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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

India’s work on soil management “a model” for other countries

India’s Minister for Agriculture in talks with FAO Director-General

9 June 2015, Rome – Soil health and organic farming were at the centre of discussions today between India’s Minister for Agriculture, Shri Radha Mohan Singh and FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva.

The FAO Director-general “has appreciated our work in this area,” and agreed that “India's work in soil management will serve as a model for other countries,” Minister Radha Mohan Singh said following his meeting with Graziano da Silva at FAO’s headquarters.

The Minister of Agriculture also praised the work of FAO under Graziano da Silva’s leadership. The fact that a record number of 191 member delegations were participating in this week’s meeting of FAO’s governing Conference “is proof of the huge support FAO enjoys world-wide,” he added.

He welcomed the fact that FAO’s priorities, as outlined by the Director-General at the Conference, are aimed at achieving food security for all. “We hope to see a very proactive role by FAO in this regard,” India’s Minister for Agriculture said.

International Year of Soils 2015

He noted that the Government of India has decided to issue 140 million Soil Health Cards over a period of three years. Such cards carry recommendations on nutrients and fertilizers required to help farmers improve crop-productivity while not exceeding with the use of inputs. Graziano da Silva welcomed this initiative and invited the Minister to link it to the International Year for Soils, which is celebrated in 2015.

Under this nation-wide initiative, soil testing laboratories will be set up at the district and village cluster level along with hundreds of mobile soil testing labs,” Minister Radha Mohan Singh explained.

Organic farming, another issue he discussed with the FAO Director-General, is receiving special focus in India.

“We are confident that organic farming will help in maintaining productivity and help check the ill effects of unscientific chemical fertilizers, which have over the years contributed to the deterioration of soil health,” said Minister Radha Mohan Singh.