India’s Zero Hunger Programme to be launched in Gorakhpur, Koraput and Thane

India’s Zero Hunger Programme to be initiated by ICAR in association with ICMR, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation and BIRAC aims at coming up with suitable methods of measuring the impact of the intervention and identify the nutritional maladies in each district. The programme will be implemented in sync with India’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end hunger by 2030.

Sep 20, 2017 09:30 IST
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India’s ambitious Zero Hunger Programme through interventions in form sector will be launched in three districts, namely- Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, Koraput in Odisha and Thane in Maharashtra, on 16 October 2017.

16 October is observed globally as World Food Day. The zero hunger programme planned in these three districts will focus on agriculture, nutrition, and health in a symbiotic manner.

Information regarding the ambitious Zero Hunger Programme was given by the eminent agriculture scientist and as the father of 'green revolution' in India, M S Swaminathan. The Programme will be initiated by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research the (ICAR) in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation and the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).

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Key highlights of the Zero Hunger Programme

• The programme will ensure suitable methods of measuring the impact of an intervention.

• M S Swaminathan said, “There will be an intensive training programme in order to identify the nutritional maladies in each district and the appropriate agricultural/horticultural and animal husbandry remedies.”

• The concerned state governments will also be involved in the programme which consists of organisations of the farming system for nutrition, setting up genetic gardens for biofortified plants/crops and initiation of a 'Zero Hunger' training.

What is Genetic Garden for biofortified plants/crops?

It is a garden that contains the germplasm of naturally biofortified crops or such crops through plant breeding. These gardens are a house for plants and crops that help supplement micro-nutrient deficiencies, including iron, iodine, vitamin A and zinc among others.

While announcing the plan, Swaminathan said that he hopes that an integrated programme will help us to achieve the Zero Hunger District goals surely and speedily.

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Reports suggest that many more districts will be covered under the programme in recent future. The programme will be implemented in sync with India’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end hunger by 2030. These three districts, Thane, Koraput, and Gorakhpur, will be acting as a model for this integrated approach to deal with hunger and malnutrition by adopting suitable agriculture/horticulture practices.

Note: India’s Zero Hunger Programme will be launched in addition to what plans were announced/planned to deal with the issue of malnutrition by the government. Government plans to make India malnutrition free by 2022.

Under the UN-approved SDGs, which were adopted by countries including India in 2015, the government is expected to ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices in the country.

(Source: Economic Times)

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