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India-Africa Partnership in Agriculture launched
IACG President, Dr. MJ Khan asserted that the collective strength of three powerful partners will be able to make substantial difference to the engagement of India with the African continent. He added that IACG will serve as effective delivery vehicle to execute the projects and programs of varied natures, whether sponsored by Government of India or other national and international organisations or the India’s corporate sector. He said in his welcome address that Indian Government and corporate remain committed to participate in Africa’s development and already a large number of India agri companies are playing significant role.
The high level meeting by organized by IACG in collaboration with ICRISAT and ICAR had a diverse and high level participation from the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of External Affair, USAID, EXIM Bank, IL&FS, Agri-industry, Agriculture Universities, Research Institutions and several African Embassies. Among the important participants were Dr. LS Rathore, DG, IMD, Mr. Sanjeev Chopra, Joint Secretary, Agriculture, Mr. Ravi Bangar, Joint Secretary, MEA, Mr. Sanjiv Kohli, Joint Secretary, MEA, Dr. Purvi mehta, Asia Director, ILRI, Dr. Julian Parr, Asia Director, CIP International, Mr. K Jindal, CEO, NABARD, Mr. Bahiri Dugumu, Head – F&A, USAID, Mr. RK Mittal, Vice Chancellor, RAU, Mrs. Gennet Zewde, Ambassdor Ethiopia, Mr. Mr Ali Illiassou, Ambassdor, Niger, besides 9 Directors and 3 Dy Director Generals of ICAR and over two dozen of Counsellors of Embassies and agri industry CEOs.
In the opening remarks, Dr.William Dar described the goals of South- South Cooperation that ICRISAT has formulated for taking forward the inclusive development through multi-pronged action in capacity building, technology induction, institution building in Africa. Representatives from the embassies shared the specific concerns, challenges and issues in food and nutritional security in their countries while sharing the expectations out of the partnership and seeking specific support. Ms. Sumana Sarkar representing Exim Bank said that over 16 lines of credit have been extended to African nations with $ 649 million being the highest for East Africa followed by $150 million for West Africa and $40 million each for South and Central African nations.
Mr. Julian Parr of CIP International pointed that in the Africa Indian partnership, learning has to be both ways, India needs to learn from Africa and at the same there is much that Africa needs to learn from innovation in technologies, practices, processes, institution building that has made India reach where it is now in the field of food and nutritional security and agribusiness development. Dr S. Ayyappan expressed the support for IACG led processes for engaging with Africa for agriculture development. Dr. William Dar said that the new Initiative by ICAR, ICRISAT and IACG shall take forward the recommendations of the critical stakeholders in India Africa partnership in agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry and agribusiness sector for assisting African nations realizing the food and nutritional security in ways that are environmentally sustainable.
Mr. Ravi Bangar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs spoke in details of the engagement of India with Africa and the projects and programs under implementation. He assured all the support by the Ministry for any projects that the India Africa Partnership by IACG, ICRISAT and ICAR may take up in Africa.
ICRISAT launched its website www.is-si.icrisat.org on the occasion, which is focused on providing a platform for focused and systemic relationships critical for a more effective and inclusive development cooperation between India and Africa.
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