May 7, 2018
Dharmshala, May 7, 2018: The two-day national level workshop titled "Challenges and Opportunities in Crop Diversification" was inaugurated today. The workshop has been organized by the Project Management Unit of JICA cooperated "Himachal Pradesh Crop Diversification Promotion Project (HPCDPP)" as the first national level workshop for exchange of experiences and knowledge, including good practices and lessons, with all stakeholders in Himachal Pradesh (HP) and various states' executing agencies of the agriculture projects cooperated by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in India.
Mr. Jai Ram Thakur, Hon'ble Chief Minister, Government of HP and Mr. Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative, JICA India Office, among others, delivered their opening remarks as main guests. In addition to the government officials who have been engaged in agriculture development in central ministries and states, intellectuals / practitioners from universities / agriculture related organizations and even farmers in HP participated in the workshop.
The major objectives of the workshop are to showcase the new innovations and lessons learnt under HPCDPP, to exchange the information on good practices from other JICA cooperated projects in India, and to identify major challenges of crop diversification to increase farmers' income. Not only the agriculture sector but also authorities and executing agencies of the irrigation sector participated in the workshop, keeping in mind the synergies of both water resource management and agricultural productivity contributing to the same beneficiaries.
Speaking on the occasion of opening remarks of the workshop, Mr. Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative, JICA India Office, said "In this workshop, good practices and lessons learnt of HPCDPP and other JICA cooperated projects are being shared with all participants. JICA strongly suggests not to focus only on ‘the introduction of new technologies,' ‘tangible facilities' development' or ‘crop diversification as just the methodology.' In order to materialize real increase of farmers' income, which is also one of the core issues of agricultural development in India, JICA requests all participants to seriously discuss and consider what kind of policies and practical interventions are effective or obstructive and how the advantages of JICA's cooperation can be replicated in other projects. JICA believes that the learning from and proactive participation in the two-day workshop would become an invaluable investment adding value to tomorrow's agriculture in India!"
JICA has committed approximately 300 billion Japanese Yen (approximately INR 18,000 crore) under JICA's ODA lending support for 27 projects in India since 1981. Though the initial focus of JICA's assistance was mainly irrigation development, to tackle various issues which farmers have been facing and to materialize real increase of farmers' income, JICA has been recently diversifying its approach and been initiating new activities such as promotion of micro drip irrigation in Jharkhand, gender mainstreaming in Rajasthan, and value chain development in Andhra Pradesh. JICA has also provided technical support, for instance, bivoltine sericulture development in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and
Tamil Nadu, maximization of soybean production in Madhya Pradesh, and capacity building of water resources engineers of India in Japan.
Mr. Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative, JICA India, delivering the opening address at the workshop
L-R: Mr. Kishan Kapoor, Minister for Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs, HP; Dr. Ram Lal Markanda, Agriculture Minister; Mr. Jai Ram Thakur, Chief Minister, HP; Mr. Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative, JICA India; Ms. Sarveen Chaudhary, Minister for Urban Development, HP, holding the momentous at the workshop
Established, by a specific law, as an incorporated administrative institution under the Government of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to contribute to the promotion of international cooperation, as a sole Japanese governmental agency in charge of ODA implementation. JICA is the world's largest bilateral donor agency. JICA works as a bridge between Japan and emerging countries, and provides assistance in forms of loan, grant and technical cooperation so that the emerging countries can strengthen their capabilities.
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