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Posted on Nov 24, 10:32PM | IANS
After successfully hosting a United Nations conference on global biodiversity last month, Hyderabad will be playing host to World Agriculture Forum (WAF) Congress next year.
With the theme "Re-shaping agriculture for a sustainable future of small and marginal farmers", the Congress will be held from Nov 4-7 next year. Around 600 delegates from across the world would discuss steps to make farming economically viable and improve farmers' income.
To be held for the first time in Asia, the Congress will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
WAF Chairman Kenneth Baker said the Congress would discuss steps for re-shaping and re-positioning small farm-holder agriculture to make farming economically-viable in the era of WTO regime.
All key stakeholders like farmers' organisations, industry, academicians, politicians, administrators and scientists will be attending the three-day conference.
The field visits will be organised Nov 4, while the deliberations will begin Nov 5.
Baker was speaking at a meeting here Saturday to discuss the agenda of the Congress and related issues.
WAF Advisory Board chairman and former prime minister of New Zealand James B. Bolger said the Congress would be significant in view of the challenge to feed nine billion people in the world in the next 40 years, up from seven billion now.
"About 800 million to one billion people are left hungry everyday now, out of the world's population of seven billion. We have to feed not only these people but also an additional two billion people in the next 40 years," Bolger said.
Stating that the task to produce 70 percent more food in the next 40 years is huge, Bolger said it was possible to achieve with the political will.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy assured the WAF all cooperation in making the Congress a huge success.
He pointed out how the city successfully hosted biodiversity conference, which was held for the first time in India.
State Agriculture Ministers Kanna Lakshminarayana (Andhra Pradesh), Ramkrishan Kusmariya (Madhya Pradesh) and D. Prasad Mishra (Odisha) and officials from other states attended the meeting.