``Agriculture was the most economic activity for any country and national governments must be sensitised to the fact that key agricultural issues were critical for food security, reduction of poverty, improving nutrition and empowerment of women and youth,’’ Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said while inaugurating the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association workshop in Chandigarh on the `Role of Parliamentary Agriculture Committees’.
The Speaker emphasised the point that the trend of industrialisation, rapid urbanisation and related growing demand for housing and infrastructure were causing a demographic shift from rural to urban areas necessitating changes in infrastructure with regard to movement of workers and goods with important consequences for society and the farm sector.
``However, the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture is clear that any new modern technology should be adopted only after examining its suitability to societal and local needs, its viability in different climatic conditions and that it conforms to the laws, regulations and policies of the government,’’ she said.
Pointing out that the Indian government had taken several measures for sustainable development of the agriculture sector, Ms. Mahajan noted that New Delhi has taken a consistent position in WTO on issues pertaining to livelihood, food security and rural development which were of vital importance to the interests of poor farmers.
``This apart, India’s Foreign Direct Investment policy in the farm sector aims at attracting public and private investments necessary to bring technology, knowledge and services to farmers,’’ she added.
CPA President Shirin Sharmin Chaudhary, chairpersons and members of committees from Asian, South East Asian and India Regions of the CPA, Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal and agricultural experts participated in the opening session, a press release from the Lok Sabha secretariat said.