General (Dr.) V K Singh (Retd.), Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, and Road Transport and Highways inaugurated the G20 Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) in Varanasi today. The MACS is the 100th G20 Meeting during India’s G20 Presidency.
General (Dr.) Singh said India’s G20 Presidency theme ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ signifies collective efforts for achieving SDGs and the theme of MACS, “Sustainable Agriculture & food System for healthy people and plant” resonates the emphasis put forth in the theme.
The Minister exhorted that bio-fortified crop varieties are the quicker solution to improve health and address nutrition issues of women and children. Over 5 m ha area in India is under bio-fortified varieties of different crops, he added.
He emphasised that the pan-India presence of ICAR institutes and KVKs with domain expertise for crops, horticulture, livestock, fisheries, soil and water expertise/ farm machineries, and farmers outreach is being utilized to provide ICT interface with plants, animals, man and machine.
General (Dr.) Singh urged the G-20 countries to look into diverse areas of sustainable practices that promote diversification of crop production systems, efficient utilization of water resources and fertilizers, assimilation of horticulture practices, soil, health management, and post-harvest management of crops, among others. He said the emerging digital technologies should be utilized to usher in ease of farming across the G20 countries and the world.
He stated that the UN General Assembly, based on India’s proposal, has declared 2023 as the International Year of the Millets which will help highlight 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.
Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Secretary (DARE) & Director General (ICAR) and MACS Chair graced the occasion. Later, he led the proceedings of the Meeting.
Shri Sanjay Garg, Additional Secretary (DARE) & Secretary (ICAR) welcomed the delegates and dignitaries of the Meeting. He said that in view of the International Year of Millets 2023, India has proposed a G20 initiative on Millets And otHer Ancient Grains International Research Initiative (MAHARISHI) for adoption by MACS.
Subsequently the discussions were held on Innovations and Technological Interventions for Agri-Food Systems Transformation, Frontiers in Science and Technology for Achieving Food Security & Nutrition, Biofortification in Food Crops for Enhancing Nutritional Value, Tropical Seaweed Farming for nutrition and blue growth, Millets And otHer Ancient Grains International Research Initiative (MAHARISHI), One Health as an Integrated and Unifying Approach: Partnerships and strategies for coordinated action, Transboundary Pests and Diseases: R&D Priorities for resilient agri-food systems, Climate Resilient Technologies and Innovations for sustainable agri-food systems, Nature-Postive Agriculture: Science and Innovations for building resilient agri-food system, Biological Nitrification Inhibition (BNI): Reducing GHS emissions and Increasing crop yields. On 18th April, the delegates will deliberate on Digital Agriculture and Sustainable Agri Value Chain, Public Private Partnership in Agricultural R&D and discussion will be held on MACS Communique among G-20 Member Countries.
About 80 foreign delegates from G20 Member States i.e, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, France , Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkiye, United Kingdom, USA and European Union; Invited Guest Countries, viz. Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain UAE, Vietnam and International Organizations such as United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Health Organization, World Trade Organization, International Labour Organization, FSB, OECD, Chairs of Regional Organizations AU, AUDA-NEPAD, ASEAN and Special Invitees by India i.e, International Solar Alliance, CDR and Asian Development Bank are participating in the three day meeting.