Agricultural Biodiversity: India

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2016: First International Agrobiodiversity Congress

The Hindu, November 6, 2016

Ceremony of 1st International Agrobiodiversity Congress 2016 took place in New Delhi.

Expressing concern over extinction of some plant and animal species, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said global laws on conservation of agro-biodiversity should be harmonised in a way that they do not hamper growth of the agriculture sector in developing nations.

He also cautioned against ignoring sustainable development and conversation of biodiversity while finding solutions to poverty, malnutrition and hunger through science and technology.

Emphasis on focused research and proper management of genetic resources is the foremost issue India has to address.

As threat to genetic resources is going to increase in the coming days, there should be “shared vision” with pooled resources from national, international, private bodies and scientific experts across the world towards conservation of biodiversity, he said.

“We will have to see how various laws related to agro-biodiversity can be harmonised so that they do not come in the way of development of agriculture and farmers,” he said.

“People have exploited natural resources blindly in the name of development. As a result, challenges are going to grow in the coming days. In the current scenario, discussion and research on agro-biodiversity are very important for achieving global food, nutrition, health and environment security,” he added.

Mr. Modi expressed concern over extinction of 50-150 species every day and said that in the coming years there is a threat to one out of eight birds and one-fourth of animals.

He added that biodiversity conservation should be more a matter of individual consciousness than rules and regulation.

“World over, crores of people are fighting hunger, malnutrition and poverty. To address these issues, science and technology is very important. While finding solution to these problems, we should not ignore sustainable development and conservation of biodiversity,” Mr. Modi said.

Highlighted that India is rich in agro-biodiversity, the country has 6.5 per cent of the world’s biodiversity and feeds 17-18 per cent of the global human and animal population with only 2.5 per cent of the land resources.

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