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India Requests ADB to Focus on West and South Asia

Garg, who is an Alternate Governor on the ADB Board, the ADB "strategy should focus more on West Asia and South Asia as interventions in East Asia are already done fairly well," the statement said.

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Karun Nair will lead the India A side in the four-day matches in the UK. wikimedia commons
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India has urged the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to focus more on the West and South Asia regions after successful East Asia interventions by the multilateral lender and has said there is no case for increasing cost of its loan instruments as it has no capital deficiency, an official statement said on Sunday.

In his intervention on Saturday at the ADB’s annual meeting in Manila, Economic Affairs Secretary S.C. Garg also made a strong case for ADB to adopt “country systems” for procurements and environmental safeguards and called for increasing lending for the private sector in developing countries, a Finance Ministry release said here.

Garg, who is an Alternate Governor on the ADB Board, the ADB "strategy should focus more on West Asia and South Asia as interventions in East Asia are already done fairly well," the statement said.
Asian Development Bank HQ, wikimedia commons

Garg, who is an Alternate Governor on the ADB Board, the ADB “strategy should focus more on West Asia and South Asia as interventions in East Asia are already done fairly well,” the statement said.

“He emphasized that the private sector operations of ADB as envisaged in the strategy should be enhanced and there should be more focus on equity participation.

“He also stated that there is absolutely no case for increase of cost of of various loan instruments as there is no capital deficiency in ADB,” it said.

Also Read: Indian Companies Invested Over $4 Billion in South Africa, says CII

“Garg also argued that there is a strong case for ADB to adopt Country Systems for procurements and environmental safeguards and called for concerted efforts towards increasing lending for the private sector in developing member countries,” it added.

According to the statement, he also highlighted the need for taking into account the likely impact technical advancements such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics, so that ADB can equip the member countries to reap maximum benefit.

The Indian delegation to the ADB also held bilateral meetings with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. (IANS)

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Small Farmers in Asia Miss Out On Climate Change Resilient Seeds

East-West Seed has built a successful business focusing purely on smallholders

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pollution, seeds
Women farmers use sticks to make holes in the soil for seeds, on a farm near Pangalengan, West Java, Indonesia. VOA

Millions of smallholder farmers in South and Southeast Asia are missing out on new, resilient seeds that could improve their yields in the face of climate change, according to an index published Monday.

The 24 top seed companies fail to reach four-fifths of the region’s 170 million smallholder farmers for reasons such as poor infrastructure, high prices and lack of training, the Access to Seeds Index found.

Access to seeds bred to better withstand changing weather conditions such as higher temperatures is vital as farmers battle loss of productivity due to climate change, said Ido Verhagen, head of the Access to Seeds Foundation, which published the index.

Egypt, pollution, seeds
A farmer burns rice straw at his field in Qalyub, causing a “black cloud” of smoke that spreads across the Nile valley, near the agricultural road which leads to the capital city of Cairo, Egypt. VOA

“We see increasing demands for new varieties, because [farmers] are affected by climate change,” Verhagen told Reuters.

“If we want to feed a growing population, if we want to tackle climate change, if we want to go towards a more sustainable food system, we have to start with seeds,” he said.

Smallholder farmers managing between one to 10 hectares of land provide up to 80 percent of the food supply in Asia, said the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

 pollution, seeds
FILE – Farmer sifts wheat crop at a farm on the outskirts of western Indian city of Ahmedabad. VOA

But traditional methods of preserving seeds from harvests are not always sufficient to cope with a changing climate.

About 340 million people were hungry in 2017 in South and Southeast Asia, a number that has barely changed since 2015, according to latest figures from the United Nations.

“The question is how to get markets to provide the varieties [of seeds] that farmers want, at prices that they’re able to pay,” said Shawn McGuire, agricultural officer at the FAO.

Some smaller companies are leading the way in helping smallholders access more resilient seeds, Verhagen said, such as Thailand-based East-West Seed which topped the index ahead of global giants Bayer and Syngenta, which ranked second and third.

 pollution, seeds
Indian Farmers causing smog in Pakistan. wikimedia commons

East-West Seed has built a successful business focusing purely on smallholders, he said, while Indian companies Acsen HyVeg and Namdhari, ranked sixth and seventh respectively, have also reached small-scale farmers with seeds.

Also Read: Climate Change’s Fight Harder Than Thought: Study

The index, funded by the Dutch government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ranks companies based on seven areas including strategies to help small farmers and supporting conservation. (VOA)