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G20 Nations Must Promote Crop Diversification and Digital Tools, Says Minister

Ministers urge G20 nations for the promotion of crop diversification and the usage of digital tools in agriculture.

Shivangi Rai
Three-day G20 Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists in Varanasi yesterday.
Three-day G20 Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists in Varanasi yesterday.

In near future, India would be the largest producer of millet in the world, says VK Singh, Minister of State for civil aviation while inaugurating the G20 meeting of agricultural chief scientists (MACS) in Varanasi.

On Monday, VK Singh, Varanasi Union minister said that in the near future, India would be the largest producer of millets in the world as the government is serious about promoting its output due to the nutritional qualities of millets.

In Varanasi, inaugurating the G20 meeting of agricultural chief scientists (MACS) he asked G20 countries to work towards the promotion of crop diversification, efficient use of inputs like fertilizers and post-harvest management and said across the world latest digital tools should be used in agriculture.

About 80 delegates from G20 member states like Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the USA, and European Union are participating in the three-day meeting.

The minister of state for civil aviation, road transport, and highways said, “We should utilize the emerging digital technologies to usher in ease of farming across the G20 countries and the world. India would be happy to share its expertise in this regard with other countries, especially developing and the least developed countries.”

The minister said India’s G20 Presidency theme ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ indicates collective efforts for achieving SDGs (sustainable development goals). The theme of MACS, “sustainable agriculture and food system for healthy people and plants” ring with the emphasis put forth in the theme.

Based on India’s proposal, he declared that the UN General Assembly has declared 2023 as the International Year of the Millets which will assist in highlighting 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.

The minister said bio-fortified crop varieties are the quickest solution to enhance health and address nutrition issues of children and women. In India, over 5 million hectares of area are under bio-fortified varieties of different crops, he added.

VK Singh said, “India recognizes and admires the renewed efforts made by G-20 and other nations/organizations for the digitalization of agriculture. India has one of the largest digital connections in the form of over 1.2 billion mobile connections and 1.20 billion+ unique ID-Aadhar holders. We have provided 120 million soil health cards to farmers.”

He said, “As the demand for food is set to rise significantly in the decades to come with an increase in population, countries should harness each other’s strengths and improve trade relations. They should not just open new business opportunities for sustainable agriculture, but also stabilize food availability across regions and help small farmers as part of the agricultural value chain.”

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