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National Inception Workshop on Green Agriculture Project | FAO in India | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


12/08/2016

The national inception workshop for the first of its kind Green Agriculture project was held on Thursday, 11 August 2016 at Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi. The project titled “Transforming Indian Agriculture for Global Environmental Benefit and Conservation of Critical Agricultural and Forest Biodiversity in Different Landscape” is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), a multilateral funding mechanism, partnering with Government of India (MoAFW and MoEFCC) and FAO as the GEF agency. With a budget of USD 37 million, the seven year ambitious project will cover globally significant biodiversity production landscapes in India, including project sites in Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.

The focal areas under the project are agriculture and forest biodiversity, conserving endangered species, climate change mitigation, addressing land degradation and sustainable land and forest management to address the challenges emerging due to climate change, limited availability of natural resources along with increasing pressure on agricultural land.  These thematic areas will feed into the larger Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of Sustainable Consumption (SDG12), Climate Change (SDG13) and Life on Land (SDG15), and the FAO goal of increase and improve the provision of goods and services from agriculture, forests and fisheries in a sustainable manner. Shri Shyam Khadka, FAO Representative in India said that “in the context of SGDs, it is important that project parameters remain sustainable in the long term” and that conservation should be linked to sustainable livelihoods enhancement.

These objectives will be addressed through two components. Component 1: “Policy Transformation” which will address constraints in the enabling environment by putting in place tools required to strengthen and enhance the capacity of the agricultural sector to deliver biodiversity, sustainable land and forest management, and climate change mitigation benefits. Component 2: “Management Transformation” will demonstrate on-the-ground conservation improvements designed to drive higher-level changes. Under it, the project will work in high conservation priority landscapes to demonstrate replicable “best practices”.

The project will reach out to farming communities, working with them towards eco-restoration, conserving keystone species in project states and climate resilient agriculture through sustainable business models which will be self-replicating. The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Radha Mohan Singh expressed his appreciation of project objectives with the expectation that it will align with the Ministry’s aim of doubling farmer incomes in the next six years. The Union Minister said that the Government of India has a number of schemes viz. climate smart agriculture, sustainable land use and management, bio-production, use of local and traditional knowledge along with the agriculture bio diversification conservation that should complement the given project. He was happy to note that the project will target farmers across 1 million hectares utilizing and conserving genetic diversity of at least 10 globally significant traditional and/or endemic plant and animal species or varieties among other project outcomes.

The workshop was organised as a joint efforts of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Dignitaries and members from the Ministries (national and state level), FAO India Representative, Mr. Shyam Khadka along with members and other Research Organizations and the United Nations were present at the meeting.



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