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

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Reasserting Nutrition Priorities

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Nutrition is a priority in India. India has eminent nutritionists to guide the country on a path of improving nutrition that is sustainable without being prohibitively expensive. Unfortunately, their painstaking and careful efforts are being disrupted by powerful forces that have become increasingly dominant in recent times in the nutrition sector. Their motto is business first, nutrition incidental. In fact, the situation is even worse as nutrition can be harmed by subordinating nutrition planning to business interests.

In this worrying situation, it has become all the more crucial to reassert the real priorities as has been revealed by years of careful research in India as well as other countries that are in a similar situation. Land reforms should try to make available at least some land to rural landless households as the availability of even small plots of land can contribute significantly to reducing hunger and malnutrition. Kitchen gardens should be spread as widely as possible among rural and even urban poor households, particularly to grow vegetables and perhaps some local fruit as this is known to contribute significantly to reducing malnutrition. Programmes to reduce poverty should be scaled up and improved in both rural and urban areas.

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