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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: Eradicating extreme poverty: what is the role of agriculture?

Kuruppacharil V. Peter
Kuruppacharil V. PeterKerala Agricultural UniversityIndia

Agriculture is still a gamble at the mercy of rain God, government policy of export and import, harvest and post harvest losses, incidences of invasive pests and diseases and above all highly fluctuating and producer-farmer unfriendly prices especially fruits and vegetables.

One month back tomato prices in India fluctuated Rs 5-10/kg forcing farmers to abandon the produce in the street. So are the cases of onion, multiplier onion, garlic and potato.

Unlike in Israel where packinghouses and cool chambers are parts of collective farms India does not have such facilities. If the present post-harvest losses ranging 20-40% are reduced, the availability will go up without many inputs. Value addition and products development are getting attention. The earlier wasted cashew apple is now basic raw material for more than 25 products-juices, syrup, candy, fermented juices, wines etc.

With globalization of Indian economy, urbanization and intra and inter country migration, new crops and new food recipes are in the market. Purchasing power of people are on the rise indicating a bright future to protected cultivation with assured buy back arrangement.