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Small-holder farmers key to sustainable agri development: IFAD

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UN body for development of agriculture IFAD today said small-holder farmers should be the starting point for sustainable
agriculture-cropNew Delhi: UN body for development of agriculture IFAD today said small-holder farmers should be the starting point for sustainable development.

Speaking at the 8th TAAS (Trust for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences) foundation lecture, IFAD President, Kanayo Nwanze said, “… we see time and time again the transformation that occurs when development is sustainable and when local people are involved from the start…Our starting point for sustainable agricultural development must be small-holder farmers.”

Nwanze, however, stated that there is a mis-perception that small farms mean poor farms.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. Small farms predominate in rich countries such as Japan, Republic of Korea and Switzerland. Developing countries such as Thailand and Vietnam have built their economies on small farms,” he said.

The IFAD president also said it is not true that small farms are inefficient and cited the India as a shining example.

Nwanze said: “Here in India, to take one example, small holders contribute more than 50 per cent of total farm output although they cultivate only 44 per cent of the land.”

He also added these are exciting times to be working in agricultural research and development in India.

The government’s current five-year plan, with its ambitious targets for growth of the agricultural sector, underscores the seriousness with which sustainable agricultural development in India, Nwanze emphasised.

IFAD, a specialised agency of the United Nations, was established as an international financial institution to finance agricultural development projects for food production in the developing countries.

TAAS is the trust which acts as a think-tank on key policy issues relating to agricultural research for development.

PTI

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