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Re: Making agriculture work for nutrition: Prioritizing country-level action, research and support

FSN Forum Team FAO, Italy
FSN Forum

Posted on behalf of Seema Prakash, Ashoka Fellow, India

We work with a particular tribe called Korku in Madhya Pradesh (INDIA).

Since couple of decades they have been gradually divorcing their traditional tribal millets and crops in favor of cash crops like soybean and wheat and cotton. Ironically they grow soybean but is not a part of their food culture. The tribal millets like Kodo (paspalum scrobiculatum) and Kutki (little millet) and Sawa (Indian barnyard millet) have been going out of vogue and generating a widespread lack of essential micronutrients and manifesting in large numbers of children malnourished. The recent surveys show nearly 60% children below 5 years being underweight,  45% stunted and 30% wasted. The situation has remained chronic. Secondly Korku tribe settled from their hunter-gatherer life quite late at the end of the nineteenth century. With restriction on hunting and their divorce from wild yams and tubers have further compounded the issue.

The government policy is not titled to promote it or bring it in their Public Distribution system.

Serious research is needed to ascertain the los this has brought to community nutrition and established chronic food insecurity among Korku and also many other tribes in Central and Northern India.

Seema Prakash



Madhya Pradesh