June 07, 2018

08/06/2018: Holistic policies will ensure India’s nutrition security

by Compound Livestock Feed Manufacturers Association (CLFMA), Mumbai, India

“In the next decade, nutritional security must be given top priority by the policy makers beyond just increasing food production and the livestock sector is poised to play a major role in it,” said Mr B Soundararajan, Chairman of CLFMA of India, commenting on the announcement of the US$200 million grant by the World Bank to India for addressing malnutrition among children.

The funding is said to be predominantly for the National Nutrition Mission aka POSHAN Abhiyaan, an overarching scheme for holistic nourishment of vulnerable sections of the population.

“The time has come for us to focus on holistic nutrition and health of the billion-plus population and make concerted efforts towards reducing malnutrition particularly among children. They are our future and we need to ensure they remain our top priority while making policies at the Central and State levels”, commented Mr Soundararajan.

For example, India’s per capita egg consumption – 63 per person a year - is only a third of the recommendation by the National Institute of Nutrition. Already several State governments, under their policy initiatives to address malnutrition, are already supplying eggs in their mid-day meal schemes for school children.

“Eggs are packed with essential nutrients and are one of the wholesome and healthiest foods especially for children. By including an egg in the mid-day meals every day, the problems of under-weight, wasting and stunting among school children can be addressed effectively. We are surprised as to why there are many other States that are yet to include eggs in their mid-day meal schemes” he wondered.

Similarly, at 4.4 kg per person a year, India has one of the lowest meat consumption figures globally. Chicken meat, fish and seafoods contain several essential amino acids, which aid in muscle, bone and brain development as well. “Animal protein (meat, milk and egg) is one of the easiest and most affordable means to achieve wholesome nourishment. They perfectly compliment plant proteins as our country has such a unique culinary heritage of over thousands of years that combine both vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods perfectly while not compromising health for taste or vice versa. While children that belong to the poorer sections of the society need nutritious diets, the wealthier ones need to be educated about healthy eating and balanced nutrition,” opined Mr Soundararajan.

Read the full article, HERE.

The Global Miller
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