Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized the significance of the G20 Agriculture Ministers’ meeting in Hyderabad, urging them to collaborate on achieving global food security through collective action. In a video message on Friday, he highlighted the need to build sustainable and inclusive food systems with a focus on marginal farmers.
The Prime Minister called for strengthening global fertilizer supply chains and adopting agricultural practices that prioritize soil health, crop health, and yield.
Prime Minister emphasized the importance of empowering farmers with innovation and digital technology, particularly in the Global South, where small and marginal farmers face unique challenges. He stressed the urgency of reducing agricultural and food waste and redirecting efforts towards creating wealth from waste.
Regarding India’s approach to agriculture, the Prime Minister stated that the country’s policy combines a return to traditional farming practices with embracing technological advancements. Natural farming and technology-enabled farming are being promoted, with farmers across India increasingly adopting natural farming techniques that eschew synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. The focus is on revitalizing the environment, protecting soil health, and maximizing crop yields using organic fertilizers and pest management solutions.
Indian farmers are proactively leveraging technology to enhance productivity, including the use of solar power on their farms. Techniques such as Soil Health Cards are employed to optimize crop selection, while drones are deployed for nutrient spraying and crop monitoring. Modi affirmed that this fusion approach represents the most effective way to address numerous agricultural challenges.
The Prime Minister also drew attention to the specific challenges faced by the Global South in the agricultural sector. Globally, agriculture supports the livelihoods of more than 2.5 billion people, with the sector contributing almost 30% to the GDP and employing over 60% of the population in the Global South.
However, supply chain disruptions exacerbated by the pandemic and geopolitical tensions, coupled with the increasing frequency of extreme weather events due to climate change, have significantly impacted this sector, especially in developing regions.
India’s G20 priorities in agriculture revolve around healing the planet, fostering unity, and providing hope for a better future. Modi emphasized the importance of preserving traditional food crops such as millets, highlighting their nutritional benefits and their ability to increase farmers’ income while requiring less water, fertilizers, and being more resistant to pests.
The Prime Minister concluded by reminding the agriculture ministers that their responsibility extends beyond managing an economic sector. They play a crucial role in shaping the future of humanity by addressing the challenges faced by the agricultural sector and ensuring a sustainable and prosperous future for all.