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Global conclave on creation of investment forum on climate resilient agri-food systems

  • Published
    18th Jan, 2024
Context

India, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and NITI Aayog, is convening a global conclave to address the pressing issue of climate-resilient agri-food systems.

Objective
  • This initiative aims to instigate discussions on transforming cropping patterns for major crops, fostering a paradigm shift in agriculture.
  • The intent of the Programme is to see discussions on paradigm shift in cropping patterns of major crops. It’s not just about climate resilient agriculture, but climate resilient agri-food systems.
  • Developing an investment forum in the agriculture sector. This is much needed as awareness about potential use of technology in agriculture for making it more resilient is well understood but the avenues for investment is much lower when compared to euphoria.

Investment Forum for Climate Resilient Agri-Food Systems:

  • The central agenda revolves around creating an investment forum in the agriculture sector.
  • Stakeholders include government bodies, private sectors, and farmers’ organizations.
  • The goal is to devise an investment and partnership strategy to propel climate-resilient agri-food systems.

Challenges of Climate Change:

  • The conclave will tackle the question of global preparedness to confront climate change challenges.
  • Emphasis on the need for a fundamental paradigm shift in cultivating staple foods like rice, wheat, pulses, sugarcane, and cotton.

 Agri-Food System Development Approach:

  • The call for adopting an agri-food system development approach that integrates digital infrastructure, mechanization, value chains, and gender mainstreaming.
  • Expanding the focus from climate-resilient agriculture to holistic climate-resilient agri-food systems.

Role of the Proposed Investment Forum:

  • Facilitate collaboration among UN agencies, civil society, public and private sectors, producer organizations, and development agencies.
  • Discussion topics include digital infrastructure, financing strategies, climate-resilient value chains, production practices, and gender mainstreaming for climate resilience.

Water Management:

  • Identifying water availability as a fundamental challenge.
  • Proposals for water accounting and the introduction of an evaporation transpiration monitoring system.
  • The excessive groundwater usage in India compared to other countries. This is of more concern when India is a water deficient country and most of its regions are in danger zones of water scarcity.
  • Introducing evaporation transpiration monitoring system will be beneficial for India. This technology can monitor how much water being used by plants. India can utilise this technology for planning purposes for the country’s cropping systems so that there is enough water for agriculture and for people.

Inclusive approach

  • The conclave signifies a holistic approach, expanding the discourse from climate-resilient agriculture to climate-resilient agri-food systems.
  • The proposed Investment Forum is crucial, fostering collaboration among diverse stakeholders, emphasizing the interconnectedness of digital infrastructure, finance, gender mainstreaming, and sustainable production practices.
  • Addressing water scarcity with advanced monitoring systems indicates a forward-looking strategy.

Indian Agriculture Issues:

  1. Water Scarcity: High groundwater usage and inefficient water management pose significant challenges.
  2. Traditional Cropping Patterns: Resistance to paradigm shifts in cultivating staple foods inhibits climate resilience.
  3. Technological Adoption: Limited integration of digital infrastructure and modern agricultural practices.
  4. Gender Mainstreaming: The need for greater inclusion of women in agriculture for comprehensive resilience.

India's approach, as seen in the conclave, reflects a recognition of the multifaceted challenges in agriculture. The emphasis on collaboration and systemic changes can pave the way for a more resilient and sustainable future for Indian agriculture.

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