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On the occasion of 75th Anniversary of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on 16th October 2020, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will release a commemorative coin of Rs 75 denomination to mark the long-standing relation of India with FAO. Prime Minister will also dedicate to the Nation 17 recently developed biofortified varieties of 8 crops.

The event marks the highest priority accorded by the government to agriculture and nutrition, and is a testament of the resolve to completely eliminate hunger, undernourishment and malnutrition. It will be witnessed by Anganwadis, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Organic and Horticulture Missions across the country. Union Agriculture Minister, Finance Minister and WCD Minister will also be present on the occasion.

India and FAO

The journey of FAO in making the vulnerable classes and masses stronger, economically and nutritionally, has been unparalleled. India has had a historic association with FAO. Indian Civil Service Officer Dr. Binay Ranjan Sen was the Director General of FAO during 1956-1967. The World Food Programme, which has won the Nobel Peace Prize 2020, was established during his time. India’s proposals for the International Year of Pulses in 2016 and the International Year of Millets 2023 have also been endorsed by FAO.

Combating malnutrition

India has rolled out an ambitious POSHAN Abhiyaan targeting over 100 million people with the aim to reduce stunting, undernutrition, anaemia, and low birth weight. Malnutrition is a global problem with two billion people suffering from micronutrient deficiency. Nearly 45% of deaths among children are linked to malnutrition. Appropriately, it is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN.

Aligning with the international priority, the development of nutritionally rich varieties of crops with elevated levels of micronutrients iron, zinc, calcium, total protein, quality of protein with high lysine and tryptophan, anthocyanin, provitamin A, and oleic acid, and reduced level of anti-nutritional factors etc. has been accorded top priority by the government. The National Agricultural Research System under the leadership of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) developed 53 such varieties during the last five years. There was only one biofortified variety developed prior to 2014.

Transforming Indian thali into nutri-thali

The 17 recently developed biofortified varieties of 8 crops to be dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister will have up to 3.0-fold increase in nutritional value. The rice variety CR Dhan 315 has high zinc; wheat variety HI 1633 rich in protein, iron and zinc, HD 3298 rich in protein and iron and DBW 303 and DDW 48 rich in protein in wheat; Ladhowal Quality Protein Maize Hybrid 1, 2 and 3 rich in lysine and tryptophan; CFMV1 and 2 of finger millet rich in calcium, iron and zinc; CLMV1 of little Millet rich in iron and zinc; Pusa Mustard 32 with low erucic acid; Girnar 4 and 5 of groundnut with enhanced oleic acid and yam variety Sri Neelima and DA 340 with enhanced zinc, iron and anthocyanin content.

These varieties, along with other food ingredients, will transform the normal Indian thali into nutri-thali. These varieties have been developed by utilizing the local landraces and farmer’s varieties. The high zinc rice has been developed from landraces of Assam rice collected from Garo hills and those of finger millets from Gujarat collections of Dang district.

ICAR has started Nutri-Sensitive Agricultural Resources and Innovations (NARI) programme for promoting family farming linking agriculture to nutrition, nutri-smart villages for enhancing nutritional security and location specific nutrition garden models are being developed and promoted by KVKs to ensure access to locally available, healthy and diversified diet with adequate macro and micronutrients.

The production of bio-fortified crop varieties will be upscaled and linked with government programmes of mid-day meal, Anganwadi etc. to reduce malnutrition and make India Kuposhan Mukta through naturally enriched food ingredients. This will also usher in higher income of farmers and will open new avenues of entrepreneurship development.

ನಿಮ್ಮ ಸಲಹೆ ಸೂಚನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಪ್ರಧಾನ ಮಂತ್ರಿ ನರೇಂದ್ರ ಮೋದಿಯವರೊಂದಿಗೆ ಮನ್ ಕೀ ಬಾತ್ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮದಲ್ಲಿ ಹಂಚಿಕೊಳ್ಳಿ.
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PM lays the foundation stone of Rajkiya Medical College, Kushinagar
October 20, 2021
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The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Rajkiya Medical College, Kushinagar. He also inaugurated and laid the foundation stones of various development projects in Kushinagar.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that with the medical college in Kushinagar, local aspirations of becoming a doctor or having quality medical infrastructure will be fulfilled. He pointed out that under National Education Policy, the possibility of getting technical education in one’s own language is becoming a reality. This will enable local youth of Kushinagar to realize their dreams, said the Prime Minister. Shri Modi emphasized that when basic facilities are available, then the courage to dream big and the spirit to fulfil the dreams are born. The one who is homeless, is in a slum, when he gets a pucca house, when there is a toilet in the house, electricity connection, gas connection, water comes from the tap, then the confidence of the poor enhances further. The Prime Minister emphasized that the ‘double engine’ government in the state is improving the situation with double strength. He lamented the fact that earlier governments did not care about the dignity and progress of the poor and the ill effects of dynasty politics prevented many good measures from reaching the poorest of the poor.

The Prime Minister recalled that Ram Manohar Lohia used to say that - connect karma with compassion, connect it with full compassion. But those who were running the government earlier did not care about the pain of the poor, the earlier government linked their karma with scams and with crimes.

The Prime Minister said that the Union government has started the Swamitva scheme that is going to open new doors of prosperity in the rural areas of Uttar Pradesh in future. Under PM Swamitva Yojana, the work of giving the ownership documents of the houses of the village i.e. the ownership of the houses has been started. The Prime Minister also said that with the schemes like toilets and Ujjwala, sisters and daughters are feeling safe and dignified. In PM Awas Yojna, most of the houses are in the name of the women of the house.

Commenting on the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh during the earlier times, the Prime Minister said the policy of the government before 2017 gave a free hand to the mafia for open loot. Today, under the leadership of Yogi ji, the mafia is running around apologizing and the mafias are also suffering the most under the government of Yogi ji, the Prime Minister remarked. .

The Prime Minister remarked that Uttar Pradesh is the state which has given the maximum number of Prime Ministers to the country. This is the speciality of Uttar Pradesh, however, “the identity of Uttar Pradesh cannot be limited only to this. Uttar Pradesh Cannot be confined to 6-7 decades. This is a land whose history is timeless, whose contribution is timeless”. Lord Rama took incarnation on this land; Lord Shri Krishna incarnation also appeared here. 18 Jain Tirthankaras out of 24 had appeared in Uttar Pradesh. He added that in the medieval period, epoch-making personalities like Tulsidas and Kabirdas were also born on this soil. This state has also got the privilege of giving birth to a social reformer like Sant Ravidas, the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister said Uttar Pradesh is a region where there are pilgrimages every step of the way, and there is energy in every particle. The work of penning the Vedas and Puranas was done here in Naimisharanya. In the Awadh region itself, there is a pilgrimage like Ayodhya here, Shri Modi said.

The Prime Minister said our glorious Sikh Guru tradition also has a deep connection with Uttar Pradesh. The ‘Guru Ka Taal' Gurdwara in Agra is still a witness to the glory of Guru Tegh Bahadur ji, his bravery where he challenged Aurangzeb.

The Prime Minister said the double engine government is setting new records in procurement from farmers. So far, about Rs 80,000 crore has reached the bank accounts of the farmers of UP for the purchase of the produce. More than Rs 37,000 crore has been deposited in the bank accounts of UP farmers from PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, the Prime Minister said. .