Hunger and Nutrition Issues – GHI, GNI, etc.

Agri-food systems need a transformative change

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : FAO

Mains level : Paper 3- Reorienting agri-food systems

Context

There is an urgent need for reorientation of the long-term direction of agri-food systems to not only enhance farm incomes but also ensure better access to safe and nutritious foods.

Challenge of malnutrition in India

  • The findings from the first round of the Fifth National Family Health Survey suggest that nutrition-related indicators have worsened in most States.
  • In addition, findings from the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (2016-18) have highlighted the role of micro-nutrient malnutrition.
  • Pathways for nutritional security consist of improving dietary diversity, kitchen gardens, reducing post-harvest losses, making safety net programmes more nutrition-sensitive, women’s empowerment, enforcement of standards and regulations, improving Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, nutrition education, and effective use of digital technology.

Agri-food system: Significance and challenges it faces

  • The agri-food systems are the most important part of the Indian economy.
  • India produces sufficient food, feed and fibre to sustain about 18% of the world’s population (as of 2020). Agriculture contributes about 16.5% to India’s GDP and employs 42.3% of the workforce (2019-20).
  • A sustainable agri-food system is one in which a variety of sufficient, nutritious and safe foods are made available at an affordable price to everyone, and nobody goes hungry or suffers from any form of malnutrition.
  • However, the country’s agri-food systems are facing new and unprecedented challenges, especially related to economic and ecological sustainability, nutrition and the adoption of new agricultural technologies.
  • The edifice of India’s biosecurity remains vulnerable to disasters and extreme events.

Way forward: Reorienting agri-food systems

  • There is an urgent need for reorientation of the long-term direction of agri-food systems to not only enhance farm incomes but also ensure better access to safe and nutritious foods.
  • Additionally, the agri-food systems need to be reoriented to minimise cost on the environment and the climate.
  • This need is recognised by the theme of World Food Day 2021: ‘Our actions are our future. Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life’.
  • FAO’s support for the transformation of agri-food systems is rooted in agro-ecology.
  • The more diverse an agricultural system, the greater its ability to adapt to shocks.
  • Different combinations of integrated crop-livestock-forestry-fishery systems can help farmers produce a variety of products in the same area, at the same time or in rotation.
  • In January this year, FAO in collaboration with NITI Aayog and the Ministry of Agriculture convened a National Dialogue to evolve a framework for the transition to a more sustainable agri-food systems by 2030 and identify pathways for enhancing farmers’ income and achieving nutritional security.

Consider the question “What are the challenges facing agri-food systems in India? Suggest the pathways to transform the agri-food system to enhance farm income and ensure food and nutrition security.”

Conclusion

Food systems can help combat environmental degradation or climate change. Sustainable agri-food systems can deliver food security and nutrition for all, without compromising the economic, social and environmental bases.

UPSC 2022 countdown has begun! Get your personal guidance plan now! (Click here)

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments