This member participated in the following discussions
The scientific basis of a minimum 33% of land area under forest cover is not known.In the southern state of Kerala(India) an aerial survey will indicate more green cover due to plantation crops like coconut, rubber, palmyrah, cardamom, coffee, tea ,cashew and cocoa.Forestry and agro-forestry are terms loosely used.Clarity for following are needed:
1.With dwindling human habitat and urbanisation , there is heavy pressure on land.Intrusion into declared forest area is rampant.Is it practical to fix a proportion as under forest cover?
2.Awareness on forests and forestry need to be a part of sylabi in primary school level.
(K V Peter)
Family Farming was the theme propagated by UN and many countries including India. The whole year 2014 was devoted and many conferences held to focus on Family farming as a way for empowering families with nutritive food, indirect employment, residue free organic food and above all family peace resulting from collective farm operations. In Kerala alone there are 60 million homesteads and back yard farming is an established practice passed over generations. Tuber crops like yams and cassava saved families from famine due to drought and flood. Leaf vegetables -indigenous-provided needed fibres and minerals to the diet. A detailed chapter on Economics of Family Farming is attached. The chapter is from the book HORTICULTURE FOR NUTRITION SECURITY published by New India Publishing Agency New Delhi. Preambles are policy papers published by FAO, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences New Delhi and Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi. Copies are available at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The school mid day meal scheme is a powerful tool for nutrition security and child literacy. In many of the states in India like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, the school mid day scheme has attracted both male and female children to schools for education. In a few states like Gujarat milk is included. In Tamil Nadu one egg /day is served. Pulses are invariably served.
Many socially responsible NGO s have programmes to feed homeless, aged and orphans. Much more has to be done in view of the escalating population. Hidden hunger due to micro-nutrient deficiency is a matter of concern. Promotion of nutrition garden with one tree of drum stick and curry leaf will go a long way in making a household self sufficient in nutrition.
Recently I compiled a book titled "Horticulture Crops for Nutrition Security" published by NIPA New Delhi (www.bookfactoryindia.com) carrying chapters on food and nutrition. Prof. M S Swaminathan Father of Green Revolution in India made the statement"There is a horticultural remedy for every nutritional malady".
To quote Gandhi ji "Poor see God in Bread". Poverty is the worst shame to humanity" he continued in his discourses. He practiced what he preached. The backyard kitchen garden adjacent to his "Asram" in Wardha in Gujarat had all the vegetables, fruits and grains for the inmate. With 240 million homesteads-living space-India can be a model country for self-sufficiency in nutrients." Food is thy medicine" said the famous physician Hippocrates. The just released book "Horticulture for Nutrition Security" published by Astral International Pvt Ltd New Delhi carries 4 preambles one from FAO, two from National Academy of Agricultural Sciences and one from Indian National Science Academy. Forty three scientists in the area of Horticulture and Nutrition contributed chapters all focussed to Nutrition through Horticulture. Despite availability of plants like drum stick, curry leaf, chekkurmanis, basil, agathi and several other vitamin and mineral packed vegetables, hidden hunger is very endemic in India. The book focusses on Food and Nutrition holistically
In fact NGOs and Private organizations play major role in education,awareness creation,model kitchen/nutrition garden development and demonstration.
It was the traditional wisdom of ancient inhabitants in warm humid tropics to grow plants and crops of family choice and make family self sufficient in food and nutrition. A kitchen garden has fruits,vegetables,spices and herbs,tuber crops and ornamentals to decorate family deity.
No outside labour was used, only family labour is used. Kitchen wastes are converted to manures and methane cooking gas.Irrigation water comes from adjescent well and ponds.The ancestors have prior knowledge on light/shade requirement of crops.Every available space is utilized including bio fences using chekkurmanis,basella,Ceylon spinach. Amaranth rich in iron and fibre was grown through out the year. Fruits like guava, bilimbi, tamarind, gooseberry, litchi, rambutan etc were grown based on temperature requirement of fruit trees. Spices like black pepper,ginger,turmeric,clove,nutmeg etc were also grown. Tubers like potato,Chinese potato,cassava,sweet potato and yams were also cultivated. With change in time technologies like hydroponics, aero ponics and aqua ponics to meet nutrition requirement of family have come up. I have a series HORTICULTURAL SCIENCES published by New India Publishing Agency New Delhi(www.bookfactoryindia.com).I compliment FAO for initiating such a discussion.
Dr K V Peter
Private sector and civil societies play a significant role to improve nutrition of the community.
In fact in many countries, they play a bigger role in education, demonstration, training and dissemination of traditional knowledge. Availability of food, access to food by enhanced purchasing power and absorption of nutrients by a receptive and healthy body are three pillars of nutritional security.
Without the active involvement of civil society and private sector, the whole exercise will be ineffective.
The private sector has a social obligation which is further embellished by tax benefits. Rockefeller Foundation funded the much lauded wheat programme in Mexico and India. Ford Foundation, Microsoft, Jamshatjee Tata Foundation etc are a few philanthropic organizations supporting health and nutrition education.
A detailed discussion will be useful to planners, politicians and educationalists.
Dr K V Peter
A nutrition garden as designed at Kerala Agricultural University envisages growing of vegetables, fruits and spices to meet the nutritional requirement of a family of five people.
Vegetables consist of leafy, pulses, fruits and several underexploited and underutilized plants. Fruits consist of locally adapted crops like guava, aonla, pineapple, gooseberry, Surinam cherry. Leaf vegetables are amaranth, Ceylon spinach, beat leaf, chekkurmanis, amaranth, basella, basil and leaves of many tubers. Pulses are cowpea, pea, beans and several underutilized but locally adapted crops.
The nutrition garden is managed by family labour. Manures are composts from family wastes. Techniques like drip fertigation, mulching, integrated pest disease management and value addition of raw products into dehydrated fruits and vegetables are the distinct advantages of a nutrition garden.
More details are available in the booklet NUTRITION GARDEN published by Directorate of Extension, Kerala Agricultural University.
Dr K V Peter
There are several well-known Grandmas tips for cooking with zero loss of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and energy. Always wash well fruits and vegetables before cutting into pieces and leaf vegetables cooked without adding water. Cover the cooking pan to avoid loss of nutrients. Keep always flame low to minimise energy use and slow cooking. Never use heated or used oil for further cooking. Sauces and ketchups mask the original taste and be avoided to the extent possible. Pot herbs like mint, thyme, celery etc can be sprinkled over cooked items to provide natural appeal and flavour. Highly salted pickles are not desirable for people suffering hyper tension. Many such Grandmas tips are in practice which need to be documented.
Dr K V Peter
The most popular and most cherished indigenous method of food preparation is the one by mamma (mother) and grandamma (grandmother) based on the likeness and preferences of family members.
Culinary preferences,availability of raw materials,and above all zero wastage are the characteristics of such diets. Special diets are served fresh and hot to the disabled members.
A documentation of such indigenous foods will be welcome.
Dr K V Peter
Noni (Morinda citrifolia L.) - a future tree for wellness and food supplimentation
Undernourishment and imbalanced rice based food are staring the developing world. Anemia, stunted growth, infant mortality, low body weight at birth and micro-nutrient deficiency disorders are telling adversely the working capacity and the cascading effect is abject poverty and low purchasing power.
Plant based nutraceuticals are natural, available at homesteads and pro-nature and green.
Noni(Morinda citrifolia L.), belonging to coffee family Rubiaceae, is a time tested tree with Polynesian origin spread to Micronesia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Andaman and Nicobar Islands(India).
The tree adores temples in Indonesia and adjoining N.E.Asian countries. More than 160 nutraceuticals are isolated from the fruits. Forty-six Universities around the world conduct research on Noni.
University of Hawaii has contributed significantly.
There is an all inclusive World Noni Research Foundation, Chennai India to undertake and promote research on Noni-tree improvement, protection, clinical research, pharmacological studies and food science-.
The International Society of Noni Science, Chennai promotes research by holding National Seminars every year and publishes the journal International Journal of Noni Research. A monograph on Noni is available.
Divine Noni Gold, Noni soap, Noni tooth paste, Noni shampoo, Noni oil, Noni tree etc are a few products.
Many testimonials are available on the role of Noni in imparting health and wellness.
The tree is listed under Future Crops.
P I Peter, Kirti Singh and K V Peter
World Noni Research Foundation