New Delhi: Expressing concern about reduced funding support from the World Bank to farm research, United States Chief Agriculture Negotiator Islam Siddiqui on Monday called for greater commitment from India and other countries to ensure adequate funds to address food security issues.
"The World Bank's funding support for global agriculture research under the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) has declined from 30 percent in 1978 to eight percent in 2006. There is an urgent need to step up funding from India and other countries on global agricultural research," Siddiqui said at an event organised by an NGO Centre for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD).
Siddique, who is on a private visit in the national capital, said increased funding for international farm research from different countries is the need of the hour for addressing global food security issues and for tackling impact of climate change on agriculture sector.
The US funds approximately USD 3 million on farm research activities in India, especially for doing research on new strain of wheat rust disease, food processing extension programme and crop/weather forecasting among others.
In 2010, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed between the two countries for bilateral and regional cooperation to achieve food security, increasing agricultural productivity and reducing malnutrition, he added.
Noting that India is making efforts to improve its food security, Siddique said its agricultural knowledge could be of immense help to tackle poverty in African countries.
"There are possibility of joint initiatives with India towards helping African countries in realising their potential in farm sector," he said.
Suggesting new areas for future cooperation, farm bodies like International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) said that research in bio-energy and food processing should be jointly taken up between India and the US.
Joint initiatives with US on competence building, market intelligence, mechanisation, nanotechnology and expansion of Indian institutions globally were also recommended.