Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries, Shri Tariq Anwar today said that agrobiodiversity plays a vital role in sustainable growth and development and one should work for efficient use of this natural and valuable resource. He was addressing the Global Consultation on Use and Management of Agrobiodiversity for Sustainable Food Security jointly organised by National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (ICAR) and Bioversity International, Rome. While elaborating upon the efforts made by Indian Council of Agricultural Research in conservation of agrobiodiversity, he suggested utilization of this valuable resource for the agricultural growth, holistic development and sustainable food security. He hoped that the global consultation would be able to identify areas of common interest at global scale to move further in this direction. The Minister also expressed the need for education in agrobiodiversity in order to understand the gaps and linkages in this field. Dr. Charan Das Mahant, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries, said, “India, being a vast country, harbors a great diversity in climate, topography and geology and hence the country is very rich in terms of biological diversity. Indian Gene Centre has been recognised as quite rich in its biodiversity. Three of the 34 global hotspots of biodiversity, the Himalayas, the Indo-Burma region, and the Western Ghats & Sri Lanka are located here. India is equally rich in Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) as well with about 580 cultivated plant species, 334 species of crop wild relatives, 1500 wild edible plants, and 7500 species of ethno-medicinal importance. Biological diversity affects us all. Biological diversity has direct consumptive value in food, agriculture, medicine and industry. It also has aesthetic and recreational value. Biodiversity maintains ecological balance and continues evolutionary process.” He expressed the hope that such deliberations like the one on agrobiodiversity will help in conservation of genetic resources worldwide. Dr. Mahant also highlighted the important role of India in conservation and protection of agrobiodiversity. The other distinguished speakers on this occasion were Dr. S. Ayyappan, Secretary, DARE and Director General, ICAR; Dr. Emile Frison, Director General, Bioversity International, Rome; Dr. R.S. Paroda, Chairman, Farmers’ Commission, Haryana and Executive Secretary, Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institute (APAARI); Dr. R.B. Singh, President, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS); and Dr. P.N. Mathur, South Asia Coordinator, Bioversity International. Earlier, Dr. K.C. Bansal, Director, National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) welcomed the dignitaries and briefed the gathering about the consultation.