New Delhi, Feb 4 (IANS) Agricultural growth was a singular contributory factor for food security and plays a pivotal role in creating employment opportunities and promoting socio-economic development, President Pranab Mukherjee said.
“By 2030, global food production has to increase by 40 percent to keep pace with the world demand,” Mukherjee said at the inaugural session of the Asia-Africa Agri-Business Forum organised by industry chamber FICCI.
“One billion people, representing 14 percent of the global population, are still afflicted by hunger. Asia and Africa account for most of them. This cannot continue any further. Food production has to proceed in a business-unusual manner; on a war footing,” he said.
The president also said enhanced crop production and productivity were key priorities in Asia and Africa.
He pointed out that the development of agri-business in these continents has remained stunted due to inefficient utilisation of capacity and resources and for want of a more favourable policy environment.
“The sector is plagued by serious constraints in production, demand and supply, export potential and processing capabilities,” he said.
Mukherjee underlined the fact that access to agriculture markets and finance as well as greater public private partnership in agri-business and food processing sectors in Asia and Africa were essential to unleash their potential.
“Major investment in infrastructure like irrigation, water conservation, roads, markets and cold chains is also necessary. I strongly recommend that the investing firms and banks forge a strategic partnership to address the credit requirements of both Asian and African countries.
“This would help the agri-business and food processing sectors to meet their requirement for finance,” the president added.