture and Allied Sectors

"India has believed for centuries that nature should not be exploited, we should only harness natural resources. Humans, as well as animals and birds, are required for natural balance," Madhya Pradesh CM said, reports Anjul Tyagi, KJ Correspondent at the ADM. 

"The reckless use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides to increase production has badly affected the health of the Earth and the quality of the soil. This has also had a negative impact on human health," Chouhan said today at the G20 1st Agriculture Deputies Meeting (ADM) of the Agriculture Working Group (AWG) in Indore.

According to him, food security is a critical issue confronting the world today due to the world's ever-increasing population. "Only 12% of the world's land is suitable for agriculture. The demand for food grains is expected to reach 345 million tonnes by 2030, up from 192 million tonnes in 2000. It is obvious that neither agricultural land nor natural resources will increase," he said. Chouhan stated that we should also make appropriate efforts to increase agricultural land productivity. "For this, continuous encouragement of mechanisation, digitalization, new technology, and new seeds will be required," he said. Chouhan stated that for a decade, agriculture growth rates in Madhya Pradesh have been steadily improving under PM Modi's leadership.

"The state has made a significant contribution to meeting the country's food grain needs. The state has long been the leader in the production of oilseeds in the country. Madhya Pradesh accounts for 60 percent of the country's soy production. Madhya Pradesh is the country's leading wheat producer. We have made every effort to boost production in the state. The work of expanding the irrigation area is noteworthy in this regard. Only 7.5 lakh hectares of land in the state were irrigated in 2003. By increasing this, we are now irrigating 45 lakh hectares. Our goal is to provide irrigation for 65 lakh hectares. In order to increase production, the state encourages the use of new technology and good seeds," he said.

Chouhan stated that, in addition to increasing output, it is also necessary to reduce production costs. "Under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, continuous efforts are going on to provide necessary support to the farmers, to reduce the cost of production and to make farming a profitable business. Initiatives are also being taken in this direction to assist farmers with the use of new economical technology and mechanisation. Farmers are being given zero percent interest loans. Every year, a fixed amount is made available to farmers through PM Modi's Kisan Samman Nidhi initiative. Madhya Pradesh has also contributed its fair share. Its goal is to help farmers with agricultural costs," he explained.

According to Chouhan, it is also necessary to pay farmers a fair price for their produce. "In India, the concept of Minimum Support Price is applicable. In addition, the State and Central Governments are active in assisting farmers in the event of a natural disaster," he said. PM Modi has given the name "Shri Anna" to millet. This year has also been designated as the International Year of Millets by the United Nations. "Let us make every effort to ensure that these nutritious grains do not vanish from the earth," he said.

Chouhan also inaugurated an exhibition on the sidelines of the G20 1st ADM that showcased the potential, achievements, and progress made by Agriculture and Allied Sectors, with a special emphasis on Millets. The Chief Minister went to various stalls and carefully examined the agricultural products. The exhibition's main attractions were the stalls for animal husbandry and fishing, as well as millets and their value-added food products.

On the first day of the 3-day meeting, two side events were held: a stocktaking of G20 initiatives and a Global Forum on Climate Smart Agriculture and Food Security. Along with the presence of delegates, side events saw the presence of various organisations and well-known individuals. Following the deliberations, the delegates enjoyed the Kisan mela, live counters, DIY stalls, and the cultural event, which provided them with a taste of local culture and cuisine. Chouhan had previously addressed a press conference and interacted with the media.

The day began early this morning with a heritage walk at Rajwada Palace, where delegates learned about the palace's history, which was built by the Holkars in the 18th century. Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Minister of Civil Aviation and Steel, will address the Conference tomorrow, followed by a general discussion among the participating members and International Organizations. The third day will be devoted to deliberations on the AWG's key deliverables. It will be a technical session with round-table discussions and participation from all members and international organisations who are involved.

Representatives from G-20 member countries, guest countries, and international organisations are attending the three-day 1st Agriculture Deputies Meeting (ADM) of the Agriculture Working Group (AWG), which is being held under India's G20 Presidency and is being organised by the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, and is being led by Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.

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