The global agricultural system is primarily concerned with ensuring that sufficient food will be produced to feed the global population. However, to tackle global public health problems associated with both under- and over-nutrition, healthy diets must be available, just not only calorie supply. In order to reach nutrition security, more strategic partnerships between agricultural research departments and health and nutrition research communities are required. Public investment in agricultural research and development has been steadily decreasing, even as the GDP of India is on the rise.
The Indian agriculture sector remains one of the least productive in the world. Continued growth of the agriculture sector is important for maintaining food and nutrition security, and enhancing the purchasing power of the rural population. Expansion of agriculture requires public investment in agriculture and rural infrastructure, and regulation of farm inputs and services.
Good nutrition is often equated with balanced food consumption only. Even if a person consumes enough calories, they may still undernourished due to lack of essential vitamins, which provide by a high diverse diet. Increasing the production of nutrient-dense foods, particularly locally adapted varieties rich in micronutrients and protein, is vital for combating nutrition related chronic diseases.
Therefore, promotion of production more of green leafy vegetable and fruits in the backyards of rural houses is very important. We have also seen many success stories in this direction. Horticultural promotion through social marketing approach can decrease micronutrient deficiencies in the world. The magnitude of micronutrient deficiencies are wide spread over among 2 billion populations.
In this connection, we are also carrying out a major study in the states of Orissa and Bihar (Nutrition and Agricultural disconnect).
As per the National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (NNMB) health and nutrition periodical surveys, revealed that even though the farmers produce many variety of food products like milk, fruits and vegetables, but they never consume in recommended amounts (RDA) due to economic reasons and they sell out entire their produces (elastic foodstuffs) for sake of money. Many of these farmer communities are generally illiterates; it is too much to expect their nutrition literacy. Even literates are nutritionally illiterates. India has more 65% families are farm dependent. If increase their nutrition knowledge, will definitely reduce the undernutrition in India.
The rural and tribal schools may be promoted to grow fruits and vegetables in the school premises and encourage them to consume the same. Most of the vegetable may be encouraged to use in the MDM preparations to enrich their micronutrients.