Purvi Mehta on Indian agriculture and nutrition—Addressing agricultural disconnects and food disparities

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Purvi Mehta, head of agriculture for Asia at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (photo credit: ILRI).

#800000">Purvi Mehta #000000">is speaking today at a global conference on Accelerating the End of Hunger and Malnutrition, which is being held in Bangkok and is organized by the International Food Policy Research Institute (#800000">IFPRI) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (#800000">FAO). A former leader of capacity development at the International Livestock Research Institute (#800000">ILRI), which is supporting this conference, Mehta now heads agriculture for Asia at the #800000">Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In a plenary panel session at the Bangkok conference this morning, Mehta said the following.

#000000">Costs of malnutrition

#800000">We must focus on the costs we well as the causes of malnutrition.

#808080">The costs of malnutrition are huge.

#800000">A stunted child attends school more than one year less than an adequately nourished child.

#808080">One of the biggest reasons for children dropping out of school in India is ill health due to malnutrition, which leads to GDP losses of 8 to 10%.

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#000000">Nutrition ministries

#800000">Multi-sectoral approaches to malnutrition are extremely important.

#808080">Nutrition has become everybody’s job but no one’s responsibility.

#800000">We need to centralize accountability—to establish ministries of nutrition. 

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Purvi Mehta was interviewed recently by Devex. Some excerpts from that interview follow. . . .

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