Food Security Current Affairs

India asks UN to declare 2018 as International Year of Millets

India has sent proposal to the United Nations (UN) for declaring the year 2018 as ‘International Year of Millets’. If the proposal is agreed, it will raise awareness about millets among consumers, policy makers, industry and Research and Development (R&D) sector.

Significance

Promotion of production and consumption of millets at global level will contribute substantially in fight against targeted hunger and mitigate effect of climate change in long run. Popularizing millets will benefit future generations of farmers as well as consumers.

It has multiple untapped uses such as food, feed, biofuels and brewing. Therefore, millets are smart food and good for consumers, farmers and planet.

Millets

Millet is a common term to categorize small-seeded grasses that are often termed nutri-cereals or dryland-cereals. It includes sorghum, ragi, pearl millet, small millet, proso millet, foxtail millet, barnyard millet, kodo millet and other millets. They are adapted to harsh environment of the semi-arid tropics and require low or no purchased inputs, thus they are backbone for dry land agriculture.

Nutritional Superiority: Millets are nutritionally superior to wheat and rice owing to their higher levels of protein with more balanced amino acid profile, crude fibre and minerals such as Iron, Zinc, and Phosphorous. It provides nutritional security and act as shield against nutritional deficiency, especially among children and women.

Health Benefits: Anaemia (iron deficiency), pellagra (niacin deficiency), B-complex vitamin deficiency can be effectively tackled with intake of less expensive but nutritionally rich food grains like millets. It can also help tackle health challenges such as obesity, diabetes and lifestyle problems as they are gluten free and also have low glycemic index and are high in dietary fibre and antioxidants.

Income and livelihood Source: Millets are important staple cereal crop for millions of small holder dryland farmers across Asia and sub-saharan Africa and. They offer nutrition, resilience, income and livelihood for farmers even in difficult times. They have multiple untapped uses such as food, feed, fodder, biofuels and brewing. Thus, millets are Smart Food as they are Good for the Farmer and Good for the Planet.

Resilient of Climate Change: Millets are photo-insensitive and resilient to climate change. They are hardy, resilient crops that have low carbon and water footprint. They can withstand high temperatures and grow on poor soils with little or no external inputs. In times of climate change they are often last crop standing and thus are good risk management strategy for resource-poor marginal farmers.

Tags:

16 October: World Food Day

The World Food Day is observed globally on 16 October to mark foundation of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945. The theme for the year 2017 is “Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development.”

The World Food Day is a day of action dedicated to tackling global hunger and aims to raise public awareness about hunger challenges and encourage people around world to take action in fight against hunger. This day also shows commitment to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 – to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030. Events organised to celebrate this day promotes worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all.

Background

The World Food Day was instituted in November 1979 by FAO’s Member Countries at its 20th General Conference of to raise awareness of issues behind poverty and hunger. The day was observed for the first time it on 16 October 1981 and idea of celebrating the WFD worldwide was mooted by Hungarian Delegation to FAO.

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

FAO is specialised agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Its parent organization is UN Economic and Social Council (UNESC). It is neutral forum serving both developed and developing countries where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy.

It was established on 16 October 1945 and its headquarters are in Rome, Italy. Its motto is “Let there be bread”. It has 194 member states, along with the European Union (member organization)

FAO meet the demands posed by major global trends in agricultural development and challenges faced by member nations. It helps countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices, ensuring good nutrition and food security for all.

Tags:

12345...10...12