Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi released commemorative coins of Rs 75 denomination to mark the 75th Anniversary of FAO through video conferencing on 16th Oct 2020. He dedicated to the nation, 17 recently developed biofortified varieties of crops.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister greeted the people across the world who are constantly working to remove malnutrition. He said, our Kisan Saathi – our Annadata, our Agricultural Scientist, our Anganwadi ASHA workers, are the basis of the movement against malnutrition. While they have filled the granary of India with their hard work, they are also helping the government in reaching the poorest of the poor. He added, due to all these efforts, India is fighting a strong fight against malnutrition even in this crisis of Corona.
The Prime Minister said over the years, FAO helped to increase agricultural production and eradicate hunger all over the world, including India and has played a huge role in increasing nutrition and its service is respected by more than 130 crore Indians. He said this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the World Food Program is also a major achievement for the FAO. He remarked that India is happy with the partnership and engagement which has been historic.
The Prime Minister remarked that with years of experience fresh efforts were made in the country after 2014. He said with an integrated approach Government took a holistic approach and ended all the silos to work on a multi-dimensional strategy. He listed the initiatives by the Government to fight malnutrition such as National Nutrition Mission (POSHAN Abhiyaan), construction of toilets under Swachh Bharat Mission, Mission Rainbow, Jal Jeevan mission, distribution of low cost Sanitation pads, etc. He highlighted the outcome of such efforts like Gross Enrollment Ratio of girls exceeding the Ratio for boys, etc. He said important work is done to tackle malnutrition like promoting coarse grains and crops rich in nutrition like protein, iron, zinc, etc.
The Prime Minister expressed thanks to FAO for fully supporting India’s proposal to declare 2023 as the International Year of Millets. He said this will encourage intake of nutritious food, increase their availability further and benefit small farmers a lot. He said the small and medium farmers mostly grow coarse grains on their land where there is a problem of water and the land is not so fertile. He added this will benefit not only to India but the whole world.
The Prime Minister remarked the common variety of some crops lacks some micronutrients and thus bio-fortified varieties were developed to overcome these shortcomings. He added today 17 bio-fortified seed varieties of several local and traditional crops including wheat and paddy are being made available to the farmers which is an important step to strengthen the nutrition campaign.