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Food Systems

  • 16 May 2020
  • 2 min read

Why in News

According to the Global Nutrition Report 2020, food systems should be inclusive, local and diverse to address food security and malnutrition and build economic and climate resilience.

Key Points

  • Food systems
    • A food system is a composite of the environment, people, inputs, processes, infrastructures, institutions, etc.
    • Production, processing, distribution, preparation and consumption of food are a part of food systems.
    • They also include the outputs of such activities, including socio-economic and environmental outcomes.
  • Reducing malnutrition through food systems
    • By adjusting food systems away from staples like wheat and rice towards non-staples like vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts etc., malnutrition can be reduced.
    • More incentives towards millets, and non-staples will make production of healthy food attractive to producers and therefore improve the availability of more nutritious food, especially for the rural poor.
    • Procurement of nutritious and climate-resilient crops like sorghum and millets should become the policy of the government.
      • Their consumption should be increased through public food distribution schemes and creating awareness on the health benefits of these crops.
    • Child malnutrition is a risk factor that can keep India from fulfilling all its child mortality related Sustainable Development Goals (e.g. SDG 2: Zero Hunger).
  • Role of small farm holders
    • Small farm holders who usually do not have access to big value chains will be critical in improving food systems.
    • Incentivising and hand-holding them to transition to diverse crops may improve local value chains as better access enables income enhancement.
  • Food systems and climate change
    • Smaller and localised value chains instead of supermarket driven long-value chains can reduce carbon footprints.
    • Similarly, climate-resilient and less water intensive crops should be incentivised and popularised among farmers and consumers alike.

Source: DTE

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