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39th Session of FAO Conference in Rome
Jun 13, 2015

39th Session of Conference of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations held on 7-8 June in Rome, Italy. The main function of the Conference is to determine the policy and approve the budget of the organisation and to exercise other powers conferred upon it by the Constitution, namely;

  • To make recommendations to the member nations and associate members regarding review of issues pertaining to food and agriculture for their implementation through national action;

  • To make recommendations to any international organisation regarding any matter pertaining to the purposes of the organisation. 

The Conference functions through Plenary and two Commissions:

1. Commission-I: Deals with the regional conferences, technical committees and Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and other substantive and policy matters.

2. Commission-II: Deals with programme and budgetary matters. 

The Constitution of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations provides for a Conference of the organisation in which each member nation and associate member shall be represented by one delegate. The Conference is the Sovereign Governing Body of the Organisation.  At present FAO has 194 member nations plus one member organisation, the European Union and two associate members–the Faroe Islands and Tokelau.  

India’s View

Presenting India’s view in the Conferecne, Radha Mohan Singh, Union Agriculture Minister said the deliberations here and the outcomes would strengthen FAO in fulfilling its mandate of achieving food and nutritional security for all. 

  • India has to support 17% of the world’s population on just 2.4% of its geographical area and we are conscious of our need for sustainable agricultural development keeping the interest of future generations in mind. 

  • Agriculture continues to be a vital component of India’s economy contributing over 16 per cent of India’s GDP in 2014-15 and providing employment to the majority (55%) of its population. 

  • Indian agriculture has achieved self-sufficiency and today takes pride in not only meeting the needs of our population but also playing a major role in agricultural trade. 

India is one among the 15 leading exporters of agricultural products in the world with significant exports of cotton, rice, meat, oil meals and sugar. Export competitiveness has also been developed in specialized agricultural products like basmati rice, guar gum and castor. 

Responding to shifts in consumption pattern of India’s consumers towards high value crops as well as fruit, vegetables and meat, and the price signals emanating from this shift, Indian farmers have begun to switch from food-grains to more remunerative and high value crops as well as horticulture and livestock.

Government of India has launched major programmes for revival of public investment in agriculture, both through targeted schemes of the federal government as well as through greater devolution of resources to the provincial governments.

Targeted support to farmers at large and women and small scale family farmers in particular, marginalised and vulnerable sections of the society and the poor through rationalization of subsidies combined with better social safety net through insurance and universal financial inclusion is the cornerstone of our intervention strategy. 

In keeping with UN declaration of 2015 as the Year of Soils, and understanding the need to conserve the most primary source of production–soil, India has launched new measures to provide Soil Health Cards to all farmers in the country in a time bound manner. 


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