Meeting of Agricultural Experts of BIMSTEC Countries
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- India hosted the 8th Meeting of Agriculture Experts of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Countries virtually.
- The Chairman highlighted the UN Food System Summit 2021 and the transformations that are happening in the agriculture and food systems globally.
- It was exhorted to enhance the engagement and deepen the cooperation in agriculture and allied sectors amongst the BIMSTEC Member States by encouraging the exchange of knowledge, germplasm, students and experts.
- Biosafety and biosecurity concerns were emphasized upon.
- Digital agriculture was promoted along with the trade of technologies for developing resilient agriculture, food systems and value chains.
- The BIMSTEC Member States appreciated the greater engagement of India offering six slots of scholarships each for Master and PhD programmes in agriculture and its other initiatives for capacity development and training including the development of seed sectors.
- The cooperation in the areas of high impact transboundary diseases of livestock and poultry; aquatic animal diseases and bio-security in aquaculture and digitalization to promote precision farming was also discussed in the meeting.
- The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organisation of seven South Asian and Southeast Asian nations.
- The BIMSTEC provides a unique link between South and South-East Asia with 5 countries - Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka from South Asia and two countries - Myanmar and Thailand from South-East Asia coming together on one platform for cooperation in 14 key economic and social sectors of the economy.
- The BIMSTEC was founded in 1997 with an ambition to pursue mutual trade, connectivity and cultural, technical and economic development in the region.
- Initially, six sectors- trade, technology, energy, transport, tourism and fisheries were included for sectoral cooperation which was later expanded to 14 areas of cooperation.
- Agriculture is one of the 14 sectors.
- 22 per cent of the global population live in BIMSTEC countries, agriculture & allied activities are central to the economic and social development of the region.
2021 UN Food Systems Summit in September or October 2021, the UN Secretary-General will convene a Food Systems Summit with the aim of maximizing the co-benefits of a food systems approach across the entire 2030 Agenda and meeting the challenges of climate change.