How to fight malnutrition and increase diversity of choice for lower-income households? Improve traditional supply chains! – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Addressing malnutrition requires a multisectoral approach that includes complementary interventions in food systems, public health and education. This approach also facilitates the pursuit of multiple objectives, including better nutrition, gender equality and environmental sustainability. […]

Both traditional and modern supply chains offer risks and opportunities for achieving better nutrition and more sustainable food systems. Improvements in traditional supply chains can help reduce losses, lower prices and increase diversity of choice for lower-income households. The growth of modern retailing and food processing can facilitate the use of fortification to combat malnutrition, but the increased availability of highly-processed, packaged goods may contribute to overweight and obesity.  […]

Malnutrition in all its forms – undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight and obesity – imposes unacceptably high economic and social costs on countries at all income levels. The State of Food and Agriculture 2013: Food systems for better nutrition argues that improving nutrition and reducing these costs must begin with food and agriculture. The traditional role of agriculture in producing food and generating income is fundamental, but agriculture and the entire food system – from inputs and production, through processing, storage, transport and retailing, to consumption – can contribute much more to the eradication of malnutrition. […]


Source: The State of Food and Agriculture 2013 – Executive Summary – i3301e.pdf
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Date Visited: Tue Jun 11 2013 21:23:27 GMT+0200 (CEST)

About the The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO’s efforts – to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.

Our mandate is to improve nutrition, increase agricultural productivity, raise the standard of living in rural populations and contribute to global economic growth.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: About FAO
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Date Visited: Wed Jun 12 2013 21:06:58 GMT+0200 (CEST)

Tribal nutrition | Read the full report including projects as part of UNICEF’s efforts to support the tribal population >>

Since independence, multiple government policies and programmes sought to develop tribal communities by focusing on their livelihood, education and health. Despite six decades of special treatment, even today, tribal peoples continue to be the most undernourished segment of the Indian society. […]

About 80 per cent of the 5 million chronically undernourished tribal children live in just eight states of Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Odisha. Tribal peoples in these states, which are covered by the Fifth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, and also other states have borne the maximum brunt of land alienation, displacement and poor compensation. […]

About 40 per cent of under five tribal children in India are stunted, and 16 per cent of them are severely stunted.

Tribal children have higher levels of undernutrition compared to children of socially economically advanced sections. Similarly, income security of tribal peoples has been adversely affected by losses and access to productive resources (rights to forest or agricultural lands coupled with poor compensation). Debts are one of the main coping strategies, resulting in a hand-to-mouth existence for those affected. […]

Source: Tribal nutrition: UNICEF’s efforts to support the tribal population, especially children who suffer from malnourishment.
Date visited: 28 July 2020

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Editorial, The Hindu, June 13, 2013

India’s paradox of fast economic growth across several years and chronic malnutrition in a significant section of the population is well known. It has vast numbers of stunted children whose nutritional status is so poor that infectious diseases increase the danger of death. About 34 per cent of girls aged 15 to 19 are stunted in the country, according to a major review of global undernutrition by The Lancet. These adolescents, part of the post-liberalisation generation, have benefited the least from economic growth. Without active intervention to improve their access to appropriate food, the young women are bound to face complications during pregnancy and many are certain to deliver stunted babies, continuing the distressing cycle. What these insights underscore is the need for the political class to make the struggle against malnutrition a national priority. It is evident that in the absence of scaled-up programmes to build the health of the child and the teenager, and to provide opportunities for education and skill-building, India cannot really reap the so-called demographic dividend of a large young population. Neither can it substantially reduce its shameful levels of maternal and child mortality, attributable in good measure to lack of nutrients in the diet. […]

These are communication challenges that the National Rural Health Mission must pursue vigorously. The broader task would be to improve universal access to nutrients through a basket of commodities — including pulses, fruits and vegetables — that can be supplied through a variety of channels. Clearly, the Public Distribution System and community-run not-for-profit institutions would form the backbone of such an effort. What is often forgotten in the discussion is the importance of early childhood nutrition — crucially, the first 1,000 days — for life-long health. […]

Regrettably, most politicians have failed to grasp the importance of this social investment. It is now for civil society to press the agenda.

Source: “Stunting a country” | The Hindu
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Date Visited: 2 July 2020

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Tip | Health and the nutritional value of indigenous grains, seeds and millets: “The tribal food basket has always been ­diverse and nutritious” >>

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