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Need to popularise access to nutrient rich crops, says Dwivedi
Saturday, 22 July, 2023, 16 : 00 PM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
Maninder Kaur Dwivedi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, has emphasised that there is a need to popularise the access to nutrient rich crops, and industry to play a key role in this. “It is the corporates and industry which can turn nutrient rich crops into more varieties of ready to eat foods that are palatable, acceptable in line with evolving global taste,” she added.

Addressing the ‘Global Summit on Strengthening Food Systems for Nutrient-Rich Crops’, organised by FICCI, Dwivedi stated that the process of fortification has been with us ever since public health was started and even before. “The urgency for it is now much clearer and stronger as our access to information is faster along with the impact of climate change. Biofortification is one way out wherein fortification not just post-harvest, but even before harvest,” she emphasised.

Siraj Hussain, advisor, FICCI, and Former Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India, stated that once biofortification becomes successful then the external fortification of wheat and rice may not be needed as biofortification will be a natural process.

Hemendra Mathur, chairman, FICCI Taskforce on Agri Start-ups, said that it is time to think about how we can bring in nutritional security akin to food security. We need to build a more holistic solution by bringing policymakers, industry, startups, and R&D institutions together to drive the biofortification agenda as biofortification is cost-effective and affordable, he added.

Penjani Mkambula, senior cluster lead, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), said, “Beyond health, there is an economic and environmental case for nutrient-rich crops. We should be talking about holistic approach toward nutrient-rich crops.”
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