Washington, Nov 3 (Calcutta Tube) Agriculture would be a key focus area of President Barack Obama’s visit to India aimed at increasing food security for Indians and help bring a green revolution in Africa, according to the White House.
‘Agriculture would be one of the main focus areas of the presidential trip to India. The trip would discuss how innovation can support the kind of agriculture that allows people to have a broader food base,’ said Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communication.
‘That’s the kind of cooperation we are going to announce in the course of the trip,’ he said in response to questions at ‘Tuesday Talks’, a live web cast from the White House on the president’s 10-day Asia trip starting with India.
US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and USAID administrator Raj Shah, who are accompanying the president, would have a roundtable in Mumbai with some of their counterparts and some Indian farmers to discuss ways in which technology and innovation can help increase food security for Indians.
‘That includes things like technologies… that allow you to predict the weather so you can gear your crops towards more efficient use of your efforts and predict the kinds of weather that will allow you to enhance your food security; the kinds of technologies that will help farmers get their products to the market,’ Rhodes said.
‘So there’s a whole host of innovations and technologies that we want to focus on in the area of agricultural cooperation.’
In addition to the roundtable, Obama may also visit an expo where some Indian farmers would be highlighting these technologies.
‘One additional exciting component of this is that the high level of cooperation between the US and India can support continued efforts in India to lift people out of poverty, but they can also help people around the world,’ Rhodes noted.
‘US has been part of Food Security Initiative in Africa, where we are trying to apply technology, innovation, capacity building to help African farmers lift their countries and their peoples into a higher standard of living.
‘We see great potential for the US and India to cooperate, not just within India but in African countries as well, to apply the extraordinary lessons learned within India and the extraordinary innovations made by Indians to support development in other parts of the world,’ he said.
‘So it’s an exciting collaboration, both in terms of extending the progress that’s been made within India and also extending that progress into parts of Africa that, of course, are in bad need of development,’ Rhodes said.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at email@example.com)