Agri Business

M S Swaminathan: India must focus on nutrition security

PTI New Delhi | Updated on August 20, 2018 Published on August 20, 2018

 

India’s focus needs to shift from food security to nutrition security so that attention is paid not only to calories and proteins but also to micronutrients, renowned geneticist MS Swaminathan said today.

He said that if one wants healthy mothers and children, there needs to be eradication of three kinds of hunger — protein hunger, caused by deficiency of protein; calorie hunger, caused by deficiency of calories, and hidden hunger caused by deficiency of micronutrients such as iodine and iron.

India has been able to fight protein hunger and calorie hunger but now there is a need to fight hidden hunger, Swaminathan said.

“I strongly believe we need to move from food security to nutrition security, where not only calories and proteins but also micronutrients are taken care of. All that needs to be done is to bring agriculture, health and nutrition together in a triangular relationship, which can only be achieved through partnerships,” he said in a video message to the National Consultation on Reducing Malnutrition and Childhood Illnesses, here.

Pointing out that the cost of treating malnutrition is 27 times more than the cost of prevention, KP Wasnik, additional commissioner (Extension) of Ministry of Agriculture, said it is the responsibility of all stakeholders to eradicate undernutrition and ensure sustainable human development.

“Agriculture plays a very important role in ensuring good public nutrition since it has the potential to reduce poverty, which is a key contributor to undernutrition. Agriculture also contributes to the economy and increases government revenue. We should prioritise nutrition at all levels,” he said.

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Published on August 20, 2018
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