IRRI India, IRRI SARC, convene on Transforming Food Systems through Sustainable Value Chains

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04 February Delhi, India – The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) South Asia Office in India convened a multi-sectoral panel discussion on – “ Creating Sustainable Value Chains for Transforming Food Systems ” on 4 February, at the National Agricultural Science Complex in Delhi.

Senior representatives from agriculture, nutrition, environment, R&D, and policy deliberated on how to collaborate for operationalizing food system transformation in India and the region. The multi-disciplinary perspectives focused on a new paradigm of food systems transformation that is emerging in the context of ‘planetary boundaries’, and is defining the ‘safe operating space’ for imparting stability to earth systems and human health.

Pertinent to this dialogue are both, the supply and demand side challenges. Citing the $550 billion food sector in India, Mr. Pawan Agarwal, CEO of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in his keynote address emphasized the existing demand and supply challenges, for ensuring good standards and safety of food production and consumption.

“Access, affordability, quality, robust agricultural systems supported by robust supply chain and informed buyers is imperative for transforming food systems,” he said. Thanking IRRI for organizing this timely and pertinent discussion, he said FSSAI’s ‘ Eat Right India ’ movement launched in 2018, similarly encouraged a ‘holistic societal approach’ for bringing about a food systems transformation.

Today, more than 4 out of 10 children and 1 in 10 adults in India suffer from chronic undernutrition, trends that are further aggravated by land degradation, climate change, poverty, and slowing growth in the agriculture sector. Achieving SDG 2, ‘Ending Hunger’, will be challenging, said Dr Nafees Meah, Regional Representative for IRRI in South Asia, unless multiple stakeholders from pertinent areas of expertise converged to tackle these issues in the already complex context of rising populations…

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