Sustainability in India's Food System: The 90-Point Agenda.

  Oct 23, 2023

India's Food System: Sustainability

Q1: What were the key observations made about India's food system sustainability in the article?

A1: The article highlights the interconnectedness of nutrition security, livelihoods, and environmental security within India's food system. It discusses the double burden of malnutrition faced by India and the challenges related to farm incomes and environmental sustainability.

Q2: What are the major challenges faced in India's food system?

A2: India faces challenges related to malnutrition, inadequate farm incomes, and environmental vulnerabilities. Malnutrition is prevalent among a significant portion of the population,
and farm incomes are often insufficient to meet the needs of small and marginal farmers. Additionally, depleting natural resources, such as soil health and groundwater, pose threats to the resilience of food production.

Q3: How can consumer demand contribute to food system sustainability?

A3: Shifting consumer demand towards healthy and sustainable diets is crucial. This involves promoting food choices that are both nutritious for people and environmentally sustainable.
Corporations and social media influencers can play a role in shaping consumption patterns, and public institutions like the Public Distribution System can improve the quality of food provided to a large portion of the population.

Q4: What initiatives can support farmers in adopting sustainable agricultural practices?

A4: Supporting farmers in transitioning to remunerative and regenerative agricultural practices is essential. Initiatives like the National Mission on Natural Farming are steps in the right direction.
However, funding for sustainable agriculture needs to be increased and diversified. Agricultural support should shift from input subsidies to direct cash support per hectare, promoting efficient input use. Agricultural research and extension services should also focus on sustainable practices.

Q5: How can value chains in the food system become more sustainable and inclusive?

A5: Shifting farm-to-fork value chains towards sustainability and inclusivity is critical. Middlemen and corporations involved in food supply should prioritize direct procurement from farmers and incentivize sustainably harvested produce.
Young agri-tech enterprises and farmer producer organizations can play a role in enabling farm-to-buyer linkages and promoting fair trade practices.

Q6: What is the overall objective of the proposed three-sided approach to the food system?

A6: The proposed approach aims to address the challenges in India's food system by engaging all three sides: consumers, producers (farmers), and middlemen (corporations and intermediaries).
It seeks to promote nutrition security, resilient farm incomes, and environmental sustainability through a combination of behavioral changes, policy support, and value chain improvements.

Q7: Why is it important to act swiftly to transform India's food system?

A7: Acting quickly is crucial because India has the opportunity to showcase to the world how to create a sustainable and resilient food system.
Addressing the challenges in the food system is essential for ensuring the well-being of the population, improving farm livelihoods, and protecting the environment. The scale of the challenge should not deter efforts to achieve these ambitious goals.


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