Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Wednesday told the United Nations that the agriculture sector is key in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, saying 12 out of 17 SDGs are directly dependent on agriculture. Addressing a virtual UN Food Systems Summit, Tomar also noted that agriculture plays an important role in the socio-economic transformation of developing countries. India is committed towards achieving the 2030 SDGs and making its agri-food systems sustainable, he said in a statement. Listing out various steps taken by India towards making farming profitable, Tomar said the government has created an Agriculture Infrastructure Fund with a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore and targeting formation of 10,000 farmer producer organisations besides the PM-KISAN Scheme through which an amount of 1.37 lakh crore has been credited to the bank accounts of 11 crore farmers. He also said that India is conscious of its commitments towards climate change and has taken several steps to make agriculture sustainable. The Per Drop More Crop scheme for irrigation; Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana' for organic farming as well as the 'Soil Health Card' plan to conserve water and soil resources are some of the schemes being implemented in this direction, he added. India has also launched the Pradhan Mantri FasalBima Yojana (PMFBY) to provide insurance protection for covering the risk of farmers.
The minister thanked the UN for accepting India's proposal to celebrate the year 2023 as the 'International Year of Millets'. Tomar led a fifteen members' Indian delegation to the three-day UN Food Systems Pre-Summit 2021, organised by the United Nations and the Government of Italy. In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pre-summit is being organised in a hybrid mode. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi along with representatives of various countries, also addressed the three-day summit. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by the UN body in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. According to the UN body, sustainable food systems don't just help to end hunger but can help the world achieve critical progress on all 17 SDGs.