Addressing the 58th meeting of the Indian Institute for Agricultural Research (IARI), he said that India's poor ranking in the world hunger index was a matter of concern and that policy makers and Agricultural scientists were to examine and resolve this problem by ensuring the country's food and nutrition security. .
“While the position on the food front is comfortable with a total production of food grains of 283,37 million tonnes. India, however, ranks 102nd in the world hunger index. It is a concern, "said Naidu.
Policymakers, politicians, parliamentarians, agricultural universities and agricultural scientists must "seriously worry about why we are still 102nd on the world hunger index," he said. he said, and inquired whether it was because of a lack of policy or poor implementation of programs.
"We must all show serious introspection and respond to this concern," said Naidu.
The vice-president pointed out that the total production of food grains in the country had increased to 283,37 million tonnes from nearly 51 million tonnes in 1950-51.
“We have achieved food self-sufficiency, but mere food security will not be enough. We must have protein security. There is a vitamin deficiency in every person. We have to tackle the protein problem, ”said Naidu.
He asked a farmer to focus on increasing crop yields and the level of production and cited the example of Vietnam, where rice productivity is 10 times that of India.
“In a country like India with a galloping population, unfortunately no organization pays attention to the issue of population. Political parties feel shy, politicians feel shy, nor does Parliament adequately discuss the issue, "said Naidu.
"You know how the population is increasing by leaps and bounds, creating problems. See the problems in Delhi, the traffic, more people, more vehicles, more problems more tension, less attention. If you have tension, you can't pay attention, ”said the vice president. said, addressing students and faculties of IARI.
"One of course addresses the issue of population and secondly the need to increase food production not only for our food security but also for world food security ... In the future, if the population increases like this, and that you are not able to match the increase in production, there will be a problem, "said Naidu.
The vice president said that countries like India cannot depend on imported food security and ensuring "local food security" should be the priority.
“For us, a population of 130 crores, we have to come out with more production, more varieties, more qualities and more nutritious (crops). This is an important aspect that I would like to point out before you all, ”he told the students.
The alarming prevalence of malnutrition and hidden hunger is a matter of serious concern, said the vice president and pointed out that more than 80% of adolescents in India suffer from hidden hunger.
With all the scientific, technological and industrial progress, Naidu declared that today still nearly 60% of the Indian population depends on agriculture and related activities.
The vice president asked the IARI students to focus on their lifestyle and eating habits. He urged them to eat healthy foods and practice yoga. "Yoga is for the body, not for Modi," he told the students.
The vice president spoke about the judicious use of fertilizers and pesticides, and also emphasized crop diversification, food processing, storage and value added to increase farmers' incomes.
Naidu said that the government has launched several programs, including Rs 87 crore PM-KISAN, for the well-being of farmers and that the focus should now be on good implementation.
The scientist should focus more on improving the productivity of small marginal farms, he added.
The vice president also pointed out that the government has now started a good practice of handing out Padma awards to farmers, which he said had been presented earlier to elites residing in the Lutyen area and the Khan market in the national capital.
Minister of Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of State Agriculture Kailash Choudhary and the Director General of ICAR, T Mohapatra, were present on this occasion.
IARI Director Ashok Kumar Singh and Dean Rashmi Aggarwal reported on the Institute's significant achievements in 2019.
This article appeared first (in English) on THE TIMES OF INDIA