The G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting during 15-17 June 2023 adopted the agreed outcome document titled “Outcome Document and Chair’s Summary” . This historical consensus was reached after deliberations on various issues centred around the agriculture sector wherein leadership of G-20 developing countries was envisaged.
The Ministerial meeting started on 16 June 2023, with a plenary session with the welcome address by Shri Manoj Ahuja, Union Agriculture Secretary. This was followed by a video message by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi who graciously welcomed the excellencies and distinguished delegates. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi highlighting that agriculture sector lay at the heart of human civilization, called upon the G-20 Agriculture Ministers to work collectively to further the future of humanity by addressing the challenges faced by this sector.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi emphasised on the four priority areas for discussion during the G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting: (a) Promotion of agricultural diversity and improvement of social security systems to enhance food security and nutrition (b) Financing climate-friendly technologies and adopting a climate-smart approach based on agricultural system models for sustainable agricultural production (c) Strengthen infrastructure for small and marginal farmers, women and youth and make use of growing economic opportunities to promote inclusive agriculture value chains and food systems to enhance the resilience and efficiency of the chains (d) Leverage digital technologies to improve digitization for the transformation of agriculture and focusing on standardization of agricultural data platform which are a part of digital public goods.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi stated that 2023 is also the International Year of Millets. Millets/ Shree Anna/ superfoods are not only good for health but also help farmers achieve sustainable livelihoods by promoting income diversification and building climate resilience. India’s commitment to share best practices, research and technologies in ancient grains and cereals was reaffirmed.
In light of the present global supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic and worsened by the impact of geopolitical tensions and climate change, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi urged the G20 member nations to explore ways to adopt agricultural practices for better soil health, crop health and yield and empower our farmers with innovation and digital technology.
Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Shri Narendra Singh Tomar welcomed the ministers and Heads of Delegations (HoDs) to the plenary session. Dr Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog made a presentation on “Global Food Security and Nutrition” highlighting the present day challenges and possible solutions. Union Ministers of State for Agriculture Shri Kailash Choudhary and Ms. Shobha Karandlaje, Director General of ICAR and Secretary of DARE Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Secretary – Department of Fisheries Mr. J.N. Swain along with other senior officials and high-level officials of G-20 countries and heads of invited organizations were also present.
Agriculture Minister also shared with his colleagues that India hosted the Voice of Global South Summit 2023 virtually under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during 12-13th January 2023. Voice of Global South Summit 2023 was held under the theme “Unity of Voice, Unity of Purpose”. India’s goal was to consult developing countries not represented in G20, on their developmental priorities and what they expected India to achieve through its presidency. The idea was to ensure that developing countries feel better engaged with the G20 process and, in turn, G20 could produce better results to promote “human-centric development.”
Highlighting India’s achievements in the agriculture sector, Agriculture Minister mentioned that India’s approach towards food security and nutrition was guided by the G-20 Indian Presidency spirit of “One Earth, One Family, One Future“. The commitment to achieve SDG 2 – ending hunger, and attaining food and nutrition security was also reiterated. Agriculture Minister also shared the importance of the launch of the mission on “LIFE (Lifestyle for Environment” on the occasion of the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change (UNFCCC COP-26) by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi as it would lead to more efficient use of natural resources and reduce emissions.
Agriculture Minister lauded the G20 Members for their notable contributions towards making the Agriculture Working Group proceedings successful and historic which resulted in the welcoming of two key outcomes in the “Outcome Document and Chair’s Summary” during the Ministerial meeting: (a) Deccan High Level Principles and (b) International Millets and Other Ancient Grains Research Initiative.
India’s efforts to steward and enhance the agricultural agenda were appreciated by all the G20 Members and deep gratitude was expressed.
The Deccan High-Level Principles demonstrated the G20 collective responsibility in reinforcing and complementing efforts across geographies in response to global food security crises by means of facilitating humanitarian assistance to countries and populations in vulnerable situations; enhancing availability and access to nutritious food and strengthening food safety nets; strengthening policies and collaborative actions for climate resilient and sustainable agriculture and food systems; strengthening resilience and inclusivity in agriculture and food value chains; promoting the one health approach; accelerating innovation and the use of digital technology and scaling up responsible public and private investments in agriculture.
Prior to this, three other important meetings were held in Indore, Chandigarh and Varanasi. During the G20 MACS meeting in Varanasi, “ International Millets and Other Ancient Grains Research Initiative (MAHARISHI)” was launched.
India’s G-20 priorities in agriculture are focused on healing our ‘One Earth’, developing harmony in our ‘One Family’ and providing hope for a brighter ‘One Future’.