19 April 2020, New Delhi: Union Agriculture Minister Shri Narendra Singh Tomar participated in an Extraordinary virtual meeting of G-20 Agriculture Ministers today to address the issue of COVID-19 impacts on food security, safety and nutrition.
He shared the decision of Government of India to exempt all agriculture operations during lockdown period and ensuring continued availability of essential agriculture produce and supply, while adhering to protocol of social distancing, health and hygiene.
Shri Tomar highlighted that the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been at the forefront of supporting countries to tide over this crisis in various ways and that agriculture will not lag behind, consistent with the needs of our citizens.
The G-20 Agriculture Ministers virtual meeting was organized through video conferencing by the Saudi Presidency to deliberate on the ways and means of ensuring continuity of food supply value chain including livelihood of farmers. It was attended by Agriculture Ministers of all G-20 members, some guest countries and International organizations. Shri Tomar welcomed the initiative taken by Saudi Arabia to bring the G-20 countries together.
Later, a declaration of G-20 agriculture ministers was accepted. The G-20 nations resolved to have international cooperation in the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic, to avoid food wastages and losses, maintain the continuity of food supply value chain across borders. They also resolved to work together for food security and nutrition, share best practices and lessons learnt, promote research, responsible investments, innovations and reforms that will improve the sustainability and resilience of agriculture and food systems.
The G-20 nations also agreed to develop science based international guidelines on stricter safety and hygienic measures for zoonosis control.