Indian leader awarded UN prize for boosting country’s agriculture

10 April 2008

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today bestowed its highest award, the Agricola Medal, on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his efforts to spur agricultural development and reduce hunger and poverty in India.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today bestowed its highest award, the Agricola Medal, on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his efforts to spur agricultural development and reduce hunger and poverty in India.

Mr. Singh had shown “exemplary vision and resolve” in promoting the growth of Indian agriculture, FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf said, as he presented the award in New Delhi during the first-ever Global Agro-Industries Forum.

“With your deep understanding of India’s economy you have made modernizing and revitalizing your country’s agriculture one of your highest priorities,” he added.

The South Asian nation is the world’s second largest agricultural producer after China.

Over 60 per cent of the population is employed in agriculture and the sector accounts for 18.5 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Mr. Diouf noted that the flow of credit to Indian farmers had almost doubled in the last four years. In addition, horticultural production is set to double by 2012 while plans are underway to increase national rice, wheat and pulses production by 20 million tons, thus significantly improving domestic food security.

“Thanks to your efforts, agricultural growth in your country is on the path to contributing more to the fast growth of a global economy that includes the needs of vulnerable citizens,” he told the Prime Minister.

Previous recipients of the Agricola Medal include King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, French President Jacques Chirac, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Pope John Paul II, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Johannes Rau of Germany.

 

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