The national dialogue intends to have a healthy exchange of views among all stakeholders to facilitate the transformation of India’s agriculture. It proposes to take a decade-long view, suggesting pathways for change through 2020-2030, complementing efforts of NITI Aayog and MoA&FW in designing a post-Green Revolution future for the country.


The National dialogue process was initiated in 2019 by the NITI Aayog and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in India in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (MoA&FW), Government of India (GoI). 

The national dialogue intends to have a healthy exchange of views among all stakeholders to facilitate the transformation of India’s agriculture. It proposes to take a decade-long view, suggesting pathways for change through 2020-2030, complementing efforts of NITI Aayog and MoA&FW in designing a post-Green Revolution future for the country. 

The first phase of this deliberative process was to identify the key thematic areas for the transformative shift to take place. This was done collaboratively between NITI Aayog, MoA&FW, and FAO, under the overall guidance of a Steering Committee. Papers were commissioned on the selected themes to authors with the relevant experience and expertise in Indian agriculture. These papers will be presented and discussed in a national conference to be held virtually from January 19 to 22, 2021.

Sanjay Aggarwal, Hon’ble Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (MoA&FW), welcomed the Hon’ble Vice President and other dignitaries to the event.

The inaugural session of the National Dialogue was held on Tuesday, 19 January 2021. The inaugural address was delivered by the Hon’ble Vice President of India, Shri Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, the Chief Guest at the event. The Vice President said, ‘Agriculture is the soul of India. It is not only critical for the food security, the economy and the livelihood of nearly half of our population, but is also a pillar of our ecology, culture and civilisation. He said, ‘for agriculture to be sustainable, it has to be considered holistically and all the elements such as livestock, poultry, fisheries, apiculture etc need to be included.  Honorable Vice President called for the need to recognize the increasing feminization of agriculture in India and frame suitable policies prioritizing the women farmers. He also underlined the need to prevent agro brain drain and attract youth to farming by promoting agri-entrepreneurship.

Speaking at the inauguration Shri Parshottambhai Rupala, Hon’ble Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare said, ‘the Government of India is committed to boost agricultural productivity while prioritizing natural resource management. India should now become a destination for organic and healthy food. The Prime Minster has set the national target of doubling farmers’ income. Towards this, the country has made considerable strides in creating digital systems for smart agriculture. There are also number of programmes to address post-harvest losses.’  He also underlined the measures undertaken to combat the threat of desert locust in 2020 and minimize crop losses.

Hon’ble Vice Chair, NITI Aayog Dr Rajiv Kumar, said, ‘we have attained food security but not nutrition security.’ He urged to have a serious look at cropping patterns, examine what to produce and how to diversify to produce more nutritious food. He also underscored that intensive chemical based agriculture has run its course and the model of mechanized farming in large landholdings needs to be revisited. In his speech he highlighted the needs to be better income from agriculture to ensure that farmers’ children continue with agriculture. Towards this he said, ‘global competitiveness has to be ensured through the use of IT, precision farming, more crop per drop and other cutting edge innovations. He called for agriculture to be not only diverse, but also productive and sustainable.

At the inaugural session Hon’ble Member, NITI Aayog Prof. Ramesh Chand said, ‘the focus must now be on healthy, safe, traditional and ethnic foods. This comes as a challenge to existing food commodities as there is a mismatch between the availability of food and nutrition demands. Agriculture is also not environmentally sustainable. Therefore he said, ‘we require sustainable agriculture that involves simultaneous increase in production and income, adaptation to climate change and reduction in GHG emissions, while balancing crop, livestock, fisheries and agroforestry systems, increasing resource use efficiency (including land and water), protecting the environment and maintaining ecosystem services.  Alternative agricultural practices, suitable in different regions, can reduce net GHG emissions while maintaining or improving yields and adapting to more extreme weather.’ He said that through the eight thematic sessions, over the next three days, NITI Aaayog, MoA&FW, FAO will collectively try address all these challenges.

Mr Jong-Jin Kim, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative of FAO Asia-Pacific region, on behalf of the FAO Director General, congratulated the Government of India, NITI Aayog and MoAF&FW for organizing this National Dialogue. He said, ‘in the last 75 years FAO has worked closely with farmers and other stakeholders for addressing hunger. The unprecedented COVID pandemic has impacted all activities, but has also brought with it opportunities. Given this, the National Dialogue comes at the right time.’

Till 22 January, seven thematic papers will be discussed towards transforming Indian agriculture. The organizers invite comments from the participants and audience during the sessions. Comments, and examples of best practices can also be sent for each discussion paper by 01 March 2021 to



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