Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the nation on the 75th anniversary of the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) on Thursday, claimed that the country is providing free ration to 80cr people for the last 7-8 months during the coronavirus pandemic. He said this after introducing a commemorative coin of Rs75 to mark the 75th anniversary. The Prime Minister also dedicated 17 recently developed biofortified varieties of 8 crops to the nation.
PM Modi's speech consisted of heavy praise for the farmers during the FAO's 75th-anniversary event: Key Points
- "India is fighting a strong battle against malnutrition during Covid crisis with the help of farmers, Anganwadi workers, scientists and ASHA workers.
- "They are the basis of the movement against malnutrition. They have made us the self- reliant with godowns full of food grains and also helping to reach out to the poor.
- "After 2014, we have changed the approach and closed all silos and started working on multidimensional aspects and strategy," the Prime Minister said.
- Modi said that the Indian government was working to give more strength to the small farmers. "The government is working to give MSP that is 1.5 times the input cost."
- India has rolled out an ambitious POSHAN Abhiyaan to target over 100 million people to reduce stunting, undernutrition, anaemia, and low birth weight.
- India has had a long association with the FAO, with Indian Civil Service officer Binay Ranjan Sen acting as the Director-General of FAO during 1956-1967. The World Food Programme, which has won the Nobel Peace Prize 2020, was established during his term.
- India's proposals for the International Year of Pulses in 2016 and the International Year of Millets 2023 have also been endorsed by FAO.