Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Nutrition : Curbing the challenges of malnutrition in India

Growth of a Nation is dependent upon the Health of its People and NUTRITION is a first step to embrace the unique opportunity we all have to nourish; take the heat and make constructive decisions in solving India's Nutritional Challenge and building a healthier India, knowing that we're doing it to make things better for the people of India.

Health is intricately enmeshed with issues ranging from malnutrition to hygiene. In looking for solutions, we have to keep in mind that there needs to be a lot of convergence and inter-sectoral coordination if we are to harbor any hopes of improving the health and well-being of Indians. Our health and well-being are dependent on our commitment to promoting nourished food and its continuous availabilty.

So, the question is how to improve nutrition, food safety and food security, throughout the life-course, and in support of public health and sustainable development?

The inability of the region to feed itself poses an important challenge to overcome at both national and individual levels. Enhancing availability of food, based on comparative advantages in the Region, supplemented by imports or investment abroad and due attention to reducing losses at all stages of the value chain for agriculture and food commodities are key areas for action. Food availability can be enhanced through improved research and extension, and targeted investment in agriculture to improve productivity. While all states in the Region cannot meet their cereal needs through domestic production, many of these states have great potential for intensifying their cereal production and diversifying into products such as livestock and horticulture production. The reduction of losses in the production, processing, distribution and consumption of food will help significantly in improving the availability of food.
While improving productivity and minimizing losses in the food chain are priorities, without decisive investment into rural markets and infrastructure, efforts will not be translated into real success on the ground. Most of the food insecure lives in rural areas without sufficient market access, and their food security and adequate levels of nutrition depend on a well functioning food system. Enhancement in food security and improvement in diets cannot be realized without targeted investments which address the many deficiencies in the food systems.

Against this background cross-sectoral engagement is important in devising solutions.

Some of the main issues which needs to be addressed are :
  • India’s challenge: combating malnutrition in an unequal world
  • Nutrition and Millennium Development Goals: Where do we stand?
  • Coming together to fight malnutrition: Focusing on convergence and cross-sectoral engagement, discussing notable initiatives from the developmental sector and NGOs, as also some successful Public-Private Partnerships
  • The role of nutrition science in combating malnutrition
  • Quality degradation – where is the challenge – storage or movement?
  • Sustainable practicies: strategic relevance to build up business competency


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