New Delhi: India G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant on Thursday (July 20) made a strong case for food waste prevention programmes globally to reduce food insecurity and mobilise private funding for research in sustainable agriculture. Mr. Kant was addressing the maiden Global Food Regulators Summit 2023 here. He said,
This is the first time a meeting of this nature is being held during India’s G20 presidency. We feel strongly that locally adapted crops are significant for the transition towards resilient agriculture and food systems.
To strengthen research, collaboration and public awareness of green crops, the G20 in its agriculture ministerial meeting, launched millet and other ancient grains international research initiative called Maharishi. The former bureaucrat said the world is passing through a critical time as one-third of the world is in recession, and 75 countries of the world are facing a global debt crisis. Also, there is a major crisis of food, fuel and fertiliser in several countries. He said and urged the global food regulators to consider encouraging the cultivation of alternative crops beyond the major grains,
The need of the hour is not only to focus on the immediate crisis and short-term measures but also for all countries to make their food systems more resilient in the long run.
He also talked about India’s initiatives to popularise the use of millet. He informed that not a single meal is served at programs being held during India’s presidency. This, he said, is being done to promote alternative crops. He further said,
It is important to mobilise private funding towards research and development in climate resilient and sustainable agriculture…it’s important to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable groups through targeted social protection programmes such as food subsidies.
Mr. Kant also emphasised the increasing cooperation among government, private businesses and international partners, so that nutritious production systems, which ensure proper food security, are taken care of. He added,
It’s also important to implement food waste prevention programmes to reduce food insecurity. There is just too much food wastage in the world
India’s G20 Sherpa stressed on the deployment of digital tools to enhance agricultural practices, such as using soil maps to increase the efficient use of fertiliser. He urged the gathering to utilise the summit platform for learning, strengthening networks to improve food safety and creating a mechanism for investing in food safety in a sustainable way.
This summit is an endeavour of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under the aegis of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to create a global platform of food regulators to exchange perspectives on strengthening food safety systems and regulatory framework across the food value chain.
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