According to several estimates, India is still close to the top of the global list when it comes to levels of malnutrition and hunger among its population. Clearly, this is one statistic that we do not want to lead but the challenge of food security is actually a multi-faceted one that needs to be tackled at different levels.
So, we set out to explore the solutions with the help of some experts.
Firstly, what are the policy hurdles and macro factors that are contributing to this situation? Two of our contributors discuss these in their articles along with solutions that may get us past these roadblocks.
It is clear that the population’s nutritional requirements cannot be met through diet alone, given the variability in access, quality and quantity. A professor of food science presents a compelling case for food fortification in combating malnutrition and related deficiencies, particularly in children and other vulnerable sections of the population. Another writer presents a lively argument for going back to our roots in order to discover certain Indian superfoods that have fallen by the wayside in recent times.
Everybody agrees that fixing the distribution system in order to minimize food wastage will go a long way in alleviating the problem of shortage. Putting a robust cold chain in place, along with the required infrastructure, is critical in this context. Our feature story in this issue examines what it will take to implement this.
In ‘Seeds of Thought’, Dr. B.R. Barwale highlights the past contribution of Agriculture to the Indian economy as well as what it will take to enter a new era of innovation in this sector.
We think the information and opinions presented in this issue will provide plenty of food for thought on the many parts of the food security challenge.