Manmohan Singh to be honoured for poverty alleviation schemes

April 8th, 2008 - 8:17 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will Thursday receive the Agricola Medal, the highest award of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), for his government’s policies and programmes aimed at alleviating poverty and hunger. The award will be presented at the Global Agro-Industries Forum (GAIF) 2008, being organised in India for the first time.

FAO director general Jacques Diouf will confer the prestigious award on Manmohan Singh in the presence of over 500 delegates from around 100 countries.

“Dr. Singh is being felicitated for the policies and programmes of his United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to alleviate poverty and hunger,” said P.K. Mishra, secretary, agriculture ministry.

The most prominent among them is the National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREG) scheme. It is being implemented in all 604 districts under which a person can get 100 days mandatory job in a year.

The ministries of agriculture, commerce and industry and food processing industries are jointly hosting GAIF-2008. FAO, UN Industrial Development Organisation (Unido), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are the co-sponsors.

The participants at GAIF-2008 will discuss “strategies and actions for improving competitiveness and development impact that can contribute to broad-based economic development and poverty alleviation”.

According to Mangal Rai, secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education, GAIF-2008 intends to devise a mechanism for “institutionalising agro-processing in production catchments as an essential link in the production to consumption value chain”.

The countries being represented in the event include the US, Britain, China, Germany, France, Italy, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Hungary, Myanmar, South Africa, Brazil, Thailand, Pakistan and Guyana.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar will formally inaugurate the event Wednesday, while Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Subodh Kant Sahai will be the chief guest at the closing ceremony Friday.

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