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India-Africa partnership in global food security

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The partnership between India and Africa is rapidly evolving. India and Africa have tie-up as key partners for the global food security with the change of global landscape for agriculture and food.

According to India Inc, India’s experience benefits Africa’s agriculture as Africa’s farm sector estimated to grow to $1 trillion by 2030.

A Didar Singh, the secretary general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) said that India needs a renovation and look for consumers whereas the African continent offers one of the most unexploited markets, in a forward to a global accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report on agricultural partnership between India and the 54-nation.

According to the PwC report, Africa “represents the ‘last edge in global food and agricultural markets”.

“The continent houses almost 60 percent of the world’s uncultivated land and an abundance of natural resources.”

Due to the financial problem, Nigeria, which is called as the largest African economy, was rotating to China for the commercial agriculture.

Sub-Saharan area is said to have the large percentage of uncultivated fertile land and presence of water and sub-Saharan Africa alone requires $50 billion annual investments to make the agricultural system work better.

Ajay Kakra, the head of PwC India agriculture and natural resources said Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) has 11 of the world’s fastest growing economies and estimated to reach $2.6 trillion by 2020.

“At present, India and Africa together have manpower of almost $2.2 billion and a combined GDP estimate of more than $3 trillion,” Kakra said.

“The agricultural sector in Africa has great potential to contribute to this growth, with the continent having almost 60 percent of uncultivated land in the world and currently producing only 10 percent of the global output,” he added.

The continent hopes to increase $280 billion agricultural output in 2010 to $880 billion in 2030.

“This increase will be enabled by bringing potentially cultivable land into cultivation, increasing yields and shifting to the cultivation of high-value and high-yielding crops,” Kakra said.

“Over the last decade, countries that have increased investments in agriculture as per the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) targets have seen reductions in hunger and poverty, and increases in productivity,” it said.

“Ghana, Togo, Zambia, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Congo, Senegal, Ethiopia and Malawi are some examples,” it added.

The PwC report recommended ‘’public-private’’ partnerships as a chain key to take Africa’s agriculture to the next level and government support to the private sector should not be underestimated.(IANS)

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A Clean Ganga Not Possible Without Continuous Flow: Green

Bandyopadhayay stressed that the future of the Ganga, as well as that of its tributaries, depends on how quickly the transformation is made

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The Holy River Ganga in Haridwar, Source: Pixabay

By Bappaditya Chatterjee

The Centre’s efforts to rejuvenate the Hindu holy river have failed to impress environmentalists, who feel a clean Ganga will remain a distant dream due to the Modi government’s failure to ensure the continuous flow of the river.

“Nothing has been done for ensuring a continuous flow of the river and also for its rejuvenation by the Narendra Modi government. Continuity is of supreme importance as the holy river has been admitted in the Intensive Care Unit for many years. But the Centre is trying to treat its teeth,” said Magsaysay awardee and a member of the erstwhile National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), Rajendra Singh.

Spending crores of rupees for beautification of ghats has been “wastage of the public exchequer” because “without ensuring a continuous flow, clean Ganga will continue to remain a distant dream”, said Rajendra Singh, who goes by the sobriquet “Waterman of India”.

 

Ganga, travel
River Ganga is one of the holiest rivers in India. Pixabay

Soon after assuming office, the Modi government rolled out its flagship “Namami Gange” mission at an estimated budget Rs 20,000 crore to clean and protect the Ganga.

 

Under Namami Gange, 254 projects worth Rs 24,672 crore have been sanctioned for various activities such as construction of sewage infrastructure, ghats, development of crematoria, river front development, river surface cleaning, institutional development, biodiversity conservation, afforestation, rural sanitation and public participation.

According to the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, 131 projects out of 254 were sanctioned for creating 3,076 MLD (million litre per day) new sewage treatment plants (STPs), rehabilitating 887 MLD of existing STPs and laying 4,942 km of sewer lines for battling pollution in the Ganga and Yamuna rivers.

 

River Ganga is one of the holiest, yet the most polluted river.
River Ganga is also the most polluted river.

Till November-end of the 2018-19 fiscal, the National Mission for Clean Ganga released Rs 1,532.59 crore to the states and the Central Public Sector Undertakings for implementing the programme and meeting establishment expenditure.

Rajendra Singh said: “Ganga wants freedom today. There is no need for any barrage or dam. We want building of dams and any constructions on the river be stopped.”

 

Echoing Singh, another member of the now dissolved NGRBA, K.J. Nath, said the flow of the river had been obstructed at many locations and its own space (flood plains) encroached upon at multiple places in the name of riverfront development.

However, Jayanta Bandyopadhayay, a former Professor of IIM-Calcutta and presently Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, said the success or otherwise of initiatives and projects of any government in cleaning the Ganga cannot be judged in a five-year time frame.

Also Read: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Inaugurates Bogibeel Bridge Over Brahmaputra River

Managing a river like the Ganga, the lifeline of a very large number of people, is socio-technically a very complex issue and should be addressed with deep interdisciplinary knowledge, he added.

Bandyopadhayay stressed that the future of the Ganga, as well as that of its tributaries, depends on how quickly the transformation is made from the one dimensional perspective of rivers by engineers, political leaders, policymakers and others to a multidimensional and interdisciplinary one. (IANS)