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Global Perspectives and Challenges in India | FAO in India | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


14/03/2016

FAO India and Society for Social and Economic Research organised a day-long panel discussion on “Ending Malnutrition and Food Insecurity: Global Perspectives and Challenges in India” in New Delhi. The Panel Discussion was around the themes of two FAO publications: “Ending Malnutrition: From Commitment to Action” and “State Food Provisioning as Social Protection: Debating India’s National Food Security Law”.

The workshop was attended by officials from the Government, members of the academia as well as representatives from the civil society. The session began with a welcome from Mr. Shyam Khadka, FAO Country Representative. Messrs Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Vikas Rawal, authors of the book on malnutrition, and Harsh Mander, author of the book on India’s Food Security Law, presented main messages of the two books.

The panelists who commented on the theme included:

  • Shyam Khadka, Country Representative, FAO
  • K. Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India
  • Prema Ramachandran, Director, Nutrition Foundation of India
  • Jayati Ghosh, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • Venkatesh Athreya, M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai
  • Dipa Sinha, Assistant Professor, B. R. Ambedkar University, Delhi

The main messages from various comments made by panelists and other participants were:

  • Need to support the diversification of food production systems to ensure diverse and nutrient-rich diets. In this context, interventions for growth of backyard poultry and small ruminants, pulse production, and production of vegetables and fruits are important areas to focus.

  • Recognise that food and health systems are integrated, and food safety and nutrient-content of food are crucial for nutritional outcomes.

  • There are inter-generational relationships in nutritional outcomes, because of which maternal and child nutrition is of particular importance. This underscores the need to strengthen programmes for maternal and child nutrition.
  • Need to strengthen social protection systems and reorient them to meet India’s nutrition challenges. Participants strongly felt that cash transfers should augment and not substitute food provisioning under various government programmes. There are also significant areas where programmes for food provisioning need reform.



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