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New Delhi : Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on September 19, 2021, said that the Government of India has emphasised on re-introducing traditional food items including millet, other nutritious cereals, fruits and vegetables, fish, dairy, and organic products in the diet of the people. Their production has been phenomenal in India in recent years and India is becoming a destination country for healthy food items.

Tomar said this during the second day’s session of the G-20 Agriculture Ministers’ meeting. The theme of this session was “Working together to achieve the Zero Hunger goal: successful projects implemented by the Ministries of Agriculture”.

In his virtual address at the meeting, Tomar said that keeping in mind the importance of Nutri-cereals, the United Nations has accepted the proposal of the Government of India and declared the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets. He appealed to the nations to support the celebration of Millet Year to promote nutrition and sustainable agriculture, according to a PIB release.

Tomar said that the agriculture sector in India has achieved great success after independence. The Indian agriculture sector remained unaffected even during the Covid pandemic. The Minister expressed happiness that the various initiatives of the Government of India to keep the Agri-market dynamic along with the Agri-input supply chain during Covid have helped the agriculture sector in better performance. During the year 2020-2021, along with increase in the production of foodgrains, there has been a significant increase in exports.

Tomar said that biofortified-varieties are the source of staple diet rich in micronutrients. They are being promoted to remove malnutrition. A total of 17 such varieties of different crops have been developed and released for cultivation. The Government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken steps to increase the optimal use of water resources, create infrastructure for irrigation, conserve soil fertility with balanced use of fertilisers, and provide connectivity from farms to markets.

Union Minister Tomar led a four-member Indian delegation to the G20 Ministerial meeting. In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, this meeting was organised in hybrid mode. The Indian Delegation included Dr Abhilaksh Likhi, Additional Secretary, Union Ministry of Agriculture, and Farmers Welfare; Joint Secretary Alaknanda Dayal and Dr. B. Rajender.