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India Holds National Dialogue on UN Food Systems Summit 2021

The United Nations Secretary General has called for the first ever UN Food Systems Summit to be held in September 2021 to strategize the actions for positive change in Agri-food systems in the Worldto realize the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Summit will focus on levers and pathways to shape food systems nationally and globally to accelerate progress in the SDGs.The Summit 2021 is planned to be essentially participatory and consultative and needs the game changing ideas from the experiences through the National, Sub-national (State) and independent consultation for the five Action Tracks related to safe and nutritious food, sustainable consumption patterns, nature-positive production, advance equitable livelihoods, and resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stress.The COVID-19 pandemic led vulnerability and challenges faced by the humanity in food and related system has further added to the need for reorienting our actions and strategies beyond specific cropping or farming systems to entire agri-food systems covering production, distribution and consumption.

India with close to 18% humanity on the Globe owes paramount stake in this Food System Summit. India has volunteered, but not limited to, to the Action Track 4: Advance Equitable Livelihoods for the UN Food System Summit 2021. To take the process further the Government has constituted ahigh levelInterdepartmental Group under the Chairmanship of Prof. Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog along with the representatives from Ministries of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (MoAFW), Rural Development and others. The prime function assigned to this group is to conduct National Dialogues with all the stakeholders of agri-food systems for exploring national pathways towards creating sustainable and equitable food systems in India and suitably contribute to transformation in global food systems to meet the needs of present and future. The consultative processes shall culminate in the Food System Summit in September, 2021 in which Hon’ble Prime Minister is likely to participate along with other Global leaders.

The first National Level Dialogue on Agri-Food Systems-Advancing Equitable Livelihoods has been conducted on 12 April, 2021. The National Dialogue was facilitated by the Inter departmental Group constituted by Department of Agriculture Cooperation & Farmers Welfare and the representatives from UN Agencies in Delhi. The day long deliberations were attended by farmers organisations, farmer producer organisations, civil society organisations, research institutions& experts and the government agencies.

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