The President of India inaugurated the first global symposium on farmers' rights
On September 12, 2023, Ms. Droupadi Murmu, the President of India, officially inaugurated the First Global Symposium on Farmers' Rights in New Delhi. The President stated during her speech that the farming community is the world's foremost conserver and that they are the true guardians of crop diversity.
She added that farmers are bestowed with exceptional power and responsibility. She stressed that it is important for all of us to recognise the farmers' efforts to protect and revive varieties of species and plants.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Rome, is hosting this symposium through the International Treaty Secretariat on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (International Treaty). The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, in collaboration with the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights (PPVFR) Authority, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), and the ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), are hosting this symposium.
According to the President, India is a mega-diverse nation with only 2.4% of the world's land area but is home to 7-8% of all known species of plants and animals. She mentioned that India is one of the countries with the greatest diversity of plants and animals. She added that in terms of biodiversity, India ranks as one of the nations endowed with the widest range of plants and species.
Furthermore, she added that our country’s farmers have laboured and conserved local varieties of plants, domesticated wild plants, and nurtured traditional varieties that have provided building blocks for crop breeding programmes, ensuring food and nutritional security for both humans and animals.
According to the President, since 1950-51, India's production of food grains, horticulture, fisheries, milk, and eggs has increased significantly, having a noticeable effect on the country's food and nutrition security. She emphasised that the government’s support together with the efforts of agro-biodiversity conservers, hardworking farmers, scientists, and policymakers had been crucial in advancing numerous agricultural revolutions in the nation.
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