‘Crop optimisation to help India meet dietary needs’

By Times Of India on 13 May 2018 | read
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HYDERABAD: Changes to how India sources its food supplies could help it avoid severe dietary shortages in decades to come, research suggests. A team of researchers from the University of Edinburgh found that India’s self-sufficiency model for securing food, which relies on increases in domestic crop yield and reduction of waste will be insufficient to meet United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of zero hunger by 2030.

Telangana and Andhra Pradesh play a key role in India’s food production. Both the Telugu states have been recording bumper yields. While Telangana is the seed capital of India, AP with Krishna and Godavari delta systems is considered the rice bowl.

A combined approach of optimising domestic production and increasing global trade links could enable India to meet the UN goal of zero hunger by 2030, the study found.

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh found that closing the gap between India’s food supplies and its population growth will require a combination of measures.

An official statement from the University of Edinburgh said, “a nationwide programme to optimise crop selection is needed to maximise the production and supply of dietary energy, protein and micronutrients. India may also need to increase its international agricultural trade and lift restrictions on food imports to diversify, improve and safeguard food supplies”.

Researchers analysed domestic capacity of India’s food system and made projections for 2030 and 2050. The official statement said the research maps the entire Indian food system for the first time, from crop production to household availability, studying levels of calories, protein, fat and micronutrients.

Researchers found an increase in population coupled with environmental and dietary pressures could lead to nutritional shortages across 60% of Indian population. More than two billion people globally suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, and nearly half of them live in India.