NEW DELHI, Oct. 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — With World Food Day around the corner, the three Rome-based UN agencies in India – The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) came together to deliberate on the issue of food and nutrition security from the holistic lens of a food systems approach. Food systems approach takes into consideration the entire cycle of production, access (or transformation) and absorption of food to ensure food and nutrition security in India. This ties in with this year’s theme for World Food Day which is making a healthy and sustainable diet affordable and accessible to everyone.
Focusing on the role of agriculture and production in enabling food and nutrition security, Mr. Tomio Shichiri, Representative of FAO said, “The focus must not only be on increased food grain production but to also increase the production of targeted Nutri-cereals (nutrition-rich crops) such as millets. Promotion of homestead gardens and diversification of agriculture production towards fruits, vegetables and aquaculture can contribute towards addressing the malnutrition.” Mr. Tomio also spoke about the need for agriculture and food systems to be climate resilient in addressing issues related to land degradation, biodiversity loss, climate change mitigation and sustainable forest management.
Ms. Meera Mishra, Country Coordinator, IFAD India Country Office spoke about the benefit of changing patterns of consumption on farmers’ production systems and incomes. Noting an example of millet production in Madhya Pradesh, Ms. Meera said, “Tribal Baiga women in the remote Dindori district in MP grew minor millets; Kodo and Kutki using traditional practices. After being trained in better agronomic practices as well as processing, packaging and marketing, the farmers were able to increase the demand for these millets in local and nearby markets. These minor millets are climate-resilient crops and more suitable for the agro-climatic conditions in the district.”
Referring to the reforms being undertaken by the Government of India to improve access to food, Mr. Bishow Parajuli, Representative and Country Director, WFP India, said, “There are some great initiatives being undertaken by the central and state governments to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the food safety nets through the deployment of technology. Such useful practices need to be amplified so other states can replicate it. Some examples include use of SMS service and IVRS to reach beneficiaries for awareness on entitlements and grievance redressal and the multi-modal authentication mechanism to ensure zero-denial of services in states like Uttar Pradesh and Odisha.” Mr. Parajuli also emphasised on the importance of promoting health and nutrition seeking behaviours such as; a focus on the first thousand days, intra-household distribution of food and the role of women in ensuring food and nutrition security for their families along with ensuring access to food.
These three agencies observe World Food Day every year on 16 October. This year’s World Food Day theme is on healthy diets to achieve #zerohunger. Achieving zero hunger is not only about addressing hunger but also nourishing people while nurturing the planet.
About The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Our goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. With over 194 member states, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide. We believe that everyone can play a part in ending hunger.
About The World Food Programme (WFP) :
Assisting 86.7 million people in around 83 countries each year, the World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization saving lives and changing lives, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience.
About The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) :
At the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) we invest in rural people, empowering them to increase their food security, improve the nutrition of their families and increase their incomes. We help them build resilience, expand their businesses and take charge of their own development.
IFAD is an international financial institution and specialized United Nations agency based in Rome, the UN’s food and agriculture hub. Since 1978, we have provided US$28 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 483 million people.
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