Aizawl: Green-Ag, a project funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF), which aims to catalyse sustainable transformation of Indian agriculture without compromising the country’s food security and farmers’ income, was launched in Mizoram on Tuesday.
Mizoram is among five Indian states where the project will be implemented. The other four states are Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.
Addressing state inception workshop inaugural programme here, state agriculture minister C Lalrinsanga said the launch of the project and inclusion of Mizoram among five Indian project states is a milestone for the state.
He said that Mizoram has been endowed with various elements of natural bio-diversities and stressed the importance of sustainable use of natural resources.
“As we strive for the fulfilment of our economic needs, we must not forget to maintain the optimum equilibrium between ecosystem and economic development,” he said.
According to the minister, the project will be implemented in Dampa Tiger Reserve in west Mizoram’s Mamit district and Thorangtlang Wildlife Sanctuary in Lunglei district in southern part of the state covering more than 30 villages.
He expressed hope that the project will serve its purpose in catalysing sustainable transformation of the agricultural sector whereby providing economic uplift to the people of the focus area with awareness on conservation of IUCN endangered species and critically vulnerable flora and fauna.
UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) representative Tomio Shichiri and Dr Alka Bhargava, additional secretary in Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers’ Welfare (DAC&FW) in their virtual addresses said that the project will help the local people and bring a paradigm shift in forest management to provide a better ecosystem services, conservation of biodiversity and reduction in human-wildlife conflict.
Dr Thomas Hofer, senior forestry officer, RAP, lead technical officer (LTO), Green-Ag Project, FAO RAP also virtually addressed the event from Bangkok.
The Green-Ag project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through its sixth funding cycle.
The Ministry of agriculture and farmers’ welfare (MoA&FW) is the national executing agency and FAO is the designated GEF Implementing Agency. The Ministry of environment forests and climate change (MoEF&CC) is the GEF Operational Focal Point and coordinates all GEF projects in the country.
The project aims to catalyze a transformative change of India’s agricultural sector to support the achievement of national and global environmental benefits and conservation of critical biodiversity and forest landscapes.
The project seeks to mainstream biodiversity, climate change, and sustainable land management objectives and practices into Indian agriculture.