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Sustainable Food System is specific -ethnical,geographical,economic ,religious-and ecofriendly.The transformation of India from a food deficient country to a food exporting country is a sage of success of science and technology over low yielding traditional technologies where water and solar energy were in abundance.Despite higher availability of food, access to food is denied to 28-30% of Indias population(400 million people), more than the population of many developed countries in Europe and Asia.There are concerns on food production in view of shrinking space, water, energy and purchasing power due to unemployment.Climate change is affecting biodiversity.At present 12 crops sustain the food system and biodiversity of these crops-maize,wheat,rice,barley,millets, potato, tomato,capsicum,cole crops etc are getting affected.The three series UNDERUTILIZED AND UNDEREXPLOITED FORTICULTURAL CROPS(www.newindiapublishing agency.com);BIODIVERSITY OF HORTICULTURAL CROPS(www.astralint.com) and FUTURE CROPS(www.astralint.com) elaborate emerging new crops,dwindling biodiversity and possible crops of the future.The edited book ZERO HUNGER INDIA:POLICIES AND PERSPECTIVES published by Brillion Publishing New Delhi is compilation on the scientific and technological strength for a zero hunger India.
Eggs of hen,duck and quil are common in the diet of middle and above middle class people.Eggs are classified under non-vegetarian food.An egg a day is a desirable food item.The recent propaganda against poultry egg especially the red portion is quite discouraging.Consumption of egg will lead to increase in bad cholestrol and may fascilitate cardio-vascular diseases.In 2013 Government of India passed the National Food Security Bill , which made access to food a legal right of the people.In states like Tamil Nadu, one egg was was included in the mid day meal scheme.The apprehension of people on use of poultry egg and heart diseases needs to be removed by educational tools.Recently I edited a book ZERO HUNGER INDIA:POLICIES AND PROGRAMMES published by Brillion Publishing New Delhi(firstname.lastname@example.org) carries roles of fish,animal meat etc on NUTRITION SECURITY.
PITCHER system of irrigation is an age old and indigenous system of irrigation followed in Malabar the present North Kerala during summer in plantation crops like coconut, cocoa and arecanut. PITCHER consists of a porous earthern pot which can carry 5-10 liters of water. A hole is made at the bottom plugged by a long wig through which water droplets move to nearby soil to the tree. Each drop of water is used and a not a drop wasted. Once the soil is wetted the movement from the pot is stopped. The main advantages of PITCHER are conservation of water, needed based watering and very simple in technology. PITCHERS are modified to water vegetable nursery beds, rooting of grafts, management of excess moisture leading to soil borne diseases and above all the most viable and economical.
Biodiversity or biological diversity is wealth of any nation to be conserved, used , exchanged and future crops which are resilient to climate change are to be evolved.
The most unique feature of earth is the existence of life is its diversity. Approximately 9 million types of plants, animals and fungi inhabit the earth along with 9 billions of people.
In 1992 , at the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, the vast majority of the world's nations declared that human actions are dismantling the Earth's ecosystems, eliminating genes, species and biological traits at an alarming rate. Increasing concern about dwindling biological resources led to the establishment of the Convention on Biological Diversity(CBD) in 1992.
In India measures for conservation and sustainable uses of biodiversity did not start with CBD. India has a long history of conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. The Biological Diversity Act-2002 was enacted to adopt the objectives enshrined in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) was established in 2003 to implement India’s Biodiversity Act. India has a very rich reservoir of horticultural crops-fruits, vegetables, spices, medicinal and aromatic plants, plantation crops, tubers, bamboos and mushrooms.
A series BIODIVERSITY OF HORTICULTURAL CROPS now in Vol.VII was edited and published (www.astralint.com).The ICAR-NBPGR has the mandate to collect, document, describe, conserve and make available to users the genetic resources of plants.
Likewise ICAR National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources and ICAT National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources are established.
"Hunger and poverty are shame to humanity" says Gandhiji. "Every thing can wait but not agriculture" so addresses the First Prime Minister of India Shri Jawahar Lal Nehru to the members of the First Planning Commission of India-Dr P C Mahalanobis and Prof.C R Rao. "Jai Jawan Jai Kissan" is the slogan given by the Farmer Prime Minister Shri.Lal Bahadur Sasthri. "Green Revolution promoted by Smt Indira Gandhi transformed India from a stage of "ship to mouth in 1947-62 to Farm to Ship 1965 onwards. Despite mountains of grains(278 million tones) and horticultural produces(307 million tones), India hosts the largest number of hungry and poor in the world.Hidden hunger due to deficiency of micro-nutrients and vitamins in the common diet is rampant. Availability of drinking water, lack of protein supplements and above all complete missing of nutrition education are matters of concern. The Forth coming book ZERO HUNGER INDIA:POLICIES AND PERSPECTIVES published by Brillion Publishing New Delhi carries 28 chapters addressing wholistically the state of food and nutrition in India.An introduction to the book is attached.
"Zero Hunger India:Policies and Perspectives" is a forthcoming edited book published by Brillion Publishing New Delhi.The book carries 6 preambles and 28 chapters dealing with food and nutrition security,hidden hunger due to deficiency of vitamins and minerals in the household diet,backyard farming of fruits, vegetables and spices;aquaculture; livestock rearing and food safety.Food adulteration is becoming rampant in outdoor eating places.Government of India has enacted Food Security Act-2013 making access to food a right to its citizens.The content of the book is attached.
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.
"Zero HungerIndia:Policies and Perspectives" is an edited book carrying 6 messages,6 preamples and 26 chapters authored by the best available expert in the topic.Transformation of India from a starving nation in 1947-1962(ship to mouth) to the present food surplus(farm to ship) country (278 million tones of food grains and 307 million tones of fruits and vegetables is the saga of political support and policy(Late Indira Gandhi and C .Subramaniam),use of science and technology and international collaborarion(M.S Swaminathan and N.E.Borlaug),hard working and toiling farmers of Punjab,Western UP,West Bengal,Tamil Nadu and Odisha,a well knit public distribution system led to GREEN REVOLUTION.Despite availability of food,access to food and horticultural produces is limited to only above middle class people."Among mountains of food grains, millions go to bed with out a meal" is a paradox.In 2013 the Indian Parliament enacted the National Food Security Act which made access to food-grains,pulses,millets- a right.An effective Targetted Public Distribution System came into existance.Distribution being digitalized, loopholes were plugged.Despite all the above measures India continues to host the worlds largest number of women and children anaemic.Child malnutrition is rampant-stunting, low birth weight and high child mortality.Population explosion and carrying capacity of the available natural resources -land, water,air-need to be reviewed.The book will be released on 7th August,2018 on the birth day of Prof.M S Swaminathan
"Sustainable farming system for food and nutrition security" is a topic of current relevance when land under farming gets reduced, irrigation water scarce, farm labour costly, incidences of pests and diseases becoming more prevalent, farmers suicide blotting civilized nations, global hunger index going down in highly populated countries like India. Gandhi the father of Indian nation called for selfsufficiency in family food and nutrition availability by making use of available space in the house, use of water and waste for farming and household members providing farm labour. Called variously as kitchen garden, backyard garden, nutrition garden and now hydroponics, aeroponics, rain shelter farming, vertical gardening etc., the sustainable farming system is providing both physical and mental health and wellness. Vegetable and fruit growing is a therapy for the aged, mentally retarded and depressed. In Ayurveda system of medical treatment, consumption of fruits and vegetables is advocated. Hidden hunger becoming a global concern, kitchen garden can play a positive role.
Migration for better quality of life is a part of history and the new world -present Americas- is the resultant of such human venture. Migration needs to be encouraged in highly populated countries to lowly populated areas where human resource is the limiting factor. Per capita income from agriculture is declining compared to other avenues of employment. Space, water, energy and human labour are getting limited. The great migration of human labour from India to South Africa primarily to meet the labour requirement in sugar cane fields is history. Mechanization became a necessity once labour became costly and scarce. Only 3-5 % of working labour are employed for agricultural production in USA while 35-40% are used in India and in real numbers the figures will be quite astonoshing.
I am editing a book "ZERO HUNGER INDIA: POLICIES AND PERSPECTIVES". Any one interested to contribute chapters are welcome.