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The road to zero hunger by 2030

  • IASbaba
  • October 17, 2020
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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FOOD SECURITY/ ECONOMY / GOVERNANCE

Topic: General Studies 3:

  • Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping 
  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

The road to zero hunger by 2030

Context:  World Food Day being celebrated on October 16

Do You Know?

In the year 2020

  • FAO is celebrating 75 years of fighting hunger in over 130 countries
  • IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) become the first UN agency to receive a credit rating
  • The World Food Programme (WFP) was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace

What is a food system? 

  • It is a framework that includes every aspect of feeding and nourishing people: from growing, harvesting and processing to packaging, transporting, marketing and consuming food. 
  • To be sustainable, a food system must provide enough nutritious food for all without compromising feeding future generations.

How did India’s food system work during Pandemic?

  • During the COVID-19-precipitated lockdown, the FAO, IFAD and the WFP worked in close coordination to support the Government of India’s Empowered Group 5 on facilitating supply chain and logistics management, so necessary items such as food and medicines were available.
  • Over the past few decades, India has gone from being a net importer to a net exporter of food grains. This strength has been evident through the pandemic. 
  • During April to June 2020, Central and State governments were able to distribute around 23 million tonnes from India’s large domestic food grain reserves through Public Distribution System
  • The government also successfully mobilised food rations for 820 million people from April to November 2020, including finding alternate solutions to provide food rations to 90 million schoolchildren. 
  • During Pandemic’s initial days of lockdown, there were efforts to remove bottlenecks in the food supply chain to ensure that agricultural activities weren’t disrupted. 
  • As a result, agriculture grew at 3.4% during the first quarter this financial year and the area cultivated this kharif exceeded 110 million hectares.

Challenges Ahead for India

  • High number of Malnourished: The Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey 2016-18 revealed that over 40 million children are chronically malnourished, and more than half of Indian women aged 15-49 years are anaemic.
  • Climate change continues to be a real and potent threat to agrobiodiversity, which will impact everything from productivity to livelihoods across food and farm systems.
  • Small Land Size: Intensified food production systems with excessive use of chemicals and unsustainable farming practices cause soil degradation, fast depletion of groundwater table and rapid loss of agro-biodiversity. These challenges multiply with an increase in fragmentation of landholdings.

Way Ahead

  • The way we produce food must change through agroecology and sustainable production practices in agriculture and allied sectors
  • India must stop the waste — one-third of the food we produce is wasted. 
  • COVID-19 is an opportunity to adopt innovative solutions based on scientific evidence so they can build back better and make food systems more resilient and sustainable
  • Everybody — governments, the private sector, civil society and local communities — has a role to play in transforming our food systems so they can withstand increasing volatility and climate shocks

Connecting the dots:

  • Sustainable Developmental Goals
  • India’s Commitment to Paris Climate Deal

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