Indian-Italy Sign MoU in Agriculture and Phytosanitary Issues

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The agriculture ministers of India and Italy signed a new MoU for cooperation in Agriculture and Phytosanitary issues that will replace the one signed in 2008. The MOU provides a good framework for cooperation in this field.

Indian Agriculture Minister also raised the issue of Indian exports of grapes and rice suffering on account of arbitrary Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) set by European Commission. He suggested a mutually acceptable solution can found to this issue, as these limits were set by EU without any scientific assessment being shared to India.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and a specialised agency of the United Nations dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger in rural areas of developing countries. It was established as an international financial institution in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference.

The strategic policy of IFAD is detailed in Strategic Framework for IFAD 2011–2015: Enabling the Rural Poor to Overcome Poverty. Its headquarters is in Rome, Italy, and is a member of the United Nations Development Group.

India has always had an active association with IFAD ever since it was set up in 1977 as the 13th specialized agency of the United Nations. India is a founder member of IFAD, a key contributor among the member Countries, participates actively in the Fund’s governing bodies, and holds a permanent seat in IFAD Executive Board. It currently holds the chairmanship of the Governing Council and of the Evaluation Committee.

Union Agriculture Minister welcomed the new country strategy for IFAD engagement in India for the period 2018-2024, which proposes to strategically focus on ‘smallholder food and agricultural production systems that are remunerative, sustainable and resilient’ and achieving India’s goal of doubling farmers’ incomes.

Indian minister also appreciated IFAD plans to establish sub-regional hubs in New Delhi to serve as a sub-regional hub, covering Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives besides India. This will significantly enhance opportunities for further investment, technology and knowledge cooperation, including South-South Technical Cooperation (SSTC).

India has contributed 37 million USD in the 10th replenishment of IFAD for the period 2016-2018. Indian Agriculture Minister met Mr. Gilbert F Houngbo and congratulated him on being appointed as the President, IFAD.

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