Consultation on Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition with NITI Aayog

PRESS RELEASE. Delhi, January 2018: A high-level multi-sectoral one-day round-table on ‘Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition’ was hosted jointly by NITI Aayog and M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Chennai under the Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA) research programme in Delhi on January 30 to discuss the nutritional dimension in agricultural policies and programme in India. The consultation was led by Prof. Ramesh Chand, Member (Agriculture) and Dr Vinod K Paul, Member (Health & Nutrition), NITI Aayog, and attended by over 30 experts including participation from the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, ICAR and policy influencers. The programme aimed at delivering recommendation for policy action for better agriculture-nutrition linkages in the country, so as to remove barriers on nutritional outcomes.

India houses a large population of under-nourished people. As per the latest round of the National Family Health Survey, 38% of children under 5 years of age are stunted, 36% are underweight and 58% are anemic. A majority of India's population continues to be dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods.

NITI Aayog has recently released a National Nutrition Strategy and the Government has launched a National Nutrition Mission (NNM) to address the problem of malnutrition. The Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA) research programme consortium ( led by the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) has been working to improve understanding of how South Asian Agriculture and related food policies and interventions can be better designed and implemented to increase their impacts on nutrition outcomes especially in women and children in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Deliberations raised issues regarding agri-nutrition data gaps, data quality and refining the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) and nutrition norms prescribed by Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR). The potential of bio-fortification of food crops to address nutrition deficiency came out strongly and the need for necessary policy support in this direction. The relevance of a farming system for nutrition approach for household-level nutrition security for small and marginal farmers was flagged as important. Also, the need for a life-cycle mode to tackling under-nutrition coupled with nutrition literacy at multiple levels was emphasized. 

News published date: 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

South Asia Focus

Funded by UK DFID

This research has been funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development; however the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK Government’s official policies



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