ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Prabhu PingaliSubscribe to Prabhu Pingali

Did the COVID-19 Lockdown Reverse the Nutritional Gains in Children?

To address the missing link that goes beyond the changes in dietary consumption and food expenditures to assess the impact of the pandemic on child undernutrition, specifically anthropometric outcomes, this paper uses primary panel data (pre- and post-COVID-19) from rural India within a child-fixed effects framework. We find that the pandemic is associated with a decline in weight-for-age z-scores, with under-two children being disproportionately affected. These results have a significant value in developing mitigation strategies that can safeguard the nutrition security of children from future exogenous shocks such as the pandemic. 

Hybrid Mustard and Biotechnology

The government’s decision to move ahead on the much-delayed genetically modified mustard developed by the University of Delhi signifies a turnaround and bodes well for the country’s food system. Numerous tests over the last 20 years prove its safety for food, feed, and the environment in the Indian context. The resultant hybrid DMH-11 gives a yield advantage of 37% with the same level of inputs. Our analysis shows that the farming community will get 99% of the additional monetary gains, leaving only 1% to the seed companies. Establishing a hybrid seed production system through this approval is a breakthrough, and several new hybrids with higher yields and desirable characteristics might follow in the next few years that can lead to a turnaround in mustard production.

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