th Lecture

Choke Points: Food & Nutritional Security,

Choke Points: Food & Nutritional Security

Synergia Foundation & The Department of Agriculture Government of Karnataka

September 15, 2017

CONTEXT

Limited resources create situations where a country’s growing demand for more energy, more water, more food and more land cannot be all satisfied without incurring in trade-offs between them. 'Choke points' are reached when available resources are insufficient to satisfy all demands and sectors of industry and the population. India’s reliance on ground water extraction is, on an average, thirty-seven percent higher than its natural recharge rate. Water scarcity creates complex trade-off between energy and food production.

The choke point for India realistically mean that, in the short-term future there will not be enough water to run coal fired thermal power stations and irrigate large fields to grow crops. The endemic use of excessive irrigation and overuse of fertilisers has resulted in an estimated one-third of all irrigated land to become degraded through water logging, salinization and pollution. The second choke point is the growing concern of ‘triple burden malnutrition’ and ‘connected risk’ in the country.

KEY ISSUES

  • The rapid rise of population and changes in migratory pattern has resulted in increased and skewed demand for food grains world wide.
  • India produces about 270 million tonnes of food grains and is considered food secure; yet we are not nutritionally secure as 25% of the population is going without a second meal.
  • The inefficient functioning of the supply chain results in a 18 - 20% loss as food wastage.
  • Climate change, land degradation, shrinking bio-diversity, imbalance use of fertilizers etc. are also severe limiting factors to increase productivity.

THE DEBATE

  • How do we double farm income while reducing the cost by 50 pecent.
  • How can we keep farmers committed to the farm.
  • How do we ensure that agriculture is sustainable, robust and precise.
  • What kind of technology does the farmer need to maximise is productivity and ensure that he gets the best prices.

OBJECTIVE

The primary objective is to bring together key stakeholders and gain a deeper understanding of the problem related to ‘food and nutritional security’ with special focus to Karnataka. We will also look at issues concerning ‘triple burden malnutrition’ and ‘connected risk’.