Swaminathan for policy to check junk food sale

Swaminathan for policy  to check junk food sale

Father of Indian Green Revolution M S Swaminathan on Wednesday called upon the Centre to come up with a policy to check the sale and consumption of junk food.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the inauguration of the three-day 9th Nutra India Summit, organised by the International Society for Nutraceuticals, Nutritionals and Naturals and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research here.

The Centre’s priority, he said, should be pro-nutrition and encouraging youth below 30 years of age to take up agriculture and farming.

He pointed out that shrinking per capita resources, market viability, food loss and wastage, clean and safe drinking water and healthcare facilities are a challenge.

Stressing the need to spread nutritional literacy across the country through home science colleges, he said traditional knowledge of nutrition and nutritional supplements can be protected through home science.

Swaminathan, who is also founder chairman and chief mentor of Unesco, said that according to Unicef, 39 per cent of children are malnourished.

He observed that one in every four children suffers from low birth weight. Swaminathan said that ragi, millets, jowar, bajra and maize should be given priority under the National the Food Security Act to enhance the country’s food basket, apart from wheat and rice.

In this regard, he exhorted the need to increase rice production in the country.

He said that the demand for rice would increase by 50 per cent by 2030. Currently, 40 million hectares of land is under cultivation and it should be increased to 200 million hectares, Swaminathan said. Production should increase by five tonnes per hectare, he added.

Three dimensions

In India, three major dimensions of hunger need to be strictly dealt with - calorie deprivation, protein deficiency and micro-nutrient deficiency. For this, advanced scientific research, in coordination with government regulations, is needed. 

Swaminathan was felicitated with the 9th Nutra Lifetime Achievement Award by Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao. The book ‘Nutra Sector - An Overview’ was released on the occasion.

Delegates from more than 15 countries are attending lectures by over 70 speakers.

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