Moving from Food to Nutrition Security: Prof M S Swaminathan

Chennai, April 24, 2017: In 1986, both in my lecture at FAO and in a book on “Global Aspects of Food Production” I stressed the need for a change in emphasis from food security to nutrition security. I also defined nutrition security as “physical economic and social access to balanced diet, clean drinking water, sanitation and primary healthcare”.  Further I stressed the need for a food based approach to nutrition security and not a drug based one. Now after 30 years, the concept of nutrition security is gaining ground. MSSRF is planning to demonstrate how agriculture, health and nutrition can enter into a symbiotic relationship. In the area of nutrition security, it is important to look at food adequacy, protein deficiency and deficiency of micronutrients like iron, iodine, zinc, vitamin A etc. The Farming System for Nutrition (FSN) developed by me provides a methodology for achieving such symbiotic linkages. Above all, a global grid of genetic gardens of biofortified plants will be an important tool for fighting hidden hunger. MSSRF plans to demonstrate the power of food based approach in some high malnutrition burden districts such as Thane in Maharashtra, Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, Koraput in Odisha and parts of Tamil Nadu.