Five steps for nutri-agriculture: Prof M S Swaminathan
Chennai, October 6, 2016: Inspite of all the efforts made by the central, state governments and non-governmental organisation malnutrition persists in our country in an unacceptable form. It is clear that unless agriculture and nutrition come together, we will not be able to overcome the problem of hunger and malnutrition. The position was reviewed at a meeting on Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA) held at Colombo on 3rd October. I suggested the following five point action plan for mainstreaming the nutritional dimension in agriculture :
Identify the major causes of malnutrition in high burden districts
Study the ongoing farming systems and their status in relation to nutrition
Substitute in the current farming system biofortified crops which can provide the missing nutrients in the diet : for this purpose launch a Nutrition Literacy Movement through Community Hunger Fighters and establish Genetic Gardens of Biofortified Crops/ Varieties.
Assess the impact of the intervention particularly from the point of view of overcoming hidden hunger
Unit of intervention and measurement – local body/ district/ state.
Overcoming persistent malnutrition through nutri-agriculture is an idea whose time has come.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.