The President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu inaugurated the First Global Symposium on Farmers’ Rights in New Delhi, today (September 12, 2023). Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the farming fraternity of the world is its foremost conserver and they are the true guardians of crop diversity. She further said that the farmers are bestowed with exceptional power and responsibility. She emphasised that we all must appreciate farmers’ endeavour to protect and revive many varieties of plants and species whose existence is crucial to all of us.
This Symposium is being organised by the Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (International Treaty) of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Rome and hosted by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in collaboration with Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPVFR) Authority, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), and ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR).
The President said that India is a mega-diverse country with only 2.4 percent of the world’s land area but accounts for 7-8 percent of all recorded species of plants and animals. She shared that in terms of biodiversity, India ranks as one of nations endowed with widest range of plants and species. She added that this rich agro-biodiversity of India has been a treasure trove for the global community at large. She added that our farmers have toiled and enterprisingly conserved local varieties of plants, domesticated wild plants and nurtured traditional varieties that have provided building blocks for crop breeding programmes and this has ensured food and nutritional security for human beings and animals.
The President said that agricultural research and technology development has enabled India to multiply production of food grains, horticulture, fisheries, milk and eggs many times since 1950-51, thus making a visible impact on the national food and nutrition security. She highlighted that the efforts of agro-biodiversity conservers and industrious farmers, scientists and policy makers coupled with governmental support have played a key role in giving fillip to multiple agricultural revolutions in the country. She expressed confidence that the technology and science can serve as an effective protector and enhancer of heritage knowledge.