India and Italy signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in Agriculture and Phytosanitary issues on 6 December 2018. The agreement will replace the one signed in 2008.
It was signed by Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Radha Mohan Singh and the visiting Italian Minister for Agriculture Food and Forestry Policies, H E Maurizio Martina.
India and Italy enjoy traditionally friendly and cordial relations.
India attaches great importance to the development of bilateral ties between the two countries and aims to further expand and strengthen ties between the two countries in various areas including in the Agriculture sector.
Objective of the MoU
The agreement basically aims to provide a good framework for cooperation in the field of agriculture and phytosanitary issues.
Some potential areas for cooperation include agriculture machinery, training, investment, institutional linkages, precision farming, cattle breeding and fisheries.
Besides this, Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh also met Gilbert F Houngbo, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Togo, who was appointed as the sixth President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
India’s association with IFAD
• IFAD is the 13th specialised agency of the United Nations. It was established in 1977.
• India has always had an active association with the organisation. Besides being one of its founding members, India is a key contributor among the member Countries and participates actively in the Fund's governing bodies.
• India also holds a permanent seat on the IFAD Executive Board. It currently also holds the chairmanship of the Governing Council and of the Evaluation Committee.
• The new country strategy for IFAD engagement in India for the period 2018-2024 proposes to strategically focus on 'smallholder food and agricultural production systems that are remunerative, sustainable and resilient' and achieving India’s goal of doubling farmers' incomes.
• IFAD also plans to establish sub-regional hubs in New Delhi that will cover Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives besides India.
• The move is expected to significantly enhance opportunities for further investment, technology and knowledge cooperation, including South-South Technical Cooperation (SSTC).
• Further, India has contributed 37 million USD in the 10th replenishment of IFAD for the period 2016-2018.
What: Sign new MoU
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