SCO Agriculture Ministers meeting was organized virtually in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on August 12, 2021, on strengthening cooperation in food security and nutrition especially in this challenging time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar during the 6th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Agriculture Ministers Meeting said, “Agriculture has always been a high priority for India. India’s agriculture sector performed well even during the severe Covid-19 pandemic”.

The meeting reflected on the possibility that COVID 19 pandemic may have impacted food security and supply chain, therefore close interaction and cooperation among countries holds significant importance to ensure the functioning of the food supply chain to safeguard food security and nutritional intake.

The Indian delegation at the 6th SCO Agriculture Ministers Meeting was led by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shobha Karandlaje, and other senior officials.

Minister of Agriculture of Tajikistan, Ziyozoda Sulaymon Rizoi, Chairman of the Food Security Committee under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan Fayzullozoda Muhammadsaid Ubaydullo, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China Tang Renjian, FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu, and SCO Secretary-General Norov Vladimir Imamovich attended the meeting.

6th SCO Agriculture Ministers’ meeting: Key highlights from India’s agriculture sector

•India’s agriculture sector performed well even during the severe Covid-19 pandemic. Food production and exports have registered significant growth, in turn contributing to global food security.

•The Government has implemented several initiatives to develop innovative technologies and enable their dissemination from Lab to Land to empower rural youth and farmers.

•With an aim to double farmer’s income by 2022, the Government has launched several programs to:

(i) create new infrastructure for irrigation,

(ii) enhance optimal utilization of water resources,

(iii) conserve soil fertility with balanced use of fertilizers,

(iv) provide connectivity from farm to market,

(v) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) linkage besides building infrastructure, organic farming, etc.

India has achieved several milestones towards success in agriculture sector: Agricultural Minister

•India is a leading producer of several food commodities like vegetables, fruits, cereals, milk, eggs, and fish.

•In addition to the Green Revolution, the White revolution, the Blue revolution, the Public Distribution System, and the Price Support System for farmers are unmatched in the World.

India efforts to ensure food security and curb malnutrition

•Government is determined to attain UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 2 of End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

•India has been able to become self-sufficient and accumulate surplus in food grains with the help of the vision of policymakers, agricultural scientists, and farmers in the country.

•To curb the issue of malnutrition in the country, consumption of bio-fortified staple crops and diets are being promoted to provide micronutrient-rich intake.

•With a tremendous growth trajectory in the field of agriculture, “India will continue to share best practices and build capacities of other developing countries, both bilaterally as well as through collaboration with international organizations to enable them to also become self-sufficient and to ensure food security,” said India’s Union Agriculture Minister Tomar at the SCO meeting.

India and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

•India has been a permanent member of the SCO since 2017 and has exhibited a keen interest in honoring its relationship with SCO to promote multilateral, political, security, economic and people-to-people interaction in the region.

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