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In last 10 years, around 3 million hectares of forest cover added in India, enhancing the combined forest cover to almost one-fourth of the country's total area: PM
India is on track to achieve its national commitment of Land degradation neutrality: PM
Restoration of 26 million hectares of degraded land aimed by 2030 to achieve an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent
Centre of Excellence is being set up in India to promote a scientific approach towards land degradation issues
It is our sacred duty to leave a healthy planet for our future generations: PM

Excellency, President of the General Assembly,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Namaste

I thank the President of the General Assembly for organising this High-Level Dialogue.

Land is the fundamental building block for supporting all lives and livelihoods. And, all of us understand that the web of life functions as an inter-connected system. Sadly, land degradation affects over two-thirds of the world today. If left unchecked, it will erode the very foundations of our societies, economies, food security, health, safety and quality of life. Therefore, we have to reduce the tremendous pressure on land and its resources. Clearly, a lot of work lies ahead of us. But we can do it. We can do it together.

Mr. President,

In India, we have always given importance to land and considered the sacred Earth as our mother. India has taken the lead to highlight land degradation issues at international forums. The Delhi Declaration of 2019 called for better access and stewardship over land, and emphasised gender-sensitive transformative projects. In India, over the last 10 years, around 3 million hectares of forest cover has been added. This has enhanced the combined forest cover to almost one-fourth of the country's total area.

We are on track to achieve our national commitment of Land degradation neutrality. We are also working towards restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030. This would contribute to India's commitment to achieve an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

We believe that restoration of land can start a virtuous cycle of good soil health, increased land productivity, food security and improved livelihoods. In many parts of India, we have taken up some novel approaches. To give just one example, the Banni region in Rann of Kutch in Gujarat suffers from highly degraded land and receives very little rainfall. In that region, land restoration is done by developing grasslands, which helps in achieving land degradation neutrality.  It also supports pastoral activities and livelihood by promoting animal husbandry. In the same spirit, we need to devise effective strategies for land restoration while promoting indigenous techniques.

Mr. President,

Land degradation poses a special challenge to the developing world. In the spirit of South-South cooperation, India is assisting fellow developing countries to develop land restoration strategies. A Centre of Excellence is being set up in India to promote a scientific approach towards land degradation issues.

Mr. President,

It is mankind's collective responsibility to reverse the damage to land caused by human activity. It is our sacred duty to leave a healthy planet for our future generations. For their sake and ours, I extend my best wishes for productive deliberations at this High-Level Dialogue.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.

Modi Govt's #7YearsOfSeva
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PM to dedicate to the Nation 35 crop varieties with special traits on 28th September
September 27, 2021
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PM to dedicate the newly constructed campus of National Institute of Biotic Stress Management Raipur to the Nation
PM to also distribute the Green Campus Award to the Agricultural Universities

In an endeavour to create mass awareness for adoption of climate resilient technologies, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will dedicate 35 crop varieties with special traits to the Nation on 28th September at 11 AM via video conferencing, in a pan India programme organised at all ICAR Institutes, State and Central Agricultural Universities and Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVKs). During the programme, the Prime Minister will also dedicate to the nation the newly constructed campus of National Institute of Biotic Stress Management Raipur.

On the occasion, the Prime Minister will distribute Green Campus Award to Agricultural Universities, as well as interact with farmers who use innovative methods and address the gathering.

Union Minister of Agriculture and Chief Minister Chhattisgarh will be present on the occasion.

About crop varieties with special traits

The crop varieties with special traits have been developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to address the twin challenges of climate change and malnutrition. Thirty-five such crop varieties with special traits like climate resilience and higher nutrient content have been developed in the year 2021. These include a drought tolerant variety of chickpea, wilt and sterility mosaic resistant pigeonpea, early maturing variety of soybean, disease resistant varieties of rice and biofortified varieties of wheat, pearl millet, maize and chickpea, quinoa, buckwheat, winged bean and faba bean.

These special traits crop varieties also include those that address the anti-nutritional factors found in some crops that adversely affect human and animal health. Examples of such varieties include Pusa Double Zero Mustard 33, first Canola quality hybrid RCH 1 with <2% erucic acid and <30 ppm glucosinolates and a soybean variety free from two anti-nutritional factors namely Kunitz trypsin inhibitor and lipoxygenase. Other varieties with special traits have been developed in soybean, sorghum, and baby corn, among others.

About National Institute of Biotic Stress Management

The National Institute of Biotic Stress Management at Raipur has been established to take up the basic and strategic research in biotic stresses, develop human resources and provide policy support. The institute has started PG courses from the academic session 2020-21.

About Green Campus Awards

The Green Campus Awards has been initiated to motivate the State and Central Agricultural Universities to develop or adopt such practices that will render their campuses more green and clean, and motivate students to get involved in ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, ‘Waste to Wealth Mission’ and community connect as per the National Education Policy-2020.