Work to combat climate change and enhance millet production: FM urges startups

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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday appealed to startups to touch less lucrative areas including climate change, millet production and improving the condition of farmers.

Addressing a national level summit to promote startups, Sitharaman laid more emphasis on climate change and asked startups to find a solution to combat it as it will impact the agriculture pattern in the country.

Sitharaman said, “Of course defense production, renewable energy, nuclear, satellite, space technologies, they are all there. You have already touched those areas. I am asking you to touch some of those less glamorous areas as well.” ” Here.

“My appeal is that more and more innovation coming from startups to tackle climate and climate change is going to be extremely valuable,” the Finance Minister said.

He asked the startups to work towards improving the condition of farmers, urban dwellers and provide solutions through millet for healthy eating.

He explained that startups can also look at markets that can fetch better prices for farmers, which can also generate a lot of employment for them as value addition can be brought in.

He highlighted that importance should be given to climate and its related solutions for a better climate situation in India.

The Finance Minister warned that if the issues related to climate change are not addressed, it will be very costly for the Indian economy, which will not be affordable at all.

“The damage that could be caused by adverse climate and weather conditions would be too large for any country to contain, absorb or accept,” he cautioned the gathering.

Sitharaman said that people can see farmers trying to change their cropping pattern.

Sitharaman said sowing of seeds is being pushed further due to the unpredictable monsoon months.

He said that the rains which used to fall in the entire monsoon season are now being seen in two-four days, which no city or any rural area can handle.

“All these things are forcing farmers to re-think about how they are going to plough, sow, prepare the land and also see when the crop is going to be harvested,” the Union minister said.

Noting that climate change is having a direct impact on supply chains, Sitharaman said: “Food security is not just an issue of food availability, but also the cycle in which production takes place, post-harvest value addition, And then when exports happen in agriculture.”

He said that a country which has a long lineage of good and prosperous agricultural activity will suffer if the climate related challenges are not addressed.

The Finance Minister lauded the Indian farmers who, with their grit, ensured that the agriculture sector was able to perform well between 2020 and 2022.

Even in the face of the Russia-Ukraine war, when the world is facing food security, countries like India with rich agricultural tradition were able to do well, he said.

Sitharaman said startups will have to find innovative ways to deal with the vagaries of monsoon.

“I am not sure we are yet to see how the monsoon can be regularised. It is a long way off but what can be achieved is to see how these irregularities can be handled, urban planning, how can rural planning respect such calamities that may come, and plan for themselves in such a way that they don’t get submerged or they don’t suffer for lack of drinking water or drought-like situation,” he said. Told.

The Finance Minister pointed out that the challenges emerging from unpredictable climatic conditions have an impact on agriculture, urban living, water management, disaster management, construction of houses, industries and national security.

“Therefore, I want startups, young minds, energetic minds, restless minds, to touch areas that are still largely not seen in the presence of startups,” she said.

The finance minister told the audience that India would chair the G20 summit and a meeting on finance ministers and central bank governors would be held in Bengaluru in February.

He said that startups should make full use of every opportunity.

Further, the Finance Minister reminded the gathering that the United Nations has declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets due to the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Stating that Karnataka is one of the leading producers of various types of millets, Sitharaman told startups that there is a lot to be done to improve the condition of farmers growing these crops.

He also pointed out that it can create a lot of employment for our farmers along with the value addition that can be brought by the startups.

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