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India hosted the eighth meeting of agriculture experts of the Bay of Bengal initiative for multi-sectoral technical and economic cooperation (BIMSTEC) countries virtually on 31 August 2021

BIMSTECExperts of agricultural ministries from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand participated in the virtual meeting. (Image source: Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, India)

Dr Trilochan Mohapatra, secretary of Department of agricultural research and education and director general, ICAR, chaired the daylong meeting with Dr Thanda Kyi, deputy director-general, Department of Planning, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, Myanmar co-chair. Experts of agricultural ministries from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand participated in the meeting.

The chairman highlighted the UN food system summit 2021 and the transformations that are happening in the agriculture and food systems globally. He enhanced the engagement and highlighted the cooperation in agriculture and allied sectors amongst the BIMSTEC member states by encouraging the exchange of knowledge, germplasm, students and experts. 

The programme emphasised addressing the biosafety and biosecurity concerns and promoting digital agriculture along with the trade of technologies for developing resilient agriculture, food systems and value chains.

The cooperation in the areas of high impact transboundary diseases of livestock and poultry, aquatic animal diseases and bio-security in aquaculture and digitalisation to promote precision farming was discussed in the meeting.

The BIMSTEC provides a link between south and south-east Asia with five countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka from South Asia and two countries – Myanmar and Thailand from southeast Asia coming together on one platform for cooperation in 14 key economic and social sectors of the economy.