Food imperatives in context of the agriculture, nutrition, and environment nexus
IRRI Representative for South Asia Dr. Nafees Meah is the guest editor for “Food Imperatives”, the 2019 year-end issue of Geography and You (GnY) magazine . The following is an overview of the issue as written by Dr. Meah.
Food systems are at the nexus of food security, nutritional health, ecosystems, climate change, and prosperity. The Green Revolution enabled countries in South Asia to move from food deficit to self-sufficiency, particularly in cereals. In the process, millions were lifted out of poverty. Despite this, we find ourselves dealing with the “triple burden” of undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and over nutrition. Levels of stunting in children under 5 years of age and anaemia in women remain shockingly high across South Asia. In addition, climate change is already having an impact on agriculture with increasing frequency of extreme weather events. A new paradigm on food systems is essential if we are to deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The year-end issue ‘Food Imperatives’ of the popular journo-magazine ‘Geography and You’, that I had the privilege of guest-editing with contributions from technical experts in related fields, contains a series of articles that sets out some new thinking.
A key natural resource that must be better managed, Sinha et al. argue is improved water use efficiency, that along with crop diversification and better regulation is needed to end the overexploitation of ground water in Northwest India. The Government of India, recognizing the urgency of the challenge of nutrition, has launched a mission mode programme, ‘ POSHAN Abhiyaan ’, which aims to herald a new era in food and nutrition security, which is described in this issue by Basanta Kar . Whether it succeeds…