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India asks FAO to remove hurdles in accessing climate funds
India today asserted that climate finance is necessary for sustainable agriculture and the UN body -- Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) -- should remove capacity constraints in accessing and effective use of the fund in developing countries.
Since climate change impact on agricultural sector is a 'certain', there is a need to diversify crops from rice, wheat and maize to millets, which is a climate smart nutri-cereal, Junior Agriculture Minister Parshottam Rupala said at the 40th session of FAO conference in Rome, Italy.
Rupala, who is attending a six-day conference to conclude on July 8, was speaking on 'Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security'.
"Climate finance is an important aspect of achieving increased investments in climate smart technology and "we recommend that FAO should work towards facilitating access to climate finance for sustainable agriculture," he said.
Rupala further noted that climate finance may prove to be a catalyst to leverage larger flow of public and private funding into sustainable agriculture.
"I invite attention of FAO to address capacity constraints in accessing and effective use of climate finance in developing countries," according to the speech copy issued by the agriculture ministry.
Asserting that India recognises the urgency of addressing climate change effects, the minister said that the country is committed to the global efforts of building food and nutrition security on a sustainable basis.
While highlighting recent farm initiatives, he also mentioned, "We are aware about our responsibility of sustaining and enhancing the production in view of increasing population, changing consumption pattern and in the wake of challenges posed by climate change".
Since climate action has inter-linkages in achieving sustainable development goals, he said: "I, therefore, would like to emphasise that FAO should identify and address implementation challenges, data quality issues and strengthen monitoring, evaluation and governance capacities, by working proactively with national governments."
Emphasising the need to diversify crop basket, the minister said that the focus should be on growing millets which is a hardy crop and well suited to regions that suffer from abiotic stress.
He proposed FAO to take up research activities and advocacy to popularise millets on a major scale, particularly in arid and semi-arid tropics.
Rupala also suggested the UN body to declare one of the years in future as an International year of Millets.