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Farmers' suicide key challenge to Indian agriculture, says Pawar

Written by: Staff

Washington, June 7 (UNI) Union Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Minister Sharad Pawar believes suicides among farmers and development of policy responses to the opportunities presented by biofuels, are the key challenges for Indian agriculture today.

He made these remarks during a meeting here yesterday at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) with IFPRI Directro General Joachim von Braun, who spoke about IFPRI and its longstanding interest in Indian agricultural and poverty issues.

The Director General talked about issues of mutual concern for the two countries such as high-value agriculture, biotechnology, social safety nets and trade reform, an IFPRI release said here today.

Both parties agreed that this was a valuable exchange and IFPRI would research on the issues in close collaboration with the Indian research community.

Sharad Pawar, who is on a three-day visit to the United States, was accompanied by Indian Ambassador Ronen Sen and an Indian delegation of officials from the agriculture ministry.

Founded in 1975 the IFPRI is expanding its New Delhi-based Asia office and recently appointed Ashok Gulati as the first director in Asia of IFPRI. Dr Gulati earlier served as the Director of IFPRI's Markets, Trade and Institutions Division. He looks after the Institute's research and outreach activities from the IFPRI office in New Delhi, which was officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year.

About 40 agricultural policy experts from India are a part of this South Asia initiative covering five countries in the region.


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