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Israel, Australia lend support to India's 'Second Green Revolution' quest

India's agricultural sector contributes 16 per cent of total GDP & 10 per cent of export earnings in the economy. Despite being largely self-sufficient in food production, Indian agriculture currently faces a slew of problems its growth is much slower than other sectors of the economy; productivity is in decline and the income gap between farmers and the rest of the workforce is widening.

In addition, India is on its way to become the world's most populous country by 2030. The increased population, and rapid urbanization, is bound to put added pressures on land and water resources. It is imperative to know to work towards a second Green Revolution, as envisioned by successive Indian governments.

In this backdrop, the Ananta Centre, in collaboration with the Tel Aviv University and Pratt Foundation, organised a discussion on "Challenges and Opportunities of Creating a Second Green Revolution in India" in the capital. The program featured H.E. Shimon Peres, Former President of Israel; Mr. Jamshyd Godrej, Chairman, Ananta Centre & Chairman of the Board, Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Company Ltd., andMr. Anthony Pratt, Chairman, Pratt Foundation & Chairman, Visy Industries Pty Ltd.Mr. T.N. Ninan,Chairman, Ananta Aspen Centre and Chairman, Business Standard Pvt. Ltd.steered the discussion.

Addressing the gathering, Pereslauded the steps taken by India in the last few decades to strengthen its agriculture sector and enhance food production. "While India needed to rely on foreign aid in the 1960s to avert disaster, India is a net exporter of food, and any threat of malnutrition is a question more of distribution, than of production.

The world can learn a lot from your experience. Your commitment to basic scientific agricultural research, is the only way that India today is more food secure than it was 50 years ago. And amazingly, you have done this while still relying primarily on small-scale farmers," stated President Peres."The green revolution has brought new challenges that must be dealt with.

We must maintain the increased yields, but with more environmentally sustainable practices. I'm convinced that the answer lies in science and technology. India and Israel have a common agenda. We both realize the importance of food security for both our national security and regional stability," he added.

Underscoring the potential for expansion in the Indian agriculture landscape, Mr. Godrej asserted, "Agriculture lies at the basis of our economy, providing 52% of the country's total workforce. With the projected levels of population growth, food security remains high on the development agenda.

Farmer aggregation and improved water irrigation systems can be the foundation for the expansion of Indian agriculture. Israel's agro-technologies and Australia's efficient production, processing systems and R&D can also play a vital role in India's Second Green Revolution."

Highlighting the increasing cooperation between India, Israel and Australia on water and food security, Pratt extended support to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision to scale up the agriculture sector."I am honoured and delighted to be the Australian Patron of the Trilateral Track II Food and Water Security Dialogue between India, Israel and Australia.

We are dedicated to serving Prime Minister Modi's vision of creating India's second green revolution across the full agricultural, food processing, distribution supply chain, to improve the livelihoods and productivity of India's smallholder farmers," said Pratt.


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