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Mar 5, 2012

India Pledges Funds for Africa's Rural Agriculture Development

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
addressing the 50th Anniversary of the
Afro-Asian Rural Development Organisation (AARDO)
in New Delhi, India on 5 March 2012
Photo: Office of the Prime Minister, India
On 5 March 2012, the Prime Minister of India's office issued a press release covering PM Manmohan Singh's speech to the Afro-Asian Rural Development Organisation. The occasion celebrated the 50th anniversary of organization and many years of south-south cooperation.

The Prime Minister noted that some of the problems of today are as daunting as overcoming colonization.  They include: threats to international peace; the processes of globalization and the growing inter-dependence among nations, which pose fundamental new challenges to economic sustenance; and the growing demand for nutritious food, clean drinking water, quality education and affordable health care.

He added, "India has a vision for a partnership with Africa to deal with some of these common challenges of the 21st century. That is why we initiated the India-Africa Forum Summit process in the year 2008, during which the leaders of India and Africa agreed on a Framework for Cooperation for a sustainable and wide-ranging partnership in development. The first area of cooperation identified under this framework was agriculture." 

India will provide the following aid to Africa:
  • 500 new scholarships in agricultural sciences
  • 700 Science fellowships named after Indian Nobel Laureate C.V.Raman
  • short term training courses in areas such as water conservation, livestock and fisheries production, farm mechanization and post-harvest processing & value addition. 
  • Joint studies on cotton production in Africa and on integrated water resource development and management of five different river basins in Africa. 
  • US $ 100 million for establishing various institutions including the India Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development, soil water and tissue testing laboratories, farm science centres, agricultural seeds production-cum-demonstration centres and rural technology parks in different parts of Africa. 
  • funds for training and capacity building of 350 persons from Sub-Saharan Africa in the area of food processing and entrepreneurship. 
  • lines of credit worth nearly US$ one billion for projects in rural Africa in the sugar sector, for rural power transmission and purchase of agricultural machinery. 
The Prime Minister also expressed his support for India's private sector investments in Africa, especially in "agro-processing, agricultural machinery and floriculture. Indian farm technologies and practices are, I believe, quite relevant for African conditions and we should encourage such technology and investment flows. In the health sector too, Indian pharmaceutical companies are helping to combat AIDS in Africa."

He expressed support for the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi's policies on "Green Economy and Structural Transformation in Africa." This focuses on the importance of "green development [that] is central to transforming agriculture in the African continent" and "the enormous untapped renewable energy resources available in Africa, not the least being the bio-energy potential that would come with the greening of African agriculture."

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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