BRICS countries are well-positioned to take a leading role in helping to achieve the objectives of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals to eradicate hunger and poverty, India’s Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Friday.
“By increasing agricultural production and increasing the income of farmers, the problem of income inequality and food price volatility can be overcome,” Tomar said as he chaired the 11th Meeting of BRICS Agriculture Ministers held virtually.
The Ministers of Agriculture from BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) deliberated on the theme ‘BRICS Partnership for Strengthening Agro Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Security’ and also adopted a joint declaration covering a wide range of focus areas for future cooperation amongst BRICS countries and the Action Plan for 2021-24 for agricultural cooperation of BRICS countries and BRICS Agriculture Research Platform, an Agriculture Ministry release said.
BRICS brings together the major emerging economies of the world, hosting 41 per cent of the world’s population, contributing 24 per cent of the world GDP and over 16 per cent share in world trade.
Tomar also highlighted the efforts made by India in preserving agro-biodiversity by establishing and maintaining the National Gene banks for plants, animals, fish, insects and agriculturally important microorganisms at different Bureaus. “India is focusing on capacity building in research, teaching, policy-making, trade and farming of nutritious cereals, which will benefit the farmers while conserving the amazing diversity available in this group of crops,” he said.
He noted that the BRICS Agricultural Research Platform (BARP) has been created to promote cooperation in agricultural research and innovations and its implementation started on Friday. The BARP will promote cooperation in the areas of agricultural research, extension, technology transfer, training, and capacity building.
The documents for the Joint declaration of BRICS Agriculture Ministers were discussed in depth in the meetings of BRICS Agricultural Experts and BRICS Working Group on Agriculture at the senior officers’ level, the release said.
The Action Plan of 2021-24 for Agricultural Cooperation of BRICS Countries, provides for enhanced cooperation in the field of agriculture amongst them and focuses on the themes of food security, welfare of farmers, conservation of agro-biodiversity, resilience of food and agricultural production systems, promotion of digital agricultural solutions etc, which are integral to the sustainable development of agriculture, the release added.
Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Kailash Choudhary and Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Secretary Sanjay Agarwal were among those who attended the virtual meeting.