Looming food crisis sends Centre in huddle with states


Photo credit PIB

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, July 15: While top international blocks brainstorm over the prospects of the food crisis deepening in the near future, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar discussed ways to boost agricultural productions along with enhancing scope of technologies with his states’ counterparts in Bengaluru.

The two-day National Conference of Agriculture and Horticulture Ministers of the States, was organized by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in coordination with the Karnataka government.

The agriculture ministers congregated in Bengaluru amid growing urgency in the Central government to boost the food productions, which has gained further momentum after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s return from the G7 Summit in Germany where the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had in his video speech warned of the Russian invasion intensifying in the next few months.

Ukraine has almost about 25 million tons of foodgrains, mostly wheat, stuck after its access to Black Sea has been blocked by Russia, pushing a number of countries to a situation where they face deepening food crisis.

The Bengaluru conference saw the Centre making a pitch for the promotion of millets amid assessment that there will be a better international market due to the shortage of wheat.

Keeping in view the importance of nutritious cereals, the States agreed to increase their production and area, as well as promote the processing, value addition and marketing of nutritious cereals, taking all possible steps along with the Central Government, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare in a media statement on Friday.

“There is a need to focus our attention towards better implementation of the policies and programmes of the Government of India in coordination with the State Governments,” said Tomar.

The Centre is seeking states’ cooperation in Digital Agriculture Mission, promotion of FPOs (Farmers’ Producer Organisations), better trade mechanism of agricultural produce through e-NAM among others.

“States need to focus on crop diversification keeping in view the demand for high value crops to enable increase in the farmers’ income,” said Tomar in the meeting.

It may be recalled that the Union Minister for Food and Consumer Affairs Piyush Goyal had also held a meeting with the state ministers in the national capital a few days ago during which he had urged upon the states to help in boosting the productions and sowing area of paddy.

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