Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Minister, Sharad Pawar emphasised that the only long-term solutions to ensure food and nutrition security lies in increasing farm production.
On the occasion of World Food Day, the Minister called for promoting sustainable food systems. Since sustainability of the farm sector depends to a great degree on the performance of small and marginal farmers, the Government has taken a number of initiatives keeping in view these farmers and other beneficiaries especially women and children, the Minister has stated.
He said, “World Food Day is observed all over the world every year on October 16 to mark the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The basic idea of observing this day is to raise public awareness about the plight of the hungry and malnourished people all over the world and to encourage all concerned to take concrete action to tackle and overcome the menace of hunger. The theme selected for World Food Day this year is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”.
“The only long term solution to ensuring food and nutritional security in the country lies in increasing production and productivity in the agriculture sector with diverse and integrated farming systems to provide nutritious diets to each and every citizen. Rapid industrialisation and urbanisation in the country has reduced the availability of natural resources such as land and water for growing food. It is therefore imperative to utilize the limited resources available for sustainable supply of food to the ever increasing population of the country through efficient and effective policies,” he added.
He further added, “While ensuring the sustainability of our food systems, we have to not only produce nutritious food for our present population but also protect the capacity to feed the future generations. Sustainable food systems require a commitment from food producers as well as food consumers to use resources efficiently at every stage – getting the most out of every drop of water, inch of land, grain of fertilizer and minute of labour. Sustainability can also be improved by turning waste products into valuable fertiliser or energy and also by minimisation of food losses and waste. The future of sustainable agricultural growth and food security in India is dependent to a great degree on the performance of small and marginal farmers. Government of India has accordingly launched a number of schemes and initiatives keeping in view these farmers and other beneficiaries especially women and children.”
“On this day, let us all resolve to use the scarce and limited resources at our disposal to ensure complete eradication of malnutrition and hunger in our country. On this occasion, I urge renewed commitment from all stake holders to ensure food and nutrition security of the people of this country through concerted action for sustainable food systems,” he concluded.