17 April 2023, Varanasi: The G20 Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) was inaugurated today at Varanasi by General V K Singh (Retd.), Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, and Road Transport and Highways. About 80 foreign delegates from the G20 Member States and International Organizations are participating in the three-day meeting organized by the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture, and Farmers Welfare. The MACS is the 100th G20 Meeting during India’s G20 Presidency.
General Singh said that bio-fortified crop varieties are the quicker solution to improve health and address nutrition issues of women and children. Over 5 m ha area in India is under bio-fortified varieties of different crops, he added.
He emphasized that the pan-India presence of ICAR institutes and KVKs with domain expertise for crops, horticulture, livestock, fisheries, soil and water expertise/ farm machinery, and farmers outreach is being utilized to provide ICT interface with plants, animals, man, and machine.
General Singh urged the G-20 countries to look into diverse areas of sustainable practices that promote diversification of crop production systems, efficient utilization of water resources and fertilizers, assimilation of horticulture practices, soil, health management, and post-harvest management of crops, among others. He said the emerging digital technologies should be utilized to usher in ease of farming across the G20 countries and the world.
Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Secretary (DARE) & Director General (ICAR), and MACS Chair led the proceedings of the meeting. The discussions were held on Innovations and Technological Interventions for Agri-Food Systems Transformation, Frontiers in Science and Technology for Achieving Food Security & Nutrition, Biofortification in Food Crops for Enhancing Nutritional Value, Tropical Seaweed Farming for nutrition and blue growth, Transboundary Pests and Diseases: R&D Priorities for resilient agri-food systems, Climate Resilient Technologies, and Innovations for sustainable agri-food systems, Nature-Postive Agriculture: Science and Innovations for building resilient agri-food system, Biological Nitrification Inhibition (BNI): Reducing GHS emissions and Increasing crop yields.
The “Millets And Other Ancient Grains International Research Initiative (MAHARISHI)” is also proposed fordeliberations as a G20 initiative during India’s Presidency. MAHARISHI aims at advancing research collaborations and generating awareness about millets and other ancient grains during the International Year of Millets 2023 and after.
On 18th April, the delegates will deliberate on Digital Agriculture and Sustainable Agri Value Chain, Public Private Partnerships in Agricultural R&D, and a discussion will be held on the MACS Communique among G-20 Member Countries.
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