October 16, 2009
Investment and Awareness to Combat World Food Crisis
With more than one billion under-nourished people the world over, are we ready to ensure world food security in the times of adverse climate change conditions? Yes, “Achieving Food Security in Times of Crisis” was the theme for this year’s World Food Day. In this connection, a special programme was organized in the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) premises here in New Delhi.
While speaking on the occasion, the chief guest Shri A. K. Upadhyay, Special Secretary, DARE and Secretary, ICAR, informed that the issue of food security is a very serious matter of concern as the number of under-nourished people has risen to 1000 million. The recent insufficient monsoon rains and the floods in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have caused a loss to food production, and such instances are very common in India and other countries as well, contributing to food crisis, he expressed. “Food crisis is a challenge for the entire world and due to climate change it will remain there for longer period,” Upadhyay said. “If scientific knowledge is efficiently delivered to farmers and end-users, a 40-45% increase in food production is expected”, he said.
Dr. S. K. Datta, DDG (Crop Sciences), ICAR in his presidential address, highlighted the need for long term planning, knowledge extension and strategic R&D in agriculture for ensuring food security. He emphasized on improving food storage and public distribution system. “We have a storage capacity of 30 million metric tones of grains, but more capacity is required to meet the future needs”, Datta said. There is a big gap between food production and its consumption, which needs to be minimized as part of the millennium Development Goals. Datta reiterated that India has the potential to combat food crisis and appealed the scientists, researchers and students of agriculture to offer their best to fight against hunger and to ensure world food security.
Earlier, Dr. H. S. Gupta, in his welcome address, highlighted that there are more than one billion people in the world who are under-nourished. He emphasized that increased investments in agricultural education, research and development can result in better agriculture and in making agriculture a vibrant sector.
Shri R. K. Sharma representative from UNIC read
the World Food Day 2009 special message of the UN Secretary-General Dr. Ban Ki Moon
while Shri Gopi Ghosh FAO Representative read the message of FAO Director-General Dr. Jacques Diouf
The two messages highlighted how we can achieve the world food security in times of crisis.
ICAR through its wide network of agricultural research institutes, universities, and KVKs and extension centres is contributing through various activities and programmes for creating awareness among stakeholders and preparedness for world food security.
Finally, Dr. H. S. Gaur, Dean and Joint Director (Edn.), IARI presented the vote of thanks.