Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Challenges and strategies for combating malnutrition and food insecurity in India
Experts discuss strategies to end malnutrition and food insecurity in India! A panel discussion was organised by the Food and Agricultural Organisation FAO, India and the Society for Social and Economic Research on the theme of "Ending malnutrition and food insecurity: Global perspectives and challenges in India" in New Delhi. The discussion during the workshop focussed on 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 discussion panel comprised Mr. Shyam Khadka, FAO Country Representative, government officials, and academicians. The key points of the previously mentioned publications were put forth by lead authors. Mr. Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Mr. Vikas Rawal (book on malnutrition), and Harsh Mander (book on India's Food security law). The panel members discussed the key issues to be focussed and on possible strategies to overcome nutritional and food insecurity problems prevalent in India.
The important messages that were highlighted included:
• The diversification of food production systems is required to safeguard diverse and nutrient-rich diets.
• Ensuring food safety and nutrient content of foods as well as integrating the food and health systems is important for improved nutrition outcomes.
• Strengthening programmes for maternal and child nutrition is required to address inter-generational relationships in nutritional outcomes.
• The development and reorientation of the social protection systems are necessary to meet India's nutrition challenges.
• An augmentation of cash transfers, along with food provisions, is important for the success of various government-sponsored nutritional programmes.