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Day 2 of G20 Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) held

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On the second day of the G20 Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) in Varanasi today, deliberations were held on Digital Agriculture and Sustainable Agri Value Chain & Public-Private Partnership in Agricultural R&D. MACS Communique was also discussed. Secretary (DARE) & Director General (ICAR), Dr. Himanshu Pathak, who is also the MACS Chair, led the discussions.

Morning session deliberations focused on Digital Agriculture and Traceability; Digital Technological Solutions for Reducing Food Loss and Waste; Agri-tech Startup Ecosystem; Pluralistic Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services (EAS): partnerships for improving lab to land and outreach, Smallholder and Family Farming: G20- Global South Cooperation for Agri-R&D, Public-private Agri-R&D for Public Goods: Experience in Generating and Accelerating Innovations.

Earlier today, a bilateral meeting was conducted with FAO. Dr. Pathak emphasized that the extension service through KVK to farmers would be a very important area of cooperation. FAO representatives also expressed keen interest in extending cooperation in extension service. Dr. Ishmahane Elouafi, Chief Scientist, FAO, and Dr. Selvaraju Ramasamy, Senior Agriculture Officer, FAO participated in the meeting. They recognized India’s strength in the seed sector, which will be very useful to other countries.

Later in the evening the delegates visited the archaeological site and ASI Museum at Sarnath and witnessed the light and sound show.

The three-day G20 Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) with the theme, “Sustainable Agriculture and Food System for Healthy People and Planet” is underway at Varanasi. The Meeting was inaugurated by the Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, and Road Transport and Highways, General (Dr.) V K Singh (Retd) yesterday.

A session was conducted to discuss India’s initiative on Millets and Other Ancient Grains International Research Initiative (MAHARISHI). The representatives of G20 Nations, invited countries and International Organisations supported the MAHARISHI Initiative and expressed that millets being climate a smart crop and super health food, the International Research cooperation is pivotal for its promotion and adoption.

Dr. Himanshu Pathak and Mr. Philippe Mauguin, Chair & CEO, INRAE – National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (France) led their respective delegation in the bilateral meeting between India and France.

Both countries expressed keen interest in cooperation in the areas of climate change, crop diversification, soil & water conservation, natural farming and biofortified crops.

Last evening the delegates experienced Ganga Arati on a river cruise through the Ganges followed by an exhilarating cultural programme.

About 80 foreign delegates from the G20 Member States, Invited Guest Countries, International Organizations and Special Invitees by India are participating in the three day meeting.

On the concluding day on 19th April 2023 discussion on MACS Communique will continue.