Nutrition and Food Security

Nutrition and Food Security

As per UN observations, India shares a quarter of the global hunger burden. India continues to have one of the world’s highest child under-nutrition rates, … undernourished people.

India has made rapid strides in improving rates of under- and malnutrition. Between 2006 and 2016, stunting in children below five years declined from 48% to 38%. Yet, India continues to have one of the world’s highest child under-nutrition rates, impacting the child’s health and development, performance in school and productivity in adult life.

Nearly 47 million or 4 out of 10 children in India are not meeting their full human potential because of chronic under-nutrition or stunting. Stunting has consequences such as diminished learning capacity, poor school performance, reduced earnings and increased risks of chronic diseases. The impacts are multi-generational as malnourished girls and women often give birth to low birth-weight infants. There has also been an increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents in India, which has life-long consequences of non-communicable diseases in adulthood.

The government has large food security and anti-poverty programmes but there are critical gaps in terms of inclusion and exclusion errors. Women and girls are particularly disadvantaged. Despite the achievement of national food self-sufficiency, new challenges have emerged: Slowing agriculture growth, climate change, land degradation and shrinking bio-diversity. Large tracts of farmlands in India have become barren due to imbalanced fertilizer use and excessive use of a single fertiliser, urea.

EduCARE India supports Government of India’s Poshan Abhiyaan as well as UNDP SDG-02 focussed at Zero Hunger through its initiatives such as Langar Seva and Annapoorna Club that focusses on food and nutrition, including establishment of square yard vege gardens, running of food banks, and nutrition awareness campaigns.