CHENNAI: Chief Minister MK Stalin on Friday said the State government identified climate change as an important issue affecting everyone and invited environmentalists to reach out to the government with ideas to tackle the problem.
He was addressing the inaugural session of an international conference titled ‘Ensuring food and nutrition security in the context of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic’ at MS Swaminathan Research Foundation. He also highlighted the vulnerability of farmers’ income to climate change. “A separate budget for agriculture with special focus on natural farming will be presented. Local and village markets will be revived to ensure farmers get fair price for their produce,” he said.
National policy-makers, scientists, and the global experts on climate change, agriculture, food, and nutrition will attend the high-level three-day virtual event. Delivering the keynote address, Prof Swaminathan, emphasized the need for technical as well as assured-and-remunerative market support to rural women, tribals, and farmers. He urged the State government to continue its support to small and marginal farmers, rural women and tribal farmers.
Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist - WHO, said the pandemic affected vulnerable groups the most, especially women and children. “We have to think about building a healthier and economically resilient society. The new healthcare programme of Tamil Nadu government ‘Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam’ aimed at taking health services to the door-steps of the people is a good step towards universal health care.” The pandemic not only took lives but it disrupted essential health services like routine immunization programmes, antenatal care, and prevention of non-communicable diseases, she said.