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Narendra Singh Tomar emphasized importance of crop diversification to meet growing demand for food grains

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said that the government is committed to ensuring food and nutrition to all. He said plant genetic resources are the source of solution to the breeding challenges. Plant genetic resources are also vulnerable due to habitat destruction and climate change. Their protection is a “shared responsibility of humanity”. We must use all modern technologies as well as traditional knowledge to preserve and use them in a sustainable manner

Mr Tomar was addressing the 9th Session of Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in New Delhi today. The ITPGRFA is a legally binding comprehensive agreement signed during the 31st session of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome in November, 2001, which took effect on 29 June 2004, and currently has 149 Contracting Parties including India.

This treaty, in consonance with the Convention on Biological Diversity, seeks to achieve food security through the conservation, exchange and sustainable use of the world’s Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA), equitable sharing of profits from its use, as well as playing an important role in the recognition of rights of farmers. PGRFA provides scale-free solutions to achieve food and nutritional security as well as climate resilient agriculture.

Countries are mutually interdependent for the PGRFA, leading to the need for a global system to facilitate access and profit sharing. GB9 is being organized under the theme “Celebrating the Guardians of Crop Diversity: Towards an Inclusive Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework”.

The theme aims to highlight the contribution of the world’s small farmers to the effective management of PGRFA and provide an opportunity to consider how the treaty and its community can contribute to the new global biodiversity architecture.

He said, the purpose of this treaty is to recognize the farmers and local community in the diversity of crops. He also highlighted the contribution of farmers in ensuring food security.

The eminent scientists, resource persons and representatives of several countries are participating in this six – day event.

They will deliberate on how to develop climate resilient varieties and also prepare a roadmap for exchange of scientific information on plant genetic resources for increasing crop production and productivity.

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