Statement by India at 20th session of United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) on the Priority theme - The role of science, technology and innovation in ensuring food security by 2030 delivered by Dr. Ashok Kumar Jain, Adviser, NITI Aayog, on 9 May 2017

 Statement by India

at 20th session of United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) on  the Priority theme - The role of science, technology and innovation in ensuring food security by 2030 delivered by Dr. Ashok Kumar Jain, Adviser, NITI Aayog, on 9 May 2017 

Mr Chair  

Thank you for giving me the floor.  

At the outset, Delegation of India would like to appreciate educative presentations made by the eminent panelists on the Theme - The role of science, technology and innovation in ensuring food security by 2030. We have gone through the Secretary General’s comprehensive report. This report highlights contributions by Member States on good practices and lessons for applying Science and Technology for food security, the global challenge of food security, the emerging  technologies that can play a role in addressing the four dimensions of food security, namely - food availability, food access, food utilization and food stability.  

Mr. Chair  

Most of the India’s development agenda is mirrored in the SDGs. The guiding principle for India’s development policy is Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, which means Collective Efforts Inclusive Growth. At the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are targets to end hunger, achieve food security, and improve nutrition. India is dealing with this important challenge of Food Security through a multipronged stratagem.  

There has been a remarkable shift in India from being food deficient nation at the time of our independence in 1947, to the one that achieved self sufficiency in food production.  

Mr. Chair :  

Allow me to highlight some of the major initiatives taken by India in ensuring Food Security.   

India implements one of the largest food security measures in the world, the National Food Security Act (NFSA), which covers 800 million people (about 67% of the total population) addressing the availability, accessibility and affordability dimensions of food security. In addition, the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) addresses nutrition security of under-6 children, lactating mothers and pregnant women. The National Programme of Mid-Day Meal provides nutritious meals to children in primary schools.  

Globally  India occupies the first position in milk production and is the third largest producer of fish and second largest producer of inland fisheries in the world. India is the third largest producer of cereals in the world. India has world-class institutions of research and training in agriculture, dairy and live stocks under varied climatic conditions.  

Indian scientists have developed farming techniques and farm equipment that are affordable and effective. We acknowledge the existence of  challenges to further improve agriculture productivity to meet the ever increasing demand, adopting sustainable farming practices, making available agriculture inputs at affordable cost, curbing intermediation for better connectivity farms to markets, increasing farm incomes and improving and expanding the food distribution systems.

Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi launched the electronic National Agriculture Market also known as e-NAM, which is an electronic-trading platform to improve the linkage between the farmer and the market.  

New schemes have been launched for improving the availability of cheap credit, crop insurance and direct benefit transfer for farmers. For better delivery of these schemes India has launched a biometrics-based Unique Individual Identification System - Aadhaar and has linked it with banking services and mobile phone technologies. This is proving to be a huge success.  

India has also launched an ambitious scheme to provide Soil Health Cards to all farmers in the country in a time bound manner to better match soil quality and crops being grown.  

India has been sharing its experience and expertise with other developing countries in the context of training and capacity building. India is expanding its development cooperation with Africa and developing countries in other parts of the world to facilitate projects for irrigation and improved agriculture productivity.  

Delegation of India would submit a more detailed note on the use of Science, Technology and Innovations in ensuring Food Security in India. We would request the CSTD Secretariat to include the  same in its report.  

For India, food security continues to be high on its list of development priorities and is committed to work with other countries at various international fora to end hunger, improve nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture and achieve food security both in India and globally.  

With these words I thank you Mr. Chairman.

 
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