Indian Prime Minister awarded FAO Agricola Medal

New Delhi – FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf today conferred the UN organization’s highest award, the Agricola Medal, on Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in recognition of his
contribution to agricultural development and the reduction of hunger and poverty.

«With your deep understanding of India’s economy you have made modernizing and revitalizing your country’s agriculture one of your highest priorities,» Dr Diouf said.

India is the world’s second largest agricultural producer after China, with farming employing over 60 percent of the population and accounting for 18.5 percent of GDP.

Noting that the flow of credit to Indian farmers had almost doubled in the last four years, Dr Diouf told Mr Singh that he had shown «exemplary vision and resolve» in promoting the
growth of Indian agriculture.

Horticultural production is set to double by 2012 while plans are underway to increase national Rice, Wheat and Pulses production by 20 million tons, thus significantly improving domestic food

Esteem and admiration
«Thanks to your efforts, agricultural growth in your country is on the path to contributing more to the fast growth of a global economy that includes the needs of vulnerable
citizens,» Dr Diouf told Mr Singh.

He assured the Prime Minister of FAO’s and his own «esteem and admiration for all you are doing to feed your people and to make the issues of poverty and malnutrition a central focus of
attention at home and internationally».

Previous recipients of the Agricola Medal include King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, French President Jacques Chirac, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Pope John Paul II, President Hosni Mubarak
of Egypt, Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Johannes Rau of Germany.

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