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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS: Food day as a reminder to ‘leave no one behind’

 

Source: The Hindu

 

  • Prelims:Current events of national and international importance(United Nations (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP), Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, SDGS etc
  • Mains GS Paper III:Issues related to poverty and hunger, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection of vulnerable sections of society etc

 

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • This year’s World Food Day (October 16)has been a reminder to ensure that the most vulnerable people within our communities have easy access to safe and nutritious food.
    • This year’s World Food Day is themed: Leave No One Behind.

 

INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE

Context

The Hunger Hotspots Outlook (2022-23):

  • Report by the FAOand WFP.
  • Over 205 millionpeople across 45 countries will need emergency food assistance to survive.

 

Globally, food and nutrition security was impacted by:

  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Climate change
  • Spiraling food inflation
  • Conflict
  • Inequality

 

India’s food production:

  • India is one of the largest agricultural product exporters in the world.
  • During 2021-22: India recorded $49.6(forty nine point six)billion in total agricultural exports, a 20% increase from 2020-21.

 

Exports by India:

  • Primarily exports agriculture and allied products
  • marine products
  • Plantations
  • Textile and allied products.
  • Rice, sugar, and spices were some of the main exports.

Food aid:

  • India is provider of humanitarian food aid: g to Afghanistan and other countries during food supply shortages and disruptions, such as during the current crisis in Ukraine

 

Steps taken by Government:

  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana(which promotes organic farming)
  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana(which focuses on more crops per drop for improved water use)
  • Soil Health Management(fosters Integrated Nutrient Management under the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture)
  • Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKY
  • Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman Yojana (PM POSHAN Scheme)
  • Take-home rations.
  • National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013
  • Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)
  • Digitisation and measures such as rice fortification, better health, and sanitation.

 

Steps India need to take:

  • Sustainable support to increasing population: Agri-food systems will need to provide for and sustainably support an increasing population.
  • There is a need to move away from conventional input-intensive agriculture: towards more inclusive, effective, and sustainable agri-food systems that would facilitate better production.

 

Millets:

  • They are climate-smart crops: that are drought-resistant, growing in areas with low rain and infertile soil.
  • Hardier: They are hardier than other cereals
  • Resilient to climate change: More resilient to changes in climate, and require less water to cultivate (as much as 70% less than rice)
  • Energy consumption is less: Less energy to process (around 40% less than wheat).
  • Fewer inputs: They need fewer inputs, they are less extractive for the soil and can revive soil health.
  • Preserves agrobiodiversity: Additionally, their genetic diversity ensures that agrobiodiversity is preserved.

 

India and Millets:

  • India has led the global conversation on reviving millet production: Because of India, the UN declared 2023as the International Year of Millets.
  • Leading producer: It is the world’s leading producer of millets(around 41% of total production in 2020)
  • National Food Security Mission:Government is implementing a Sub-Mission on Nutri-Cereals (Millets) as part of the National Food Security Mission.
  • State-level missions: Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh revived the indigenous crops for food security.

 

Importance of Millets:

  • Addresses food security
  • Improved nutrition
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Millet production has been proven to enhance biodiversity
  • Increases yields for smallholder farmers, including rural women

 

Way Forward

  • End hunger by 2030:Through collective and transformational action to strengthen agri-food systems, through better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, can we meet our promise to end hunger by 2030.
  • Path to a better life resides in transforming food systems: Making them more resilient and sustainable with a focus on equity, including by incentivising the protection of the commons
  • Enhancing food and nutrition security and social protection networks: By providing non-distortionary income support.
  • Promoting production and consumption of nutritious native foods: such as millets, by investing in consumer sensitisation
  • Investing in making the global and regional supply chain robust and responsive: By strengthening transparency in the agricultural system through systems that promote labeling, traceability, etc
  • Increasing cooperation for leveraging solutions and innovations: India can lead the global discourse on food and nutrition security by showcasing home-grown solutions and best practices, and championing the principle of leaving no one behind
  • Environmental implications: The degradation of soil by the excessive use of chemicals, non-judicious water use, and declining nutritional value of food products need urgent attention.

 

QUESTION FOR PRACTICE

  1. How has the emphasis on certain crops brought about changes in cropping patterns in the recent past? Elaborate the emphasis on millets production and consumption.(UPSC 2018)                                                                                  (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)