India will host a four-day global conference on agriculture statistics beginning November 18 in the national capital and billionaire Bill Gates is scheduled to give a keynote address.
The agriculture ministry is organising the international conference, held every three years, in partnership with the United Nation's FAO, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other agencies.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and two ministers of state for agriculture will be present at the event, which is expected to see a participation from 108 countries and over 600 delegates.
The theme of the conference would be 'Statistics for tranformation of agriculture to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
After unveiling the logo of the conference, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Director General Trilochan Mohapatra said Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair Bill Gates will deliver a keynote address.
Stating that agri-data plays an extremely important role in evidence-based policy making, he said currently, agri-data in India is scattered and efforts are being made to collate at one place. The event will help India learn from global experiences and chalk out a proper policy.
It will also help in achieving the SDGs, he added.
Mohapatra said, "By 2030, we have to achieve SDGs. Eliminating hunger and malnutrition are some of the major concerns not only for India but also for other countries. The conference will deliberate on policy measures and global cooperation in farm statistics required to be taken for achieving the SDGs." The first conference on agriculture statistics was held in 1998 in Washington and the previous one was in Brazil in 2016.
Besides agri-statisticians from all over the world and representatives of National Statistics Offices, the conference will also open its doors to the participation of producers, suppliers and users of agri-statistics as well as policy makers, researchers and analysts.
The occasion will also help young statisticians from India to present their work and create better employment opportunities in the future, Mohapatra added.