New Delhi, October 16: Marking the 75th Anniversary of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a commemorative coin of 75-rupee denomination, saying, "the commemorative coin launched today marks the respect of 130 crore Indians towards the pivotal role played by FAO to mitigate the effects of malnutrition".
He also dedicated 17 recently developed biofortified varieties of eight crops to the nation. "Till 2014 only one variety of seed was made available to the farmers, however, the government has in the last 6 years introduced 45 new varieties of seeds in the country", PM Modi said. He added, even when the world was reeling under the corona pandemic, the government reached out to the people in the country and ensured availability of nutritious food to over 80 crore people.
Congratulating FAO for reaching a monumental milestone, the PM said, “Increasing coordination between India and FAO will provide speed to our fight against malnutrition”.
FAO’s India representative Tomio Shichiri, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar, women and child development minister Smriti Irani, minister of state for woman and child development Debasree Chaudhuri were present during the occasion. The event was also witnessed by anganwadis, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, organic and horticulture missions across the country.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had pointed to India’s association with FAO in a statement earlier. “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,” PMO had said in the statement.
“India’s vision aligns with international efforts to fight malnutrition, undernutrition, and hunger. This event reinforces the government’s commitment to agriculture and nutrition, which has been accorded the highest priority,” the PMO had added.