Remarks By H.E. Baraka H. Luvanda, High Commissioner Of The United Republic Of Tanzania At The Inauguration Of The International Programme On Financing Of Inclusive Agriculture And Rural Development, 12th February 2018 At Bankers Institute Of Rural Development (Bird), Lucknow - Uttar Pradesh.
Dr. D.V. Deshpande,
The Director and Our Host,
Mr. Ajay Kumar,
RD-Reserve Bank of India,
Mr. Raj Kumar,
Mr. Raj Kumar,
Chief General Manager-Canara Bank
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Namaskar! Jambo! Pour Nos Collegues de la Francophonie-Bonjour! Sudan , Palestine, Tunisia, Jordan, Afghanstan - Asalaam Aleikhum! Mozambique-Bondir! And Friends from Trinida & Tobago - Good Morning!
1. When I received this invitation I got certain feelings of nostalgia - For we gathered here in a big way in November 2017 (last year) during the Annual Grand Congress of the Chief Justices from across the world at Montessori School based here in Lucknow for a conversation on Global Governance. Although the mission was quite different from your mission, the fact that I was coming again to this beautiful and quiet City did, somehow, influence my decision in accepting this invite. I do hope you will also feel the same way someday.
Again, despite my very brief experience in New Delhi - roughly 8 months now, I have realised that being out of Delhi is the most interesting moment one can have.
2. Indeed, I am most grateful for the opportunity to speak at the inauguration of the three week intensive Training Programme being organised for the second time by the BIRD. Let me thank the Institute for the kind invitation to me, and especially for the hospitality and warm reception extended to me personally and to my compatriots, who happen to be the majority of participants in this programme. Thank you very much.
3. Let me also thank the Government of India for the generous financial support, through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme. We hope that this facilitation will be further enhanced as the alliance between India and Africa becomes even more pronounced by the day.
4. I want to sincerely thank our Host - BIRD - for availing the excellent facilities for this programme .It's no surprise that one cannot tell the exact age of a BIRD - I could not tell the age of these facilities until I was told last evening. I believe the best way to appreciate all this will be for each participant to dedicate time and energy to the programme and also, at the end of the day, make into full use of the skills and knowledge acquired in our respective institutions back home.
5. Dear Participants, I have been briefed that the overarching objective of the programme is to present to you or rather expose you to the best practices and initiatives about inclusive finance for agriculture and rural development as obtaining in India. I cannot fail to express my personal sincere gratitude, and that of my fellow participants especially, those from Africa, in general, and from Tanzania, in particular, for this unique opportunity presented to us.
For, like in India, agriculture accounts in most of our respective countries in Africa about 70%, 80% and 90% of the population's livelihood. Unfortunately, for many years, we have not been able to make concrete strides in terms of inclusive agriculture, and for most part, we have experienced the subsistence farming for just quite long.
That, participants to this programme will be exposed to various initiatives in India as regards to banking - structure, institutions and policies adopted by the Government of India, the Reserve Bank of India, the National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development, is, in my humble view, a move in the right direction.
6. Equally important, you will be exposed to the work of other Development Financial Institutions and Banks for inclusive agriculture and rural development. And also you will be introduced to the Credit Planning at grass root level, with focus on reaching out to the small and marginal farmers, weaker sections of the society, especially women
I should add that, the entire gamut of credit activities being undertaken by the Government of India, with reference to agriculture and allied activities shall be dealt with in detail. With India taking the major lead in financial inclusion, the concepts such as Self Help Groups (SHGs), Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) and Social Security Schemes (SSSs) will be highlighted.
And therefore, I should like to encourage every one of you to pay attention to the details from a dedicated team of instructors who have confided with me that they will make the programme as friendly and interesting as possible. To this end, planned visits to the few chosen institutions as well as to the commercial farmers have been arranged - all with the purpose of making the programme more interesting and impactful.
7. Dear Friends, it is expected that at the end of it all, you will be able to fully appreciate the concepts of inclusive development and the role of credit in inclusive development pertaining to India - with a view to replicating the lessons learnt in your respective countries. I must state that we do not expect less than that.
Luckily, you have promised us in your own self-introductions.
8. My Host, Distinguished Guests and Dear Participants, in closing I should stress that the skills and knowledge that our friends - the participants - will be exposed to in the coming days and weeks should and must help them build the character and disposition to take charge of our destiny in our individual countries for which we are thankful to the Government of India for showing us the way. And this reminds me of the African Proverb that "there is no better mirror than a best friend". India is our true mirror in many ways.
I will end, as I always do, with the following interesting anecdote:
Two friends were talking about the guy. "I will never invite him to my parties again," one said. "Last time he did something I did not like". "What was that?" "He came."
You invited me to this ceremony. I hope you meant it. And I hope that I have not done anything to deny me an invitation to the next occasion.
9. I wish the participants a very successful learning journey and a memorable one. I thank you for your kind attention.