International workshop on agriculture and nutrition begins

Participation of society in battle against malnutrition must: Union Minister Mr. Tomar

Traditional knowledge and scientific outlook to help improve nutrition: Minister Mrs. Chitnis

Bhopal, May 16, 2018 (Abdul Ahad Farhan):  Union Minister for Panchayati Raj, Rural Development and Mining Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar has said that due to materialism, natural resources have been exploited since years. This has led to imbalance in the field of nutrition. Social awareness towards nutrition in society is very important. Efforts of only the government will prove to be inadequate. Mr. Tomar was addressing the inaugural session of the three-day International Workshop on Nutrition in Bhopal today. Lauding the Nutrition Smart Village Mr. Tomar said that this small beginning that began from 313 villages will be expanded in all the villages of the state and the villages will become self-reliant in nutrition. He said that due to changes in traditional agricultural and food grain system, the situation of lack of nutrition has aroused. The conclusions of the series of intensive and specialized discussion started with mutual cooperation of different departments will certainly prove to be effective for its resolution. Mr. Tomar assured to extend support to the recommendations of the workshop from the centre. Symbolic of the beginning of nutrition awareness, conch shells were presented to the guests on this occasion.

On this occasion, Minister of Women and Child Development, Mrs. Archana Chitnis said that there is a need to save agricultural system from marketism. Do not take crops only for sale, but rather grow what you eat and eat what you grow. In this context he referred to the struggle of Krishna and Kansa, in which Krishna wanted that the first right on the milk produced in Braj should be of the children of Braj and remaining milk should be sent to Mathura.

Kans wanted to have his right over the whole milk produced in Braj. Mrs. Chitnis said that the natural trees of ber, kabeet, tamarind, gooseberry, drumstick are disappearing from the villages and fields. It is an indication of the end of food diversity, it is very important to save them. With this, people are being deprived of the nutrients found free of cost. She thanked the Government of India for the decision to include coarse grains (nutri cereals) in the public distribution system.

Giving information about the efforts initiated for the expansion of nutrition-sensitive agriculture and nutrition awareness, Mrs. Chitnis said that in February 2016, this idea was sown in Chitrakoot. In this direction, workshops were organized at several places including Bhopal and Shillong and each village of 313 development blocks of the state was developed as Nutrition Smart Village. She said that the villages will become self-reliant in nutritious diet only when their soil is well-nurtured. Arrangements have been made to conduct nutrition audit of these villages. She said that we are working on the concept of Nutrition Smart Citizen. Giving information about the tricolor plate, she said that due to the lack of effectiveness of market forces, we will be able to overcome the problem of lack of nutrition with the coordination of traditional knowledge and scientific outlook.

Principal Secretary Women and Child Development Mr. J. N. Kansotiya explained the need for expansion of nutrition awareness. CFO of UNICEF Mr. Michael Juma and Nutrition Head Mr. Arjan Vaagat, Deendayal Research Resource Center’s Mr. Atul Jain, Director of Indian Agricultural Research Council-Atari Jabalpur Dr. Anupam Mishra, Vice Chancellor of Agriculture University-Gwalior Dr. S. K. Rao and subject experts were present on the occasion. On the inauguration of the workshop, guests were welcomed with a ‘gamcha’ made out of banana peels and Koti made from linseed fibre. Nutrition Panchang was also released on this occasion. Alongside the workshop, an exhibition centered on activities organized on nutrients and nutrition awareness at different levels was also organized.